When Times Collide: Ward Churchill's Use of an Epideictic Moment to Ground Forensic Argument
collective memory, Columbus Day, epideictic, forensic, Native American rhetoric, Ward Churchill
Argumentation and Advocacy
During Denver's 1991 Columbus Day parade, fifty Native Americans briefly blocked the parade. As part of the trial of four protesters, Ward Churchill authored a legal brief that contributed to their acquittal. This essay advances two intertwined arguments as to why Churchill's brief was effective. First, Churchill skillfully adapted to the forensic form through his choice of expert persona, objective tone, Euramerican evidence and deductive structure, effectively shifting attention from the guilt of the protestors to the blameworthy genocidal actions of Euramericans. Second, because the trial concerned actions that occurred at the epideictic moment created by the Columbus Day parade, a rupture of time in the forensic setting occurred whereby Native American re-presentations of past atrocities became relevant to the case at hand.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Palczewski, Catherine Helen, "When Times Collide: Ward Churchill's Use of an Epideictic Moment to Ground Forensic Argument" (2005). Faculty Publications. 2987.