"Rhetoric for Radicals" Author Launches New Website
Jason del Gandio, author of Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for Twenty-First Century Activists, has launched a new website that highlights his work in philosophy, rhetoric and social change. His bio (reprinted below with permission) gives a good overview of what inspired him to embark on the path of social activism.
Raised in a working class family in northern New Jersey, Jason spent his summers doing construction and carpentry for his father where he learned the value of hard work as well as the exploits of capitalism. In his late teens and early twenties Jason was attracted to various underground scenes and countercultures, particularly on the lower east side of Manhattan. These experiences opened his eyes to cultural politics and alternative ways of being in the world. This inspired him to study philosophy as the practice of personal exploration and cultural critique. He graduated from Kean University of New Jersey, earning a degree in Philosophy with a minor in Communication Studies.
As a graduate student, Jason studied the Philosophy of Communication and Performance Studies at Southern Illinois University (at Carbondale). His doctoral dissertation used theories of the body and of language to reconceptualize the "human vibe" as bodily emanation, which, to the best of his knowledge, was the first and only study of its kind. In the later years of his graduate studies Jason encountered the Global Justice Movement. Witnessing thousands of people marching in the streets and shutting down the likes of the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund set Jason on a new path: radical social change.
In the last twelve years, Jason has participated in the Global Justice Movement, the anti-war movement, the anti-RNC demonstrations of 2004, fair trade campaigns, Latin American solidarity work, and the current Occupy Movement. His first book, entitled Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for 21st Century Activists, was published in 2008. He is currently co-editing a similar book entitled Peace Education for Action: Top Ten Strategies for Social Change. He has two long term projects. The first is to develop a political philosophy that he refers to as neo-radicalism—a form of radicalism that focuses on communication, desire, and the creation of reality. The second project is to further develop a philosophy of “bodily emanation,” which he has worked on only sporadically since graduate school.
Jason is currently an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy at Temple University in Philadelphia. His classes often focus on the practices and theories of social justice and the communication strategies used to achieve social change—everything from public speech, to social media, to civil disobedience, to culture jamming.
Jason has appeared on television and radio, and regularly speaks on college campuses and at public venues. His speaking engagements include both workshops and traditional talks that address a variety of issues (see the Talks page for details). Jason has also written on such topics as autonomy, immaterial labor, corporate control, the rhetoric of Barack Obama, performance art, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and the relationship between neoliberalism and the university.