Calling for Intellectual Labor and Discussion

Dear Coalition Friends and Colleagues:

As co-editors of a proposed collection, Rhetorics of Reproduction: Rights, Health, and Justice, we wanted to let you know why we’re looking forward to this year’s Feminisms and Rhetorics conference.

Read more

Manuscript Mentoring at FemRhet 2019

Historically, the term mentor has carried with it expectations of relationality, longevity, and politics—not necessarily identical to but not completely unlike the “elder” distinction that marks some cultural contexts as distinct. The term has also carried with it bona fide positive and negative associations. In western antiquity, Mentor (Μέντωρ) was not always cast as a favored figure, though he enjoyed positive notoriety in the Odyssey in part because the goddess Athena disguised herself as him on a diplomatic mission to Telemachus, son of Odysseus, at the end of the Trojan War. Various heroic and less heroic archetypes followed Mentor into modernity as the Odyssey itself underwent various tellings and retellings, eventually becoming a cultural trope on which to base assumptions about how authority should equate to wisdom and how future generations should be trained. In contemporary higher-education contexts, mentoring is more often than not used to commodify unmet needs, For these reasons and more, not everyone loves the idea of mentoring, or the term itself.

Read more

FemRhet 2019 Town Hall: Evolutions of the FemRhet Conference

The CFSHRC and FemRhet conference team are genuinely excited about welcoming you to James Madison University in November for Feminisms and Rhetorics 2019, for what promises to be an exceptional conference due in no small measure to the extraordinary efforts of this year’s conference hosts. At the same time, we are acutely aware of the real problem that conference costs pose for a growing number of us – graduate students, contingent faculty, and academic workers of all ranks and roles who have experienced recent furloughs and/or ongoing salary compression.

Read more

Marking the Suffrage Centennial in Houses, Discourses, Bodies, and Projects

I’m being inaccurate in selecting today’s date to mark the Suffrage Centennial, when the event that we know as ratification occurred in several phases over a year’s time and, like many other aspects of global and U.S. suffrage, only after periods of regression, paradigmatic shifting, and strategic political repositioning. But today, one-hundred years ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed what we know as Amendment XIX, signaling a first step in its political reception, and serving as a reminder of the historically significant role that localized (municipal and state) bodies would play either as conduits for vital policy discussions or as stalwarts for certain kinds of progress around amendments and bills whose reception was mixed.

Read more

#CallingAllFeminists to WSRL 2019

Dear Coalition Friends and Colleagues,

As organizer of the 2019 Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference, I invite you to submit your proposal(s) in response to our CFP, if you haven’t already done so. This year, we’d love you to join us on October 25-26 at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, to explore our theme of “Contemplative Rhetorics and Literacies.” While there is always a chance that we’ll have inches of snow on the ground by late October, it is more likely that our weather will be crisp, sunny and beautiful, providing an unmatched natural backdrop for the conference.

Read more

Living Feminist Lives: Looking Forward & Reflecting Back on the Feminist Workshop at CCCC

Guest Blog by Rachel Chapman Daugherty, Texas Christian University; Lydia McDermott, Whitman College; and Patty Wilde, Washington State University Tri-Cities

Greetings from the 2019 Feminist Workshop co-chairs! This year’s workshop, sponsored by the Feminist Caucus, “Living Feminist Lives: Materialities, Methodologies, and Practices” continues a conversation that we started in Kansas City last year on intersectionality. Both a tool for “critical inquiry and praxis” (Collins and Bilge 31), intersectionality calls us to recognize intragroup differences in experiences of oppression and work to dismantle the systems that create such inequities. Using this lens to consider both professional and personal issues, we began to explore ways that intersectionality can help us recognize, challenge, and change the inequities that we encounter in the everyday labors that we conduct as feminist teachers, administrators, scholars, and rhetors. This year, we turn this intersectional lens onto our lives as feminists. Echoing Sarah Ahmed, we urge panelists and participants to ask:

ethical questions about how to live better in an unjust and unequal world…how to create relationships with others that are more equal; how to find ways to support those who are not supported or are less supported by social systems; how to keep coming up against histories that have become concrete, histories that have become as solid as walls. (1)

Read more

No easy resolution to problems of diversification: showing up on March 13, 2019

Conversations I have had with Coalition members tell me that members of this group for any length of time hold one particular trait in common: a strong conviction that, while it is hard work to position oneself at school or in the profession, we cannot risk leaving that positioning up to others. For most of us (if not all of us), it is only through long, tedious and recurring processes of articulating our identities and negotiating others’ perceptions of them that we begin to fit well in any given context. Even then, our fittedness occurs incrementally through extant classifications (i.e., we might be identified as multi-ethnic for purposes of institutional data-gathering, touted as “the rhetorician/writing specialist in the literature department” as a way of proving intellectual diversity, or otherwise engendered to help fulfill a quotient for national ranking or standing).

Read more

Annual Membership/Volunteer Survey

Just ahead of Winter Solstice (in the northern hemisphere), I send a request on behalf of the Executive Board. Please find a few (~5-6) spare moments to fill out our annual membership survey, available at this link (https://goo.gl/forms/DnNQLChHYuUYbVby1). Please feel free to do so now or just after the holidays as you contemplate returning to the vagaries of the next semester/quarter/term. The survey will collect responses through January 15, 2019.

May you all experience the realities of a peaceful, joyous, and humane new year, no matter the circumstances,

-Tarez Graban
CFSHRC President
(on behalf of the Executive Board)

2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference: Redefining Feminist Activism

The School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at James Madison University invites proposals for the 12th Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference to be held at Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg, VA, November 13-16, 2019.

This year’s theme invites participants to reflect on or redefine current trends in and future possibilities for grassroots feminist activism in what we are calling “DIY feminist activism”– advocacy work that prioritizes inclusion and diversity by engaging in projects that are freestanding, self-supporting, and/or crowdsourced. DIY feminist activism is in tune with overlapping identities and, thus, is inherently intersectional; it celebrates the power of individuals to spearhead innovative, creative solutions to issues and problems that are often neglected or mishandled when left to institutional powers.   Read more

Re-Examining Intersectionality in our 30th Year

Dear All,

With CCCC 2019 notifications having gone out, we are pleased to share early details of the Coalition-sponsored session on Wednesday evening, March 13 (2019) in Pittsburgh!

Two-thousand and nineteen will mark the Coalition’s 30th year, and what better way to do so than through a critical re-examination of intersectional work? As usual, our two-part session will be open to all 4C19 conference-goers.

Read more