ISBN-10:
0791474267
ISBN-13:
9780791474266
Pub. Date:
01/01/2009
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
How the Gene Got Its Groove: Figurative Language, Science, and the Rhetoric of the Real

How the Gene Got Its Groove: Figurative Language, Science, and the Rhetoric of the Real

by Elizabeth Parthenia Shea

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Overview

How the Gene Got Its Groove: Figurative Language, Science, and the Rhetoric of the Real

Traces the rhetorical work of the gene in scientific and nonscientific discourse throughout the twentieth century.

Against a backdrop of the history of the gene as a scientific and a cultural icon, How the Gene Got Its Groove examines how “genes” function as rhetorical objects. Returning to Wilhelm Johannsen’s original argument for the term, Elizabeth Parthenia Shea maintains that the gene was, first and foremost, a rhetorical invention, designed to lay claim to a material reality and to dissociate itself from the problems of language, conjecture, and rhetorical uncertainty. She traces the rhetorical work of the gene through scientific and nonscientific arguments throughout the twentieth century. The gene’s travels between scientific and popular texts challenge us to recognize the subtle powers of figurative language in creating a sense that matters of science stand outside the contingencies of language and the influences of rhetoric.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791474266
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 01/01/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 146
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Parthenia Shea is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at Northeastern University.

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. GENETIC ORIGIN STORIES

3. PRESCRIBING RHETORICAL WORK: GENETIC THEORIES, GEMMULES, AND GENES

4. GENES ON MAIN STREET

5. GENES, FIGURES, THINGS, OBJECTS

6. FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING: GENES, SEXUALITY, AND THE AUTHORITY OF SCIENCE

7. GENOME: THE SECRET OF HOW TROPES WORK IN THE LIFE SCIENCES

NOTES
REFERENCES
INDEX

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