Ever since ancient times, research on the subject of rhetoric has been conducted. Rhetoric as a subject was born in 400 BC - and it's no coincidence that rhetoric and democracy arose simultaneously. When the dictatorship of naked coercion no longer determined the choice of joint action, but one had to try to win over a number of people, for a specific option – a need to learn to speak and write convincingly arose. At the time, future teachers had no curriculum or manuals available. They just looked around, and saw that some were more skilled than others in the art of persuasion, and they wrote down what they did. When we began to have explanations for why some language works better than other, we had the seed of rhetoric as a research subject.
The basis of rhetoric research is how we choose to communicate, something we all do every day. Another point is how the rhetoric of science may be able to help us analyze, understand and choose better communicative expressions in a variety of communicative situations;
- Different types of crisis communication, ranging from swine flu or Muhammed cartoons to personal emergencies
- The relationship between rhetoric and democracy, from different points of view and concrete situations
- The relationship between rhetoric and ethics
- Media Rhetoric; how language affects our perception of reality, style characters' role in modern science etc.
Rhetoric Research at Lund University
In Sweden there are three universities with professors, and three postgraduate courses in rhetoric. The various universities have different lines of research. Here at Lund University we mostly do research on different aspects of the relationship between rhetoric and didactic, and between rhetoric and teaching. This relationship is obviously very broad. Not only in all learning situations; school, professional or personal life; but in almost all communication situations, rhetoric didactic aspects deepen our understanding of the communication conditions and outcomes. For example, How do marketers in different social media contexts adapt to the idea of the audiences' moral standpoints? How can such an analysis enhance our ability to relate constructively to advocacy efforts, and may it improve the ability to communicate constructively?