LuMing Mao, “Enacting a Rhetoric of Becoming: Asian American Rhetoric in Action” – March 3

Thursday, March 3

7 p.m. in Yeager Recital Hall

What is Asian American rhetoric? Where is Asian American rhetoric? Using these two questions as his starting point, LuMing Mao will develop three responses in this talk. First, he characterizes Asian American rhetoric as a rhetoric of becoming: it is a rhetoric that reflects and responds to the social, cultural, and linguistic conditions and practices and that participates in a generative process of meaning making and identity affirming amidst complex, often asymmetrical, relations of power. Second, he argues that Asian American rhetoric is marked by the use of distinctive language, body, and space, and it is mobilized by specific discursive events, exigencies, and evocations. Its rhetorical force comes not from commanding any essential characteristics but from generating effective performance and participation in re-making the world.

Third, to further illustrate the “whats” and “wheres” of Asian American rhetoric, he’ll read spoken poetry by i was born with two tongues—a Chicago-based, Pan-Asian Spoken Word Troupe—and “A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe,” the final chapter in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior.

Mao is professor of rhetoric and linguistics at Miami University of Ohio. He is also the director of their Asian and Asian-American Studies program. He has published articles in a wide variety of venues, and his recent book, Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie: The Making of Chinese American Rhetoric (2006), provided the title for the lecture series.

This event is part of the Togetherness in Difference Lecture Series and is funded through a College of Arts and Sciences Fund for Excellence Grant.