The Rhetoric of Sincerity

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In times of intercultural tensions and conflicts, sincerity matters. Traditionally, sincerity concerns a performance of authenticity and truth, a performance that in intercultural situations is easily misunderstood. Sincerity plays a major role in law, the arts-literature, but especially the visual and performing arts-and religion. Sincerity enters the English language in the sixteenth century, when theatre emerged as the dominant idiom of secular representation, during a time of major religious changes. The present historical moment has much in common with that era; with its religious and cultural conflicts and major transformations in representational idioms and media. The Rhetoric of Sincerity is concerned with the ways in which the performance of sincerity is culturally specific and is enacted in different media and disciplines. The book focuses on the theatricality of sincerity, its bodily, linguistic, and social performances, and the success or failure of such performances.