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Lecture | PCNI Research Group State of the Art Meeting

Rhetoric and Debate : A Toolkit for Historians

Friday 25 February 2022
PCNI Research Seminars 2021-2022
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
2.60 (Conference Room)

Historians study rhetoric or debates, sometimes unwittingly. They use speeches as sources, they study the way people in the past tried to convince an audience, frame a message, or deliberated and consulted. At another level, while writing books and articles, historians try to make a case and persuade their audience that their point of view is the right one, or at least convincing. However, they seldom use the methods of those specialists who study debate and rhetoric in a systematic way. This meeting is meant as an introduction to this kind of study, perhaps even a crash course. We will concentrate on language, but rhetoric may also include images or act (for instance acts of terror), which can have strong pathos effects.

The meeting will consist of three short presentations and will be followed by a general discussion.


Jaap de Jong, Professor of Journalism and New Media at the Centre for Linguistics, Leiden University.

Ton van Haaften, Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Linguistics and Dean of the Honours Academy, Leiden University.

Henk te Velde, Professor of Dutch History at Leiden.

The meeting will be held in person, but it will be possible to attend it online too. To join the meeting online, please register by sending an email to the PCNI coordinator, Dario Fazzi at d.fazzi@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

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