Philippe-Joseph Salazar

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Philippe-Joseph Salazar, 2011

Philippe-Joseph Salazar (French: [salazaʁ]) is a French rhetorician and philosopher.[1] He was born on February 10, 1955 in Casablanca, in what was then French Morocco. Salazar attended Lycée Louis-le-Grand a prestigious secondary school in Paris (founded 1563)[2] before studying philosophy, politics and literature at the École Normale Supérieure. Currently a distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Humane Letters at the University of Cape Town. Salazar[3] writes a regular column on French public intellectual, online magazine Les Influences[4] He is Editor-In-Chief of a series on Powers of Persuasion at prestigious Klincksieck (fr), the oldest publishing house in the social sciences in France. Founder of AfricaRhetoric Publishing [1]. Salazar's lifelong achievements made him the recipient of Africa's premier research award in 2008, the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award. Awarded in 2015 a prestigious French literary prize for political non-fiction, fr:Prix Bristol des Lumiéres, for his book on the rhetoric of jihadism Paroles armèes.

From orality to voice[edit]

As a university student, Salazar studied under Louis Althusser, establishing his membership with the Conférence Olivaint, an exclusive club dedicated to training future leaders, in the Catholic and liberal tradition for public oratory. Afterwards, Salazar completed a voluntary internship at the cultural affairs section of Paris City Hall.

Salazar would later pursue his graduate degree, studying metaphor and ontology with Emmanuel Levinas, semiotics of voice with Roland Barthes and political theory with Maurice Duverger. Lacanian psychoanalyst and film theorist Anna Guédy of École Freudienne de Paris further influenced his academic career (lectures on film and voice in Paris), which led to[5] a collaboration to critical theory journal La Cause Freudienne[6] with Jacques Lacan and Jacques-Alain Miller.

At the prompting of French sociologist Georges Balandier, Salazar travelled to South Africa to undertake field-research on racial rhetoric, which led to a doctoral dissertation in social and cultural anthropology at the Sorbonne University in Paris. The examination copy of his dissertation was blocked by the South African Security Police but sneaked out of the Apartheid state via diplomatic pouch (see preface to his book)An African Athens[7] and eventually published as L'Intrigue Raciale: Essai de Critique Anthropologique.[8] He has since retained a strong interest in anthropology.

After returning to Paris, Salazar served for a while as Arts and Letters editor of controversial psycho-analytical magazine Spirales, edited by Armando Verdiglione (it), and worked as an opera critic for Opera International,[9] Avant-Scène Opera[10] and Lyrica. He also contributed to leading French conservative-liberal monthly Commentaire.[11] His first book Idéologies de l'opéra (1980) is considered a breakthrough in the field of sociology and anthropology of this art form.[12] Salazar dedicated the book to his mentor, Germaine Lubin. In 1981, he published his opera Icare in Islamic poet and psychoanalyst Michel Orcel's literary journal L'Alphée and contributed to Philippe Sollers's famed avant-garde journal L'Infini at the prompting of novelist Dominique Rolin .[13] He has since retained an interest in opera as a social form of knowledge (2000, keynote speaker of cross-cultural event Carmen 2000, SoBe, Miami,[14] and co-founded Espacio Cultural Triangular with New York photographer Ruben Roncallo).[15]

This cross-interest in anthropology, philosophy and political theory led him to engage with a newly re-developed field, rhetoric.

From voice to rhetoric[edit]

In the 1980s Salazar's senior dissertation advisor and Balzan Prize laureate Marc Fumaroli had reshaped the field of French rhetoric in regard of French literary and political culture (Fumaroli shows how High Church rhetoric and its institutions had been appropriated by a centralized monarchy and then a secularized Republic). For thirty years Fumaroli's work deeply influenced cultural studies, giving him a controversial international reputation. Salazar's senior dissertation (or Doctorat D'Etat) concerned itself with oral culture in the French classical age and it remains to this day a reference work on the topic[16] as Le Culte de la Voix au 17e Siècle).[17] In 1993 Salazar convened at Centre culturel international de Cerisy-la-Salle, a prestigious locale for cutting edge research, a colloquium to salute Fumaroli's pioneering work in rhetoric. During this "classical" phase Salazar published or edited key documents of French cultural tradition, such as Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy's seminal De Arte Graphica( a key document of French Classicism in the fine arts), Bishop Jacques Amyot's royal lectures on oratory for King Henri III,[18] royal preceptor and theologian Pierre Daniel Huet's Memoirs, and skeptical philosopher François de La Mothe Le Vayer, the Sun-King's teacher.[19] Recognized as a prominent 17th century studies scholar, Salazar was appointed to a Chair at renowned Centre d’Etudes de la Renaissance, at François Rabelais University, Tours, France in 1999. In 2000, Salazar relinquished the Tours Chair to devote his research to rhetoric as a "technology of power" in modern, public affairs. He took up a Distinguished Chair in Rhetoric and Humane Letters at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. At that time (1999) he was elected to a sought after 6-year Directorship in Rhetoric and Democracy at Jacques Derrida's Foundation, Collège international de philosophie, in Paris.

Rhetoric and democracy[edit]

In 1994 while Dean of Arts at the University of Cape Town Salazar founded the Centre for Rhetoric Studies[20] with a view to study the importance of rhetoric for peaceful democracy (Mission Statement).[20] The chartering of his Centre in Cape Town mirrored that of his Directorship in Paris. Both focused on rhetoric as a foundation for public life, and in post-totalitarian democracy in particular. Influential magazine Sciences Humaines praised Salazar's book Hyperpolitique for resetting rhetoric at the centre of human sciences enquiry[21]

If Salazar's work is not unique in regard of a concern with rhetorical forms among contemporary French philosophers, its originality lies in its focus: rhetorical technologies of power in democracy, and the question reconciliation and "evil" in politics.[22] His work parallels that of fellow philosopher François Jullien on Chinese "manipulation" and of philologist and Heideggerian philosopher Barbara Cassin on Sophistry in Ancient Greece. Historian of the public sphere Emmanuel Lemieux ( author of Le Pouvoir Intellectuel)[23] called him an "atypical philosopher".

Seminal works have marked Salazar's reshaping of rhetoric as the study of forms of power in contemporary democracies: Truth in Politics,[24] Amnistier l’Apartheid (in Barbara Cassin and Alain Badiou's series Ordre Philosophique), Vérité, Réconciliation, Réparation, a collaborative book with Paul Ricoeur and Jacques Derrida), credited for having introduced in French political thought the concept of ubuntu (Edwy Plenel, Le Monde, 12/30/2004).[25] Salazar's works also include edited volumes on Democratic Rhetoric and the Duty of Deliberation[26] and The Rhetorical Shape of International Conflicts.[27] In addition to his rhetorical analysis of declarations of war[28] and a study of Nobel Prize rhetoric in his edited volume on French rhetoric and philosophy today (Philosophy and Rhetoric).[29] His work on the rhetorical foundation of politics extends beyond Europe and Africa, with a publication on Les Slaves (2005)[30] and a book Mahomet (2006),[31] a study of rhetorical common places regarding the Prophet of Islam.[32] His publications led to a sustained conversation and broadcast on forgiveness and secularism with Arab poet and philosopher Abdelwahab Meddeb in 2006.[33] and broadcast Cultures D'Islam, 05/27/2006).[34]

With Hyperpolitique (2009) Salazar opened a new area of investigation : rhetoric studies as philosophy of power. Le Nouvel Economiste carried a laudatory critique of the book and of its relevance for leadership studies.[35] More recent publications, Paroles de Leaders, Décrypter le Discours des Puissants in August 2011 (François Bourin Editeur),[36] and L'Art de séduire l'électeur indécis[37] have placed him at the forefront of the field. Premier management quarterly L'Expansion Management Review placed Paroles de Leaders on its "Books To Read" list (September 2011). Salazar is currently engaging with covert forms of power, intelligence and surveillance studies,[38] following a collaborative volume on Surveillance and Rhetoric (with a lead contribution by Antonio Negri.[39]

Salazar's work has secured him a global influence in his field.[40] He has addressed the Observatoire de la Transition démocratique et Forum de la Citoyenneté, in Rabat, Morocco, ahead of the Moroccan Equite et Réconciliation National Commission (2004). He has held the Annual Seminar in Peace and Conflict Resolution at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Among his signature public lectures: the Annual Lecture in Law and Literature at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, New York; the Kenneth Burke Annual Lecture at the Center for Democratic Deliberation at Penn State) 18th Burke Lecture,[41] in which he outlined his thinking on the rhetorical foundation of political philosophy and addressed a colloquium on the U.S. presidency and its rhetoric of virtue (France Culture Lecture)[42] the Buenos Aires Forum of Rhetoric (Conferencia de Apertura);[43] the Balkan Summer University for young philosophers (Quelques Réflexions[44] on the importance of rhetorical technologies of domination in democratic societies (Revistaretor);[45] and Brussels (at GRAL, Centre for rhetoric and argumentation)[46] Watch it at YouTube[47][48] Salazar has extended the scope of rhetorical critique to marxism in two avant-garde journals Consecutio Temporum[49] and Transeuropéennes.[50]

As a public intellectual Salazar is a regular commentator on France-Culture[51] and French C-Span: Public-Senat.[52] He writes for ''Le Nouvel Observateur Plus[53] and Atlantico[54] in addition to his regular chronicles for online newsmagazine Les Influences Le rheteur cosmopolite[55] and Comment raisonnent-ils[56] He writes also for the French Centre for Intelligence Studies[57] and a Defense and Security studies site.[58] He is founder and current co-chairman of the Macmillan Club of Cape Town, South Africa.[59] His latest book, Paroles armèes, is a full-scale analysis of the Islamic State's propaganda and strategies of influence.[60]


Monographs and edited volumes[edit]

Journal editorship[edit]


  1. ^ Confession of a Sometime Opium Eater, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2012, pp. 335-342.
  2. ^ Administrator. "anglais". 
  3. ^ fr:Philippe-Joseph Salazar
  4. ^ .
  5. ^ "La voix tatouée," Psychologie médicale,18 (8),1986
  6. ^ "La rétention de la Voix", Lettre mensuelle de l'École Freudienne, 5, 1985, 8-9
  7. ^ Salazar, Philippe Joseph (1 January 2002). "An African Athens: Rhetoric and the Shaping of Democracy in South Africa". Taylor & Francis – via Google Books. 
  8. ^ Salazar, Philippe Joseph (1 January 1989). "L'intrigue raciale: Essai de critique anthropologique : l'Afrique du Sud". Méridiens Klincksieck – via Amazon. 
  9. ^ Furman, Nelly (1 January 1991). Castarède, Marie-France; Poizat, Michel; Salazar, Philippe-Joseph, eds. "Opera, or the Staging of the Voice". 3 (3): 303–306 – via JSTOR. 
  10. ^ "Opéra Paris - Avant Scène Opéra : Revue bimestrielle consacrée aux opéras". 
  11. ^ "Opéra et Cinéma", Commentaire, 4(13), 1980
  12. ^ Monitor ZSA - Revija za zgodovinsko, socialno in druge anthropologije [Revue for Historical, Social and Other Anthropologies], Vlado Kotnik ed., Special Issue on Reflections on Opera / Reflexions sur l'opéra, 8 (1-2), 2006 ISSN 1854-0376
  13. ^ "Je le déclare nettement'. La Bruyère Orateur", L'Infini, 35, 1991.
  14. ^ Interview with Ralph Heyndels, Miamigo, 3, 2000, p. 23.
  15. ^ "Main : Ruben Roncallo". 
  16. ^ Le Culte de la voix au XVIIe siècle. Formes esthétiques de la parole à l'âge de l'imprimé, Paris-Geneva, Champion-Slatkine, 1995, 408 p.
  17. ^ Reviewed in TLS by Peter France, "Hearing Human Harmonies", 10/1/1997.
  18. ^ (Ed. Projet d'éloquence royale de Jacques Amyot, new edition, with a prefatory essay "Le Monarque orateur," Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1992, 104 p.
  19. ^ (Ed.) François de La Mothe Le Vayer. De la patrie et des étrangers et autres traités sceptiques, Paris, Desjonquères, 2003, 336 p. (ISBN 2-84321-057-7).
  20. ^ a b "Rhetoric Africa 2012". 
  21. ^ Lemieux, Emmanuel. "Un grand discours vaut mieux qu'une petite phrase". 
  22. ^ "Rue Descartes  » Perpetrator, ou de la citoyenneté criminelle". 
  23. ^éseaux-Emmanuel/dp/2207250504
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Culture, European Institute for Communication and. "Democratic Rhetoric and The Duty of Deliberation, Vol. 8 - 2001, No. 3". 
  27. ^ Culture, European Institute for Communication and. "The Rhetorical Shape of International Conflicts, Vol. 12 - 2005, No. 4". 
  28. ^ "Comment ne pas déclarer la guerre". 
  29. ^ "Project MUSE - Philosophy and Rhetoric-Volume 42, Number 4, 2009". 
  30. ^ "Les Slaves, Cours du Collège de France 1842". 
  31. ^ "Mahomet, Récits français de la vie du Prophète". 
  32. ^ "Mahomet, Récits français de la vie du Prophète (critiques)". 
  33. ^êches-Abdelwahab-Meddeb/dp/2020885352
  34. ^écit-français-2006-05-07.html]
  35. ^ "Le goût de l'éloquence". 23 March 2010. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Le - Actualités et Infos en France et dans le monde". 18 August 2011 – via Le Monde. 
  38. ^ Administrator. "CF2R - L'éthique du renseignement A propos du livre Au service de la démocratie parlementaire, de Lady Manningham-Buller, ancienne directrice du MI 5". 
  39. ^ AYOR Vol 3/1
  40. ^
  41. ^ "March 2010 - Salazar Delivers Burke Lecture — Center for Democratic Deliberation". 
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Salazar – GRAL". 
  47. ^ Yanislow (18 April 2012). "Oser le débat dans une société multiculturelle (ULB2012)" – via YouTube. 
  48. ^ Yanislow (18 April 2012). "Oser le débat dans une société multiculturelle (ULB2012)" – via YouTube. 
  49. ^
  50. ^ "TRANSEUROPEENNES - Europe/Mondes". 
  51. ^
  52. ^,stephen-bunard,dominique-maingueneau,philippe-joseph-salazar/69616
  53. ^ "Philippe-Joseph Salazar". 
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^ "Comment raisonnent-ils ?". 
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^ TV5MONDE (23 September 2015). "Comprendre et combattre la propagande terroriste" – via YouTube. 

External links[edit]