Department of Communication Chair and professor Kent Ono was the keynote speaker at this year's Communication Day at the University of South Florida.
USF's Communication Day honors undergraduate and graduate students in their Department of Communication, and features the Grazier Lecture, presented by Dr. Ono.
In addition to presenting his lecture, "Amusing Ourselves to Freedom: Rhetoric, Immigration, and Dark Tourism," Dr. Ono led a question and answer seminar session and attended the department's Awards Dinner.
Amusing Ourselves to Freedom: Rhetoric, Immigration, and Dark Tourism
Perhaps there is no concept more important for the humanities than "freedom." And, yet, despite Michael McGee's efforts to unde rstand "liberty," the concept of freedom has been undertheorized and understudied in the fields of rhetoric and of communication. An "immigrant theme park"--an "amusement" park that allows ticket purchasers to experience what crossing the Rio Grande might be like—is an excellent rhetorical object to study in order to understand the competing desires, anxieties, fears, and sensations relating to freedom. Ultimately, utopic notions of freedom give way to practical limitations, social constraints, and political realities; yet, rhetorics of freedom continue to make big promises.