Ceremonial Speech

Information about Ceremonial Speech

Published on December 31, 2007

Author: Waldarrama

Source: authorstream.com

Content

Ceremonial Speech:  Ceremonial Speech Sally Brock Kevin Harris Amy Rush What is Ceremonial Speech?:  What is Ceremonial Speech? Ceremonial speech is the act of praising shared values and condemning shared faults speeches of this sort commemorate a ceremony marking an important event in the life of the community to "commemorate" means to bring together in memory and create a shared space of remembering often employed through the use of collective memory Collective Memory:  Collective Memory the collective consciousness is combined with individual remembrances to provide what Maurice Halbwachs calls a “handier and surer grip” on the events of the past Collective Memory:  Collective Memory the recollections that are instantiated beyond the individual by and for the collective ‘constructed in ways designed to accrue to the advantages of the constructors’ ‘never given, but managed’ used to convince and persuade pieced together like a mosaic with some memories having greater or lesser resonance than others collective memory is public establishes its political/rhetorical power Power in the Words:  Power in the Words collective memory is integral to the formation of power and influence that constitute social interactions and involvements Ceremonial Speech and Politics:  Ceremonial Speech and Politics a powerful tool in the repertoire of leaders striving for electoral and political ascendancy collective memory works as an interpretive strategy for the definition of political image, as political actors seek to link their character to familiar and secure markers of collective identity drawn from the community’s shared past The Presidency and Ceremonial Speech:  The Presidency and Ceremonial Speech different sources of collective memory have more or less claims to authority and legitimacy in the larger culture no other individual possesses authority and power to influence collective memory more than the President of the United States the presidency functions as a site for the construction and formation of collective memory a rhetorical presidency epideictic oratory has become a dominant rhetorical form and it is very conducive to transmitting collective memory by utilizing collective memories for political purposes, presidents offer an interpretation or understanding of that collective memory that carries considerable authority and legitimacy in U.S. culture they become the chief interpreters of collective memory The Presidency and Ceremonial Speech :  The Presidency and Ceremonial Speech when presidents employ collective memory for their personal or political goals, they demonstrate the usability of collective memory as a rhetorical tool it functions as a device of the rhetorical presidency to “make connections –to each other over time and space and to ourselves” ‘constructed in ways designed to accrue to the advantages of the constructors’ the president’s vision of the past preserves political power publicly and ensures the survival of enduring social systems because collective memory is limited in its representation of the past, it easily succumbs to presidential manipulation and exploitation and is smoothly transformed into political nostalgia Reagan’s Speech on the Challenger Disaster:  Reagan’s Speech on the Challenger Disaster Background:  Background On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle was launched into the air with seven crew members, one being a teacher chosen by NASA to be the first teacher in space. A little over one minute in the air, the Challenger exploded while the entire world was watching on television. Reagan delivered the speech from the Oval Office a few hours after the disaster. Slide11:  http://youtube.com/watch?v=5JKIZ7j20EA Thoughts?:  Thoughts? Slide13:  Stuckey believes that Reagan had two important needs that needed to be addressed in the speech Giving comfort to America, especially the family and friends of the Challenger crew Protecting NASA Slide14:  Reagan portrays the astronauts as heroic and wants to make sure that the American people remember them as heroes. However, he did not want to make the American people think that the problems were because of NASA. He had the ability to raise public emotions whenever needed, according to Paul Halsall, meaning that he could build pathos through his rhetoric Halsall said that Reagan’s political leadership could be questioned, but he was always able to connect with Americans during times of crisis. Slide15:  Reagan compares the crew members to the explorer, Sir Francis Drake. He dedicated his life to explore the world and what it had to offer. He says that the crew members of the Challenger did the same by risking their lives to explore a new step in space travel. Slide16:  “The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.’” He ends his speech with this quote showing that these seven people will never be forgotten and they are now in a better place, Heaven. Bill Clinton’s Commemoration of the March on Washington :  Bill Clinton’s Commemoration of the March on Washington 1998:  1998 rumors were flying that Bill Clinton was engaging in an illicit affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky facing grand jury testimony, he reluctantly admitted his affair Clinton ordered the U.S. bombings in Afghanistan and the Sudan Clinton’s Speech:  Clinton’s Speech presented his address on August 28th at Union Chapel, an African-American church located on Martha’s Vineyard the audience was gathered to pay tribute to Georgia Representative John Lewis the occasion also commemorated the 35th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” Goals in Presenting the Speech:  Goals in Presenting the Speech he combined a significant historical commemoration with one of the most notable presidential crises of the century he is seeking redemption through the civil rights movement Clinton relies on and exploits collective memory and political nostalgia in order to seek vindication and redemption Clinton’s Commemorative Address:  Clinton’s Commemorative Address Clinton sets the commemorative tone very early “hasn’t this day made you proud to be an American?” his purpose is clearly to pay tribute, to identify core lessons and to offer personal statements of praise and blame epideictic purpose is clear from the beginning of the speech “what I’d like to ask you to think about a little today and to share with you…is what I think this [civil rights movement] means for us today.” Nostalgia:  Nostalgia political nostalgia is the limited, distorted narrative of the past-in-memory that argumentatively resurrects and glorifies bygone times and is communicated to achieve an emotional response in the service of a political or electoral goal a powerful political/rhetorical appeal a means for the speaker to affiliate his image to a distorted, yet memorialized aspect of the community’s heritage The Three Lessons:  The Three Lessons Clinton uses three lessons from the civil rights movement and political nostalgia to help his own political image and provide social cohesion “They offer a distorted image of the President as they undercut the connotation of Clinton as a philandering, Yale-educated, manipulative politician, entrapped in an embarrassing sex scandal.” The First Lesson: Mutuality:  The First Lesson: Mutuality Clinton’s first lesson from Martin Luther King Jr. is “whether we like it or not, we’re all in this life together” calls for our recognition of this past lessons and its application in contemporary society Mutuality:  Mutuality Clinton asks the audience to agree that he should go to Russia, that democracy should be spread globally and that “we ought to meet our responsibilities to the International Monetary Fund and these other international groups, because we can’t solve the world’s problems alone –we can’t even solve our problems alone, because we’re in this web of mutuality.” Mutuality:  Mutuality this first lesson achieves important rhetorical and political goals he shifts the focus of political attention away from the Lewinsky scandal to his triumphs and accomplishments as president allows the President to highlight the economy, his leadership in foreign policy, and his plans for the future the past becomes a barometer for measuring Clinton’s success and for diverting attention away from his private conduct to his public performance in office Mutuality and Interdependence:  Mutuality and Interdependence individuality should be deemphasized in favor of collective concerns Clinton’s wrongdoings are not as important to the larger, public concerns facing the world’s economy and the American people shifts the focus away from personal scandal to public leadership the mutuality and interdependence of the civil rights movement justify Clinton’s leadership and his presidency The Second Lesson: Nonviolence:  The Second Lesson: Nonviolence political nostalgia has an ability to distort and blur distinctions in time Clinton shifts frequently between the past, the present and the future he alternates between uses of nonviolence on a collective level and on a personal level the second nostalgic lesson is “whenever possible peace and nonviolence is always the right thing to do” ironic because it coincides with the bombing of Afghanistan and the Sudan Nonviolence:  Nonviolence by contrasting individual achievements and transgressions with collective values and goals, Clinton excuses individual sin individual selfishness and personal failing took a political backseat to big ideas Clinton (re)humanizes both heroes and villains and makes their individual failings subservient to the larger, collective good this by extension forgives his own failings Second Lesson Applied:  Second Lesson Applied seeks to reclaim his individual self and rescue his failed image by association with the public persona of President Clinton works to excuse the acts he has admitted to through shifting focus away from the individual to the collective, from the past to the future, and from the sinner to the larger, saved community The Third Lesson: Forgiveness:  The Third Lesson: Forgiveness Clinton’s third lesson: forgiveness “All of you know, I’m having to become quite an expert in this business of asking for forgiveness. It gets a little easier the more you do it. And if you have a family, an administration, a Congress and a whole country to ask, you –you’re going to get a lot of practice.” Nelson Mandela’s Words:  Nelson Mandela’s Words Mandela’s response testifies to the importance of forgiving one’s enemies “I did hate them for quite a long time. After all, they abused me physically and emotionally. They separated me from my wife and it eventually broke my family up. They kept me from seeing my children grow up. He said, for quite a long time I hated them. And then he said, I realized one day, breaking rocks, that they could take everything away from me –everything –but my mind and my heart. Now, these things I would have to give away. And I simply decided I would not give them away.” Clinton manages to construct a parallel between himself and Nelson Mandela Forgiveness:  Forgiveness if we pledge ourselves to nonviolence and if we forgive our enemies, we will live in a better time than in our contemporary age dominated by the politics of personal destruction Clinton takes his audience back to a more virtuous era when public life was more meaningful and noble Clinton comes to embody the lessons of the civil rights movement for personal gain In Conclusion:  In Conclusion Clinton’s address illustrates the power of this type of rhetorical appeal to distort the past and the collective memory of that past in order to achieve an emotional response designed to achieve political success he is able to exploit a national commemorative moment for his personal rhetorical needs and to use the nostalgia shared by his audience for the civil rights era in the service of his individual image (re)construction

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