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Events Archive

Q&A with Adam Banks, faculty director of PWR, on black rhetoric

Last Thursday, the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, PWR 194: Contemporary Black Rhetorics and OpenXChange’s Open Office Hours Series presented “Hidden in Plain View: Centering Black Voices on Media, Protest and Everyday Life.” Moderated by journalist Tonya Mosely, the event featured Jamilah Lemieux, a senior editor at Ebony Magazine, and Meredith Clark, who teaches journalism at the University of North Texas. Discussion centered around the rising power of black voices in various forms of media. The event was organized by Adam Banks, Faculty Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. The Daily sat down with Banks to discuss the timeliness of the event, his PWR 1 class on black rhetoric, and the future of this conversation at Stanford.

The Stanford Daily (TSD): Can you tell us about the event?

Adam Banks (AB): The event is about getting a wider range of voices with respect to African-American life, both in terms of these protest movements that are happening around the country and the complexities of everyday life that we rarely see portrayed. When we look at national media, everything gets flattened, so it’s not just what happens with African-American or black folks, but this is a gesture in broadening that conversation in terms of looking at black-owned and -oriented media and looking at black presence on social media like Twitter.

TSD: Why is this discussion so necessary?

AB: There are many reasons why it’s necessary. It has nothing to do with ethnicity or culture. It has to do with the fact that acts of writing and discourse are central to how we figure things out in society. So any time where we have compelling cases of that kind of rhetorical production, of people trying to persuade in public and in private, then that deserves some attention.

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