‘Personally Speaking’ to explore power of Obama’s words

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The power of President Barack Obama’s words will be the focus of the first of four Personally Speaking Lecture Series for the 2012-13 academic year. This talk is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 18, at UNC Charlotte Center City.

Richard Leeman, a communication studies professor in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, will discuss his book “The Teleological Discourse of Barack Obama.” This talk is particularly timely, given the recent presidential nominating convention held in Charlotte.

According to Leeman, President Obama considers the world through the philosophy of discovering in the essential nature of America the nation's telos - or ideal - toward which the nation should progress. In his book, Leeman considers the impact of this approach on politics and rhetoric and how it shapes Obama's optimism in the face of adversity. “Obama consistently portrays freedom and equality as essential to human nature and the American spirit. Understanding his discourse as teleological helps explain the inspirational and philosophical nature of his rhetoric, as well as his famous patience, perceiving progress where others become frustrated.”

The Personally Speaking Lecture Series enters its third season this year. It is designed to connect the community with faculty authors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The talk, held in partnership with the J. Murrey Atkins Library, is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested; email clas-event@uncc.edu or call 704-687-0085.

“We support the University’s mission to serve as a resource to the greater Charlotte area, and this series is an excellent way to share with the community the knowledge and expertise of our faculty,” said Nancy Gutierrez, dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.