MEADE, M.R. and ROBLES, J., 2017. Historical and existential coherence in political commercials. Discourse and Communication, In Press.
This article analyzes discourse, narrative, and video editing to introduce the concept of “historical coherence.” This concept is an expansion on Alessandro Duranti’s notion of “existential coherence”—the construction of an embodied narrative connecting a candidate’s past with his/her decision to run for office—from his 2006 study of a candidate’s campaign speeches. The present study examines how language and communication are linked with historical narratives through the use of a multimodal stories in which US political commercials link candidates’ present actions with historical events, dynamics, artifacts and/or figures. This “historical coherence” is constructed through several strategies: (1) constructing a narrative in which popular historical figures or archetypal figures are in agreement with the candidate; (2) preempting charges of lack of historical coherence; (3) presenting historical restrictions to freedom and casting the candidate, or the candidate’s party in general, as a preventative from future calamities and transgressions to freedom.
This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Discourse and Communication and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481317707560