At a time when the future of Britain is at the heart of public debate, discussion of how and why political debate is shaped has crucial importance for British political culture and identity. The Network for Oratory and Politics is an interdisciplinary research network on the relationship between oratory and politics, originally funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2015-17).
It has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the project ‘The Crisis of Rhetoric’ (2017-19) which aimed to create a network of scholars and practitioners of political speechwriting, to develop knowledge of the challenges and difficulties faced by political speakers and speechwriters in the UK today, to apply ancient and modern rhetorical theory and analysis to the interpretation and assessment of examples of contemporary political speech.
The Network has also received Arts and Humanities Research Council funding for the project ‘Speech! Speech! Dramatising Rhetorical Citizenship’ (2023) which aims to enhancing public political engagement and improving the quality of democratic political culture by promoting the theory and practice of ‘rhetorical citizenship’ to a range of communities, theatre professionals and speechwriters. This concept names a distinct way of thinking about people’s democratic rights to hear, evaluate and take part in political argument.
The network is committed to connect, develop and communicate the considerable but currently isolated interests and research in this field through public lectures, seminars and workshops.
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