In the Coalition Archives: The Feminisms and Rhetorics Collection

I am pleased to share this post on behalf of Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, Coalition Archivist and Historian.  -Wendy


If you, like me, are missing the community of our C’s Wednesday night SIGs or are pining for the quick hallway conversations between sessions at Fem/Rhet, I invite you into the CFSHRC archive where we have a collection devoted to the Fem/Rhet conferences. From the program for the inaugural conference at Oregon State University in August of 1997 to the student-created archive for the latest conference at James Madison, the Coalition archives has some great materials to browse. 

To access the archives, please visit the finding aid on the archives page of the Coalition website. The finding aid is regularly updated with processed materials from the collection. If you are interested in any materials, please contact Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, the current archivist and historian for the Coalition to access the holdings (ramseyae@eckerd.edu). 

In addition to programs from nearly every year, the collection also features planning documents and FAQ for institutions considering hosting Feminisms and Rhetorics Conferences, conference hosting proposals, emails among liaison committee members, book exhibit information, and photographs and videos from various conferences. 

The collection takes us through the evolution of the conference and the Coalition, as we see in the variation of themes: 

  • From Boundaries to Borderland (Oregon State University, 1997) with plenaries including Jacqueline Jones Royster on “Borderlands and Common Spaces: Care and Maintenance in our Neutral Zone” and Nancy Tuana “Fleshing Rhetoric: Speaking Bodies/ Reconfiguring Sex/Gender.” 
  • Cross-Disciplinary Sites of Feminist Discourse (Univeristy of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1999) with exhibits from a variety of feminist art collectives, bookstores, and non profits  in Minneapolis.  The conference featured Voices of Women Writers, a series of readings by novelists and non-fiction writers Judith Katz, Barrie Jean Borrich, Sandra Benitez, Aurora Levins Morales, and the Tight Spaces Collective. 
  • Millikin University, 2001.There was no stated theme for this conference. Featured Keynote speakers at this conference included Krista Ratcliffe “Silence and Listening: Rhetorical Arts for “Resisting Disciplines,” Elizabeth Birmingham “Marion Mahony and Milliken Place: Gender, Erasure, and Architectural Attribution,” Lisa Ede and Andrea Lunsford “Feminism(s) and the Politics of Style” (read by Nancy DeJoy), Elizabeth Flynn “What’s in a Name?: Reconfiguring Feminist Traditions,” Joyce Irene Middleton “The Rhetorical World of Black Women Filmmakers: Camille Billops, Julie Dash, and Cheryl Dunye,” Nan Johnson “A Feminist Writes the History of Rhetoric: What does THAT Mean,” and Susan Applegate Krouse “Transforming Images: American Indian Women’s Narratives in Academia” and Jacqueline Jones Royster and Ann Marie Mann Simpkins “Marking Trails: Race, Gender, and Culture in the History of Rhetoric.” 
  • Intersections: Critical Locations of Feminist Rhetorical Practice (Ohio State University, 2003), where the introductory note highlighted participants from “46 states and 10 nations.” Featured panels included Feminist Historiography with Patricia Bizzell, Cheryl Glenn, Laura Gurak, Winifred Bryan Horner, Jan Swearingen, Kathleen Welch; “Feminist Pedagogy” with Nancy DeJoy, Lisa Ede, Hildy Miller, and Krista Ratcliffe; “Clearing the Clouds, Learning to Speak, and I Got Thunder” with Jacqueline Jones Royster, Shirley Wilson Logan, and Joyce Irene Middleton; and plenary addresses from Andrea Lunsford “All Available Means of Persuasion for Feminists,” Marcia Farr “Speech Play and Verbal Art: New Perspectives on Feminist Rhetorics” and Susan Jarrett “A Sustaining Meloncholy: Feminist Theories and Public Rhetorics.” 
  • Affirming Diversity (Michigan Tech, 2005) with Keynotes including Min-Zahn Lu “Class Matters: Gender, Critical Literacy, and the Global Restructuring of Capitalist;” Donna Harraway “We Have Never Been Human: Companion Species in Naturecultures;” Jacqueline Jones Royster “Gender, Race, and Nation;” Andrea Lunsford “Women Against War;” and Helena Maria Viramontes reading from selected works. 
  • Civic Discourse (University of Arkansas–Little Rock, 2007) where the proposal called for presentations beyond the read-aloud academic essays to more interactive and alternative formats and included a note for graduate students on how to approach the conference. Featured panels included those from outside of academia:  “The Women of Central High” and another “When Worlds Collide: Feminist Art vs. Images of Empire;” Wendy Kline “Bodies of Evidence: Activists, Patients, and the FDA Regulation of Depo Provera; Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General, and a panel on Civil Rights/Civic Discourse. Keynotes included:  Malea Powell “Making NDN Culture: American Indian Women Civic Materialities;” a welcome address from Krista Ratcliffe “Unwilling to Listen: How do you Engage in Civic Dialogue When Each Side Isn’t Civil?” a moderated panel with each of the past conference chairs; Carol Mattingly “A Habit of Civic Engagement: Nineteenth-Century Nuns Dispelling Prejudice; Jessica Rayman “Copyright, Feminism, and Digital Discourse; Hui Wu “Whose Feminism is It? The Rhetoric of Post-Mao Chinese Women Writers;  Shirley Wilson Logan “Daisy Bates and Ida Wells: Talking Across Gender.” Another highlight was a reception and tour at the Clinton Presidential Archives. 
  • Enabling Complexities: Community/Writing/Rhetoric (Michigan State University, 2009). Featured speakers included Gwendolyn D. Pough “On Prince Charming and the Strong Black Woman: Race, Representation, Rhetoric and Romance;” Ceclia Rodriquez Milenas “My English is Not Very Good Looking–Accents and Identities;” Rochelle L. Harris “From Zombies to Writing Groups and Motorcycle Rallies to Memoir: My Search for the Fifth Trope of Rhetoric;” Resa Crane Bistro “Diagnosing Intergenerational Post Traumatic Disorder: Or, a Fat Old Indian Woman Fistfights the American Psychiatric Association in East Lansing;” Terese Guinsatao Monberg “Pinay Peminists: Listening for New Locations and Re/visions of Rhetorical Theory;” and Dora Ramirez-Dhoore “Racial and Scientific Rhetoric in Eco-Political Matters: Third World Women Workers in Helena Maria Viramontes Under the Feet of Jesus and Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s Desert Blood.” This conference also opened with a community event “A Legacy of Conflict and Possibility: an Examination of Racism Between Women of Color and White Women” hosted by M. Carmen Lane from the Lane-Leota Group. 
  • Feminist Challenges or Feminist Rhetorics?: Locations, Scholarship, and Discourse (Minnesota State Mankato, 2011). Keynote speakers included Gayle Salamon, AlisonPiepmeier, as well as a number of keynote roundtables from Kate Ronald, Eileen Schell and Rebecca Dingo who discussed who feminist methodologies and practices. Mumbi Mwangi and Kyoko Kishimoto discussed Women of Color Feminisms, and Sondra Perl and Betsey Sargent revisited the intersections between felt sense, the body and feminism in pedagogy. A lunch time keynote roundtable included Jenn Melby, owner of Mankato’s Coffee Hag, and a cohort of local feminist and LGBTQI business owners. 
  • Networks and Connections: Feminisms, Rhetoric, and Local/Global Communities (Stanford University, 2013). The conference program is not currently in the archives, but it is available here. 
  • Women’s Ways of Making (Arizona State University, 2015). Currently the archive does not have the conference program in its processed holdings, but it is available here. This folder holds a variety of materials related to securing publisher tables. 
  • Rhetorics, Rights, (R)evolutions (Dayton University, 2017). Currently the archive does not have the conference program in its processed holdings, but the program is available here. 
  • Redefining Feminist Activism (James Madison University, 2019). Currently the archive does not have the conference program in its processed holdings, but the program is available here.

The programs and accompanying materials from the collection also highlight the importance of community engagement to the conference–with exhibits featuring local non-profits (such as at University of Minnesota–Minneapolis) or with community leaders offering plenaries (such as at University of Dayton) or with a roundtable with local feminist business owners (such as at the University of Minnesota Mankato). The welcome message from the 2009 Michigan State  conference directors Malea Powell and Sue Webb and conference assistant co-directors Kendall Lion and Jennifer Sano makes this connection explicit: “we have created a conference that both examines the knowledge work we already do as scholars and community activists and that creates more space for the complicated, difficult work that must follow if we want to adequately reflect the deep structure of connections/intersections/overlaps that are critical to our shared future.” They then continue by encouraging participants to “reach across the category” they identify with to forge new connections and new possibilities. 

The idea of blurring binaries was again present at the ASU conference in 2015 where organizers expressly worked to “collapse several impoverished binaries: mind/body, producer/consumer, passive recipients/active consumers, public/private, male/female, and craft/art.” The conference featured artists, weavers, knitters, and other artisans and crafters who presented alongside the more traditional conference format to showcase different ways of making.  That said, throughout all the conference programs, you see the conference encouraging broad understanding of what it means to participate in the conference–from locals housing grad students, to online reading rooms, to performing in plays. The blurring of practice and theory was also evident during the Dayton Conference where attendees helped to raise funds for Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. 

A long-standing feature of the conference that we can observe evolving through the conferences are the shared meals. From the early conferences where nearly all the meals were shared, to the more recent iterations of the conference with fewer shared meals and more emphasis on shared experiences. These experiences include the archival collection highlighted at the 2019 JMU Conference featuring exhibits on the ERA and women’s activism on campus, to the opening cocktail and hors d’oeuvres celebration at the 2017 Dayton Conference featuring a rare book collection, that included first editions of noted feminist texts, to the performance of the award-winning Scottsdale Chorus at the 2015 ASU Conference, to the catered dinner in the Rodin Sculpture Garden at the 2013 Stanford Conference, to the visit to the Clinton Presidential Library during the 2007 ULAR Conference. For me, first as a master’s student and now as a professor, these moments beyond the presentation rooms where I got to metaphorically (and sometimes literally) play with fellow conference attendees is where the magic of feminisms and rhetorics happen. 

The Feminisms and Rhetorics Collection is a reminder that the hard work of feminist rhetorical theory, practice, teaching, and learning can be extended and enriched when we gather to ask critical questions of ourselves and each other in a spirit of inclusivity and encouragement

-Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, CFSHRC Archivist and Historian

Welcome to Peitho’s Advertising Coordinator Intern, Timothy Ballingall!

The Coalition is pleased to welcome Timothy Ballingall as our first Advertising Coordinator Intern for Peitho! Timothy is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric & Composition at Texas Christian University, where he teaches courses in composition, argument, and gender. His dissertation, Rhetoric to the Lovelorn: Women’s Newspaper Advice Columns between the Wars, uses feminist historiography, archival research, feminist interpretations of ethos, and qualitative content analysis to examine advice columnists in the 1920s and 30s. His work has appeared in Peitho.

As the Advertising Coordinator Intern, Timothy will be responsible for assisting in generating advertising revenue for Peitho (contributing to and maintaining a contact list of potential advertisers, soliciting ads, collecting revenue, and assisting with the publication of the ads within Peitho, etc.) over the next 11 months.

Many thanks are due to the Peitho Editorial Board members who served as the search committee for this position: Dr. Suzanne Bordelon, Dr. Lisa Mastrangelo, and Dr. Temptaous McKoy.

Exciting Feminisms and Rhetorics News!

I am pleased to share news that the Advisory Board of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition recently passed the following motion regarding the 2023 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference:

That the Coalition delay of the re- release of the call for 2023 Feminisms and Rhetorics site hosts until the spring of 2021 and require within this call that potential site hosts front themes of anti-racist activism and center the work of feminists of color.

I also want to make you aware that several members of the Advisory Board and the broader Coalition have started work in two task forces: one that seeks to “fill the gap” left by the cancellation of the 2021 FemRhet Conference, and one that aims to investigate and propose potential structural and procedural changes to the FemRhet Conference.

In the remainder of this post, you will find background information about the timing of the call for FemRhet 2023 site hosts and the decision to front anti-racist activism and the work of feminists of color at that conference. In addition, you will learn more about the task forces. As you read and consider these items, please know that your input is strongly encouraged and most welcome. Please contact me (mailto:president@cfshrc.org) or the coordinators of the task forces (their contact information is below) with any ideas, recommendations, or feedback. Members of the Executive Board are also happy to talk through ideas with you if you are already thinking about submitting a site proposal for the 2023 conference. Please direct communications about possibly hosting the FemRhet 2023 to me or to Tarez Graban, Immediate Past President, at tarez.graban.gmail.com.

Background and Task Forces Details

During its virtual annual business meeting in March 2020, the Coalition Advisory Board voted not to co-host a Feminisms and Rhetorics conference in 2021. At that same meeting, the Board also decided to temporarily suspend site-host proposals for the 2023 Feminisms and Rhetorics conference. These decisions were made in response to ongoing conversations about the workflows, formats, and processes associated with the conference and in light of COVID-related uncertainty regarding the possibility of planning for and holding a large gathering in the near future.

With these decisions and situations in mind, the Coalition established two task forces:

  1. An “Alternative Interactions” (AI) task force that is investigating ways to enable conversations, education, mentoring, and other activities that would have occurred at our CCCC 2020 Wednesday evening action hour and during the FemRhet 2021 conference. Lisa Shaver (lisa_shaver@baylor.edu) is coordinating this task force.
  2. A “Workflow, Process, and Format” (WPF) task force that is reviewing past practices and future possibilities related to these aspects of the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference and building on the work of the Coalition’s FemRhet Policies Task Force from last year. Jessica Enoch (jenoch1@umd.edu) is coordinating this task force.

To ensure that our WPF task force members have time to complete their work and that we can, as desired, incorporate changes that they might recommend, and to allow more time for clarity with regard to how institutions and communities will resume life and business in the wake of the pandemic, it seemed advisable for a revised call for site-hosts for FemRhet 2023 to be released in the spring of 2021.

We also felt that the second part of the motion is an essential part of larger Coalition efforts to amplify voices of scholars of color, interrogate white privilege, and promote anti-racist organizational change. While many members and supporters of the Coalition have critiqued white supremacy and engaged in racial justice work in the past, current events and the enduring, centuries-long oppressions and injustices that inform them make it undeniably clear that this anti-racist emphasis for the next FemRhet gathering is not just reactive but is necessary to promote the Coalition’s mission. There are many ways to accomplish this focus in a conference gathering, and members of the Executive Board, as noted above, are glad to make themselves available to discuss ideas in advance of the re-issued call for site-host proposals.

With gratitude and hope,

Wendy Sharer, President CFSHRC

In Response to Racial Injustice and White Supremacist Violence

Friends,

We are repulsed and heartbroken by the recent violent, racist, and transphobic actions taken by police officers and civilians in Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and other areas of the country, and we grieve for the victims: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Monika Diamond and so many others who have been killed as a result of systemic racism and interlocking systems of oppression. We condemn these acts, and we stand in solidarity with those across the nation, particularly Black Americans and other communities of color, who are rightfully protesting the conditions and policies that enable such atrocities.  

Statements of denunciation and expressions of solidarity, while valuable, are, on their own, inadequate as agents of change. Thus, we want to amplify calls to speak out against racism and to support organizations that are working on the front lines of the battle against systemic oppression. There are many ways to promote the essential work of community activists–leaders and community members–who are already using their experiences and expertise in educational, political, and health care contexts to create change. Below is a list of opportunities: 

Compilations:

Partial list of additional organizations (with brief descriptions from their websites):

  • Color of Change— “We design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.”
  • Center for Black Equity – The vision of this organization is to “build a global network of LGBTQ+ individuals, allies, community-based organizations and Prides dedicated to achieving equality and social justice for Black LGBTQ+ communities through Economic Equity, Health Equity, and Social Equity.”
  • Circle of Mothers— “Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, created the Circle of Mothers as a way to empower women. The purpose of the Circle of Mothers is to bring together mothers who have lost children or family members due to senseless gun violence for the purpose of healing, empowerment, and fellowship towards the larger aim of community building.”
  • Dream Defenders—”The Dream Defenders was founded in April 2012 after the tragic killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. That Spring, young Black, Latinx, and Arab youth marched from Daytona Beach Florida to Sanford Florida where Trayvon Martin was killed. With that fire in their bellies, they then went back to their communities and campuses to organize. Dream Defenders is a multiracial group of young people who are organizing to build power in our communities to advance a new vision we have for the state. Our agenda is called the Freedom Papers. Through it, we are advancing our vision of safety and security –  away from prisons, deportation, and war – and towards healthcare, housing, jobs and movement for all.”
  • Know Your Rights Camp—”A free campaign founded by Colin Kaepernick to raise awareness on higher education, self- empowerment, and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.”
  • National Coalition on Black Civic Participation—”The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is a 501 (c) 3 non-partisan civic engagement organization that strives to cultivate institutional base-building capacity and intergenerational leadership models at the local, state and national levels. NCBCP is committed to nurturing a climate where new thinking, innovative and traditional strategies of empowerment are respected and freely expressed; and strategic partnerships and alliances are welcomed. By educating, motivating, organizing and mobilizing our communities, the NCBCP seeks to encourage full participation in a barrier-free democratic process. Through technology, educational programs and civic leadership training, the Coalition works to expand, strengthen and empower Black communities to make voting and civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition.”
  • LIVE FREE – “With over 118 million people attending weekly services in over 350,000 congregations across the U.S., we believe that a social justice revival within our faith institutions would transform our nation’s hearts and minds, and ultimately, the policies and practices that perpetuate these evils. With hundreds of congregations as well as countless leaders and movement partners throughout the country, the LIVE FREE Campaign is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society.” This group is currently running a “Masks for the People” campaign, “a humanitarian effort to address the lack of preventive care and resources being made available to our loved ones in jails, urban neighborhoods and poor rural communities. Every $10,000 dollars create 5,000 kits that include masks, hand sanitizer, garments, PPE, etc.”

–Executive Board, Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition 

Call for Nominations: Presidents Dissertation Award

Dear Coalition Friends:

I am pleased to circulate the call for nominations for the CFSHRC’s Presidents Dissertation Award for 2020.

In recognition of the close relationship between scholarly excellence and professional leadership, the Presidents Dissertation Award is given to the author(s) of a recently completed doctoral dissertation that makes an outstanding contribution to our understanding of feminist histories, theories, and pedagogies of rhetoric and composition. This annual award is adjudicated every year and carries a $200.00 honorarium, but it is presented in odd years at the biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference.

Eligibility

For the 2020 Award, any doctoral dissertation that engages feminist histories, theories, and/or pedagogies of rhetoric and composition — and is completed between 6/1/2019 and 5/31/2020 — is eligible.

Review Criteria

The doctoral dissertations that receive this award will not only rigorously engage extant feminist research and scholarship in rhetoric and composition, reflective of the many cultural and intellectual traditions that comprise our field; they will also enhance our understanding of feminist academic work in rhetoric and composition through the methods and methodologies they employ, the critical praxes they model, and the conclusions they draw along with the invitations they offer for subsequent inquiry and exchange.

Nomination Contact and Procedure

The deadline for nominations, including self-nomination, is June 15, 2020. Send Tarez Samra Graban, Immediate Past President (tarez.graban@gmail.com), an electronic copy of the completed dissertation in its final form, as it was submitted to the author’s (or authors’) home institution. Please also provide documentation of completion, including date of submission. The 2020 and 2021 Award recipients would typically be invited to receive their awards in person at the 2021 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference, but plans will be in place to confer awards in alternative formats for the coming year. (Please stay tuned.)

For a list of past award winners, and to learn more about our awards in general, please visit the Awards page on our website.

With thanks and well wishes,
-Tarez Graban
Immediate Past President

Feminisms & Rhetorics Conference 2021 and 2023 Updates

Dear Friends of the Coalition,

In light of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the time at which larger gatherings may again be possible, and in respect for already ongoing conversations regarding future directions for the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference, the CFSHRC Advisory Board, at our meeting late last month, made the decision not to hold a Feminisms and Rhetorics conference in 2021. At the same meeting, the Board agreed to form a task force to explore ways that we might support Coalition members and friends via alternative interactions to help fill in the “conference gap.” Please stay tuned for future engagement opportunities!

As you may be aware, the Coalition sponsors two awards—the Nan Johnson Outstanding Graduate Student Travel Award and the Shirley Wilson Logan Diversity Scholarship Award—that support attendees and presenters at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference. We are looking into alternative possibilities for implementing these awards for the 2021 cycle.

In addition, we encourage Coalition members to apply for two awards that we would have announced at the 2021 FemRhet conference: the Presidents Dissertation Award and the Lisa Ede Mentoring Award. Winners of these awards for 2021 will be announced via alternative channels. More details about each of these awards, along with information about how to apply, can be found here: https://cfshrc.org/awards/.

Lastly, the Advisory Board decided to temporarily suspend the submission process for site host applications for the Feminisms and Rhetorics 2023 conference. Although the unknowns with regard to meeting regulations, travel, and the like are still many, we hope to reopen the call for hosts by no later than September 15, 2020. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding conference hosting, either in advance of submitting a proposal or otherwise, please reach out to Wendy Sharer, CFSHRC President, at president@cfshrc.org. You are also welcome to view our recently updated conference-hosting FAQs at https://cfshrc.org/femrhet-conference-call-for-hosts/.

Be safe and stay well,

Wendy Sharer, President

Stepping Into the Unknown Together

Greetings, Friends.

I step into the role of Coalition President with immense gratitude to our Immediate Past President, Tarez Graban. Her tireless work has created a firm foundation upon which I now have the pleasure of building. Furthermore, her help as I figure out the position has been invaluable. Thank you, Tarez!

I also want to send a shout out to the other brilliant and dedicated members of the 2020-2022 Executive Board: Jessica Enoch, Vice President; Jane Greer, Treasurer; Cristy Beemer, Secretary; and Mudiwa Pettus, Member-at-Large. What a luxury to have such great people around me!

At the same time, I am, like most of us, filled with uncertainty as we face the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. What I do know for certain, though, is that the encouragement and ingenuity of feminist colleagues and friends are essential to get us through these times. To that end, I look forward to working with the incredible people on the Executive and Advisory Boards to provide encouragement and spread the benefits of ingenuity widely to Coalition members and friends. The Coalition has sustained me through many difficult times since I joined as a graduate student back in the late 1990s, and I hope to contribute to efforts that will sustain and elevate others over the next two years and beyond.

Even before the COVID outbreak we, as an organization, were working hard to address challenges and cultivate opportunities, including how to make our scholarly venues more welcoming for more contributors and how to mentor and support the many diverse scholars entering and enriching the field. As President, my intent is to continue and expand these efforts, but I will need your help. I know I will fail at some things, and I will do my best to learn from those failures. I am committed to using my privilege to confront the conditions that create and sustain it.

Over the next few weeks, you will receive announcements and updates about various Coalition-related initiatives via our mailing list, website, and social media outlets (many thanks to our out-going Director of Digital Media and Outreach, Patricia Fancher, and our in-coming DDMO, Sweta Baniya!). I welcome your reactions, thoughts, and suggestions on any of these matters. Please feel free to email me at President@cfshrc.org.

Wishing you peace and strength,

Wendy Sharer

President, 2020-2022

 

 

Welcome Our New Advisory Board Members and Executive Officers

We are proud to announce five new members to the Coalition Advisory Board for the 2020-2022 term. These new board members will contribute to the Coalition by advising the Executive Officers and serving on a range of different task forces and committees related to the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference, our journal Peitho, mentoring programs, awards, and guiding future Coalition endeavors to support feminist scholars.

Join us in welcoming Heather Brook Adams, Tamika Carey, Patricia Fancher, Sherita Roundtree, and Patrick Thomas to the Coalition Advisory Board.

Heather Brook Adams

Heather Brook Adams is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research performs feminist historiography of the recent past and investigates rhetorics of reproduction, pregnancy, and motherhood in relation to affect, gender, race, and class. Her book project, “Rhetorics of Shame: A Recent History of Righteous Reproduction” explores rhetorical shaming and blaming practices, both private and public, that have shaped—and that continue to shape—discussions of women’s reproduction and sexual wellbeing. Dr. Adams’s scholarly and pedagogical interests also include rhetorics of health and medicine; visual rhetorics; ethnographic methods; decolonial and intersectional theories; and undergraduate research.

Tamika L. Carey

Tamika L. Carey is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Virginia. She holds a doctorate in Composition and Cultural Rhetorics and a Certificate in Advanced Studies in Women and Gender Studies from Syracuse University. An interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Carey’s primary field is Rhetoric and Composition and her specific research and teaching focuses on African American Rhetorics and Literacies, Feminist Rhetorics, Black Women’s Writing and Intellectual Traditions, and the memoir. Dr. Carey is the author of Rhetorical Healing: The Reeducation of Contemporary Black Womanhood ​(SUNY 2016), a feminist critique of Black women’s self-help and wellness culture.

Patricia Fancher

Patricia Fancher is a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she teaches
and researches digital media, technical rhetoric, and feminist rhetorics. Her research on gender
and digital media has been published in Rhetoric Review, Present Tense, Composition Studies,
Computers & Composition, Enculturation and Peitho in addition to several edited collections. She is currently complete a book project entitled “Embodying Computing,” which locates a queer techne in the history of the invention of digital computing.

Sherita Roundtree

Sherita V. Roundtree is an Assistant Professor of English at Towson University. She studies ways to develop diverse representation and equitable access for students, teachers, and scholars who write in, instruct in, and theorize about writing classrooms. Her current work centralizes the teaching efficacy, pedagogical approaches, and “noise” of Black women graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) who teach or have taught first- and/or second-level composition courses. Considering Black women GTAs’ feelings of preparedness and approaches to teaching composition, Roundtree explores the networks of support they utilize and how they do or do not use resources to navigate pedagogical challenges.

Patrick Thomas

Patrick Thomas is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Dayton University. He teaches and studies Digital Literacies and New Media. His research intersects literacy studies, writing technologies, empirical methodologies, and computer-mediated communication. His current research projects include a study of mobile technologies’ effects on students’ writing practices and an investigation of transcontextual writing practices – that is, how people write across time and space – among professional writers. With Pamela Takayoshi, he has edited the collection Literacy in Practice: Writing in Private, Public, and Working Lives (Routledge Press). He has published in the journals Computers and Composition, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, and Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.

Executive Board

We are also proud to announce the Executive Board for the 2020-2022 term. Join us in thanking these stellar feminist scholars and mentors for their leadership.

President: Wendy Sharer
Vice President: Jessica Enoch
Treasurer: Jane Greer
Secretary: Cristy Beemer
Member at Large: Mudiwa Pettus
Immediate Past President: Tarez Samra Graban

Wendy Sharer, President

Wendy Sharer, Professor of English at East Carolina University is very excited to take on the role of President and hopes she can live up to the leadership standards set by her predecessors. She joined the Coalition in the late 1990’s, and, in 2008, she and Michelle Eble collaborated on “In Their Own Words: The History & Influence of the Coalition,” a video in honor of the Coalition’s 20th anniversary. She is author, co-author, or co-editor of five books, including Reclaiming Accountability (Utah State UP, 2016); Working in the Archives (SIUP 2010); 1977: A Cultural Moment in Composition (Parlor 2007); Vote & Voice: Women’s Organizations and Political Literacy, 1915–1930 (SIUP 2004), and Rhetorical Education in America (Alabama 2004). Beginning in 2001 and ending just this past fall, she held Writing Program Administrator roles at East Carolina, including Director of Composition and Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan. At home, she has 9 cats (some were inherited!) and a very old pup named Nittany.

Vice President, Jessica Enoch

Jessica Enoch, Director of Academic Writing at the University of Maryland, specializes in feminist rhetorics and pedagogies, rhetorical education, histories of rhetoric and composition, and literacy studies. Author of Refiguring Rhetorical Education: Women Teaching African American, Native American, and Chicano/a Students 1965-1991 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP), and editor of Burke in the Archives: Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies (with Dana Anderson, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press), her articles have appeared in places such as College Composition and Communication, College English, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Her most recent book Domestic Occupations: Spatial Rhetorics and Women’s Work was awarded the Coalition’s Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award.

Jane Greer, Treasurer

Jane Greer is Professor of English and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and she has been named a University of Missouri Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor. She is the editor of Girls and Literacy in America: Historical Perspectives to the Present (ABC-Clio 2003); Pedagogies of Public Memory: Teaching at Museums, Archives, and Memorials, coedited with Laurie Grobman (Routledge 2015); and The Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies, coedited with Dominic DelliCarpini and Jenn Fishman (Parlor Press 2020). Her scholarship has appeared in College English, CCC, Peitho, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. She served on the Advisory Board of the CFSHRC from 2015 to 2018, and on the Executive Board as Member-at-Large from 2018-2020. At UMKC, she teaches composition courses as well as classes on the rhetorical practices of girls and women.

Cristy Beemer, Secretary

Cristy “Cris” Beemer is an Associate Professor of English, Director of Composition, and Coordinator of the Professional and Technical Writing Program at the University of New Hampshire where she was awarded a College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015. Cris’s research focuses on feminist rhetoric in classical, early modern, and contemporary contexts. She has published articles in Peitho, Rhetoric Review, and Teaching English at a Two-Year College, among others. Cris is currently working on her book project, “From the Margins of Healthcare: Breast Cancer and the Rhetoric of the Online Peer-to-Peer Healthcare Community.” Cris has been involved with the Coalition since 2003 presenting and serving on several task forces, and is thrilled to join the Executive Board to give back to the community that has made such an impact on her work.

Mudiwa Pettus, Member at Large

Mudiwa Pettus is an Assistant Professor at Medgar Evers College, a senior college of the City University of New York. Her research interests are located at the intersections of rhetorical education, public intellectualism, and racial politics, with a focus on the Post-Reconstruction/Pre-Harlem Renaissance era. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the National Review of Black Politics, Rhetoric Review, Rhetorica, and A Gathering of Tribes.

Tarez Samra Graban, Immediate Past President

Tarez Samra Graban, Associate Professor of English at Florida State University, joined the Coalition as a graduate student, and has served the Advisory Board since 2010. At FSU, and at Indiana University before that, she has held roles in L2 curriculum coordination, writing program administration, and co-directorship of a fellowship program in the data humanities, and completed a research fellowship with the University of South Africa. Her research and teaching is centered in histories of rhetoric, histories and theories of composition, global and comparative rhetorics, feminist rhetorical theory, and digital humanities. Lately, her work attends to rhetoric as epistemology, writing as text technology, and alterity as cultural apparatus. In her term as Coalition President, she expanded opportunities for mentoring, saw the establishment of new awards, spearheaded the redesign of the organization’s website, and hosted the celebration of the Coalition’s 30th Anniversary, among many other projects to support the Coalition’s expanding membership and mission.

Passing the Baton: Caring for One Another in An Altered Reality

Dear Coalition Friends,

Growing up, my siblings and I heard three consistent messages from our parents: “Make your way in the world by asking as little of it as possible,” “Do the most good for the most people along the way,” and “When you arrive, ask what you could do better.” To my parents’ credit, these were the messages that got them where they are today, my Mom having migrated with her family via railroad to the West Coast as a child, and my Dad having spent 15 years in refugee housing and political displacement, before finally making his way to the U.S. from contested Palestine as a young adult. I’m intensely proud of my parents for these reasons and more — for surviving and thriving and establishing such meaningful legacies. In turn, at various of my own junctures or “arrivals”, I’ve tried to take stock, often in painfully reflective ways: “How have I done? What have I managed? Where have I failed?”

Notice my affinity with failure. Those who know me well, know I can spend hours discussing my failures. And while this post — the Coalition President’s outgoing message — should be a reflective occasion to ruminate on success, I cannot in good faith consider any presidential accomplishments as mine. They are ours.

So, how did we get here (April 15, 2020) so quickly, and how do I account for all that has transpired in the past 24 months  — even in the past month, as the ground has shifted beneath us in the wake of COVID-19 and subsequently altered our realities? I can’t account for all of that in the space of a single post, but I can — with equal measures of gratitude and pride — outline some of the Coalition’s accomplishments, pointing particularly to the efforts of a tremendous Executive Board and Advisory Board, of Peitho journal’s tireless editorial team, of Patricia Fancher and Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne (our inaugural colleagues in two new and vital outreach roles), of Casey Miles (our web coordinator from 2017-2019), and of our many dedicated task forces and volunteer groups.

As an organization, we have much to celebrate: not least a new web presence and the migration of Peitho to a digitally native publication; the creation of two new awards to equip our colleagues across all ranks and from underrepresented groups to do the work that they love, as well as an impressive and expansive slate of award winners; the revision of fiscal and actual policies to support FemRhet conference hosts, and to give more outwardly and charitably to affiliate organizations in various stages of growth; the establishment of an active, thoughtful social media presence; and the nurturing of an exceptional volunteer base on social media and in person.

We have piloted a virtual manuscript mentoring program, celebrated the Coalition’s 30th anniversary, begun writing our own histories, and planned — then cancelled — what would have been a visionary session on “Connecting Coalitions, Arts, and Pedagogies of Human Rights” at 4C 2020. We may even be featured in an upcoming episode of Charles Woods’ The Big Rhetorical Podcast.

We have also developed new and more ways and forms of supporting one another in doing the Coalition’s work, revised our Bylaws, created documentation to better assist ad-hoc volunteers in taking on projects, stood in solidarity with sister organizations and allied groups, offered financial support for conference meet-ups and other collaborations, and  tried to ensure that our public meetings act simultaneously as tributes to long-time members and past leaders and occasions for welcoming newer members and future leaders. (This becomes increasingly important as we experience generational shifts and anticipate retirements, but this year, especially, we have mourned the passing of two dear colleagues and one past president: Nan Johnson on 8/31/19 and Joyce Irene Middleton on 4/13/20.)

For their work between 2018-2020 on adjudicating existing awards and articulating new ones, revising or articulating policies and guidelines, planning meetups, mentoring at conferences or online, working towards more nuanced graduate student outreach, assisting with Coalition 4C events, and hosting FemRhet 2019, I would also like to acknowledge the following stellar volunteers from our membership: Jen Almjeld, Erin Andersen, Sweta Baniya, Alicia Brazeau, Amanda Brooks, Alexandra Cavallaro, Sherri Craig, Jane Donawerth, Rebecca Dingo, Julianna Edmonds, Mary Fratini, Katherine Fredlund, Cory Geraths, Michelle Grue, Denise Landrum Geyer, Evan Groundwater, Holly Hassel, Gavin Johnson, Rachelle Joplin, Tammie Kennedy, Stephanie Larson, Amy Lueck, Andrea Lunsford, Liane Malinowski, Katie Manthey, Londi Martin, Alexis McGee, Caitlyn McKay, Lydia McDermott, Janine Morris, Sarah Mosely, Kate Navickas, Kate Pantelides, Paula Patch, Dara Regaignon, Becky Rickley, Mary Sheridan, Rebekah Sims, Carolyn Skinner, Patrick Thomas, Erin Wecker, Patty Wilde, and Traci Zimmerman. Without them, none of this would be possible. [Please, if I have forgotten to name you here, e-mail me!]

Absent from this post, of course, are the “failed” initiatives — “failed” in that they are still pressing, still urgent, and still not complete — including our relationship with and plans for future Feminisms and Rhetorics conferences, and our attempts to meet the life needs of a growing membership, not only during the present moment of school closures and social distancing, but also into our new “normal.” Absent are the ongoing labors that come with being a public-facing organization in a moment of such marked shifts in disciplinary ethos, and the challenges of being an organization that is so visibly engendered. Some of these labors have led to stalemate or postponement because the timing wasn’t right, and others have had a profound influence on the way we do business, but are as yet unrealized in concrete outcomes.

There is no easy way to quantify the labors that constitute these less-visible engagements, these “non-arrivals” in one sense, but without them we’d have no way of ensuring our own growth. I am grateful for some of these unrealized aspirations inasmuch as they reflect a deep-seated commitment to doing and to caring. They demonstrate that the Coalition is comprised of many complementary “we’s” moreso than it is representative of a single unified “we.” Caring for one another can be difficult work, and yet I hope we have done it well and are on the path toward doing it better.

Finally, I’m grateful for the labors of the incoming Executive and Advisory Boards, and genuinely excited for their envisioning under the tutelage of Wendy Sharer, our wildly capable yet characteristically humble Incoming President, who has ambitious and important plans. Please join me in welcoming Wendy and this incredible slate of new colleagues.

In service,
Tarez Graban
Outgoing President 2018-2020

#thefeministsareinplace … but plans are still moving forward

Coalition Friends,

Carving out a shared moment from pressing institutional demands, family crises, juggled responsibilities, and compulsory homeschooling, members of The Advisory and Executive Boards met virtually as scheduled on March 25 to address a full and timely meeting agenda. Some of us were still reeling from the slew of cancellations announced the week prior. Some of us were caring for relatives who are ill. Some of us were still navigating conflicting and uncertain missives from our local or state governments about how to conduct ourselves and our lives on a day-to-day basis. But most of us were glad for the opportunity to “see” one another, and to think and talk focusedly about concerns that are still pressing in the midst of our altered realities.

Uncertainties aside, I’m excited for the good that is ahead. We discussed and voted on several initiatives, moved some to the back burner and promoted others to the front. We began preparations for a new and incoming leadership team. We made some decisions about the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference. We established our priorities for programs and campaigns that we know our students and colleagues need, and some need fairly urgently. Most importantly, we considered how, when, where, and how quickly we should act on those initiatives with an ethic of care, and how to do this as transparently as possible. Please watch for additional posts in the days and weeks that follow, with relevant announcements and profiles of our incoming leadership team, and know that we’re rolling things out as quickly as we can, but thoughtfully. Distinctive of the Coalition is our marked interest in communicating openly and honestly about what we want to do, what we need to do, and what we can do.

As with anything we do, this upcoming slate of needs and desires requires more labor than our small group of leaders can reasonably take on, and because we take you and your burdens very seriously and very much to heart, we’ll soon be putting out our regular calls for your help and your involvement. When you see those calls circulate, I hope you’ll recognize that they are calling for you, and that you’ll feel both enabled and compelled to respond.

With gratitude for your engagement,
-Tarez Graban
CFSHRC President 2018-2020

p.s. – If you haven’t already, come browse our new site; check out awards and other initiatives, Peitho journal, and let us know what else you’d like to see.