Media Ethics Initiative

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Daily Archives: December 9, 2016

Trump, Clinton, and the Race for the Presidency

The Media Ethics Initiative Presents:

Trump, Clinton, and the Rhetorical Construction of Democracy in Campaign 2016


Dr. Martin J. Medhurst, Distinguished Professor of Communication & Professor of Politics, Baylor University

November 2, 2016 — 1-2:00PM — CMA 5.136 (LBJ Seminar Room)

From their announcement speeches to the final debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have rhetorically constructed portraits of American democracy in their campaign rhetoric. What do those portraits look like? How are they constructed? What assumptions lay behind them? And what implications for democracy going forward attend their acceptance or rejection? Through a close reading of their presidential nomination acceptance addresses, I identify the kind of democracy called into being by each of the candidate’s speeches, the ethical implications of endorsing such a portrait, and the portents for democratic governance that each speech suggests. By focusing on rhetorical form, I shed light on political content.

Dr. Martin J. Medhurst is Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication and Professor of Political Science at Baylor University. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including Rhetorical Dimensions in Media: A Critical Casebook (1984 and 1991, with Thomas W. Benson), Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor, and Ideology (1990 and 1997, with Robert L. Ivie, Philip Wander, and Robert L. Scott), Communication & the Culture of Technology (1990, with Alberto Gonzalez and Tarla Rai Peterson), Landmark Essays on American Public Address (1993), Dwight D. Eisenhower: Strategic Communicator (1993), Eisenhower’s War of Words: Rhetoric and Leadership (1994), Beyond the Rhetorical Presidency (1996), Critical Reflections on the Cold War (2000, with H.W. Brands), Presidential Speechwriting (2003, with Kurt Ritter), The Rhetorical Presidency of George H. W. Bush (2006), The Prospect of Presidential Rhetoric (2008, with James Arnt Aune), Before the Rhetorical Presidency (2008), and Words of a Century (2009, with Stephen E. Lucas). Dr. Medhurst is a frequent contributor to communication journals, including The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Monographs, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Communication Education, Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies, Western Journal of Communication, and the Southern Communication Journal, among other disciplinary outlets.

Open to the UT community and general public

For further information, contact Dr. Scott Stroud


Advertising, Ethics, and Culture


The Media Ethics Initiative Presents:

Habitus, Doxa, and Ethics: Insights from Advertising in Emerging Markets in the Middle East and North Africa

Dr. Minette E. Drumwright, Associate Professor of Advertising & Public Relations

October 13, 2016 — 3:30-4:30PM — BMC 5.102

How do advertising practitioners in other cultures confront ethical issues? Building on research conducted with Sara Kamal, Professor Drumwright employs Bourdieu’s theory of practice to examine how the perceptions, practices, and discourses of advertising practitioners in Middle East and North Africa influence the advertising field’s habitus and doxa. Through this investigation into culturally inflected media practices, our understanding of the ethical problems of advertising is enhanced by examining them as macro, meso, and micro phenomena.  Understanding how these three levels interrelate, interact, and reinforce one another is critical to understanding the habitus of advertising practitioners. Underlying biases that shape the doxa can be explained by ideas central to behavioral ethics. A better understanding of the forces that shape the habitus and doxa with respect to ethics is key to moving toward a culture that encourages ethical advertising practices.

Dr. Minette E. Drumwright previously was an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School and a senior lecturer in the U.T. Marketing Department. Her current research involves studies of social responsibility in business, particularly in marketing and advertising. Her research interests also include services marketing, marketing strategy, and business ethics, and she has written articles and cases for various books and journals, including Journal of Marketing and Marketing Letters. She has won two school-wide teaching awards at U.T. for her MBA course on services marketing. Outside the university, she has taught in corporate executive education programs in Mexico, Europe, and Asia as well as in the U.S. In between her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she worked in advertising and public relations for seven years.

Open to the UT community and public

For further information, contact Dr. Scott Stroud

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