« Writing Studies Parlor: November 23rd | Main | Kim Thomas-Pollei to Serve on RSA Board »

Prof. Richard Graff to Present at CNES Colloquium

'Vocal Stylings: The Orator's Voice in Classical Typologies of Prose Style'
presented by Professor Richard Graff
Department of Writing Studies

***Friday, November 20th, 3:30pm***
110 Nicholson Hall

Abstract: In this presentation, Professor Graff will discuss the close linkage between (verbal) style and voice in Greek and Roman treatises on rhetoric and literary criticism. This linkage takes two main forms. First, several authors (e.g., Aristotle, "Demetrius", Dionysius of Halicarnassus) remark on how certain stylistic features of the written oratorical text compel an animated (or monotonous) vocal presentation in reading or recitation; here, the text's style controls its manner of vocal delivery (speaking rate, intonation, etc.). Second, the style of individual orators was regularly characterized in terms of its fullness or weakness of "voice". Although this is a metaphorical use of the term, often such characterizations appear to project known (or presumed) qualities of a given speaker's actual, physical voice back onto the style of his texts. This latter procedure, though suspect on several levels, contributed both to the hardening of a traditional evaluation of the styles of Isocrates, Demosthenes, and other Attic orators, and to the evolution of the theory of style-types (kharakteres lexe├┤s, genera dicendi).

This event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by:

Classical and Near Eastern Studies
University of Minnesota
245 Nicholson Hall
216 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5353
F: 612-624-4894