Do all Europeans present their arguments in the same way, or are there as many styles of speaking as there are languages? How do Members of the European Parliament convince others of their views? Is persuading the same as manipulating? From the 9th to the 13th of October, scholars and researchers from around the world will gather at Saarland University to explore these and other questions from a variety of perspectives. More than 150 talks, workshops and discussion groups will be held on campus, providing conference participants with the opportunity to discuss areas such as speaking and learning, rhetorical issues in the media, rhetoric and politics, religious speech, and rhetoric and philosophy. The international conference has been organized by the European Institute of Rhetoric at Saarland University in cooperation with the University of Luxembourg and the European Academy of Otzenhausen.
'Rhetoric in Europe - Convergence and Divergence in Rhetorical Development" 9-13 October, Saarland University, Saarbrücken Campus, Buildings A3 3 and B4 1
Oratory, the art of successful communication and persuasion, is a rich and varied field. Rhetorical skills play a crucial role in many areas of life: in politics, at school or university, in the media, in business and professional life, in cross-border communication, at courts of law, from the pulpit, or in PR and advertising. To reflect this diversity, the programme of the international conference is correspondingly broad, with over 120 talks arranged in eight parallel sessions.
In the conference session entitled 'Speaking and Learning', international researchers and scholars will be discussing, among other things, how schools, universities and adult education institutions should respond to the greater rhetorical demands in modern society. The session 'Intercultural Communication and Translation' will deal with such topics as the different styles of argumentation used by Germans and Arabs, and what is 'said' and what is 'meant' in Spanish and German job references. The session with the title 'The Power of Image - Rhetorical Issues in the Media' will discuss, among other topics, the challenges posed by the rapid transformations in the world of media. Rhetoric in politics will be viewed from both the historical and contemporary perspectives, addressing such questions as: 'Persuasion or Manipulation? Uncertainty as a Strategy in Political Rhetoric from Classical Civilization to the Modern Day'. The talk entitled 'Credibility is the Message' will be looking at television coverage of Iraq War. Rhetorical aspects of the election in the Ukraine in 2012 will also be examined. Other fields covered by conference talks include 'Speech and Law', 'Religious Speech', 'Argumentation' and 'Rhetoric and Philosophy'.
On Thursday, 10 October, Doris Pack (MEP) will give an invited talk entitled 'The Bailout Fund and the Fall of Man: Rhetorical Elements in European Political Communication' (5 pm in in Main Auditorium (Aula) on the Saarbrücken Campus, Building .A3 3).
Around 30 workshops and discussion sessions will provide conference participants with a forum to discuss and share ideas. One of the workshops will focus on the 'Young Debaters' project organized by the Hertie Foundation. Discussions on topics relating to radio rhetoric and radio aesthetics are also planned. Talks to be given will address such areas as: how listeners learn to identify the 'sound' of radio stations and programmes; characteristic features of contemporary radio morning shows; and associations evoked in listeners by radio presenters. There will also be a comparison of the rhetorical aspects of media presentations of the New Year addresses in France and Germany. Other workshops will examine the topics: believability in the internet, rhetorical devices in political and parliamentary dialogue, and rhetoric in contemporary Greek education. New French research into rhetoric, cinema and television will also be presented at the conference.
A final plenary session will be held in the main auditorium on Sunday, 13 October (10 am, Building A3 3) at which there will be an opportunity to review and appraise the conference.
The official languages of the conference are German, English and French.
The Conference Patron is Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.
Media representatives are cordially invited to attend the conference. There is no registration fee for accredited media representatives. Conference fee: €150 (day pass: €50; students: €50 for three-day pass).
Conference programme, registration details and other information is available at: http://www.
Note for radio journalists: Studio-quality telephone interviews can be conducted with researchers at Saarland University using broadcast audio IP codec technology (IP direct dial or via the ARD node 106813020001). Interview requests should be addressed to the university's Press and Public Relations Office (+49 (0)681 302-3610).