In our talkative Western culture, speech is synonymous with authority and influence while silence is frequently misheard as passive agreement when it often signifies much more. In her groundbreaking exploration of silence as a significant rhetorical art, Cheryl Glenn articulates the ways in which tactical silence can be as expressive and strategic an instrument of human coIn our talkative Western culture, speech is synonymous with authority and influence while silence is frequently misheard as passive agreement when it often signifies much more. In her groundbreaking exploration of silence as a significant rhetorical art, Cheryl Glenn articulates the ways in which tactical silence can be as expressive and strategic an instrument of human communication as speech itself. Drawing from linguistics, phenomenology, feminist studies, anthropology, ethnic studies, and literary analysis, Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence theorizes both a cartography and grammar of silence. By mapping the range of spaces silence inhabits, Glenn offers a new interpretation of its complex variations and uses. Glenn contextualizes the rhetoric of silence by focusing on selected contemporary examples. Listening to silence and voice as gendered positions, she analyzes the highly politicized silences and words of a procession of figures she refers to as “all the President’s women,” including Anita Hill, Lani Guiner, Gennifer Flowers, and Chelsea Clinton. She also turns an investigative ear to the cultural taciturnity attributed to various Native American groups—Navajo, Apache, Hopi, and Pueblo—and its true meaning. Through these examples, Glenn reinforces the rhetorical contributions of the unspoken, codifying silence as a rhetorical device with the potential to deploy, defer, and defeat power. Unspoken concludes by suggesting opportunities for further research into silence and silencing, including music, religion, deaf communities, cross-cultural communication, and the circulation of silence as a creative resource within the college classroom and for college writers....
|Title||:||Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence|
|Number of Pages||:||248 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence Reviews
Interesting theory, but not as broad as I would have wished.
This book is most valuable to me as a thought repository for many people who have studied and/or written about silence (Glenn pulls in a lot of quotes from diverse sources). It's good starting point for the way I want to study silence--in terms of power, gender, personality, culture, and theology.A few quotes I liked: Like the zero in mathematics, silence is an absence with a function.Like speech, the meaning of silence depends on a power differential that exists in every rhetorical situation: who can speak, who must remain silent, who listens, and what those listeners can do.Every decision to say something is a decision not to say something else . . . In speaking we remain silent. And in remaining silent, we speak. A truly beautiful clay pot . . . signifies on the emptiness it surrounds.
Read for Engendering Rhetorical Power class--kind of intimidating and exciting that the author is co-teaching the course at Penn State! This book is central to my research project for the course on what rhetorical possibilities are available to teenage girls, and (based on the YA book Speak by Laurie Halse Andersen), how silence can be used as a strategy of power. In Glenn's book, I'm interested in her reading of the expectations of silence in children and the "stylized sulking" of teenagers. Is silence in teenagers always to be read as sulking, secretive, or shyness? Why is the behavior labeled as sulking in teens become read as passive-aggressive in adults?
In Unspoken (2004), Cheryl Glenn explains how silence is one of the most misunderstood and under-valued rhetorical acts, and it deserves study (2). Understanding that we are always communicating, Glenn explores how "Silence can deploy power; it can defer to power. It all depends" (18). Silence can be purposeful, used to shame others, discipline others, create authority, become part of a group, avoid shame, and in many other ways.