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Theorizing Adaptation$
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Kamilla Elliott

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197511176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197511176.001.0001

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The Rhetoric of Theorizing Adaptation

The Rhetoric of Theorizing Adaptation

(p.245) 8 The Rhetoric of Theorizing Adaptation
Theorizing Adaptation

Kamilla Elliott

Oxford University Press

“Refiguring Theorization” shifts from macroscopic historical and theoretical metacriticism to microscopic analyses of rhetoric. Theorizing adaptation has unfolded not only at the level of books, chapters, articles, and reviews but also at the level of sentences, phrases, words, and pieces of words. Analyzing relations between parts of speech governed by the laws of grammar makes clear that some problems of theorizing adaptation lie within the systems and structures of rhetoric itself. A microscopic study of rhetoric takes larger discourses to pieces not only to understand their workings but also as a prelude to constructing new discourses of theorizing adaptation. Rhetoric’s conjoined persuasive and aesthetic functions render it particularly resonant for pondering the relationship between theoretical discourses and aesthetic practices, with potential for refiguring that relationship. Figurative rhetoric (or figuration) is central to this endeavor, providing a variegated, adaptive rhetoric with potential to forge new ways of thinking, speaking, and writing about adaptation, theorization, and their relationship to each other.

Keywords:   Adaptation theory, Rhetoric, Parts of speech and theorization, Figuration, Figuration and adaptation

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