Prof. Kent Ono '87 Publishes Critical Rhetorics of Race

Prof. Kent Ono '87 Publishes Critical Rhetorics of Race

October 27, 2011

102972October 27, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Kent A. Ono, professor of Asian American Studies and media and cinema studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 1987 graduate of DePauw University, is co-editor of Critical Rhetorics of Race. Published by New York University Press, the book -- a collaboration with Michael G. Lacy -- is described as "a timely, imaginative and energetic enlargement of the discourse on identity rhetorics in the 21st century" by Aaron David Gresson III of Pennsylvania State University. The work is part of NYU Press' Critical Cultural Communication series.

"According to many pundits and cultural commentators, the U.S. is enjoying a post-racial age, thanks in part to Barack Obama's rise to the presidency," notes the publisher's synopsis. "This high gloss of optimism fails, however, to recognize that racism remains ever present and alive, spread by channels of media and circulated even in colloquial speech in ways that can be difficult to analyze. In this groundbreaking collection edited by Michael G. Lacy and Kent A. Ono, scholars seek to examine this complicated and contradictory terrain while moving the field of communication in a more intellectually productive direction. An outstanding group of contributors from a range of academic backgrounds challenges traditional definitions and applications of rhetoric. From the troubling media representations of black looters after Hurricane Katrina 102971and rhetoric in news coverage about the Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres to cinematic representations of race in Crash, Blood Diamond, and Quentin Tarantino’s films, these essays reveal complex intersections and constructions of racialized bodies and discourses, critiquing race in innovative and exciting ways. Critical Rhetorics of Race seeks not only to understand and navigate a world fraught with racism, but to change it, one word at a time."

Learn more and order the book at

Dr. Ono conducts research on rhetoric and discourse, media and film, and race, ethnic, and cultural studies. His previous books include Contemporary Media Culture and the Remnants of a Colonial Past.