What happened at the first American writers’ congress? Kenneth Burke’s “Revolutionary symbolism in America”

Ann George, Jack Selzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Burke’s famous performance at the First American Writers’ Congress in 1935 should be understood in relation to its occasion. The Congress was held to enlist the services of writers in creating a broad Popular Front, or People’s Front, to encourage social change, so Burke’s recommendation that “the people”; ought to be substituted for “the worker”; in Communist Party symbolism—that “propaganda by inclusion”; ought to succeed “propaganda by exclusion “—was actually in moderate keeping with the Congress’ broad aim. Though his recommendation was resisted by some, Burke was actually not so much marginalized by the Congress as identified with its controversies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-66
Number of pages20
JournalRhetoric Society Quarterly
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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