Enjoying the Iraq War: Mapping the Ideological Unconscious That Led America into a War of Choice

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Campbell Hall C-Frannie Graves Auditorium (Rm 128)
Event Type
Campus Featured Event
Thomaysa Stinson
Academic Affairs

2019 Dabney Adams Hart Lecture 

This talk analyzes the Bush administration’s justificatory rhetoric prior to, during, and after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. This rhetoric stifled dissent and enlisted the acquiescence of the mass media to mobilize public support for the War, but its success cannot be explained solely at the level of content or on the grounds of formal argument, available empirical evidence, or rationality. This study focuses on the shifts, silences, and elisions in the principals’ public statements to map out the largely unconscious discursive and ideological means with which war was justified. It also examines a notable moment of inevitable rhetorical failure that haunted the otherwise disciplined and controlled official message. Parallels exist between the historical examples and our present-day foreign policy discourse.


Mina Ivanova teaches critical communication in the Writing and Digital Communication graduate program as well as undergraduate courses in public speaking, leadership, and global studies. Having previously coordinated the Center for Writing and Speaking for several years, she currently serves as acting director. Mina's scholarship is situated at the intersection of rhetorical studies, critical theory, and psychoanalysis. Her work has appeared in the volume Venomous Speech: Problems with American Political Discourse on the Right and Left (Praeger 2013), the International Journal of Rhetoric and Communication and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.


This event is free and open to the public; no ticket required. Campus Map & Parking


Enjoying the Iraq War: Mapping the Ideological Unconscious That Led America into a War of  Choice

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