Title: Communication Professor Celebrates One Year of Podcast Success

Date: April 08, 2021
Summary: Associate Professor Elizabeth Thorpe launched her podcast, Kairoticast, in April 2020. She has produced nearly 50 episodes that use rhetorical principles and theory to provide commentary on current events ranging from the 2020 election to the removal of confederate statues, to cancel culture.

Earlier this month Thorpe talked about why she created Kairoticast, some highlights from this past year, and her hopes for the future.

Why the name Kairoticast?

Kairos is an old idea, but it sort of means saying the right thing at the right time. It’s the idea that truth comes from its context. Kairoticast hopes to make sense out of our current contexts with a little bit of help from the subject of rhetoric.

What can listeners expect from an episode of Kairoticast?

Kairoticast is a combination of current events and rhetoric podcast. The goal at Kairoticast is to show that rhetoric, with all its big, academic, and effete sounding ideas, is really quite applicable to our everyday lives. So you’re just as likely to hear about what’s going on in the world at that time as you are anything “academic.” The aim is to appeal to people beyond the usual ivory-tower types. After all, Kairoticast is trying to show how this is applicable in our everyday lives, and it’s everyday people who are involved in that.

What part of Kairoticast’s first year are you most proud of?

The thing I’m most proud of in the last year is how applicable people have found my podcast to be. People across the country have used various episodes in class, such as the “What is Rhetoric?” episode and the episode on “AOC, Ruptured Communities, and Misogyny.” “Cancel Culture” is also being used to explain the complicated concepts surrounding that current issue and help spur conversation. My episode “What is History? A Confederate Story?” was also used by activists in my hometown of Midland, TX who were trying to get a local high school’s name changed from Robert E. Lee to something less racist. I’ve had a chance to talk about intriguing things like conspiracy theories and technical things like a textualist approach to the constitution and show how they affect us in our everyday lives and that is really fulfilling.

What are you most looking forward to with Kairoticast’s second year?

One of the things I’m looking forward to in the next year is watching how political discourse responds to the actual political changes that have happened recently. With a new administration and new challenges facing our leaders and the media, it will be really interesting to see what rhetorical changes are manifest in the public sphere. A lot of people were hoping things would calm down once Trump was out of the White House, but I don’t know if that will be the case. It will be fascinating to think and talk about the political and rhetorical problems that come up in the next year and think about how they relate to us in both big and small ways.

Connect with Elizabeth Thorpe and with Karioticast here.

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