Figures of Entanglement : Diffractive Readings of Barad, New Materialism, and Rhetorical Theory and Criticism book cover
1st Edition

Figures of Entanglement
Diffractive Readings of Barad, New Materialism, and Rhetorical Theory and Criticism

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 29, 2021
ISBN 9780367903794
July 29, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
138 Pages

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Book Description

Recent and ongoing "new materialisms" scholarship seeks to fundamentally reshape the humanities and their relationship with the sciences. While this work comprises multiple and varied currents, one of the most important, yet whose distinctive merits are arguably often underappreciated, is that influenced by the theoretical physicist and feminist philosopher Karen Barad.

The first volume devoted to bringing Barad’s work into conversation with the disciplines of rhetoric and communication studies, this collection organizes that conversation primarily around her notion of "entanglement" and its radical disruption of the meaning/matter dualism at the heart of the dominant Western tradition. In doing so, the essays in this collection variously approach rhetoric as a "figure of entanglement" that enables a rethinking of meaning as itself performative, material, and ecological. Contributors thereby broaden and enrich the scope, at once, of both rhetoric and Barad’s theorizing through entangled reworkings of topics ranging from politics to breast cancer, genealogy, the trope of academic "turns," Marx’s notion of exchange, and the "prehistoric" emergence of human consciousness.

With a new foreword by the editors and afterword by Laurie E. Gries, this collection is otherwise reprinted from the 2016 ‘Figures of Entanglement’ special issue of the journal Review of Communication.

Table of Contents


Christopher N. Gamble and Joshua S. Hanan

Introduction: Figures of Entanglement: Toward A Diffractive Understanding of New Materialist Rhetoric

Christopher N. Gamble and Joshua S. Hanan

1. Breast cancer’s rhetoricity: bodily border crisis and bridge to corporeal solidarity

Annie Hill

2. Rhetoric’s diverse materiality: polythetic ontology and genealogy

Nathan Stormer

3. Of turning and tropes

Diane Marie Keeling

4. Entangled exchange: verkehr and rhetorical capitalism

Matthew W. Bost

5. Rhetorical prehistory and the Paleolithic

Thomas Rickert


Laurie E. Gries

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Christopher N. Gamble is doctoral student in communication at the University of Washington. His work focuses on rhetoric, communication technology, and new materialisms.

Joshua S. Hanan is associate professor of rhetoric and communication ethics at the University of Denver. His scholarship examines the biopolitical function of institutions, technologies, and economic rationalities in the governance of public communication.