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Discourses of Power and Persuasion in Literary Texts

Juhani Rudanko

The project focuses on discourses of power, empowerment, and persuasion in literary texts, so far concentrating on major works of dramatic poetry in early English literature, especially the plays of William Shakespeare. For instance, the project examines the strategies to assert, challenge, and disrupt relations of power in such discourses. The project brings methods of linguistic pragmatics to bear on the study of literary texts, taking the historical context of the texts investigated into account.

The project enhances our understanding of important features of major literary works of art and also, by applying methods of pragmatics and discourse analysis to the study of actual texts, further develops and refines such methods.


Listed below are some publications that have originated from this project so far:

2007 “Concepts for Analyzing Deception in Discourse Intended To Be Persuasive: Two Case Studies from Shakespearean Drama,” Journal of Historical Pragmatics 8, 109-126, 18 p.

2006 “Aggravated Impoliteness and Two Types of Speaker Intention in an Episode in Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens,” Journal of Pragmatics 38, 829-841, 13 pp.

2005 “On the Form and Function of Epithets in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus,” Studia Neophilologica 77, 11-24, 14 pp.

2004 “‘I Wol Sterve’: Negotiating the Issue of a Lady’s Consent in Chaucer’s Poetry,” Journal of Historical Pragmatics 5, 137-158, 22 pp.

Linguistic Analysis and  Text Interpretation

2001 Case Studies in Linguistic Pragmatics: Essays on Speech Acts in Shakespeare, on the Bill of Rights and Matthew Lyons, and on Collocations and Null Objects.

2001 “Promising and Promise-Breaking in Coriolanus,” in Pragmatics and Language Learning: Monograph Series Volume 10 2001, edited by Lawrence F. Bouton. Urbana-Champaign: Division of English as an International Language Intensive English Institute, Universtiy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, pp. 153-166, 14 pp.

1999 “‘You Curs’: Types and Functions of Unpleasant Verbal Behavior in Shakespeare,” in Pragmatics and Language Learning: Monograph Series Volume 9 1999, edited by Lawrence F. Bouton. Urbana-Champaign: Division of English as an International Language Intensive English Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, pp. 69-88, 19 pp

Linguistic Analysis and  Text Interpretation

1997 Linguistic Analysis and Text Interpretation: Essays on the Bill of Rights and on Keats, Shakespeare and Dreiser. University Press of America.

1993 Pragmatic Approaches to Shakespeare: Essays on Othello, Coriolanus and Timon of Athens. Lanham, Maryland, New York, London: University Press of America, Library of Congress Call Number PR2829.R8 1993. 1. Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Othello. 2. Shakespeare, William, Coriolanus. 3. Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Timon of Athens. 4. Coriolanus, Cnaeus Marcus, in fiction, drama, poetry, etc. 5. Timon of Athens (Legendary character) in literature. 6. Rome in literature. ISBN 0-8191-9107-8, v + 216 pp.

Published assessments of this book:

  • 1999 by Natalie Schilling-Estes in Language, volume 75, no. 1, p. 176 f.
  • 1995 by Nanette Jaynes in The Shakespeare Bulletin: A Journal of Performance Criticism and Scholarship 13, no. 3 (edited by James Lusardi and June Schlueter, Lafayette College), p. 47.
  • 1995 by Walter A. Cook, S.J., in The Georgetown Journal of Languages and Linguistics 3, no. 2-4 (editor James E. Alatis; Georgetown University), pp. 294-296.
  • 1994 by Philip C. McGuire in Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, 34, no. 2, p. 474.
  • 1994 by David Lindley in Shakespeare Survey 47 (edited by Stanley Wells; Cambridge University Press), p. 232

1998 “To Infinitive and To -ing Complements: a Look at Some Matrix Verbs in Late Modern English and Later,” English Studies 79, 336-348, 13 pp.

Conference papers

2006 “Impoliteness and Aggravated Impoliteness,” Linguistic Impoliteness and Rudeness: Confrontation and Conflict in Discourse, July 3-4, 2006, University of Huddersfield, England.

2002 “On Some Epithets and their Associated Speech Acts in Shakespeare,” XXI International Poetics and Linguistics Association, PALA, Conference 2002, The Writer’s Craft, the Culture’s Technology, University of Birmingham, England, April 4 to 6, 2002. The paper was presented on April 5, 2002.

1997 “Exploring Types and Functions of Rudeness in a Shakespearean Play,” The Thirty-Ninth Annual Convention of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Ramada Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, November 6-8, 1997. The paper was the second (of three) in section 3. “Linguistics: Studies in Rudeness: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” Chair of the section: Rosemary A. Buck, Eastern Illinois University. The officially designated discussant of the paper: Timothy Austin, Loyola University, Chicago.

Muutettu: 9.12.2011 12.32 Muokkaa

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