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ERIC Number: EJ923248
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0033-5630
Cleansing the Superdome: The Paradox of Purity and Post-Katrina Guilt
Grano, Daniel A.; Zagacki, Kenneth S.
Quarterly Journal of Speech, v97 n2 p201-223 2011
The reopening of the New Orleans Superdome after Hurricane Katrina on Monday Night Football dramatized problematic rhetorical, visual, and spatial norms of purification rituals bound up in what Burke calls the paradox of purity. Hurricane Katrina was significant as a visually traumatic event in large part because it signified the ghetto as a rarely discussed remainder of American structural racism and pressed the filthiest visual and territorial residues of marginalized poverty into the national consciousness. In this essay, we argue that a visual paradox of purification--that purifying discourses must "be of the same symbolic substance" as the polluted images that goad them--complicated ritual attempts to both purge and commemorate Katrina evacuees. It is within the paradox of purity that visually grounded purification rituals like the Superdome reopening should be considered for their potential to invite or foreclose public engagement with race and class problems firmly entrenched in Americans' perceptions of pollution and public territory. (Contains 79 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana