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A talk by Dr. Sasikumar S.Sundaram on “Rhetorical Powers and International Order: How Global South Asserts”
A talk by Dr. Sasikumar S.Sundaram on “Rhetorical Powers and International Order: How Global South Asserts”

Priyanka Shah - B.A / B.Sc 19-22 /SIAS

Sri City, December 4, 2019: …Dr. Sasikumar S.Sundaram, Scholar in Residence, American University, Washington D.C. delivered a lecture on ‘Rhetorical Powers and International Order: How Global South Asserts’ to the students and faculty of the School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Sasikumar S.Sundaram began with a brief overview of rhetoric and the power of language and how language in a particular arrangement can create or destroy. He also posed thought-provoking questions to the students and faculty on what makes language powerful. The talk on rhetoric was all the more impressive as it also covered the importance of language in international politics, supplemented with examples.

Dr. Sundaram then moved on to rhetoric as a particular form of knowledge - an argument to move audiences. He also quoted various examples of good versus bad rhetoric to help students understand rhetoric better. He also shed light on the boundaries between rhetoric and demagoguery, where he was asked questions by students based on the ethics and morality of rhetoric. Dr. Sundaram then focused about India, Brazil and China and the role of rhetoric in their political speeches.

The talk then focused on the question as to why rhetoric is misunderstood as a manipulation tool, and the role of norms in doing so. Dr. Sundaram ended his talk by discussing the role of rhetoric in international politics. He gave examples of using rhetoric to distinguish audiences and how the global south asserts itself – particularly in India, Brazil and China – through rhetoric and as a voice to be heard, justifying itself to the unreasonable liberal internationalism. He spent the last 15 minutes of his lecture answering questions from students.

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