Beyond identity politics toward dialogic ethics: The letters of Mordecai Ben-Ami

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/289007
Title:
Beyond identity politics toward dialogic ethics: The letters of Mordecai Ben-Ami
Author:
Desser, Daphne Payne
Issue Date:
1999
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
For many the study of rhetoric has become a study of dialogue and difference, of communication across metaphorical and literal borders, and of the ethics of such communication. Using letters written in French by my great-grandfather, Mordecai Ben-Ami, a Russian Zionist, journalist, and fiction writer, as a site for analysis, I argue that a dialogic ethic of response offers scholars and teachers of rhetoric and composition a way to move beyond identity politics in our writing classes and the oppression of the other in our scholarship. I suggest that some of this field's most common theoretical lenses and practical sites of analysis--historiography, identity construction, gender, and translation--can be complemented by the application of dialogic ethics. Using conceptions of discourse and dialogism in work by Bakhtin and the concept of an ethics of responsibility in work by Levinas, I demonstrate that an intersubjective understanding of ethics rooted in the necessity of response to the other can help us meet the challenges of multicultural dialogue. The letters date from 1924-1928 and originate from Milan, Berlin, Odessa, and Chaiffa, among others. The dissertation is organized in chapters that employ, examine, and problematize a different postmodern approach to rhetorical analysis. Each chapter begins with an examination of a theoretical approach in relation to the letters, then analyzes sample letters using that approach. Each chapter then examines the analysis to discuss particular strengths and flaws of the theoretical framework and to suggest how a dialogic ethics can complement it. The chapters discuss the following: the historical situatedness of the letters, the shifting constructions of ethnicity and identity in the letters and in the dissertation, the gendered aspects of the reading and writing processes of the author and the translator, and finally the cultural politics involved in the translation of Russian Zionist letters by a postmodern American.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.; Language, Rhetoric and Composition.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Enos, Theresa

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleBeyond identity politics toward dialogic ethics: The letters of Mordecai Ben-Amien_US
dc.creatorDesser, Daphne Payneen_US
dc.contributor.authorDesser, Daphne Payneen_US
dc.date.issued1999en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractFor many the study of rhetoric has become a study of dialogue and difference, of communication across metaphorical and literal borders, and of the ethics of such communication. Using letters written in French by my great-grandfather, Mordecai Ben-Ami, a Russian Zionist, journalist, and fiction writer, as a site for analysis, I argue that a dialogic ethic of response offers scholars and teachers of rhetoric and composition a way to move beyond identity politics in our writing classes and the oppression of the other in our scholarship. I suggest that some of this field's most common theoretical lenses and practical sites of analysis--historiography, identity construction, gender, and translation--can be complemented by the application of dialogic ethics. Using conceptions of discourse and dialogism in work by Bakhtin and the concept of an ethics of responsibility in work by Levinas, I demonstrate that an intersubjective understanding of ethics rooted in the necessity of response to the other can help us meet the challenges of multicultural dialogue. The letters date from 1924-1928 and originate from Milan, Berlin, Odessa, and Chaiffa, among others. The dissertation is organized in chapters that employ, examine, and problematize a different postmodern approach to rhetorical analysis. Each chapter begins with an examination of a theoretical approach in relation to the letters, then analyzes sample letters using that approach. Each chapter then examines the analysis to discuss particular strengths and flaws of the theoretical framework and to suggest how a dialogic ethics can complement it. The chapters discuss the following: the historical situatedness of the letters, the shifting constructions of ethnicity and identity in the letters and in the dissertation, the gendered aspects of the reading and writing processes of the author and the translator, and finally the cultural politics involved in the translation of Russian Zionist letters by a postmodern American.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectSociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.en_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Rhetoric and Composition.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorEnos, Theresaen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9946786en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b39904593en_US
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