Books

Imagining China: Rhetorics of NationalismImagining China Book in an Age of Globalization

Co-edited with Stephen John Hartnett and Donovan S. Conley

Michigan State University Press, 2017 | with 12 color plates by Jeremy S. Make

Standing as the world’s two largest economies, marshaling the most imposing armies on earth, holding enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons, consuming a majority share of the planet’s natural resources, and serving as the media generators and health care providers for billions of consumers around the globe, the United States and China are positioned to influence notions of democracy, nationalism, citizenship, human rights, environmental priorities, and public health for the foreseeable future. These broad issues are addressed   as questions about communication—about how our two nations envision each other and how our interlinked imaginaries create both opportunities and obstacles for greater understanding and strengthened relations. Accordingly, this book provides in-depth communication-based analyses of how U.S. and Chinese officials, scholars, and activists configure each other, portray the relations between the two nations, and depict their shared and competing interests. As a first step toward building a new understanding between one another, Imagining China tackles the complicated question of how Americans, Chinese, and their respective allies imagine themselves enmeshed in nations, old rivalries, and emerging partnerships, while simultaneously meditating on the powers and limits of nationalism in our age of globalization.

Scie41l3av8sq2l-_sx331_bo1204203200_ntific Characters: Rhetoric, Politics, and Trust in Breast Cancer Research

Recipient of the 2011 Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award from the Public Address Division of the National Communication Association

University of Alabama Press, 2010

Scientific Characters chronicles the contests over character, knowledge, trust, and truth in a politically charged scientific controversy that erupted after a 1994 Chicago Tribune headline: “Fraud in Breast Cancer Research: Doctor Lied on Data for Decade.” In the aftermath of this dramatic news, Dr. Bernard Fisher, the eminent oncologist and celebrated pioneer of breast cancer research, came under intense scrutiny following allegations that one of his investigators falsified data in landmark breast cancer research. Although he was eventually cleared of all wrongdoing, the controversy called into question the treatment decisions of tens of thousands of women, because Fisher’s research had demonstrated that lumpectomy and radiation were as effective as breast removal for early stage cancers—a finding that was hailed as revolutionary in women’s health care.

Moving back and forth between news coverage, medical journals, letters to the editor, and oncology pamphlets, Keränen draws insights from rhetoric, literary studies, sociology, and science studies to analyze the roles of character in shaping the outcomes of the “Datagate” controversy. As administrators, politicians, scientists, patients, journalists, and citizens attempted to make sense of what had happened, and to assess the integrity of the research, they raised questions, assigned blame, attributed responsibility, and reshaped the norms of scientific practice. Scientific Characters thus addresses what happens when scientists, patients, and advocates are called to defend themselves in public concerning complex technical matters with direct implications for human life. Scientific Characters thus sheds light on the challenges faced by scientists and citizens as science becomes more bureaucratized, dispersed, and accountable to varied publics.