Foucault's lectures on neoliberalism provide an implicit critique of the contemporary theoretical emphasis on antirepresentational, immanent theories of discourse, subjectivity, and power. From this standpoint, such immanentism can be understood as a distinct effect of a neoliberal governmental practice directed at the suppression of the idea of totality. To address Foucault's critique, this article argues for a reinterpretation of Lloyd Bitzer's concept of “situation” to recover a working notion of totality that would be useful for critical and material rhetorical inquiry. Historicizing the immanent turn in the critical humanities can open the way for a critical social theory of communication.

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