"Rhetorics of Pain," a Rhetoric Colloquium Presentation by Scott Graham
Rhetoric colloquium event featuring a presentation by Scott Graham, RPC doctoral student.
Scott Graham, a Ph.D. student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at Iowa State University will deliver a presentation.
Abstract of Talk
Rhetorics of Pain: Agency and Regulation in the Medical-Industrial Complex
Recent rhetorical scholarship has retheorized agency and regulation as closely related forms of material-semiotic practice (Campbell, 2005; Winsor, 2006; Herndl and Licona, 2007). Building upon this foundation, my research explores two cases in the rhetorics of pain medicine. By tracing the simultaneous legitimization of the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia and the delegitimization of the sinus headache, I offer ethnographic data that clarifies the theoretical concepts of agency . In so doing, I argue that when Foucault's principles of rarefaction are understood as especially powerful rhetorical topoi, they serve as an excellent heuristic for explaining how the same material-semiotic structures can both regulate discourse and provide a foundation for agency and change.