Presidents Dissertation Award Winners

The Presidents Dissertation Award was originally created to celebrate two distinctive projects over a two-year period. Last year, the Coalition’s Advisory Board voted to adjudicate this award annually, in part to redistribute the labor of reading lengthy projects. As a result, we have the honor of reading a robust set of outstanding dissertations each year, and this year’s judges vetted and discussed 16 stellar projects over a three-month period. This was a particularly difficult competition; so many of these projects were worthy of the award.

The 2020 submissions celebrated diversity, were exceptionally constructed and elegantly composed, and rigorously engaged extant feminist research and scholarship in rhetoric and composition, pointing to the many cultural and intellectual traditions that comprise our field. In addition, the strongest projects contributed significantly to our understanding of feminist histories, theories, and pedagogies of rhetoric and composition by challenging extant frameworks; enhanced our understanding of feminist academic work in rhetoric and composition by employing unique methods and methodologies; and offered invitations for subsequent inquiry and exchange.

While we would normally confer these awards at FemRhet 2021, we have decided not to wait, especially with so much of our 2021 programming is in flux. Thus, on behalf of the 2020 Presidents Dissertation Award Committee, I am pleased to announce this year’s award recipients and honorable mention: Temptaous T. Mckoy and Johnathan Smilges (award recipients); and Nabila Hijazi (honorable mention).

Temptaous T. Mckoy, recipient of the 2020 Presidents Dissertation Award for

“Y’all Call It Technical and Professional Communication, We Call It #ForTheCulture: The Use of Amplification Rhetorics in Black Communities and Their Implications for Technical and Professional Communication Studies.”

Dr. Mckoy is Assistant Professor of English with a focus in Technical Writing at Bowie State University. In June 2019, Mckoy completed her degree in Rhetoric, Writing, & Professional Communication at East Carolina University under the direction of Michelle Eble (Chair), Matthew Cox, Erin Frost, and Natasha Jones. Dr. Mckoy is also the winner of CCCC’s 2020 Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication. One judge wrote the following of Mckoy’s project:

“This dissertation is excellently situated in technical and professional communication scholarship and deftly meshes registers between formal ‘academic’ prose and colloquial Black prose. Mckoy provides a useful intervention in TPC scholarship by articulating a theory of ‘amplification rhetorics,’ which she describes as reclaiming agency and embodiment, acknowledging and validating lived experiences, and privileging marginalized epistemologies (38). Drawing on Critical Race Theory, Womanist theory, and African American and Black rhetorics, Mckoy’s project is methodologically rich, drawing on participant observation, interviews, site visits, music video analysis, and textual analysis to argue for the importance of Black technical communication.”

Another judge concurred:

“Among the many dissertations submitted for this award, none challenged me more than this project—in a productive way. The author’s purposeful use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) was impactful. … While I had previously encountered such calls, none have made the impact that this project did. Indeed, this project’s deft, evocative, and candid analysis has invited me to rethink my own biases. Beyond this important takeaway, I was similarly struck by the project’s exploration of TRAP music through the lens of amplification rhetorics. The multimodal chapter was not only engaging but, too, one that propels the field forward. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to not only review this project but, more importantly, to learn from it.”

Johnathan Smilges, recipient of the 2020 Presidents Dissertation Award for

“Queer Silence: Rhetorics of Resistance”

Dr. Smilges is Assistant Professor of English at Texas Women’s University. In spring 2020, Smilges completed their dual degree in Rhetoric and Composition and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, under the direction of Cheryl Glenn (Chair), Debra Hawhee, Janet Lyon, and Hil Malatino. Dr. Smilges is also the winner of CCCC’s 2020 Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship. One judge wrote the following of Smilges’s project:

“Smilges’s work savvily moves between theory and analysis, offering up important insights in the ways that silences work in queer and trans rhetorics. Their chapter on ex-gays is compassionate, smart, aware of its limitations, and deftly ties together queer theory and disability theory.”

Another judge concurred:

“This project struck me—both as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and, too, as a feminist and queer rhetorician. The author’s deft weaving of historical and personal narrative to open the project is exemplary of the dissertation’s larger political importance and, too, its contributions to the field. I was drawn immediately to the parallels between the author’s narrative of reparative therapy and the historical reference to the APA. Both are haunting. But, importantly, the author’s narrative serves a purpose—it illustrates, in a profound way, this project’s theorization of queer silence (12). This term productively extends robust scholarship on silence by feminist rhetoricians and, in so doing, makes a foundational contribution to the feminist rhetorical studies. The author’s argument that ‘silence can become a strategy of resistance, wherein the absence of verbal speech forges alternative routes to signification, to making meaning in the face of a society bent on erasure’ is one that can shape much of the ways that feminist and, in particular, queer rhetoricians study and, also, practice silence (19). … This project is exceptionally well written, cogently argued, and consistently thought-provoking. I look forward to seeing it—hopefully one day soon—on rhetorical scholars’ shelves and, perhaps more importantly, in their classrooms.”

Nabila Hijazi, Honorable Mention in the 2020 Presidents Dissertation Award competition for

“Syrian Refugee Women in the Diaspora: Sustaining Families through Literacies”

Dr. Hijazi is a Lecturer in English at the University of Maryland. In spring 2020, Hijazi completed her degree in Language, Writing, and Rhetoric at the University of Maryland, under the direction of Scott Wible (Chair), Jane Donawerth, Jessica Enoch, Sara Wilder, and Wayne Slate. Dr. Hijazi is also the recipient of University of Maryland’s Dr. James W. Longest Memorial Award for Social Science Research in 2018. While Hijazi’s project did not win the award, judges felt it deserved an honorable mention for how it re/focuses feminist study on women in a diaspora that is often overlooked, especially in a nation occupied by individuals and groups who may, themselves, claim to be pluralistic in their thinking. One judge wrote the following of Hijazi’s project:

“This project is both timely and responsive to ongoing work by feminist and other rhetoricians. The realities of migration and immigration are complicated, certainly, and this project adroitly attunes the reader to the rhetorical means through which Syrian women navigate ‘the tension … between growing up in Syria and living in the United States’ (2). … This dissertation’s focus on both an expansive view of literacy as well as its qualitative engagement with these women’s stories sheds an important light on an understudied community of rhetors. The author showcases this contribution through, among other discussions, an exploration of motherhood and the home (94). Such work can productively re-orient the field beyond our engrained biases, as the author notes: ‘In constructing the home space and preserving the intact Syrian family structure in the diaspora, Syrian refugee women are reviving domestic literacy and gender role practices that may seem too backward or even oppressive from a Western, progressive perspective’ (95). Moreover, there is power in the author’s work to prove that ‘[i]nstead of … victims as often depicted … Syrian refugee women are agents in finding ways to survive and save their families through maintenance of their roles in domestic space’ (99). There is accordingly much that this research can do to extend our understandings of rhetorics of motherhood, the home and, more broadly, migration through an attention beyond the limited confines of Western rhetoric.”

In addition to congratulating these scholars on their achievements, we also want to acknowledge the following 13 individuals whose excellent work was nominated or submitted for this award: Kainat Abadi (St. John’s U); Ellen Cecil-Lemkin (Florida State); Brandon Marcell Erby (Penn State); Autumn Adia Griffin (U Maryland); Nancy Henaku (Michigan Tech); Gavin P. Johnson (Ohio State); Darlene Johnston (Bowling Green State U); Gina Lynn Kruschek (East Carolina U); Shewonda Leger (Michigan State); Katelyn S. Litterer (U Mass Amherst); Molly J. Mann (St. John’s U); Prairie L. Markussen (U of Arizona); Megan Poole (Penn State).

As the Coalition looks ahead to a new year, we will be announcing more awards calls, as well as an inaugural nominations process for the new Shirley Wilson Logan Diversity Scholarship Award. Coalition members do exceptional work and lead exceptional lives. We look forward to your nominations and applications next year!

Tarez Samra Graban
Immediate Past-President
Awards Chair 2020–2022

and members of the 2020 Presidents Dissertation Award Committee

Angela Clark-Oates
Jessica Enoch
Michael Faris
Cory Geraths
Kathleen Ethel Welch

CFP: On Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric

Overview

The fact of the matter is, we wouldn’t have any feminism worth thinking about or writing about without the work of feminists of color. They have pushed feminism to be better and do better since the beginning. However, these feminists often are not afforded the credit they deserve for creating feminist spaces and demanding change within them. During the Suffrage Movement it was Sojourner Truth’s speech, “Ain’t I a Woman,” at the Women’s Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio, in 1851 that demanded we recognize the voices and perspectives of all women. The work that Black women, lesbians and working class women did to push the mainstream white middle class feminism of the 1970s to speak across race, class, and sexuality made feminism stronger. Feminists of color in the 1970s writing in anthologies like This Bridge Called My Back, Home Girls, and But Some of Us Are Brave started building a third wave of feminism before the 1990s gave us the Third Wave. And it was a young Black woman named Rebecca Walker who first proclaimed “we are the third wave.” In short, it has always been the voices of feminists of color that pushed feminist movements to realize the radical notion that all womxn are people. In this issue, we are looking for scholarly complications to the discourse around white feminism that historically approach the idea: Feminism has never really been white.

This contemporary moment, perhaps more than any other has shown us the relevance and importance of race, feminism and rhetoric. The current global pandemic has put a spotlight on institutionalized inequities around race, class and gender. The on-going protests and unrest around police brutality and murders have forced us to come to terms with the meaning of solidarity and coalition in the struggle. Extreme nationalism has ripped children from the arms of their parents and placed them in cages going against every fiber of the founding lies of the United States. The recent election and the fact that yet again over 50% of the white women who voted cast their vote for Donald Trump has made clear that assumed alliances around gender are not to be taken for granted when we add race to the mix. Now more than ever we need to be in nuanced and critical conversations on race, feminism, and rhetoric.

From Fair Fight Now to the Black Lives Matter Movement, Black women have been the driving force behind the change we need in America today. In the wake of the 2020 US elections, we need to have more conversations about how feminists of color combat the normalization of the refusal to transfer power, concede losses, and acknowledge the truth. Like we saw with the Women’s March controversy, we can not continue to tolerate feminists of color being pushed to the margins in the spaces we created. This bridge can no longer be our backs. As “The Squad” on Capitol Hill grows to include even more women of color voices, we need to make space for complex conversations around what diversity and equality really means while continuing to hold our leadership accountable to the progress we have made. Now is not the time for half-measures, talking points for views, and conservative approaches. We need to center the voices of feminists of color who are doing the work to ensure our feminist futures. We hope that the essays in this special issue will help shed light on all the important and nuanced ways that race, feminism and rhetoric intersect across time, in this moment, and around the world.

Invitation

The editors invite articles, manifestos, and alternative works that consider, but are not limited to, the following questions and topics:

  • Rethinking Intersectionality Rhetorically
  • Global Feminisms (Transnational Feminism, Afrodiasporic and African Feminisms, IndigenousFeminism, Latinx Feminisms, Arab Feminisms)
  • Histories of Women of Color Feminisms
  • Models of political activism, like “The Squad”
  • Allies, Coalitions, Solidarity in the Struggle
  • Interrogating whiteness through gender and class
  • Black Lives Matter/Say Her Name
  • Rhetorical histories and the legacies of raced and gendered rhetoric
  • Anti-Racist Feminisms
  • Complicating conversations around human rights (women’s rights, trans womxn’s rights, immigrant rights)
  • The Phyllis Schlafly Effect and Why We Never Expect that 50% of White Women Will Act Against Solidarity
  • Re-examinations of Civil Rights
  • Marches and Uprisings
  • Feminist Pasts/Feminist Futures
  • Racing Digital Feminisms
  • Race and Inequities in Medicine
  • Race, Ability, and Disability
  • Black women theorizing and giving us the language to name our oppression (from intersectionality to misogynoir and beyond)
  • Race and Transgender Rhetorics

Submission Details & Timeline

Please send completed articles, manifestos, and book reviews. We are also open to accepting alternative formats such as digital, audio, and visual compositions. All submissions should be emailed to both editors, Gwendolyn D. Pough <gdpough@syr.edu> and Stephanie Jones <svjones@syr.edu>, by January 30, 2021. Peer review will occur during the winter of 2021, Revisions will be due in the spring of 2021, and the anticipated publication date will be summer of 2021.

Inclusivity Survey

During these months while the pandemic limits our interactions, several task forces within the Coalition are leading efforts to critically assess our organizational structures and practices, to identify how those structures and practices have been informed by white supremacist culture and other exclusionary traditions, and to initiate changes such that we might become a more inclusive organization that attends to equitable, intersectional, and truly coalitional feminist practice.

To further these endeavors, we need your help. We invite all who are interested in the work of the Coalition (members and non-members alike) to complete our Inclusivity Survey at the following link:

CFSHRC Inclusivity Survey

Response times will vary, but the survey should take approximately 10 minutes.

Thank you for your input!
CFSHRC Feminisms and Rhetorics Alternative Interactions Task Force
CFSHRC Feminisms and Rhetorics Workflow, Process, and Format Task Force
CFSHRC Graduate Student Outreach Task Force

Honoring Kate Ronald

Late yesterday, we received the shocking news that Kate (Katharine J.) Ronald passed away. Whether you are a former student or colleague of Kate’s at Miami U of Ohio or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, or whether you enjoyed her grand and generous mentoring in other ways, we invite you to pay tribute with us to a woman whose absence will be keenly felt but whose work will continue to forward our field. As former Roger and Joyce L. Howe Professor of English, and former Director of the Howe Writing Initiative at Miami of Ohio, Kate married her interests in rhetorical history with WAC and critical thinking in meaningful ways. She was co-editor with Joy Ritchie of Available Means: An Anthology of Women’s Rhetorics and Teaching Rhetorica: Theory, Pedagogy, Practice. With Hepzibah Roskelly, she co-edited Farther Along: Transforming Dichotomies in Rhetoric and Composition and co-authored Reason to Believe: Romanticism, Pragmatism, and the Teaching of Writing. She also contributed dozens of articles and book chapters that helped raised the profile of women’s historical and theoretical contributions to rhetorical studies and to pragmatics. For years she was a regular feature at the biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics (FemRhet) conference, making her rounds between panels to offer emerging scholars her immense support, often building their confidence at moments when they needed it the most. At the 2011 FemRhet conference at Minnesota State University, she keynoted with Rebecca Dingo and Eileen Schell, deferring in her characteristically humble way to the other scholars for their work in transnational feminist studies.

Kate modeled a feminist ethic through how she produced her scholarship—collaboratively and generously—and what she produced—texts that valued equally theory and practice. She’s likely best known for Reason to Believe and the foundational Available Means, the best-selling book in the U of Pittsburgh Press’ Series Composition, Literacy, and Culture. Her scholarship also shows her gifts and skills as a teacher and mentor. The peer mentorship and respect Kate modeled is palpable in Lisa Shaver’s Peitho piece, “The Making of Available Means,” as Kate and Joy discuss their professional alliance and deep friendship that sparked the anthology and the sinew between the creation and teaching of the text. Kate did no less than help shape our field, and she did so in ways both charismatic and unassuming. No wonder she will be sorely missed, and how grateful we are for all she shared with us.

We invite all who knew Kate to share their memories and tributes by commenting on this blog post. We begin with a tribute from Charlotte Hogg, Coalition Advisory Board member and co-editor of the recently published Persuasive Acts (U of Pittsburgh P, 2020), an anthology that builds on the foundation Kate helped to lay in Available Means.

Tribute to Kate Ronald by Charlotte Hogg

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I took Advanced Composition from Kate Ronald, who insisted we call her Kate. I still recall so much from this class, in particular how this riveting teacher put our writing front and center and insisted we do the same. I remember her talking about how she would read while blow-drying her curly hair—sharing productivity pro-tips years before it was the thing to do. To this day I use an adaptation of an assignment she had in that class. Even then, before I knew that rhet/comp was a field, I knew I wanted to be like her. I visited her office wondering what to do with my life; she told me about the field of rhetoric and composition, made a list of programs for me to apply to (this was before one could look them up online), and I did exactly as she advised. We didn’t really keep in contact over the years except for a few serendipitous occasions, and yet she continued to be a touchstone along my career. She happened to be on my panel at my first national conference (the inaugural Feminisms and Rhetorics in 1997). When drafting an article, I found just what I needed in one of her lesser-known pieces. My admiration culminated in co-editing (with Shari Stenberg) Persuasive Acts, a follow up to Available Means, and dedicating the text to Kate and Joy Ritchie. When I would run into Kate at a conference, I was reminded how she modeled what to me is the perfect academic: unpretentious but whip smart, generous with guidance without taking over, and witty as hell. She’ll remain unmatched in these qualities but still made me—and I’m sure countless others—strive to achieve them ourselves, which is what made her such an exemplar.

Call for Peitho Editor/Co-Editors

The Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition (CFSHRC) is seeking an editor (or co-editors) for Peitho, our quarterly peer-reviewed online journal, beginning June 1, 2021.

In supporting the Coalition’s mission, Peitho seeks to publish research that advances the feminist study of our profession, including

  • Peer-reviewed scholarly texts (i.e., essays, webtexts, standalone videos);
  • Book reviews;
  • Special edited content, including, but not limited to, occasional themed sections or materials related to Coalition activities.

In cooperation with an associate editor (Temptaous McKoy will hold this position until 2024) and Peitho’s editorial team, the editor has purview over the editorial content and production process of the journal, including managing the editorial board, issuing calls for papers, refining the journal’s submission process, and publishing the journal. The editor has the support of the Coalition’s Executive Board for all matters requiring approval.

Qualifications: A strong candidate will have:

  • A strong record of feminist academic work, including research and scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service;
  • A strong record of affiliation with the Coalition (i.e., membership, Coalition-related service work, participation in Feminisms and Rhetorics conferences, involvement in Peitho);
  • Working knowledge of available resources for digital scholarship and digital publication;
  • Relevant editorial experience and a vision for the future of the journal;
  • A career record of collegiality as well as outstanding planning and communication skills;
  • A firm commitment of support from their home institutions (i.e., release time, interns or research assistants).

Responsibilities:

  • Serve as editor for four years, assuming responsibility for Peitho 24.1 (Fall 2021) through Peitho 26.4 (Summer 2025);
  • Manage the submission, editorial, and online publication process for four issues of Peitho per year (Fall launched in September; Winter launched in January; Spring launched in March; and Summer launched in June) in coordination with the Associate Editor;
  • Participate in the search for a new Associate Editor when needed;
  • Participate in the search for a new Web Coordinator when needed;
  • Serve as an ex officio (nonvoting) member of the CFSHRC Advisory Board and attend regular Board meetings and provide reports on Peitho on Wednesday afternoons at CCCC and during the biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics conference.

Compensation
The Coalition provides a $250 stipend for each year of the editors’ 2-year term (April to April) and 1 complimentary conference registration for each year of their 2-year term (April to April) where the Coalition has a strong presence.

Financial arrangements regarding the Coalition’s funding for software and technology, training, interns, stipends, and other items related to the journal will be negotiated at the beginning of the editor’s term.

For full consideration, please submit the following materials in a single PDF file (with your name in the filename) to Suzanne Bordelon (bordelon@sdsu.edu) no later than February 15, 2021:

  • Letter of application that addresses qualifications for the position,
  • Statement of institutional support,
  • List of three references,
  • Current vita.

Expanded Mentoring Program Begins!

At a time of particular isolation, and in response to several requests that we continue our online mentoring program, the Coalition is happy to announce an expanded mentoring project. The program is a way for us to share knowledge about research, teaching, activism, and professional development by matching mentor-mentee pairs who will collaboratively establish a schedule whereby the mentee can make good progress on an agreed-upon project (i.e., job market/prepping application materials; planning research projects/fieldwork; writing/revising materials for publication; developing a syllabus; applying for grants; etc.) within six months or less. Mentors and mentees may continue to work together beyond one six-month cycle if desired.

Our pilot program in 2019 focused its mentoring around a publication goal; however, this expanded program need not be circumscribed in that way. Although we want to be as flexible as possible so that mentoring pairs can figure out what works best for them, we offer some suggestions for getting started:

  • Determine which specific project you would like to work on with a mentor, or whether you would like help with less tangible things, such as gaining confidence in coursework or dealing with challenges in your workplace.
  • Determine how long you plan to commit. You may wish to start with a six-month commitment, and see how it goes.
  • Determine how often you would like to check-in with your mentor/mentee. Do you want to engage weekly, bi-weekly, monthly? What makes the most sense for your goals and schedules
  • Determine which medium works best for your relationship (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, email, phone, etc.).

We are seeking both mentors and mentees. If you are interested in participating either as a mentor, a mentee, or both, please fill out this registration form [https://forms.gle/zbvF3yqAmmZ3Bz276] by November 1, indicating your interest. We will continue to share information and requests for help on an ad hoc basis.

-Tarez Samra Graban,
Immediate Past President

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