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This edited collection of fifteen essays grapples with the potential value and ramifications of unruliness as a rhetorical method for efficient activism. Jonathan Alexander and Susan C. Jarrett propose “that ‘unruly’ might be one word that, while hardly totalizing or encompassing all political striving, marks how speech, action, and bodies coalesce in time and space, enacting the works of politics in the ways .. . rhetorical critics have imagined” (13). Asserting that the potential reception of unruliness hinges primarily on the various definitions of democracy, they suggest that protests, uncivility, and unruliness are not necessarily antithetical to democracy but rather permeate the foundation of it (8–13). Divided into three sections, Unruly Rhetorics aims to illustrate how scholars can better understand unruliness and how it can initiate democracy for all.


Originally published as:

Rodriguez, Danny. Review of Unruly Rhetorics: Protest, Persuasion, and Publics edited by Jonathan Alexander, Susan C. Jarratt, and Nancy Welch. The Journal of Popular Culture 52.4 (2019): 957-58.

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