Robin Reames - "The Ancient Art of Thinking For Yourself" - Ellen Jovin

Saturday, April 13, 2024 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Robin Reames

Robin Reames will discuss The Ancient Art of Thinking For Yourself. She will be joined in conversation by Ellen Jovin. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the Book: How rhetoric—the art of persuasion—can help us navigate an age of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and political acrimony. The discipline of rhetoric was the keystone of Western education for over two thousand years. Only recently has its perceived importance faded. In this book, renowned rhetorical scholar Robin Reames argues that, in today’s polarized political climate, we should all care deeply about learning rhetoric. Drawing on examples ranging from the destructive ancient Greek demagogue Alcibiades to modern-day conspiracists like Alex Jones, Reames breaks down the major techniques of rhetoric, pulling back the curtain on how politicians, journalists, and “journalists” convince us to believe what we believe—and to talk, vote, and act accordingly. Understanding these techniques helps us avoid being manipulated by authority figures who don’t have our best interests at heart. It also grants us rare insight into the values that shape our own beliefs. Learning rhetoric, Reames argues, doesn’t teach us what to think but how to think—allowing us to understand our own and others’ ideological commitments in a completely new way. Thoughtful, nuanced, and leavened with dry humor, The Ancient Art of Thinking for Yourself offers an antidote to our polarized, post-truth world

About the Author: Robin Reames researches and writes about the history of ideas, particularly lost ideas from the ancient Greek rhetorical tradition that can enrich our lives today. While musing about language and persuasion in the ancient world is her day job at the University of Illinois Chicago (where she is an associate professor of English), in her free time, she's a ballet enthusiast, a middle-distance runner, a whiskey drinker, and a conversation hog. She lives in Chicago.

About the Interlocutor: Ellen Jovin is a cofounder of Syntaxis, a communication skills training firm, and the author of several books on language, most recently the national bestseller Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian (HarperCollins, July 2022). She is also the creator of a traveling pop-up grammar advice stand called the Grammar Table, whose adventures serve as the basis of that book. Ellen has a B.A. from Harvard College in German studies and an M.A. from UCLA in comparative literature, and has studied twenty-five languages for fun. She lives with her husband, Brandt Johnson, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op
5751 S Woodlawn
Chicago, IL 60615