Editors’ Introduction

Editors’ Introduction

Peitho Volume 24, Issue 24 Fall

Author(s): Rebecca Dingo, Clancy Ratliff

Dr. Rebecca Dingo is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Rebecca’s research has addressed transnational rhetorical and composition studies and in doing so she forwards a transnational feminist lens attuned to global political economy.  She is the author of Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing, which received the W. Ross Winterowd Award in 2012.  She has published widely in both the field of Women’s Studies and Rhetorical Studies.  Rebecca has also offered workshops and trainings across the globe on her research, writing pedagogies, and writing development.  Her pedagogy seeks to connect theory with practice and all of her classes tend to offer on-the-ground case studies paired with theoretical lenses. Rebecca earned her Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on Rhetoric and Composition from The Ohio State University.

Clancy Ratliff is Professor in the English department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research and teaching interests are in feminist rhetorics, writing program administration, and copyright and authorship. She has published research in Women’s Studies QuarterlyKairosPedagogy, and other journals and edited collections. She is involved with several community advocacy organizations, including Sierra Club Delta Chapter, Move the Mindset,  Citizens Climate Lobby, Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, and Louisiana Association of Sports, Outdoor Adventure, and Recreation (LASOAR).

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We are so excited to be launching the first issue of Peitho as a new editorial team! We, co-editors Rebecca Dingo (overseeing articles), Clancy Ratliff (overseeing Recoveries and Reconsiderations), and Temptaous McKoy (overseeing the book reviews) along with our stellar team of assistants Ashley Canter, Stacy Earp, and Stacie Klinowski, and our web coordinator Kelli Lycke, we’ve been working together to curate this issue since this summer and to continue the most excellent work of out-going editor, Jen Wingard and her assistant, Rachelle Joplin. We thank Jen and Rachelle for taking the time to on-board our new team and to pass on to us a well-organized journal with cuttingedge feminist scholarship. Amid our enthusiasm for this issue, we also mourn the passing of Lisa Ede, who died on September 29, 2021, and we take the work of memorializing her very seriously. The pieces in this issue are thoughtful, heartfelt reflections on Ede’s legacy as a scholar, mentor, and teacher. We would like to thank The Ohio State University Press for granting permission to republish Ede’s final published essay. The essays by Michael Faris, Jessica Restaino, Asao Inoue, Vicki Tolar BurtonEhren Pflugfelder, Tim Jensen, Kristy Kelly, Sarah Tinker Perrault, and Rachel Daugherty remind us, through their memories of Lisa Ede, what our work means: its purpose and significance. 

Rebecca Dingo, Co-Editorarticles 

I feel fortunate, that my first issue as co-editor follows the timely and powerful summer issue (Peitho 23.4) on “Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric” edited by Gwenolyn Pough and Stephanie Jones.  Although some of the essays for this Fall 2021 issue were already in the pipeline prior to me coming on as co-editor, it was my goal in editing this first issue’s articles to make sure that the powerful and challenging conversations, methods, and critical theories developed in the summer issue be taken up in our current issue. Indeed, I asked each of our article contributors—all of whom were in some way addressing race, geopolitics, nation, feminism, and rhetoric in their articles—to extend the conversation from the special summer issue. I felt it was important that the articles printed in this Fall 2021 issue reflect the vision that Pough and Jones assert: that feminist rhetorical scholarship must address the “ways that race, feminism and rhetoric intersect across time, in this moment, and around the world.” In this issue, I sought to extend their commitments, and their sentiment resonates strongly with my vision for the journal’s articles over my next four years as co-editor.  

I see the feminist study of rhetoric, composition, and communication to be at an interesting and important place. I believe that Peitho is poised to address the deep cultural tensions—around race, gendered violence, white supremacy, and imperialism that exist within the U.S., within the US’s complex transglobal relations, and often throughout the globe. These tensions make it necessary for feminist work to evolve and change. As the contributors from the “Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric” special issue make clear, feminist scholars must think about gender and race in “nuanced” (Jones and Pough), intersectional (Dziuba and Fain), “collaborative” (Browdy), and “contextually driven” (Plange) ways. Current events in the U.S. and across the world demonstrate quite readily that these scholars’ approaches (and more approaches!) are desperately needed in our field. For example, in the U.S., we continue to see blatant and deadly racism, sexism, and gendered violence at the hands of white people in power, which has fueled activist commitments to social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and MeToo. Yet, in broadening outside of the U.S., we are (hopefully) emerging from a global pandemic that has laid bare the deep racial, gendered, and geopolitical systematic inequalities that were (for those with privilege, at least) until then, more hidden. Beyond the pandemic, we are seeing the continued punishment and inhuman treatment of migrants as they seek to escape prosecution—Muslims in China, children at the US-Mexico border, Yemini and Syrians scattered throughout the Middle East and Europe (and other places), desperate migrants from the Middle East used as political pawns between Belarus and Poland, to name a few. Likewise, scholars and activists are now actively naming the structures of white supremacy that imbue all aspects of U.S. and global culture; at the same time, transnational feminist scholars, particularly U.S.-based Black scholars and women of color from the U.S. and Global South, have for a long time challenged all feminists to address how imperialism, settler colonialism, neocolonialism, and neoliberal political economies (e.g. Kaplan and Grewal, Lowe, Mohanty, Hong, Spivak, to name a few) thrive and persist through the rhetorical processes of racialization, gendering, and exclusion (see e.g. in our own field, Dingo, Orr, and Flores).  

These are the conversations that I believe ought to be at the forefront of Peitho; these are the approaches and topics I hope to forward during my time as co-editor overseeing article publication. While many feminist rhetorical scholars such as Aja Martinez, Strom Christine Pilloff, Jennifer Lin LeMesurier, and Kyle Larson have already begun to take on these issues within Peitho and Peitho continues to extend its commitment to racial justice, more work needs to be done to identify the rhetorical patterns and processes that support intersecting structures of racism, white supremacy, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, gender, imperialism, and inequalities within political economies. I have been excited by the queer and decolonial feminist rhetorical scholarship Peitho has recently showcased that start to make these connections. Using a queer feminist lens, scholars such Rachel Presley and GPat Patterson and Leland G. Spencer importantly have re-imagined ways to decenter whiteness.  Similarly, Sophia Maier, V. Jo Hsu, Christina V Cedillo, & M. Remi Yergeau demonstrate the ways disability, imperialism, colonialism, and heteronormativity are fractally related. Yet, following scholars such a Lisa Flores, Lisa B. Y. Calvente, Bernadette Marie Calafell, and Karma R. Chávez, it is also time to begin examining critically the field of feminist rhetorical studies’ theoretical underpinnings, commitments, methods, and practices to account for its own raced, gendered, imperialist, and ethnocentric focus. As co-editor, in addition to displaying new work in already established areas, I would like to draw Peitho readership’s attention to new approaches in the field that address these sorts of structures of power. Indeed, I call for more work that draws attention to how rhetorics can shape (and re-shape), continue, structure, and expose systems of power.  

In this Fall 2021 issue, I asked for article contributors to name and site the places where knowledge-making specifically around race, feminism, and rhetoric was coming from and, as a result, readers will see the direct ways that the contributors have taken up the work of the summer issue. I deeply appreciate that the authors took up this challenge, and I hope that doing so sets the tone for the future of Peitho 

Yet, I also want to highlight that each essay critically forwards new feminist methods and lenses that draw readers’ attention toward how white women’s relationships to intersectionality developed, how to engage in reparative historiography to highlight buried voices, how to consider rhetorical agency under settler colonialism and within a racist imperial system, and how neoliberal political economy limits, links, and asks for new feminist rhetorical practices and feminist rhetorical methods that attend to silences and bodies. For example, in the essay, “Ghostwriting for Racial Justice: On Barbara Johns, Dramatizations, and Speechwriting as Historical Fiction,” author Zosha Stuckey examines how reparative historiography methods can offer feminist scholars ways to recreate texts that have not been archived. Likewise, in “Rhetorical Failures and Revisions in the Second-Wave: Emerging Intersectionality in the Ethe of Activist Zelda Nordlinger,” Megan Busch considers how white women were reframing their feminist approaches to think about race and class in the 1970s, during the second wave U.S.-feminist movement. Much like Stucky’s essay in this issue, in “Indigenous Women’s Voices in the Colonial Records of South Africa: Asking for Permission,” authors Emily January Petersen and Breeanne Matheson search through colonial records in South Africa to see how indigenous women developed agency to survive and maintain their cultural practices (even when their direct voices were absent from archives) within a violent settler colonial system that thrives on racial hierarchies.  Working between the continents of Africa (specifically Uganda) and North America (specifically the U.S.), in the essay “Silently Speaking Bodies: Affective Rhetorical Resistance in Transnational Feminist Rhetoric,” author Ashley Canter considers how two groups of women from different locations and cultures used their bodies to protest when their voices were ignored in order to draw attention to environmental degradation in the local communities; in each case, women physically strip themselves of clothing or hair to draw attention to the destructive strength of neoliberal political economies and the resulting land loss. Taken together, these articles turn our attention to the various ways that feminist scholars can highlight individual rhetors while making visible the operations of rhetoric in both structuring and resisting the interconnected systems of structural racism, white supremacy, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, gender, imperialism, and inequalities within political economies.   I hope that you find these essays continue to grow and showcase the feminist commitments and spirit of our field.   

Clancy Ratliff, Co-EditorRecoveries and Reconsiderations  

When I was in graduate school in the early 2000s, I did a fair amount of rabble-rousing online (in the early days of the blogosphere) in an effort to push the field of rhetoric and composition studies toward more online, open-access scholarly publishing. I and other graduate students from various universities would get together at conferences and proclaim that more senior scholars needed to be publishing in these journals so that they would have more prestige: in other words, using their privilege to support these journals. I am now trying to be the full professor I wanted to see in the world when I was a student. I have always read and valued Peitho, and I admire the Coalition’s forward-looking thought in transforming the Peitho newsletter into an open-access journal. I still believe in paywall-free scholarship and am grateful to have the opportunity to serve the discipline as co-editor of Peitho. Like Rebecca, the editorial team and I share the commitment to making Peitho a journal that centers intersectional and global feminisms and critiques caste systems in the United States and elsewhere (Wilkerson) and that respects the labor of authors, reviewers, and everyone else involved in the production of each issue. Rebecca and I have read and will be observing the practices in “Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors.” This statement of best practices is a vital guide for anyone involved in academic publication.  

My primary role as co-editor is working with the Recoveries and Reconsiderations section of the journal. The CFSHRC announced this new feature in 2019, envisioning it as a space for shorter pieces of scholarship that may engage new and emerging developments in feminisms and rhetorics, or that provide some initial analysis of archival materials, or a new perspective on an old topic. Recoveries and Reconsiderations is a space for starting new conversations in feminist studies.  

This issue features three Recoveries and Reconsiderations essays. Taken together, these articles illustrate the complexity of the kyriarchy (as Rachel Presley has used the term), the simultaneity of workings of power, and the ways that people struggle against some aspects of systems of laws, norms, and practices while benefiting from other aspects. Mary Le Rouge’s essay “Research on the Literate Practices of Field Matrons on the Hopi Reservation” is a vivid example; Le Rouge writes about one of her ancestors, her great-great-grandmother, who was a field matron on the Hopi reservation. The field matron program was one of many functions of settler colonialism: white women were hired to go into Indigenous people’s homes and teach Indigenous women how to keep house like white settler women. This program served to erase Indigenous foodways and medical knowledge, among other traditions, and field matrons also played a role in the removal of Indigenous children from their homes and placement in violent boarding schools. Le Rouge explains that this is a program that she has directly benefited from, as her great-great-grandmother was able to support herself and her sons financially by doing this work. Le Rouge shows that white women in 2021 need to sit with the knowledge of this particular way that white women perpetuated settler colonialism. Jaclyn Fiscus-Cannaday’s article provides an examination of feminist coworking spaces. While perhaps the most well-known service for renting office space is WeWork, Fiscus-Cannaday investigates spaces that are specifically designed for women, like CAMPspace and The Riveter, and raises interesting questions about how space can be used rhetorically. Susan Ghiaciuc, Cathryn Molloy, and Vanessa Rouillon offer a notable reconsideration: S. Weir Mitchell was a physician who is remembered primarily for the restrictive “rest cure,” which served as containment for women experiencing emotional pain. The focus of Ghiaciuc, Molloy, and Rouillon’s work, however, is not Mitchell, but instead Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, a feminist woman who wrote letters to Mitchell. They suggest that other men in history may have likewise been engaged in correspondence with women who challenged their views, and they encourage scholars to look for these kinds of archival materials.  

Future Plans 

We, the incoming editorial team, bring new ideas to Peitho, and we welcome feedback on these ideas as well as other new ideas. We are interested in using Creative Commons licensing for articles as a way to concretize our commitment to open access publication. Creative Commons licensing is a way to grant permissions in advance, such as permission for an author to put a copy of their Peitho article in their university’s institutional repository of scholarship, as some universities require or encourage faculty to do. Some versions of Creative Commons licenses also allow readers to create derivative works of articles, such as a graphic novel version of an article or an audio recording, which increases accessibilityThe image used for the cover of this fall’s issue is a Creative Commons licensed photograph taken by NASA, titled “Sunrise from the International Space Station,” and its license allows use of the photograph as long as the original source is attributed and the derivative work (our cover, in this case) is for noncommercial use. We are experimenting with audio recordings of articles, and we hope to release these eventually. We are also including image descriptions in the captions of images in our articles; in doing so, we want to help normalize this practice. As we begin our term as editors, we welcome inquiries, recommendations, and ideas of all kinds, including ideas for clusters in future issues and topics for special issues. We hope you learn from the articles in this issue and that they prove to be generative, inspiring response and continued thinking and acting within your communities.  

Works Cited 

Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors. 2021. tinyurl.com/reviewheuristic. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021. 

Browdy, Ronisha. “Black Women’s Rhetoric(s): A Conversation Starter for Naming and Claiming a Field of Study.” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Calvente, L, Bernadette Marie Calafell & Karma R. Chávez (2020) Here is something you can’t understand: the suffocating whiteness of communication studies,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 17:2, 202-209. 

Chávez, Karma R. “Beyond Inclusion: Rethinking Rhetoric’s Historical Narrative.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, vol. 101, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 162-172.  

Dingo, Rebecca. “Speaking well: The benevolent public and rhetorical production of neoliberal political economy.” Communication and the Public, vol. 3, no. 3, 2018, pp. 232–246. 

Dziuba, Allison. “We Want to Be Intersectional”: Asian American College Students’ Extracurricular Rhetorical Education.” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Fain, Kimberly. “Black Feminist Rhetoric in Beyoncé’s Homecoming.” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Flores, Lisa A. Deportable and Disposable. The Penn State UP, 2021. Print. 

Grewal, Inderpal, and Caren Kaplan. “Transnational Feminism Cultural Studies: Beyond the Marism/Postsrtucturalism/Feminism Divides.” Between Women and Nation. Vol. 2. Durham: Duke UP, 1994. 430-45. Print. 

Hong, Grace. “Existentially Surplus: Women of Color Feminism and the New Crisis of Capitalism.” GLQ , vol. 18, no. 1, 2011, pp. 87 – 103. 

Larson, Kyle. “Remonstrative Agitation as Feminist Counterpublic Rhetoric.” Peitho, vol 20, no. 2, Spring/Summer 2018. 

LeMesurier, Jennifer Lin “Searching for Unseen Metic Labor in the Pussyhat Project.” Peitho, volume 22, no. 1, Fall/Winter 2019. 

Lowe, Lisa. The Intimacies of Four Continents. Duke UP, 2015. Print. 

Maier, Sophia, V. Jo Hsu, Christina V Cedillo, and M. Remi Yergeau. “GET THE FRAC IN! Or, The Fractal Many-festo: A (Trans)(Crip)t.” Peitho, vol. 22, no. 4, Summer 2020. 

Martinez, Aja Y. “The Responsibility of Privilege: A Critical Race Counterstory Conversation.” Peitho. Vol. 21, no. 1, Fall/Winter 2018. 

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. ““Under Western Eyes” Revisited: Feminist Solidarity through Anticapitalist Struggles.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 28.2 (2003): 499-535.  

NASA Johnson. “Sunrise from the International Space Station.” www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/29185510223. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021. 

Ore, Ersula J. Lynching: Violence, Rheotric, and American Identity. U Mississippi Press, 2019. Print. 

Patterson, GPat and Leland G. Spencer. “Toward Trans Rhetorical Agency: A Critical Analysis of Trans Topics in Rhetoric and Composition and Communication Scholarship.” Peitho, vol. 22, no. 4, Summer 2020. 

Pilloff, Storm Christine. “Métis and Rhetorically Listening to #BlackLivesMatter.” Peitho, vol. 23, no. 1, Fall 2020. 

Pough, Gwendolyn and Stephanie Jones, “On Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric: An Introductory/Manifesto Flow…” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Presley, Rachel. “Toward a Trans Sovereignty: Why We Need Indigenous Rhetorics to Decolonize Gender and Sexuality.” Peitho, vol. 22, no. 4, Summer 2020. 

Spivak, Gayatri.  A Critique of Postcolonial Reason:Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Harvard UP, 1999. Print. 

Wilkerson, Isabel. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, 2020. Print.