Walt Whitman’s poetry challenges how rhetorical scholars are accustomed to studying democracy. Adopting an ontology similar to, and a vocabulary inspired by, the Bhagavad Gita, Whitman roots democracy squarely in concerns of soteriology, metaphysics, spiritual practice, and the care of the self. By recovering what I call Whitman’s “kosmic rhetoric,” my goal in this essay is to inspire rhetorical scholars to discuss, debate, and reconsider several of our most deeply held assumptions about democratic politics, including anti-foundationalism and the mechanics of dissent.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics