Title

Gestural Enthymemes

Publication Title

Written Communication

Publication Date

7-2009

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1177/0741088309335404

Keywords

enthymeme, gesture, Darwin and facial expression, delivery, medical texts, medical illustrations, medical imaging, 19th-century photography

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

Abstract

This article contributes to recent efforts to add life and movement to rhetorical studies by focusing on the representation of movement in medical texts. More specifically, this study examines medical texts, illustrations, and photographs involving movement by Johann Casper Lavater, G. B. Duchenne de Bologne, Charles Darwin, and Étienne-Jules Marey. By identifying how figures of speech epitomize arguments, this examination follows a shift in the way arguments about movement are represented, a shift from static, visual arguments to gestural enthymemes, as they are named, arguments that are made in movements; these shifts are linked to developments in medical technologies involving photography. These arguments about and using movement attempt to “capture” or express the moments within which life, through the embodied gesture, resides. This extended understanding of the enthymeme broadens current understanding of argument to include delivery, links medical and rhetorical discursive practices, and informs how we make sense of and study the relationships between technology and rhetoric both in the past and present.

Publisher

SAGE Publications


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