This book looks at the representation of viruses in rhetoric, politics, and popular culture. In utilizing Jean Baudrillard’s concept of virality, it examines what it means to use viruses as a metaphor. For instance, what is the effect of saying that a video has gone viral? Does this use of biology to explain culture mean that our societies are determined by biological forces? Moreover, does the rhetoric of viral culture display a fundamental insensitivity towards people who are actually suffering from viruses?
A key defining aspect of this mode of persuasion is the notion that due to the open nature of our social and cerebral networks, we are prone to being infected by uncontrollable external forces. Drawing from the work of Freud, Lacan, Laclau, Baudrillard, and Zizek, it examines the representation of viruses in politics, psychology, media studies, and medical discourse.
The book will help readers understand the potentially destructive nature of how viruses are represented in popular media and politics, how this can contribute to conspiracy theories around COVID-19 and how to combat such misinterpretations.
Chapter One: Introduction.- Chapter Two: Baudrillard and Viral Rhetoric.- Chapter Three: How the Rhetoric of Information Took Over Our World.- Chapter Four: Viral Culture.- Chapter Five: Freud’s Contagion.- Chapter Six: Populism as a Cultural Virus.- Chapter Seven: Zizek’s Pandemic.- Chapter Eight: Conclusion: Science, Politics, Media, and the Virus.
Robert Samuels teaches Writing and Rhetoric at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He is the author of fifteen books, including Zizek and the Rhetorical Unconscious and Teaching Writing, Rhetoric, and Reason at the Globalizing University. He has doctorates in English and Psychoanalysis.
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Dimensioni: 210 x 148 mm Ø 310 gr
Formato: Copertina rigida
Illustration Notes:1 Illustrations, black and white
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