Introduction to the Fall 2022 Issue
Author(s): Rebecca Dingo, Clancy Ratliff
Rebecca Dingois 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 Friends of the Humanities/Regents Professor in the English department and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research and teaching interests are in feminist rhetorics, environmental rhetorics, writing program administration, and copyright and authorship. She has published research in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Kairos, Pedagogy, 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).Tags: accessibility, agency, context, copyright, genre, Iran, pedagogy, rhetorics of shame, transnational feminisms
Cover art: “Our Secret,” by Mike Edwards
Mike Edwards (https://preterite.net) is an associate professor of rhetoric and composition at Washington State University in Pullman. His work has appeared in Pedagogy, Rhetoric Review, and a number of edited collections. His scholarship focuses on the intersections of rhetoric, technology, composition, and economy. He likes cats.
Greetings from the Peitho editorial team! This issue marks one year of Clancy and I leading the journal! In addition to day-to-day tasks of keeping the journal fresh, relevant, and fierce, we have been working on creating processes that align with our commitment to anti-racist practices, improving our submission and reviewing processes, and working to make the journal more accessible not only on our site but also in databases. With our new editorial board, our constantly hardworking team, and our soon to be announced associate editor, we see that Peitho is going to thrive! But we need our readers’ continued support too. Please fill out (and share with your feminist colleagues) our reviewer interest survey. We rely on our feminist community to act not only as supportive peer reviewers but also mentors for prospective authors. Our current list is a bit out of date. Over the past years, many of our reviewers may have developed additional research, teaching, and service expertise, and there are always new folks entering the conversation. We’d like to know who you are, what you are doing, and how you’d like to engage with the Peitho community.
In this Fall 2022 issue of Peitho, feminist approaches to agency, context, and genre thread across the essays and demonstrate the dynamic and broad feminist inquiry that scholars continue to bring to the journal. Read together, authors in this issue invite readers to consider rhetorical nuances by re-seeing and re-examining the agentive writing of individual women students (“Student Writings as ‘Mutt Genres’ and ‘Unique Performances’), the popularity of the well-circulated and celebrated book Persepolis (“Global Mobility”), and the rhetorical uses of shame and affect (“Unsticking Shame”). These essays demonstrate the importance of feminist rhetorical scholars working at various scales and the need for scholars to consider contexts. In this issue’s case, this means examining local writing and composition pedagogy within the context of one university in the mid-west USA, tracing rhetorics of shame in a US-national context, and questioning the transnational perceptions of the Iranian Revolution in a book that has been incredibly popular for US and European audiences.
In Azadeh Ghanizadeh’s essay “Global Mobility and Subaltern Knowledge: A Transnational Feminist Perspective on Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis,” she lays bare the often unexplored complex historical and feminist contexts of the well-circulated (especially in first-year writing curriculums) book Persepolis. In doing so, Ghanizadeh draws attention to how US and European-feminist audiences often celebrate the book for its feminist and multicultural story of migration and Iranian identity. However, as Ghanizadeh suggests, rhetorics of Islamophobia and Eurocentric feminism weave through Persepolis and thus limits US and European audience members’ understanding of the complexities of migration. Moreover, such rhetorics perpetuate misunderstanding about people and cultures different from our own. As she argues, these rhetorics are shaped by histories of capitalism, colonialism, and cosmopolitanism, making them fascinating for US and European audiences who are interested in stories about exile and subaltern identities while not demonstrating these discursive limits for the very people they impact. Ghanizadeh asks us as readers to re-see and re-examine the affinity of stories like Persepolis. This essay is timely given the protests in Iran against strict veiling laws that have come in the wake of the murder of Masha Amini, a member of Iran’s minority Kurdish group, at the hands of police for allegedly wearing her hijab incorrectly. Amini’s murder is just one of many examples of the violence against women, particularly women protesters, currently unfolding in Iran.
While Ghanizadeh is concerned with audiences’ needs to understand the nuance of popular stories about subaltern women, Sarah Polo, in “Student Writings as ‘Mutt Genres’ and ‘Unique Performances,’” looks at how women students write against and with common rhetorical and composition conventions. She uses the archive of one student at the University of Kansas in the early 1900s to show how women students developed savvy rhetorical skills and agency that responded to (and even critiqued) their writing instruction. As Polo details, the student’s unique uptake of genres shows a shift from the teaching of rhetoric to the teaching of composition and in doing so she asks her audience to re-see and imagine how students developed agency through their writing. Polo’s nuanced reading of the archive points to the complex ways that student writing and their “mutt genres” helps readers revise the history of composition.
Like Polo, Hannah Taylor considers how participants of the Braving Body Shame Conference similarly use rhetorical skills to carve out agency and in doing so help rhetorical scholars re-examine how they have analyzed rhetorics of shame. Shame, according to Taylor, has been flattened in rhetorical theory. Taylor shows how participants in the conference have usefully redefined shame by attending to it not as monolithic and flattened feeling but rather as a recursive process that can be generative and agentive. By drawing readers’ attention to the nuances of shame and recontextualizing as it as agency, Taylor offers feminist scholars grounded and fruitful examples of how to reconsider rhetorics of shame. Taylor ultimately ends with a call for scholars to ground their analyses of women and their rhetorical acts “as characterized by those women,” shifting feminist rhetorical methods toward thinking about the dynamics of agency.
A Note on Copyright (and Accessibility)
In the past, Peitho has provided only PDF versions of articles. Then, for a time, we had both web and PDF versions of articles, and then only web versions. Recently, under the leadership of our Web Coordinator, Kelli Lycke, we have been offering both PDF and web versions of articles again. We do this for two main reasons: first, we sometimes get inquiries from people who are putting together portfolios for tenure and promotion, and they would like a PDF of their article with the journal’s formatting and branding. Second, and more significant, for accessibility: PDFs offer more flexibility for screen readers – apps like Speechify allow users to download PDFs and listen to them without needing an internet connection. Kelli is leading the effort to design front matter for the PDF version of the journal, and copyright is part of that.
When I (Clancy) first applied to be an editor of Peitho, I was thinking about my time in graduate school, when I first became passionate about open access scholarship. I wanted to be a part of Peitho, especially because it is free and open access, meaning no subscription fees are required and no paywalls, logins, or other barriers to entry exist. When I was in graduate school, during the height of the blogosphere, some of us mounted an informal campaign to pressure rhetoric and composition journals to adopt Creative Commons licenses, and several did: Kairos, Computers and Composition Online, and The Writing Instructor. Now, we are pleased to announce that the issues of Peitho during our term as editors will have a CC-BY license, or Attribution license. That is considered the gold standard of open access, meaning that we grant permission in advance for Peitho articles to be reprinted in edited collections, archived on other websites including institutional repositories and course websites, as well as permission in advance for adaptations, including translations into other languages and audio recordings. We hope that, observing the process of shared governance including input from the Peitho Editorial Board, Coalition Advisory Board, and Coalition Executive Board, we may eventually revise the Peitho bylaws to adopt a Creative Commons Attribution license permanently.