“The author makes a delightfully jarring and ultimately compelling case for strangeness as a rhetorical trope, moving us to believe that, ironically, by composing strange and salient figurations with words, images, and sound, we can move closer to one another in our networked, infinitely interconnected universe.”
—Lisa Blankenship, Baruch College
“Butts has managed quite a feat: Strangely Rhetorical is at once crisply lucid and consistently strange—precisely as it ought to be. I look forward to continuing to become a stranger writer out of my engagement with Butts’s text.”
—Ira Allen, Northern Arizona University
Strangely Rhetorical establishes the groundwork for strangeness as a lens under the broader interdisciplinary umbrella of rhetoric and composition and shares a series of rhetorical devices for practically thinking about how compositions are made unique. Jimmy Butts explores how strange, novel, weird, and interesting texts work and offers insight into how and why these forms can be invented, created, and stylized to generate the effective delivery of rhetorical messages in fun, divergent ways.
Using a new theoretical framework—that strangeness is inherent within all rhetorical interactions and is potentially useful—Butts demonstrates how rhetoric is always already coming from an Other, offering an ethical context for how defamiliarized texts work with different audiences. Applying examples of seven figures for composing in and across written, aural, visual, electronic, and spatial texts (the WAVES of media), Butts shows how divergence is possible in all sorts of refigured multimodal ways.
Strangely Rhetorical rethinks what exactly rhetoric is and does, considering the ways that strange compositions help rhetors connect across a broad range of networks in a world haunted by distance. This is a book about strange rhetoric for makers and creatives, for students and teachers, and for composers of all sorts.