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The Body as a Locus of Speech. Traditionally The body has been seen as “mute” and gross– the opposite and limit of reason.

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Presentation on theme: "The Body as a Locus of Speech. Traditionally The body has been seen as “mute” and gross– the opposite and limit of reason."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Body as a Locus of Speech

2 Traditionally

3 The body has been seen as “mute” and gross– the opposite and limit of reason.

4 Traditionally The body has been seen as “mute” and gross– the opposite and limit of reason. Citizens are often expected to ‘transcend’ or at least suppress their particular bodies when then enter the public realm--

5 Traditionally The body has been seen as “mute” and gross– the opposite and limit of reason. Citizens are often expected to ‘transcend’ or at least suppress their particular bodies when then enter the public realm— This of course harms those who cannot so easily shed the weight of their flesh for any number of reasons

6 Traditionally The body has been seen as “mute” and gross– the opposite and limit of reason. Citizens are often expected to ‘transcend’ or at least suppress their particular bodies when then enter the public realm— This of course harms those who cannot so easily shed the weight of their flesh for any number of reasons—because they are presumed to be too ugly, too beautiful, too big or small, too dark, too different…

7 Traditionally And, political status was/is often denied on the grounds that an individual or group is too stuck in or committed to their bodies… and insufficiently rational, cerebral, intelligent…

8 Resisting the Mind/Body Hierarchy

9 In many areas of inquiry, this mind/body split (with the hierarchy presumed) has been more recently contested.

10 Resisting the Mind/Body Hierarchy In many areas of inquiry, this mind/body split (with the hierarchy presumed) has been more recently contested. Many 20 th century thinkers argued that we don’t “have” bodies but rather we are our bodies—

11 Resisting the Mind/Body Hierarchy In many areas of inquiry, this mind/body split (with the hierarchy presumed) has been more recently contested. Many 20 th century thinkers argued that we don’t “have” bodies but rather we are our bodies— Feminists, critical race scholars, and others have helped to “reclaim” the body as a political factor and a “locus of speech”

12 Fantasia and the Body-speech of the Prisoner

13 Hauser contributes a rhetorical inflection in this wider reclamation of the body as a politically contested “place.”

14 Fantasia and the Body-speech of the Prisoner Hauser contributes a rhetorical inflection in this wider reclamation of the body as a politically contested “place.” The question he raises: How do people denied the right to speak and be heard nonetheless achieve rhetorical power?

15 Fantasia and the Body-speech of the Prisoner His answer:

16 Fantasia and the Body-speech of the Prisoner His answer: By “speaking” with the body and producing emotionally vivid demonstrations “before the mind’s eye” of the audience

17 Fantasia and the Body-speech of the Prisoner His answer: By “speaking” with the body and producing emotionally vivid demonstrations “before the mind’s eye” of the audience The body serves as a means of fantasia– bridging gaps of space and time to make present that which has been otherwise hidden.

18 Fantasia and the Body-speech of the Prisoner His answer: By “speaking” with the body and producing emotionally vivid demonstrations “before the mind’s eye” of the audience The body serves as a means of fantasia– bridging gaps of space and time to make present that which has been otherwise hidden. Fantasia is a “hallucination of presence”--a mode of address that produces obligated witnesses…

19 IN sum

20 The “body rhetoric” turn :

21 IN sum The “body rhetoric” turn: 1.Challenges the political and moral hierarchy of mind over body 2.Adds complexity and diversity to rhetoric’s traditional focus on the words of the powerful.

22 IN sum The “body rhetoric” turn: 1.Challenges the political and moral hierarchy of mind over body 2.Adds complexity and diversity to rhetoric’s traditional focus on the words of the powerful. 3.Explains (in part) how groups that have been denied voice and public forum can nonetheless speak.


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