This essay offers a retrospective on the four special issues of this journal (1957, 1980, 1990, 2001) dedicated to the ‘‘state of the art’’ of rhetorical criticism. Drawing on Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Mr. W. H. as allegory, the essay also functions to queer this retrospective in an ongoing effort to queer rhetorical studies. The essay closes with a prospective call for ‘‘critical self-portraiture’’ and genealogy of rhetorical criticism.
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