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6 July 2023 - 6 July 2023

11:30AM - 1:30PM

Lindisfarne Centre, St Aiden's College and Hybrid (zoom)

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The tendency of rhetorical studies is towards analysis of speaker and/or message. Here we undertake a message/audience Aristotelian genre-based analysis of Clap for Carers (CfC) the UK COVID-19 public tribute.

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Medical Worker

Initially we identify CfC as a sonic rhetoric instancing Aristotle’s epideictic genre of praise. Through a longitudinal study with 54 Critical Care Nurses (CCN) we analyse their reception and response to this unique praise-oriented tribute. Reception included appreciative positive emotional responses but also disillusionment and unease with CfC’s duration and authenticity. In response CCNs as a rhetorical audience become producers of rhetoric and in becoming so, there was a differentiated framing to their discourse to the public and to government that respectively corresponded to Aristotle’s forensic and deliberative genres. Their forensic framing of the public was through an accusatory and judgemental exasperation with the public’s pandemic behaviours.

The deliberative rhetoric on government was through exhortation for public policy action around the twin issues of improved resources and pay. In studying reception and response to CfC, we hear how an audience reshapes the rhetoric directed toward them. We also identify CfC as an important rhetorical memory that lingered as a rhetorically valuable resource beyond its 10-week duration in Spring 2020.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided. We also have a hybrid option - please email for the link.