Breaking Up [at] Totality: A Rhetoric of Laughter by D. Diane Davis

By D. Diane Davis

Rhetoric and composition idea has proven a renewed curiosity in sophistic countertraditions, as obvious within the paintings 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 strains today’s theoretical curiosity to these countertraditions, she additionally units her attractions past them.

Davis takes a “third sophistics” technique, one who makes a speciality of the play of language that eternally disrupts the “either/or” binary building of dialectic. She concentrates at the nonsequential third—excess—that overflows language’s dichotomies. during this paintings, laughter operates as a trope for disruption or breaking apart, that is, from Davis’s point of view, a joyfully harmful shattering of our confining conceptual frameworks.

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DeHart 423 Index 431 About the Contributors 445 Page ix PREFACE Any volume of this size and scope is by necessity the product of many people’s labor. While any errors of subject, tone, inclusion, or focus are surely mine, there are many whose generous contributions of time and talent are responsible for whatever success this book may enjoy. For the genesis of the book itself, I owe much to Bernard Duffy, Halford Ryan, and Greenwood Press. Their Bio-Critical Sourcebooks on American orators paved the way for this more specialized, but sorely needed, volume.

In a 1934 commencement speech entitled ‘‘The Educational Values of the College-Bred,’’ delivered at both the Hampton Institute and Lincoln University, Bethune unequivocally pronounced the role of teachers in the development of the community: ‘‘The future of America is in the hands of [the teacher]….

Bethune retired from the presidency of the college in 1942, but continued her work with women. Bethune was a club woman, and she played a leadership role in many local, state, and national clubs for African-American women. ’’ Because of her commitment to the betterment of women in all walks of life, her involvement in clubs was not Page 3 unusual, nor was her strong association with influential white women’s clubs. It was because of this interest and her belief that America’s problems could be solved harmoniously if there was better interracial understanding that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt became acquainted with her.

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