Ironically, we dwell

Ryan Patrick Weber, Purdue University


This dissertation uses irony scholarship as well as classical and contemporary rhetoric theory to explore the long neglected intersections between irony and ethos. The dissertation establishes definitions of ethos as character, virtue, habits, and dwelling places in order to demonstrate how irony plays a vital role in the complex processes of generating ethos. This scholarship works to explain the potency and popularity of ironic vision and self-awareness and theorizes a mode of ironic habit and being that is invested in rather than detached from human communities and concerns. Using theoretical arguments from Aristotle, Richard Rorty, Kenneth Burke, and Martin Heidegger alongside analysis of ironic texts including Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, and Chinese poetic couplets, the dissertation argues that irony offers unique ways of being in the world that constitutes a fully developed ethos.^




Thomas J. Rickert, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Language, Rhetoric and Composition|Mass Communications

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