A Transcultural Perspective on Contemporary Rhetoric: Unveiling Muslim Identities and Community (Re)building in a Post-Katrina Era

By Dominique Gendrin and Carolyn Kyyhkynen Lee.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In a post-Katrina era, New Orleans is undergoing a substantial social, racial, ethnic, and environmental transformation. Known as a gumbo of cultures before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has seen a dramatic reduction in its population and cultural communities since the hurricane. Only 47 percent of the pre-Katrina population have returned to the city by 2007. This exploratory study seeks to extend understanding about the critical role of rhetoric in (re)building communities. To that end, it proposes to unveil the rhetorical and social construction of American Muslims’ identities and community while rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Katrina in the city of New Orleans. In this paper, we offer a transcultural rhetorical perspective as one of many perspectives to examine the relationship between rhetoric as art and community. Second, we provide a rhetorical analysis of selected public spaces, Internet sites, and narratives as objects of identity and community (re)building. Third, we discuss implications of the role of contemporary rhetoric in the reconstruction of self and community.

Keywords: Community, Identity, Muslim, Rhetoric, Social Construction, Transculturalism

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 12, pp.163-174. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 550.300KB).

Dr. Dominique Gendrin

Associate Professor and Department of Communications Chair, Department of Communications, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA, USA

Dominique Gendrin is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communications at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans (USA). Her undergraduate education includes English Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. Her most recent work on African American communication and identities in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) has appeared in the New Jersey Journal of Communication, The Atlantic Journal of Communication, the Journal of Instructional Psychology, and Communication Research Reports. Her current research examines the process of identity and community rebuilding after natural disasters. Dr. Gendrin also engages students in undergraduate research examining the lives of minority communities living in New Orleans.

Dr. Carolyn Kyyhkynen Lee

Doctoral candidate, Speech Communication Department, Xavier University of Louisiana, Hattiesburg, LA, USA

Communication and development trainer and consultant. Research interests and publications include social construction, diversity/intercultural communication, bona fide dialogue, discourse analysis, social influence,leadership communication, community building, and crisis management.

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