In his American University address, Kennedy employed epideictic progression, a pedagogical process drawing upon dissociation and epideictic norms to convince listeners, gradually, to embrace a new vision—in this case, a world in which a test-ban treaty with the U.S.S.R. was possible. To do so, Kennedy's words: (1) united the audience behind the value of “genuine peace”; (2) humanized the Soviets as worthy partners in genuine peace; (3) established the reality of the Cold War and the credibility of U.S. leadership; and (4) connected lessons on genuine peace to domestic civil rights.
Bostdorff, Denise M. and Ferris, Shawna, "John F. Kennedy at American University: The Rhetoric of the Possible, Epideictic Progression, and the Commencement of Peace" (2014). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 100(4), 407-441. 10.1080/00335630.2014.989895. Retrieved from https://openworks.wooster.edu/facpub/239
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