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The Beginning and the End of The Silver Tongue

March 1, 2018

In September 2010, several Carnegie Mellon graduate students in rhetoric, Doug Cloud, Hilary Franklin, Alexis Teagarden and Matt Zebrowski, started this blog called The Silver Tongue. During this time, blogging was still new and popular and unbridled optimism was still held by many over the election of Barack Obama.  TST was a smart source of observations on political, environmental, and pop culture topics.  Rhetorical theory provided the source for this insight because our founders believed, and we still do, that rhetoricians must remain engaged publically in issues and events that affect our communities. The TST founders described rhetoric this way:

“We…believe that rhetoric is the way things get done in a democracy, that communication and persuasion are desirable alternatives to force. We cannot solve social problems without understanding, and we cannot achieve understanding without rhetoric. Of course, rhetoric can be can be used to deceive, too, and it frequently is. It can be a force for good or deception, depending on who’s using it.”

This belief holds true more than ever within this current political climate, which is characterized by contentious issues like the ending of DACA, the resurgence of overt white nationalism in the US and in Europe, continuing debates over climate change reality and policy….   We need public scholars to help make sense of it all.  With over 300 posts on this site from numerous writers, TST has been an important part of public conversations for the past seven years.

But to remain effective in this task, it is now time for a reboot.  We are taking the mission of TST in a new direction, with new technologies, and with a new name.  The Silver Tongue is now being transformed into Re:Verb – the new site can be found here.

This new podcast will engage the listener on current issues from a critical perspective. We envision this as a site where scholars of language, culture, and rhetoric can share insights on contemporary issues in ways that engage and interest a broader public. Acknowledging the many ways that “engagement” with issues may take shape — as commentary, scholarship, conversation, creation, and for some, even strategic disengagementRe:Verb embraces multiple humanistic perspectives, modalities, and ways of “talking about talk.”  

We look forward to receiving your suggestions on topics and hope you like the new site and the new changes.   

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