Through a fusion of narrative and analysis, Language and Power on the Rhetorical Stage examines how theater can enact critical discourse analysis and how micro-instances of iniquitous language use have been politically and historically reiterated to oppress and deny equal rights to marginalized groups of people.
Drawing from Aristophanes’ rhetorical plays as a template for rhetoric in action, the author poses the stage as a rhetorical site whereby we can observe, see, and feel 20th-century rhetorical theories of the body. Using critical discourse analysis and Judith Butler’s theories of the performative body as a methodological and analytical lens, the book explores how a handful of American plays in the latter part of the 20th century—the works of Tony Kushner, Suzan Lori-Parks, and John Cameron Mitchell, among others— use rhetoric in order to perform and challenge marginalizing language about groups that are not offered center stage in public and political spheres.
This innovative study initiates a conversation long overdue between scholars in rhetorical and performance studies; as such, it will be essential reading for academic researchers and graduate students in the areas of rhetorical studies, performance studies, theater studies, and critical discourse analysis.
Table of Contents
1. Performing Rhetorical Theory
2. "And My Life Blood Out They Suck": Embodying Logos in Clouds
3. "I I I" is for Ideology: Staging Metaphor in Torch Song and Angels in America
4. Acts of Silence and Silence's Acts in Amiri Baraka's Slave Ship and Suzan Lori-Parks’ Venus
5. Blonde Wigs and Butterflies: Queering the Intertextual Binaries in M Butterfly and Hedwig and the Angry Inch
6. Rhetoric, Performance, and Pedagogy
Fiona (Freddie) Harris Ramsby is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. She is also the Artistic Producer at The Company @ Bloomfield College, a collaborative student, staff, and faculty theatre initiative dedicated to promoting and producing new works and emerging artists.