Publication date:15 October 2017
Length of book:248 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
While rhetoric as a discipline is firmly planted in humanism and anthropology, posthumanism seeks to leave the human behind. This highly original examination of Kenneth Burke’s thought grapples with these ostensibly contradictory concepts as opportunities for invention, revision, and, importantly, transdisciplinary knowledge making.
Rather than simply mapping posthumanist rhetorics onto Burke’s scholarship, Kenneth Burke + The Posthuman focuses on the multiplicity of ideas found both in his work and in the idea of posthumanism. Taking varied approaches organized within a framework of boundaries and futures, the contributors show that studying the humanist theories of Burke in this way creates a satisfyingly chaotic web of interconnections. The essays look at how Burke’s writing on the human mind and technology, from his earliest works to his very latest revisions, interrelates with current concepts such as new materiality and coevolution. Throughout, the contributors pay close attention to the fluidity, concerns, and contradictions inherent in language, symbolism, and subjectivity.
A unique, illuminating exploration of the contested relationship between bodies and language, this inherently transdisciplinary book will propel important future inquiry by scholars of rhetoric, Burke, and posthumanism.
In addition to the editors, the contributors are Casey Boyle, Kristie Fleckenstein, Nathan Gale, Julie Jung, Steven B. Katz, Steven LeMieux, Jodie Nicotra, Jeff Pruchnic, Timothy Richardson, Thomas Rickert, and Robert Wess.