A Rhetoric of Ruins
Exploring Landscapes of Abandoned Modernity
Andrew F. Wood
A Rhetoric of Ruins contributes to an interdisciplinary conversation about the role of wrecked and abandoned places in modern life. Topics in this book stretch from retro- and post-human futures to a Jeremiadic analysis of the role of ruins in American presidential discourse. From that foundation, A Rhetoric of Ruins employs hauntology to visit a California ghost-town, psychogeography to confront Detroit ruins, heterochrony to survey Pennsylvania’s once (and future) Graffiti Highway, an expanded articulation of heterotopia to explore the pleasurable contamination of Chernobyl, and an evening in Turkmenistan’s Doorway to Hell that stretches across time from Homer’s Iliad to Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” Written to engage scholars and students of communication studies, cultural geography, anthropology, landscape studies, performance studies, public memory, urban studies, and tourism studies, A Rhetoric of Ruins is a conceptually rich and vividly written account of how broken and derelict places help us manage our fears in the modern era.