top of page

The African Association for Rhetoric


Announces its 1st biennial

International Conference on the topic

Rhetoric, Mass Action and the Economy


Date: July, 3 2007

Venue: Conference Room, Malherbe Library, UKZN

Industrial Actions and mass protests have great potency for sensitizing and / or compelling the ruling class to attend to the demands of its citizenry. The first recorded episode of such a strike occurred in 494 BC when the working class seceded and retired unto the Sacred Mountain in Rome and after an orator had appealed to them and told them the story about the body and its members, they finally agreed to return to the city. Since then strikes and protests have been prominently used by civil rights movements around the world. In the very recent past, US, South Africa, Nigeria and other nations of the world have employed mass action as a means of channelling their grievances against oppressive regimes. The economies of these nations have suffered tremendous setbacks, and the poor have been further badly affected. In most cases, the body politic has succeeded in achieving its goals. Presently, it is observable that while some governments positively respond to the demands of their citizens, others have regarded strikes and demonstrations as a political or social spectacle enacted by a restless civil society, especially since most government have experienced a number of these mass protests. Mass Actions have some times attracted brutal responses from the Police, and other times resulted in the destruction of lives and property. Africa today consists mostly of frail economies that require sensitivity on the part of both the government and the civil society. A pertinent question to address is: What are the rhetorical strategies that we can deploy to achieve stability and sustainable democracy in the millennium?

                We hereby solicit abstracts, of about 150 words each from interested researchers, academics and scholars who will provide new insight and methodological approaches into understanding public protests and dialogue as complementary social discourse necessary for the development of a healthy democratic society. The papers should be about 25-30 minutes long. Since the papers presented at this conference will be published, we advise that papers submitted should be prepared for publication and not simply for presentation. Abstracts should reach the co-ordinator of the conference not later than 30 Oct 2005.


  • Origins and Conceptions of protest, power and rhetoric

  • Strikes and Social memory

  • Mass Action, rhetoric and Organised Unions (including national and trans-national organisations)

  • Gender (Fem and Men’s Studies), Protest and Rhetoric

  • Rhetoric, Democratic Governance and Violence

  • Mass Action and the Law

  • Political Transitions and Mass Protest

  • Rights, Rhetoric and the theatre of War

  • 911, War in Iraq and the Global Protest

  • Strikes, the Economy and the Poor

  • Religious Rhetoric and Protest

  • Strikes and the Ideals of Medical Profession

  • Mass Action and the Academia

  • Strikes, Communication and the Media

  • Region, Nation and Cultural Constructs of Protest

  • Strikes and the Rhetoric of Poverty Alleviation

  • Democratisation, Protest and Nation-Building

  • Strikes, Governance and the Future of Democracy

  • Strikes and Social behaviour

  • Strikes, Civil Society and the Police

  • Youth, Strikes and Development

  • Protest, Identity and Socio-Political Icons (Life Histories)



Dr Segun Ige,

Classics Department,

University of Ibadan, Ibadan,

P. O. Box 20504, UI Post Office, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Phone: +234 (0) 80 3 423 8203


Professor Philippe-J Salazar,

Centre for Rhetoric Studies,

University of Cape Town,

Cape Town, South Africa.

Phone: +27 (0) 82 902-1207




bottom of page