The Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award honors its namesake by recognizing outstanding, book-length contributions in the areas of feminist pedagogy, practice, history, and theory in rhetoric and composition. The award is presented biennially in even years for books published in the two years prior. For the 2022 award, our judges had the honor of reading and rating 13 excellent books from eight different presses. All of these books—some monographs, and some edited collections—presented diverse approaches to feminist and historical scholarship, pushing the boundaries of both field and discipline. Many of them reflected collaborative authorship or editorship. We want to thank everyone who nominated publications this year as well as the publishers of the print and digital books that were nominated. In addition, we want to thank all of this year’s authors for their inspiring contributions to feminist work in our field.
While we would normally confer awards at our Action Hour event on the Wednesday evening prior to the Conference on College Composition and Communication, this year we rely on virtual conferral and social media. Thus, on behalf of the 2022 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award Committee, I am pleased to announce this year’s award recipients and honorable mentions: Stephanie Larson (award recipient, for What It Feels Like); Karma Chávez (honorable mention, for The Borders of AIDS); Katie Fredlund, Kerri Hauman, and Jessica Ouellette (honorable mention, for Feminist Connections); and Michelle C. Smith (honorable mention, for Utopian Genderscapes).
Stephanie Larson, winner of the 2022 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award for What It Feels Like: Visceral Rhetoric and the Politics of Rape Culture (Penn State U Press, 2021). Dr. Larson (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric in the Department of English at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her B.A. at the University of Illinois and her MA and PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Larson’s research interests center on the circulation of cultural, institutional, and legal meaning about women’s bodies in the public sphere. Her work has been published in Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, Rhetoric Review, Hypatia, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and on blogs, podcasts, and edited collections. She is currently working on her second monograph tentatively titled “Lessons from Rape Culture: Sexual Violence, Precarity, and Higher Education.”
This year’s judges wrote the following of the winning text:
This simultaneously rhetorical and gut-wrenching analysis of rape/culture from the embodied experiences of victims is game changing in terms of understanding cultural, political, and intersectional interpretations of rape investigations and public perceptions of rapists/victims. Providing historical and archival insights into how we’ve arrived at current interrogations of rape, the author provides visceral and public examples of rape/trials interwoven with classical rhetoric terminology and interdisciplinary feminist, racial, and media scholarship. Reading not just her remarkable first book, but also her other publications, reminds us that our scholarship can be brave, bold, and unapologetic in its commitments to feminist inquiry.
Karma R. Chávez, honorable mention for The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance. Dr. Chávez (she/her) is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas-Austin
This year’s judges wrote the following of Chávez’s text:
A beautifully researched work, this monograph is grounded in archival, cultural, and legislative research/history. Chavez adds voices of the stakeholders to traditional narratives, and in the process complicates the reputations of elected officials and understandings of policies. Providing new terms and definitions for discussing the height of AIDS crises, this work breaks new ground and gives readers novel lenses and language for understanding motivations and ramifications of quarantine measures, particularly for migrant populations. While focused on histories and policies of the late twentieth century, The Borders of AIDS holds relevancy for contemporary pandemics and official medical policy/controversies.
Katie Fredlund, honorable mention for Feminist Connections: Rhetoric and Activism across Time, Space, and Place. Dr. Fredlund (she/her) is Associate Professor of English and Director of First-Year Writing at the University of Memphis.
Kerri Hauman, honorable mention for Feminist Connections: Rhetoric and Activism across Time, Space, and Place. Dr. Hauman (she/her) is Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications, and Co-Director of the First-Year Seminar at Transylvania University.
Jessica Ouellette, honorable mention for Feminist Connections: Rhetoric and Activism across Time, Space, and Place. Dr. Ouellete (she/her) is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at the University of Southern Maine.
This year’s judges wrote the following of Fredlund, et al’s edited collection:
This beautiful collection of essays puts time, place, and space into rhetorical conversations that revisit and mash up traditional components of classical rhetoric. The editors clearly organize these insightful articles into three sections (revisionary, circulatory, response) that break new ground in archival and feminist research—focusing on various technologies, genres, and digital collections/work. Highlighting available means and rhetorical strategies, contributors address nuances of Rhetorical Transversal Methodology (RTM) in ways that illuminate/reify enduring significance of narratives we already know while shining light on new stories/storytelling. The result is most impressive, producing: new theories for future research, novel understandings of both historical social movements and our own, and models for re-envisioning archival research methods and delivering those findings.
Michelle C. Smith, honorable mention for Utopian Genderscapes: Rhetorics of Women’s Work in the Early Industrial Age. Dr. Smith (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of rhetoric and composition in the Department of English at Clemson University.
This year’s judges wrote the following of Smith’s text:
A beautiful archival examination of women’s labor through the lens of historical utopian communities, this monograph offers a newly-imagined methodological lens—ecologies of gender—for viewing work within rhetorical historiography. Historians and cultural rhetorics scholars alike will appreciate this work, particularly the perception of women’s labor from the 18th to 19th centuries. Despite recent investigations of individual women, Smith argues that focused attention on the success of single women can potentially contribute to ongoing inequities in work, pay, and gender expectations. This work is grounded in archival investigations of the three profiled utopians, archival materials and artifacts, and a cultural lens—importantly concluding with a suasive list of reasons not to dismiss utopian societies of the past and arguing that we can currently learn much about our present moment from study of these past communities.
Finally, this year’s committee would also like to recommend two notable titles: Erin A. Frost and Michelle F. Eble, eds. Interrogating Gendered Pathologies; and Amy E. Dayton and Jennie L. Vaughn, eds. Ethics and Representation in Feminist Rhetorical Inquiry.
They appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of both projects, offering the following comments:
Interrogating Gendered Pathologies is a tightly-edited collection of personal, cultural, and scientific essays from sixteen contributors, addressing medicine, gender, diagnosis/pathologies, science, and intersectionality. Written for a non-medical audience, authors adopt a range of hybrid rhetoric/composition methodologies to shine light on universal health issues, ones informed by first-hand experiences, rhetorical analyses, and topical social justice issues. The result is a collection that will appeal to a wide range of readers.
Paying homage to the influence of long-time staunch Coalition supporter Nan Johnson, Ethics and Representation in Feminist Rhetorical Inquiry is a must-read for feminist archival researchers and teachers. Sixteen contributors disrupt linear storytelling practices: they call for histories that resist the lure of crafting succinct narratives, expand definitions of collaboration and corroboration, and upend archival methods in ways that complicate the search for easy answers. This work provides historical scholarship that is timely and topical in its approach to methodology and invites readers to imagine how they might apply expanded hybrid research methods to a wide range of case studies and collections—resulting in expanded storytelling and an unsettling of existing archives and artifacts.
Please join us in congratulating all of these scholars on their work. Calls for nominations for the 2024 Book Award (reflecting titles published in 2022 and 2023) will begin circulating in Fall 2023.
Tarez Samra Graban
Awards Chair 2020–2022
and the 2022 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award Committee
Alexis E. Ramsey-Tobienne (chair)
Lynée Lewis Gaillet
Sarah Bess McCullouch
Timothy P. Oleksiak