This edited collection disrupts tendencies in feminist science studies to dismiss rhetoric as having concern only for language, and it counters posthumanist theories that ignore human materialities and asymmetries of power as co-constituted with and through distinctions such as gender, sex, race, and ability. The eight essays of Feminist Rhetorical Science Studies: Human Bodies, Posthumanist Worlds model methodologies for doing feminist research in the rhetoric of science. Collectively they build innovative interdisciplinary bridges across the related but divergent fields of feminism, posthumanism, new materialism, and the rhetoric of science.
Each essay addresses a question: How can feminist rhetoricians of science engage responsibly with emerging theories of the posthuman? Some contributors respond with case studies in medical practice (fetal ultrasound; patient noncompliance), medical science (the neuroscience of sex differences), and health policy (drug trials of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration); others respond with a critical review of object-oriented ontology and a framework for researching women technical writers in the workplace. The contributed essays are in turn framed by a comprehensive introduction and a final chapter from the editors, who argue that a key contribution of feminist posthumanist rhetoric is that it rethinks the agencies of people, things, and practices in ways that can bring about more ethical human relations.
Individually the contributions offer as much variety as consensus on matters of methodology. Together they demonstrate how feminist posthumanist and materialist approaches to science expand our notions of what rhetoric is and does, yet they manage to do so without sacrificing what makes their inquiries distinctively rhetorical.
Chronic pain is a medical mystery, debilitating to patients and a source of frustration for practitioners. It often eludes both cause and cure and serves as a reminder of how much further we have to go in unlocking the secrets of the body. A new field of pain medicine has evolved from this landscape, one that intersects with dozens of disciplines and subspecialties ranging from psychology and physiology to anesthesia and chiropractic medicine. Over the past three decades, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners have struggled to define this complex and often contentious field as they work to establish standards while navigating some of the most challenging philosophical issues of Western science.
In The Politics of Pain Medicine: A Rhetorical-Ontological Inquiry, S. Scott Graham offers a rich and detailed exploration of the medical rhetoric surrounding pain medicine. Graham chronicles the work of interdisciplinary pain management specialists to found a new science of pain and a new approach to pain medicine grounded in a more comprehensive biospychosocial model. His insightful analysis demonstrates how these materials ultimately shape the healthcare community’s understanding of what pain medicine is, how the medicine should be practiced and regulated, and how practitioner-patient relationships are best managed. It is a fascinating, novel examination of one of the most vexing issues in contemporary medicine.
A fascinating addition to rhetoric scholarship, Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things expands the scope of rhetorical situations beyond the familiar humanist triad of speaker-audience-purpose to an inclusive study of inanimate objects.
The fifteen essays in Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things persuasively overturn the stubborn assumption that objects are passive tools in the hands of objective human agents. Rhetoric has proved that forms of communication such as digital images, advertising, and political satires do much more than simply lie dormant, and Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things shows that objects themselves also move, circulate, and produce opportunities for new rhetorical publics and new rhetorical actions. Objects are not simply inert tools but are themselves vibrant agents of measurable power.
Organizing the work of leading and emerging rhetoric scholars into four broad categories, the collection explores the role of objects in rhetorical theory, histories of rhetoric, visual rhetoric, literacy studies, rhetoric of science and technology, computers and writing, and composition theory and pedagogy. A rich variety of case studies about objects such as women’s bicycles in the nineteenth century, the QWERTY keyboard, and little free libraries ground this study in fascinating, real-life examples and build on human-centered approaches to rhetoric to consider how material elements—human and nonhuman alike—interact persuasively in rhetorical situations.
Taken together, Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things argues that the field of rhetoric’s recent attention to material objects should go further than simply open a new line of inquiry. To maximize the interdisciplinary turn to things, rhetoricians must seize the opportunity to reimagine and perhaps resolve rhetoric’s historically problematic relationship to physical reality and ontology. By tapping the rich resource of inanimate agents such as "fish, political posters, plants, and dragonflies,” rhetoricians can more fully grasp the rhetorical implications at stake in such issues.
Best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern, Laboratory Life, and Science in Action, Bruno Latour has inspired scholarship across many disciplines. In the past few years, the fields of rhetoric and composition have witnessed an explosion of interest in Latour’s work. Editors Paul Lynch and Nathaniel Rivers have assembled leading and emerging scholars in order to focus the debate on what Latour means for the study of persuasion and written communication.
Essays in this volume discern, rearticulate, and occasionally critique rhetoric and composition’s growing interest in Latour. These contributions include work on topics such as agency, argument, rhetorical history, pedagogy, and technology, among others. Contributors explain key terms, identify implications of Latour’s work for rhetoric and composition, and explore how his theories might inform writing pedagogies and be used to build research methodologies.
Thinking withBruno Latour in Rhetoric and Composition shows how Latour’s groundbreaking theories on technology, agency, and networks might be taken up, enriched, and extended to challenge scholars in rhetorical studies (both English and communications), composition, and writing studies to rethink some of the field’s most basic assumptions. It is set to become the standard introduction that will appeal not only to those scholars already interested in Latour but also those approaching Latour for the first time.