Against Critique: Epistemologies for Alternative Futures

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Date: November 1, 2022
Time: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Category: Lecture

Critique has been a central component of humanities scholarship at least since the time of Matthew Arnold in the mid nineteenth century. In late twentieth-century rhetorical scholarship, we witnessed a significant shift in critique from rhetorical criticism to critical rhetoric. But, what of critique itself? What is it good for? Critique makes sense as a way of understanding and deconstructing problematic and oppressive systems, structures, institutions, and the like. But, is critique sufficient? Does noticing a problem and drawing attention to or calling out a problem necessarily lead to a superior alternative, solution, or better practices, conditions, or circumstances? This presentation argues against critique – at least critique as the sole scholarly praxis – without an accompanying effort to articulate better ways of doing things. It will suggest that racial epistemologies can function as guides to survival and better futures, hence offer options beyond mere critique.

Kent A. Ono Ph.D. (Communication Studies, University of Iowa, 1992) is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. His research focuses on rhetoric; media and film studies; and race, ethnic, and cultural studies. Before moving to Utah, Ono was on the faculties of the University of California, Davis (1992- 2002), and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2002-2012). At Davis, he directed the Cultural Studies Program (1999-2002). At Illinois, he directed the Asian American Studies Program (2002-2007) and the Center on Democracy in a Multicultural Society (2005-2006). And, at Utah, he chaired the Communication Department (2012-2017). He authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited six books. His authored/ co-authored books are Contemporary Media Culture and the Remnants of a Colonial Past (Peter Lang, 2009); Asian Americans and the Media with Vincent Pham (Polity, 2009); and Shifting Borders: Rhetoric, Immigration, and California's Proposition 187 with John Sloop (Temple University Press, 2002). He is a past editor of two NCA journals: Critical Studies in Media Communication and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and founder and series co-editor of the book series, “Critical Cultural Communication,” at NYU Press. He is past president of the National Communication Association. He is a Distinguished Scholar of NCA and a Fellow of the International Communication Association.

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Meeting ID: 951 7919 6289

Passcode: 379835

November 2022