Rhetorics of Happiness

full name / name of organization: 
Centre for Rhetorics & Hermeneutics/Queen: a journal of rhetoric and power


Happiness is a concept, an ideal, whose metaphysical, philosophical, ethical, religious, psychological and perhaps even aesthetic dimensions have been assumed, if not explicitly explored, throughout human history.  It is implicit in most justifications of political, social and legal decision-making.  In America, it was one of the three fundamental bases  mentioned for the rejection of the status of the colonies.

However, there has been very little exploration into the rhetorical function of the concept of "happiness" in any of these conversations.  Happiness is an idea(l) broadly assumed, but narrowly considered, or perhaps even left undefined.  People believe happiness is self-evidential.  Many disciplines accept the concept not only as the sine qua non of their explorations, but as an idea whose contours are "obvious".

Rhetoricians know better.  We are soliciting articles that explore the rhetorical function of the concept "happiness" within these conversations: philosophical, metaphysical, ethical, psychological, medical, legal, etc.  Does one assume happiness = pleasure?  Does one assume happiness = goodness?  Does one assume happiness = identity? Does one assume happiness = fulfillment?  Does one assume happiness = liberty?  Does one assume happiness = family? society? group cohesion?

What role does happiness play in the rhetoric of persuasion? conviction?

We are interested in articles seeking to define happiness.  We are interested in articles that articulate the rhetorical role of happiness in specific argumentation.  We to see explorations into the function of concept of happiness as it functions in the framework of argumentation (the assumptions, presumptions, presuppositions in values and the composition of implied and explicit audiences).  We with to solicit insights into how the pursuit of happiness is defined in the everyday world, from advertising to politico-philosophical treatises and even medical/psychology journals.

Essay submissions should be no more than 20 pages and should be in MLA format as .rtf files. Audio/visual submission formats should be cleared with the editors before sending. We are very interested in fully leveraging the multi-media possibilities of internet publication.
All submissions are anonymously peer reviewed, but are subject to editorial approval.
All submissions retain their author's copyright. Any images not produced or created by the author which are intended for publication must have permission from the copyright holder to publish and distribute, and that permission must accompany the submission.
Send submissions accompanied by a 250-word abstract by 10 December 2009 to both editors.