Carnegie Mellon University
January 19, 2015

Book Launch: “Intertexuality and the 24-Hour News Cycle”, by John Oddo, on January 23

"Intertextuality and the 24-Hour News Cycle"

On Friday, January 23, the Department of English will hold an event on "Intertextuality and the 24-Hour News Cycle" by Assistant Professor of English John Oddo. The book investigates the ‘rhetorical life’ of Colin Powell's 2003 address to the United Nations, analyzing how it was reported and reformulated by the media.

In his speech, Powell argued that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction and needed to be disarmed. According to Oddo, before the speech, nearly 90% of Americans reported that Powell’s U.N. performance would help them determine their view about invading Iraq. And days after the speech, a strong majority of Americans reported that they found Powell’s evidence convincing enough to go to war.

“However, when Powell actually spoke, most American adults did not watch,” said Oddo. Instead, they learned about Powell’s presentation from journalists—and, to a large extent, formed their opinions about war with Iraq based on news coverage of his address.”

Oddo’s book launch event is the first one in a series planned by the Department.

“Celebrating the publication of a book allows us to be informed of each other’s work, which is the way we develop an identity as a group of scholars,” said Professor of English Andreea Deciu Ritivoi. “This is how you actually build a community of scholars who can inspire each other and collaborate.”

Ritivoi also said that this event is very important for the Department’s graduate students. “They are our legacy, our future,” said Ritivoi. “For them to be aware of the work that we do is an important part of their training.”

The book launch kicks off Friday, January 23 at 12:00 p.m. in the MA Lounge, A60G, Baker Hall. Mariana Achugar of CMU’s Modern Languages and Gordon Mitchell of University of Pittsburgh’s Communication Studies will present the book with a Q&A and book signing to follow with the author. Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to Vickie McKay,