2023 Kathleen Ethel Welch Outstanding Article Award Recipients
Named in recognition of the Coalition’s co-founder and first president, Kathleen E. Welch, the CFSHRC Welch Outstanding Article Award is presented biennially in odd years for refereed work published in Peitho journal that illustrates exceptional scholarship and research in the areas of feminist pedagogy, practice, history, and/or theory. I am thrilled to share the news that this year’s award goes to Sarah Dwyer for their article “A Question of Affect: A Queer Reading of Institutional Nondiscrimination Statements at Texas Public Universities,” which appeared in the Winter 2022 issue (vol. 24, no. 2). Additionally, honorable mentions were earned by Ronisha Browdy for her article “Black Women’s Rhetoric(s): A Conversation Starter for Naming and Claiming a Field of Study,” and by Efe Franca Plange for her article “The Pepper Manual: Toward Situated Non-Western Feminist Rhetorical Practices.” Both Browdy’s and Plange’s articles were published in Peitho 23.4, the Summer 2021 special issue on Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric, which was co-edited by Gwendolyn Pough and Stephanie Jones.
Details about each recipient and their articles appear below, but I first want to offer my deepest thanks to the committee members who carefully read the 17 excellent articles that were eligible for the award and did the difficult work of selecting the winner and honorable mentions. This year’s Welch Award Committee members were Lilly Campbell, Fangzhi He, Lauren Rosenberg, Kate Ryan, and Jenna Vinson (chair). THANK YOU for your efforts on behalf of the Coalition and the field of feminist rhetorical studies!
Winner: Sarah Dwyer, “A Question of Affect: A Queer Reading of Institutional Nondiscrimination Statements at Texas Public Universities,” Peitho 24.2.
Sarah Dwyer is a Senior Lecturer at Texas A&M University—San Antonio and a PhD candidate in the Technical Communication and Rhetoric program at Texas Tech University.
The awards committee noted that “this article is exceptionally timely in offering readers means of addressing exclusionary practices. The closing call, to ‘do better: our students’ safety—our safety—depends on it,’ rings ever more urgent since this was published, with DEI initiatives and trans rights under further attack in Texas and nationwide.” Too, committee members were impressed by how well the article “synthesizes a range of university policies into an accessible and actionable dataset. Weaving together quantitative analysis and personal/professional examples from [the writer’s] institutional position, the article provides a compelling method for feminist scholars in rhetoric and composition to use to investigate and challenge policies at other universities.”
Honorable Mention: Ronisha Browdy, “Black Women’s Rhetoric(s): A Conversation Starter for Naming and Claiming a Field of Study,” Peitho 23.4.
Ronisha Browdy is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Florida State University.
One judge noted how beautifully the piece invokes a search for belonging, a search that makes clear why framing this field of study is needed. Another judge expressed admiration for the ways in which the article connects current work in Black Feminist Rhetorics with the deep history of scholarship in this field: “This article does some really nice generational building by taking the contributions of pioneering black women rhetors in writing studies such as Shirley Wilson Logan and Jacqueline Jones Royster and acknowledging their impact through the contemporary work of Deborah Atwater and Carmen Kynard.”
Honorable Mention: Efe Franca Plange, “The Pepper Manual: Toward Situated Non-Western Feminist Rhetorical Practices,” Peitho 23.4.
Efe Franca Plange is Doctoral candidate in the Rhetoric & Writing Studies Department at the University of Texas—El Paso.
The committee particularly appreciated seeing this article’s thoughtful engagement with non-western feminist rhetorics, bringing much-needed attention to under-considered feminist interventions by African women rhetors. One member noted that they are using the article in an “Introduction to Rhetorical Theory” course and that it is “by far, the students’ favorite piece assigned that semester. The students loved the multimodal examples from Pepper Dem Ministries because they made clear the theoretical claims of the piece while illustrating that rhetorical resistance can employ humor!”
Hearty and well-deserved congratulations to these three feminist scholars!
Immediate Past President