Special Issue "Histories of Ethos: World Perspectives on Rhetoric"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. James S. Baumlin

Department of English, Missouri State University, Springfield MO 65897, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: English Renaissance literature (Shakespeare, Donne, Milton); the history of rhetoric; rhetorical and critical theory
Guest Editor
Dr. Craig A. Meyer

Language and Literature, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: modern and classical rhetoric; disability studies; rhetoric and composition; creative writing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Once upon a time, Western Enlightenment dreamed of a logos-based discourse whose speaker was “universal,” presumably neutral in gender, ethnicity, and social status. In dreaming this naïve dream, Enlightenment philosophy embraced a classical-Aristotelian model of persuasion, in which logos—logical argument or, more broadly, “good reasons”—ruled over pathos and ethos. Our movement into late-modernism brings us to an age of “expert systems,” disciplinary specialization, and information overload, in which logos has been largely displaced in public discourse. Reliant upon others’ expertise, audiences are left perilously to take speakers’ claims “on trust.”

The essays in this special issue aim to waken contemporary discussions of ethos (and of rhetoric generally) from their Western, classical-Aristotelian slumbers. Western rhetoric was never univocal in its theory or practice of ethos: essays in this collection give the proof. Contributors aim to shake rhetoric out of its Eurocentrism: the traditions of South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia sustain their own models of ethos and lead us to reconsider rhetoric in its rich variety—what ethos was, is, and will become. This collection is groundbreaking in its attempt to outline the diversity of argument, trust, and authority beyond a singular, dominant perspective.

This collection offers readers a choice of itineraries: thematic, geographic, historical. Essays may be read individually or cumulatively, as exercises in comparative rhetoric. In taking a world perspective, Histories of Ethos will prove a seminal discussion. Its comparative approach will help readers appreciate the commonalities and the distinctions in competing cultural-discursive practices—in what brings us together and what drives us apart as communities. And it is the editors’ hope that, out of this historical, multicultural dialogue, some new perspectives on ethos may come forward to broaden our discussion and our breadth of understanding. No fee will be charged to contributors in this special issue.

Dr. James S. Baumlin
Dr. Craig A. Meyer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Rhetoric
  • comparative rhetoric
  • ethos
  • logos
  • pathos
  • character
  • persona
  • selfhood
  • Aristotle
  • Cicero
  • classicism
  • modernism
  • trust
  • authority
  • communication

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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