Rhetoric In Tooth And Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation

Hardcover | November 21, 2016

byDebra Hawhee

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We tend to think of rhetoric as a solely human art. After all, only humans can use language artfully to make a point, the very definition of rhetoric.

Yet when you look at ancient and early modern treatises on rhetoric, what you find is surprising: they’re crawling with animals. With Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw, Debra Hawhee explores this unexpected aspect of early thinking about rhetoric, going on from there to examine the enduring presence of nonhuman animals in rhetorical theory and education. In doing so, she not only offers a counter-history of rhetoric but also brings rhetorical studies into dialogue with animal studies, one of the most vibrant areas of interest in humanities today. By removing humanity and human reason from the center of our study of argument, Hawhee frees up space to study and emphasize other crucial components of communication, like energy, bodies, and sensation.

Drawing on thinkers from Aristotle to Erasmus, Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw tells a new story of the discipline’s history and development, one animated by the energy, force, liveliness, and diversity of our relationships with our “partners in feeling,” other animals.

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From the Publisher

We tend to think of rhetoric as a solely human art. After all, only humans can use language artfully to make a point, the very definition of rhetoric. Yet when you look at ancient and early modern treatises on rhetoric, what you find is surprising: they’re crawling with animals. With Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw, Debra Hawhee explores th...

Debra Hawhee is McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation and professor of English and communication arts and sciences at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Moving Bodies: Kenneth Burke at the Edges of Language and Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece.  

other books by Debra Hawhee

Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students
Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students

Hardcover|Sep 30 2011

$148.07 online$167.75list price
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:November 21, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022639817X

ISBN - 13:9780226398174

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Note on Translations and Primary Sources
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Feeling Animals
1          Aristotle and Zoa Aisthetika
2          Zoostylistics after Aristotle
3          Beast Fables, Deliberative Rhetoric, and the Progymnasmata
4          Looking Beyond Belief: Paradoxical Encomia and Visual Inquiry
5          Nonhuman Animals and Medieval Memory Arts
6          Accumulatio, Natural History, and Erasmus’s Copia
Conclusion: At the Feet of Rhetorica
Notes
Bibliography of Primary Sources
Bibliography of Secondary Sources
Index

Editorial Reviews

“In Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw, Hawhee offers an original and compelling counter-history of premodern rhetorical theory and practice in which the alogos shared by all animal beings is situated at the very heart of language education and human communications. Indeed, in Hawhee’s luminous rereadings, sensation is depicted as the condition for logos (as speech and reason), as well as for animal signaling. Putting rhetorical studies into productive conversation with contemporary issues raised by animal studies and affect theory, Hawhee gracefully demonstrates that nonhuman animals scurry through premodern rhetorical texts neither as anthropomorized representations nor as the dangerous supplements of human logos, but as zoostylistic teachers: language about animal liveliness both enlivens the senses and testifies to the absolutely fundamental role of sensation in any deliberation and every rational-critical discourse.”