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Nonrational Rhetorics

Leaders: Debra Hawhee, Pennsylvania State University; Diane Davis, University of Texas at Austin

Nonrational Rhetorics 

Debra Hawhee, Pennsylvania State University
Diane Davis, University of Texas at Austin 

In the past decade, rhetorical theory has seen a rise in what might be called “nonrational rhetorics”—which is to say theories (or histories) that emphasize the dimensions of rhetoric that operate apart from—or in some cases, in opposition to—reason or rationality. This includes work that focuses on the physical and affective lives of rhetoric, as well as a related—and emergent—interest in how nonhuman animals might challenge prevailing assumptions about how rhetoric works. This workshop will first examine the disciplinary conditions that gave rise to these emphases, and then consider the cases of bodily, affective, and animal rhetorics as correctives to an overemphasis on reason.

Questions? Contact: Debra Hawhee,

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