Disability Rhetoric is the first book to view rhetorical theory and history through the lens of disability studies. Traditionally, the body has been seen as, at best, a rhetorical distraction; at worst, those whose bodies do not conform to a narrow range of norms are disqualified from speaking. Yet, Dolmage argues that communication has always been obsessed with the meaning of the body and that bodily difference is always highly rhetorical. Following from this rewriting of rhetorical history, he outlines the development of a new theory, affirming the ideas that all communication is embodied, that the body plays a central role in all expression, and that greater attention to a range of bodies is therefore essential to a better understanding of rhetorical histories, theories, and possibilities.
About the Author
Jay Timothy Dolmage is associate professor of English at the University of Waterloo. He is the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xi
1 Disability studies of Rhetoric 19
Interchapter: An Archive and Anatomy of Disability Myth 31
2 Rhetorical Histories of Disability 63
3 Imperfect Meaning 93
Interchapter: A Repertoire and Choreography of Disability Rhetorics 225
4 Metis 149
5 Eating Rhetorical Bodies 193
6 "I Did It on Purpose" 225