"Rhetorical Practices and Analysis"

A seminar for PhD students within the fields of Humanities, Theology, and Law. The seminar is in Athens, free of charge, and travel expenses will be covered. Registration is open November 15-December 15, 2018.

Program - Practical information - Apply


Rhetoric, or the art of persuasion, is a central aspect of all authoritative texts. This seminar will investigate methods of textual persuasion from antiquity to the modern era, shedding light on rhetorical practices from the perspectives of different disciplines. With lectures from internationally recognized experts in the humanities, law, and theology, participants will have the opportunity to discuss a diverse range of interdisciplinary perspectives on rhetorical practices and analysis, as well as present and get feedback their own dissertations-in-progress.​

ATTR Field Trip in Athens, 2016. Photo: Zarko Tankosic
ATTR Field trip, Athens 2016. Photo: Zarko Tankosic


Research seminars

International guest speaker: Debra Hawhee

We are proud to present our special guest speaker for this seminar, Professor Debra Hawhee.

She is McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation at Penn State University. She studies and teaches rhetoric, the art of communication. She writes histories of rhetorical theory that draw out rhetoric's other-than rational dimensions—feeling, bodies, sensation, imagination. For more information, see www.debrahawhee.com

All lecturers

(In order of appearance)

Jorunn Økland. Professor, Director of the Norwegian Institute at Athens

Line Cecilie Engh. Assoc. Professor, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo

Debra Hawhee. Professor, English Department, The College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State University

Jakob Lothe. Professor, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo

Christoph Markschies. Professor, Anscient Christianity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Eystein Gullbekk. University Librarian, The University of Oslo Library

Hans Petter Graver. Professor, Department of Private Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.


More TBA.

Jakob Lothe: "Narrative Ethics"

Emphasizing the rhetorical aspect of narrative ethics, this lecture will primarily discuss two narratives: Olga Horak’s first-person narrative from the Holocaust and W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz (2001).  While Sebald is an internationally acclaimed author, Horak is a Holocaust survivor whose story, orally transmitted to Jakob Lothe in Sydney in 2013, is presented as written text in Time’s Witnesses: Women’s Voices from the Holocaust (2017). Even though these narratives are very different, both are possessed of an ethical dimension that not only highlights the authors’ sense of ethical responsibility, but also that of the reader. The lecture argues that, first, even in narratives as different as these two, the author’s sense of ethical responsibility is closely linked to the reader’s ethical obligation; second, as an integral part of the reader’s interest in and engagement with the narrative text, this kind of obligation is generated and shaped by the narrative as rhetoric; and, third, two of the most important constituent elements of this kind of form – that is, elements of narrative form possessed of a distinctly ethical dimension – are narrator(s) and characters, and the interplay of both with the author on the one hand and the reader on the other.  

Prof. Jakob LotheJakob Lothe is professor of English literature at the University of Oslo. His books include Conrad Narrative Method (Oxford University Press, 1989, reprinted as paperback 1991), Narrative in Fiction and Film (Oxford University Press, 2000, also published in Chinese by Peking University Press, 2011), Narrative Ethics (co-edited, 2013), Time’s Witnesses: Women’s Voices from the Holocaust (edited, 2017) and The Future of Literary Studies (edited, 2017). He is also co-editor of four volumes in the series «Theory and Interpretation of Narrative» published by the Ohio State University Press. Lothe is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the leader of the Academy’s Committee on Human Rights. In 2018 he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Eystein Gullbekk: "Cross - multi – inter – disciplinary subjects? Becoming and belonging in interdisciplinary PhD Research"

In this seminar, we will familiarize ourselves with select views on interdisciplinarity. More importantly we will explore scholarly communication in a multi-disciplinary research environment. We will do this by case-based discussions of interdisciplinary communication.

PhD research has been depicted as a process of belonging and becoming. In interdisciplinary environments we may however experience a process of becoming without belonging.  As the title suggests, interdisciplinarity is an ambiguous term. Roughly stated two overarching perspectives seem to exist. First, a dominating body of literature emphasizes the integration of different disciplinary perspectives (e.g. theories, methodological viewpoints, concepts, or even scholarly identities) as the decisive criteria for interdisciplinarity. Second, a smaller body of literature points out that interdisciplinary research implies the disassembling of disciplinary based perspectives. Both perspectives entail challenges to our scholarly identity/subjectivity in communication with others.   

How does communication across disciplinary boundaries enable, inhibit or develop our scholarly voices and subjectivities? Whether emphasis is on integration or dismantlement of disciplinary voices, “published perspectives are largely those of well-established faculty or researchers” (Graybill and Shandas, 2010, p. 406). This leaves us with little guidance on how to approach our own interdisciplinary PhD research.

In this seminar we will explore interdisciplinary scholarly communication. We will first address the interdisciplinary scope and features of our own research and that of our fellow students in the research school. Second, we will explore how to communicate research across disciplinary boundaries. We will do this by discussing situations that activate questions regarding critical aspects of scholarly communication, such as

  • multiple academic communities
  • discipline specific discourses
  • response across boundaries
  • the transportability of concepts
  • breakdown in communication
  • publication channels
  • literature search

PhD seminars

Seminar guide (.pdf) 

Central to all ATTR seminars and summer schools are the PhD fellows’ own presentations of papers based on their dissertation work, with prepared responses by other PhD fellows. 

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of ATTR, the focus of the discussions will be primarily on methodological matters and interdisciplinary insights.

The PhD seminars are important means to the ATTR learning goals:

  • Writing and presentation skills: The seminars aim not only at providing a setting for constructive discussions relating to thesis work, but also at preparing the candidates for life after their dissertations. ATTR thus aims to hone students’ presentation and writing skills, skills that may be useful for development of research projects for which funding can be sought from, e.g., ERC and RCN.
  • Methodology: The objective of ATTR is to create a venue where interpretive methodologies can be critically discussed, evaluated, and developed, so as to broaden the candidates’ perspectives and heighten the quality of their analyses.
  • Networking: In all its activities, the creation of an interdisciplinary network of young scholars in order to ensure the highest possible academic quality of PhD education is a central goal of ATTR.

Practical information

  • The seminar equals 5 ECTS
  • The seminar is free of charge and most of your expenses (flight tickets, hotel, most meals) will be covered
  • Application deadline: December 15.
  • Registration is binding, provided that you are admitted. 
  • Before the application deadline, make sure that you have uploaded all necessary attachments:
    • The PhD paper that you would like to present at one of the PhD seminars. The paper submitted should be part of your ongoing dissertational work. Your application will be assessed based on the paper submitted before December 15, but you may submit an updated version by February 1, 2019. 
    • New applicants must also include an abstract of their research project, and a PhD program confirmation.
    • Detailed information about the required attachments

How to participate


Please contact the ATTR Head of Administration / Leonora O. Bergsjø.

Published Sep. 11, 2018 9:28 AM - Last modified Dec. 11, 2018 9:55 AM