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Title: Sharing values to safeguard the future: British Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration as epideictic rhetoric
Authors: Richardson, John E.
Keywords: Rhetoric
Holocaust Memorial Day
Discourse-historic analysis
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: SAGE © The Author
Citation: RICHARDSON, J.E., 2017. Sharing values to safeguard the future: British Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration as epideictic rhetoric. Discourse and Communication, 12 (2), pp.171-191.
Abstract: This article explores the rhetoric, and mass-mediation, of the national Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) commemoration ceremony, as broadcast on British television. I argue that the televised national ceremonies should be approached as an example of multi-genre epideictic rhetoric, working up meanings through a hybrid combination of genres (speeches, poems, readings), author/animators and modes (speech, music, light, movement and silence). Epideictic rhetoric has often been depreciated as simply ceremonial “praise or blame” speeches. However, given that the topics of praise/blame assume the existence of social norms, epideictic also acts to presuppose and evoke common values in general, and a collective recognition of shared social responsibilities in particular. My methodology draws on the Discourse-Historical Approach to Critical Discourse Analysis, given, first, its central prominence on analysing argumentative strategies in discourse and, second, the ways it facilitates a reflexive ‘shuttling’ between text-discursive features, intertextual relations, and wider contexts of society and history. Here, I examine how a catastrophic past is invoked in speech and evoked through image and music, in response to the demands that uncertainty of the future “places upon one’s conscience” (Lauer 2015:12).
Description: This paper was published in the journal Discourse and Communication and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481317745743
Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/1750481317745743
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26604
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481317745743
ISSN: 1750-4813
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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