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125 • In ter c h a pter A Repertoire and Choreography of Disability Rhetorics The goa l of Disa bil it y Rh et or ic is to instantiate an expanded sense and a more inclusive framework through which we might view the rhetorical body. In introducing terms like aphrona, anmut, apate, and pseilos, I am not trying to establish a new lexicon, but rather I am working to show that we could choose to view a history in which disability and rhetoricity were consubstantial, in which this connection was fully theorized, when we screen our stories again. In the next chapter I will expand on these enabling approaches to embodiment through the stories of mētis. But, as I promised at the beginning of the last chapter, I am also in the midst of a crucial turn to proposing models and theories that situate disability as meaningful and as meaning-making, and I want to further harness this momentum. Thus far I have packaged a condensed overview of disability in antiquity , at the supposed “origins of civilization.” But I am actually much more interested in establishing the body as the origin and epistemological home of all meaning-making. In the next chapter, I will look from prosthesis to mētis, the connected rhetorical concept that I situate as best affirming the body’s meaningful and powerful partiality. But before I move on, I will create a parallel lexicon, a mirror litany to stand alongside my earlier chart of disability tropes or myths, the majority of which showcased the ways that a society can get disability “wrong.” Here, I will propose a range of disability rhetorics: means of conceptualizing not just how meaning is attached to disability, but to view the knowledge and meaning that disability generates. In response to my archive of myths, I will offer a repertoire of rhetorics. Like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, this inventory labels a range of 126 • Disa bil it y Rh et or ic rhetorical conditions, yet frames them as potential rather than as deficit. Part of what I want to do with this list is to remind the reader that disability rhetoric, which may at times in this book seem like a historical or theoretical field, describes also the ways we move with and through and toward disability all the time. The list should cue us to the rhetorical power and possibility of these moves. Jeanne Fahnestock defines all “rhetorical figures” as the departure from the expected order of words; Fontanier also claims that figurative language is a departure from “degree zero” language (Fahnestock 1999, 17; Fontanier 1977, 64). In this way, all rhetorical figures are nonnormative or “disabled”: they are the abnormality that fires newness and invites novel and multiple interpretations. The rhetorical figures in this list are selected for their potential to generate nonnormative meanings. Lining these up in a list may seem terribly Aristotelian, may seem like a reduction or a limited schematics. But my hope is that instead, they are used as tools that readers will make their own, adapt, and activate. While the disability myths I listed might be seen as analogous to Mitchell and Snyder’s “anatomy” of body genres, this inventory of rhetorics hopefully forms an accessible choreography. My list of disability myths from the first chapter might have been read as policing all of the ways that we stereotype and stigmatize disability, challenging only the disablism that negatively constructs disability experience , and thus failing in some ways to interrogate ableism.1 Yet that list was created in many ways to be held alongside this list of rhetorics (I was thinking sideways). These disability rhetorics do offer challenges to ableist normativity, challenges that range from overt to carefully nuanced. But they also offer available means and ways to move, ways to make meaning by recirculating power through the body. I will first present the rhetorics in brief form in a chart, and then offer a lengthier exploration of the rhetorics to end this interchapter. 1. I borrow this distinction between disablism and ableism from Fiona KumariCampbell . Yet I would suggest that these rhetorics create what she calls “disability imaginaries ,” reconceptualizing knowing so that we might “think/speak/gesture and feel different landscapes not just for being-in-the-world but [also for the] conduction of perception , mobilities and temporalities” (2009, 15). MētisRepertoire and Choreography of Disability Rhetorics 127 Rhetoric Description Example Disability Forensic Forensic or judicial rhetoric is one of three overarching genres...


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