Disability Rhetoric is the first book to view rhetorical theory and
history through the lens of disability studies. Traditionally, the
body has been seen as, at best, a rhetorical distraction; at worst,
those whose bodies do not conform to a narrow range of norms are
disqualified from speaking. Yet, Dolmage argues that communication
has always been obsessed with the meaning of the body and that
bodily difference is always highly rhetorical. Following from this
rewriting of rhetorical history, he outlines the development of a
new theory, affirming the ideas that all communication is embodied,
that the body plays a central role in all expression, and that
greater attention to a range of bodies is therefore essential to a
better understanding of rhetorical histories, theories, and
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