Nuclear Criticism after the Cold War: A Rhetorical Analysis of Two Contemporary Atomic Campaigns
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Today is a nuclear-powered era. Since 1945 nuclear technology has mutated into a cloud filtering human experiences. Despite the apparent end to the Cold War, nuclear technology remains a critical subject. This study constructs a contemporary framework to continue the project of nuclear criticism in a post-Cold War world to contribute to the discussion of nuclear issues. Building on a comprehensive review of critical nuclear discourse since 1945, this project suggests intertextual analysis of current nuclear discourse can encourage politically-meaningful public participation and can promote a better understanding of assumptions influencing the current shape of conversations concerning nuclear policy. It draws attention to a sphere of rhetoric directly affecting nuclear policy that critics have largely ignored. It builds on the work of nuclear criticism, updating and revising the project with a politically-enabling voice for a post-Cold War era. With this perspective for nuclear criticism, this study analyzes two current nuclear campaigns. The first involves the Department of Energys Closing the Circle on the Splitting of the Atom as state-sponsored rhetoric reflecting a sustained influence of nuclearism. The second involves the Canberra Commission as a contemporary oppositional nuclear rhetor. The findings suggest successful management of nuclear resources rests with creating an inclusive public discussion and providing perpetual criticism articulating how literary and critical assumptions shape material and discursive action as humanity deals with a lingering nuclear legacy.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Nuclear Warfare