Breaking Up (at) Totality: A Rhetoric of Laughter

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SIU Press, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 312 pages
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Rhetoric and composition theory has shown a renewed interest in sophistic countertraditions, as seen in the work of such "postphilosophers" as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Hélène Cixous, and of such rhetoricians as Susan Jarratt and Steven Mailloux. As D. Diane Davis traces today’s theoretical interest to those countertraditions, she also sets her sights beyond them.

          

Davis takes a “third sophistics” approach, one that focuses on the play of language that perpetually disrupts the “either/or” binary construction of dialectic. She concentrates on the nonsequential  third—excess—that overflows language’s dichotomies. In this work, laughter operates as a trope for disruption or breaking up, which is, from Davis’s perspective, a joyfully destructive shattering of our confining conceptual frameworks.

           

 

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Contents

A Prefatory PostScript on Where We Will
1
The Subject Convulsed
21
Composition Convulsed
69
Cyburbian Convulsions
116
A Rhetoric of Laughter for Feminist Politics
136
A Thinking of Futurity
162
Of Woman and PoliticsCommunity of AnOther
179
Community in SpasmsA Rhetoric of Laughter
198
A Rhetoric of Laughter for Composition Pedagogy
209
DeComposting
228
Beyond the White Terror of Truth
235
Forget EmpowermentBecomingImperceptible
250
Notes
261
Works Cited
291
Index
307
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About the author (2000)

D. Diane Davis is an assistant professor of rhetoric at the University of Iowa.

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