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The Sit Down | Jason Del Gandio, Author of “Rhetoric for Radicals,” on Communicating for Social Change, Bernie Sanders, and Activist Intellectuals in Academe

June 21, 2016

Today on The Sit Down we’re talking social movements and public intellectuals with Jason Del Gandio. We talk about the role of communication, language and rhetoric in building and sustaining social movements, the future of the political movement that coalesced around the Bernie Sanders campaign, and the role of activist intellectuals in higher education.


Del Gandio is a scholar-activist and Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy at Temple University. His scholarship focuses on the theory and practice of social justice, especially when it comes to activism and social movements.  He approaches these topics through the intersections of rhetoric, philosophy, and performance.  


His public writing has engages with issues such as corporate control, the rhetoric of the Obama and Bush administrations, immaterial labor, autonomy, performance art, the Occupy movement, spontaneous uprisings, and the relationship between neoliberalism and the university.  His writings have appeared in CounterPunch, Truth-out.org, Radical Philosophy Review, New Political Science, Dissident Voice, and the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.  


In his book, Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for 21st Activists, Del Gandio seeks to help activists focus on effective communication that is often lacking in even some more experienced activists. As he argues, radicals have important messages to deliver, but are often so caught up in the passion of their causes that they often suffer from a credibility gap because of their lack of coherent message and delivery. Rhetoric for Radicals is a guide that can help activists develop strategic communication skills to be effectively heard.


Jason is also the co-editor with Anthony Nocella of Educating for Action: Strategies to Ignite Social Justice, and The Terrorization of Dissent: Corporate Repression, Legal Corruption, and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.


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