March 20 (2:05PM) - 24 (2:05PM), 2024

Agenda(s), Spin, and Rhetorical Currents

Interest Group: Short Course
This short course focuses on the process of how speakers, writers, and communicators make meaning, create salience, and frame and spin facts and events in order to shape public discourse. The agenda/spin model of persuasion assumes that knowledge, information, and public discourse, generally, come from sources that have the power to create and shape public understandings. The agenda/spin model of persuasions assumes that all communication comes from a source that has a particular agenda. It is assumed in this model that persuasion is always grounded in a worldview or ideological perspective, regardless of the politics of the communicator, regardless of the communicator's stated agenda or reason for the communication, and regardless of the communicator's stated motives. The agenda/spin model assumes that there is always something at stake in controlling public discourse. What we draw attention to, dispute, challenge, and accept is always a matter of persuasion. The agenda/spin model of rhetorical analysis and persuasion makes explicit that persuasion is always about a particular perspective or "spin" and that spin is always a matter of not only who gets to tell the "story," but also of who gets to determine what the actual "story" is. Ultimately, the agenda/spin model provides a framework for interpreting rhetoric or persuasion in its many contexts. Like a body of water or air moving in a definite direction, the agenda/spin model of persuasion always makes central the currents that carry public discourse. This year's seminar/short course begins with a brief overview (lecture) of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion: The Agenda Spin Model and then opens the floor to participants who will be asked to apply the model and discuss its merits and/or any limitations or weaknesses of the model. The co-presenters will take turns explaining the agenda/spin model and providing clear examples of its use and relevance to the study of rhetoric and persuasion.


Richard Eugene Vatz, Towson University


D.L. Stephenson, Western Connecticut State University

Printer-Friendly Version