Non-Western Rhetoric

Baniya S. (2019) Rhetorical Comparison of Hindu God Krishna and Plato: An Exploration of Non-Western Hindu Rhetoric. The Routledge Companion of Comparative and World Rhetorics. Edited by Keith Lloyd. Under Review

In an ancient Hindu mythology, conversation with the God is shown as the way for discovering the truth; in apparent contrast, the ancient Greek tradition centered around the idea of the dialectic process for discovering the ultimate truth. Two major figures of these traditions, Hindu God Lord Krishna, and Plato used their oratorical skills to illuminate concepts such as transcendental knowledge, dualism, and the divine madness by positioning persuasion at the center. With a comparison of the dialogues of Lord Krishna and Plato to each other, I argue that their concepts are parallel and help us establish a connection between rhetorical traditions of ancient Greek and Hindu societies.

Baniya, S. (2020). Rhetorical Inquiry on Women Agency in Ancient Nepali Mythological Narrative: A Feminist Historiography of Svasthani Barta Katha. Manuscript on Progress 

First published in palm-leaf folios in the year 1573, the anthology of stories of women, Svasthani Barta Katha (SVK) serves as both religious document for Hindus and a manual of femininity and good womanhood in Nepali society. SVK, a mythological narrative that gets recited in the Hindu families and communities once a year for a month mostly followed by a month long fast by the Hindu women. This recitation tradition not only gives an overview of major Hindu mythological tradition but also about the ideology of chaste and selfless female. With transformation from oral to the written and multiple languages (See background), today’s SVK is a collection of 31 different stories of Hindu Gods and humans. Rhetorical inquiry women agency of selected female characters in SVK could give a different understanding of how women agency was portrayed and yet suppressed within the same text.

Baniya, S. (2017). Pioneer Nepali Female Singers’ Songs: Rhetoric of Body, Aesthetic and Libidinal Economy. Presented at Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference. 

This paper has chosen few pioneer female singers (also lyricists) of the then time period to discuss how through these songs the singers were able to articulate some hidden desires, repression, realities, and contexts. Not only that these singers who would not have been in lime light hadn’t they been the court singers, tried to discourse different reality pertaining to the status of female and their bodies, aesthetic pleasure, and sexual desires via songs. In a way they have also challenged the societal system with their wit by using metaphors and subtle expression in advocating sexuality. This paper brings three female singers and their century old songs to understand the documentation of the context, situation of women, and their bodies in a repressive society through their unique rhetoric.