Changes of Mind and Heart: Navigating Emotion in an Expanded Theory of Kairos
AuthorMyers, Kelly Anne
AdvisorMcAllister, Kenneth S.
Committee ChairMcAllister, Kenneth S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAccording to Greek mythology, when the god of opportunity appears, there is but an instant in which a person must seize him in order to take advantage of the god's beneficence. If the moment is missed, the god passes by, finalizing the loss of opportunity. As a rhetorical concept, kairos emphasizes the importance of seizing--even creating--opportunities in a manner that is situationally effective and appropriate. Though kairos is often discussed as a single, pivotal moment of opportunity, this study argues that in order to better understand kairos and its role in rhetorical studies, the concept must be understood much more expansively.One of the central ways in which this dissertation broadens the concept of kairos is by acknowledging the long-standing conceptual and iconographic link between kairos and metanoia. In artwork and epigrams, the god of opportunity is often depicted with a female figure named Metanoia who brings elements such as repentance, reflection, regret, and transformation into the kairotic moment. Additionally, exploring the connections between kairos and metanoia introduces the concepts of metis (cunning or skill) and akairos (the inopportune) into kairos. Thus this dissertation expands the realm of kairos to include both opportune and inopportune moments that the savvy (or metis-endowed) rhetor can navigate.In addition to acknowledging the vital roles that metanoia, metis, and akairos play in the kairotic moment, this dissertation argues that an expanded theory of kairos offers new avenues for studying and employing emotion in the field of rhetoric and composition. In particular, it introduces the concept of akairos as both a rhetorical strategy (akairotic rhetoric) and an entry point into analytical discussions of the ways in which emotion functions on both individual and societal levels to alter perceptions of the possible. This dissertation argues that an expanded theory of kairos, one that recognizes the importance of akairos, extends the options for emotion as rhetorical device by challenging the etiquettes of emotion that traditional theories of kairos maintain.
Degree ProgramRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English