Rhetorics of Display (Book Title)


Program Description:

Using his book “Rhetorics of Display", editor Lawrence J. Prelli discusses how twenty-first century citizens continually confront displays of information and images, from the verbal images of speeches and literature to visual images of film and photography to exhibits in museums to the arrangement of our homes to the merchandising of consumer goods. Illuminating ways in which phenomena, persons, places, events, identities, communities, and cultures are exhibited before audiences, Professor Prelli explains the processes of selecting what to reveal and what to conceal that together constitute the rhetorics of display. Seventeen case studies in his book canvass a representative and diverse range of displays—from body piercing to a civil rights memorial to a Titanic exhibition to imagery found in gambling casinos shedding light on rhetorics that are nearly ubiquitous in contemporary communication and culture.


Lawrence J. Prelli

Lawrence J. Prelli is professor of communication and chair in the department of communication and affiliate professor in the department of natural resources at the University of New Hampshire. He teaches courses and conducts research in rhetorical theory and criticism, with special attention to examining rhetoric in relation to science, to environmental discourses, and to display. In addition to journal articles and book chapters, he is editor of Rhetorics of Display (2006) and author of A Rhetoric of Science: Inventing Scientific Discourse (1989), which won the 1990 Eastern Communication Association’s Everett Lee Hunt Award for distinguished scholarship in rhetoric and public address. He also is recipient of that association’s 2004 Donald H. Ecroyd and Carolyn Drummond Ecroyd Teaching Excellence Award and the 2007 National Communication Association’s Golden Anniversary Monograph Award. He received a PhD in Speech Communication from the Pennsylvania State University, a MS in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire, a MA in Rhetoric and Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, and a BS in Political Science from the State University of New York College at Brockport.

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