Revolutionary style : parrēsia and the rhetoric of self-care in the autobiography of Angela Davis.


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This thesis explores the rhetoric of self-care in the autobiography of Angela Davis. Staging a conversation between Davis, Michel Foucault, and Audre Lorde, I question how Davis navigates the rhetorical quagmire of writing an explicitly political autobiography while avoiding the interpellation of her personal narrative into a heroic account of legal triumph. To this end, I examine two modes of truth-telling that appear in An Autobiography—political parrēsia and the philosophical parrēsia of self-writing. From these analyses I turn towards a broader consideration of the self-care and how Davis utilizes the erotic as a resource of rhetorical invention to bridge the gap between the personal and the political. Ultimately, I conclude that the ability for An Autobiography to forward political and philosophical parrēsia, in a rhetoric of self-care, indicates the revolutionary style of the text. This style enacts revolution as a mode of being rather than an event.



Self-care. Parrēsia. Black feminist rhetoric.