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Included in this weeks videos were two political speeches.  The fiery call to arms by Patrick Buchanan at the 1992 GOP convention (https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/patrickbuchanan1992rnc.htm) and the stirring Barack Obama speech at the 2004 Democratic national convention (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueMNqdB1QIE).  National political conventions are longstanding traditions in American politics, part pageant and part policy meetings.  In the era of television, prime time speaking positions are plum prizes for plucky pols.  If this were a course in history or political science, we would be primarily concerned with the ideas embedded in each mans speech.  But those elections are now stale, and our focus should belong to how those speeches manifest the notion of divided culture and divided politics.


Pick one of the prompts below and write an essay in response in formal academic English.  (So basically, your best grammar, punctuation and spelling; citations for quoted materials; paragraphing; and an internal structure to the essaye.g., intro, body, conclusion.)  For citations, please use footnotes or endnotes. 

If you are unfamiliar with footnote citation systems, please consult online resources that explain them. The Turabian system and the University of Chicago system are nearly identical.  The websites linked below organize the material in different ways; so, consult the one you find more readable:  https://www.library.georgetown.edu/tutorials/research-guides/turabian-footnote-guide (Links to an external site.) OR http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/turabian/turabian_citationguide.html (Links to an external site.)

PROMPTS (pick one)

1. Convention speeches are essentially a form of performance art.  Compare and contrast the way Buchanan and Obama evoke imagery (through words, obviously, but maybe also through body language or reliance on audience response), emotion, and sentiment.

2. This class explores the idea of divided culture. Identify key ideas (words, phrases, concepts) from each mans speech that try to persuade the audience that a cultural division exists.  Is the speaker interested in healing the rift?  [The essay is not about whether you agree or disagree with his ideaswe dont care about your political reaction to the rhetoric.  Your job here is to analyze how the idea of divided culture manifests in each speech.]

3. You have read several texts this week (identify by name those that you discuss in your essay) that define the contours of the culture war. Identify two characteristics of culture war identified by [author] and link those characteristics to specific moments in the speeches by Buchanan and Obama.

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