Announcing the Fellowship Pods Program

I am happy to announce that the Coalition has established The Fellowship Pods Program, a non-hierarchical fellowship program to foster community-building among its membership. The program is designed to respond to members’ calls for a re-imagining and re-structuring of coalition networks that have fostered a culture of elitism and bias. Distinct from the Coalition’s existing mentoring programs that offer guidance regarding professionalization and publication, the Fellowship Pods program will provide space for members to think, organize, and revel with other members around collectively chosen topics and shared interests.

The Coalition hopes that the Fellowship Pods Program will help

  • disrupt charismatic models of leadership in the Coalition
  • encourage participants to establish and maintain relationships with the Coalition membership beyond the confines of Feminism and Rhetorics conferencing, and
  • foster membership collaboration on research, teaching, and community engagement & social justice projects 

The program will run from July 2021 through May 2022. In July, program participants will be assigned to a pod (small group of Coalition members), and, in their first meeting(s), members will determine the anticipated topics and activities that will animate their pod’s year-long dialogue and/or collective action. 


  1. If you are interested in the Fellowship Pods Program, please email me ( and then anticipate receiving an email from me later in the month that provides more information about the initiative, including details about the enrollment process. Note that, to register and participate, you will need to be a member of the Coalition. You can join the Coalition via our website. Rates are $10/year for graduate students and $25/year for faculty (other membership categories and options are available on the website as well). If you are financially unable to become a member at this time but still wish to participate in the Fellowship Pods Program, please let us know.
  2. The Coalition hopes that much of the community-building in the pods will happen organically, so pod members are asked to determine the focus of their fellowship in conversation with each other. Additionally, I want to honor requests that space for identity-based, career-focused, and other themed-pods, including pods based on hobbies and crafts, be created. Therefore, if you would like to join a pod with a pre-established focus, please email me the specific theme and a brief description of the pod you would like established by June 21, 2021. I will advertise these themed-pods during the general enrollment period so that other program participants may elect to join them, if they desire. 

(Note: If you do not wish to join a pod with a pre-established focus, your first action for the program will be to complete the enrollment process later in the summer.)

Please feel encouraged to email me with any questions and concerns. I am serving as the coordinator of the program during its first year, and I welcome all feedback about the program. 


Mudiwa Pettus (she/her)
CFSHRC Executive Board Member-at-Large
Assistant Professor of English
Medgar Evers College, CUNY


Shirley Wilson Logan Diversity Scholarship Recipient

Nisha Shanmugaraj
Winner of 2021 Shirley Wilson Logan
Diversity Scholarship Award

bio pic of Nisha Shanmugaraj head shot, in front of a bookcase

The Shirley Wilson Logan Diversity Scholarship was established in 2019 as a biennial award to encourage feminist scholarship (particularly historical in nature) by graduate scholars from diverse or historically un or underrepresented groups. The award is given to first-time presenters at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference, and includes both a monetary award and participation in a specially designated session at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference. Because the inaugural Scholarship competition was planned under COVID conditions with 2021 FemRhet plans in flux, the Coalition’s Advisory Board voted to extend eligibility of this first award to participation at any Fall 2021 conference.

On behalf of the 2021 Shirley Wilson Logan Award Committee, I am pleased to announce this year’s winner: Nisha Shanmugaraj, a third-year doctoral student in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University. This award will support Nisha’s participation at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in Fall 2021. The theme of this year’s conference is “Feminist Community Formations Across Borders and Experience,” and Nisha’s paper is  entitled “How Second Generation Indian-American Women Construct National Belonging.”

In this paper, drawing on 25 qualitative interviews of second-generation Indian American women, Nisha investigates how they experience, respond to, and re-envision normative discourses of the “model” minority under which they are often homogenized or stereotyped. By conducting a rhetorical analysis of interview transcripts, she examines moments of “race unmaking and re-making that reimagine tropes of the docile, intelligent brown women.”

Of her interest in this conference and on the current direction of her scholarship, Nisha’s major professor and nominator, Stephanie Larson, writes:

“Nisha is the type of teacher-scholar who strives to enact her research in all aspects of her work. While her research takes up issues of inclusivity and equity in the context of intersectional feminist rhetorics, I’ve witnesses those same commitments manifest in her classroom and service efforts here at CMU.”

The selection committee agreed, indicating that Nisha’s application was strong in all its facets and that her scholarly interests were well demonstrated at so early a stage of her graduate career. One judge wrote the following of Nisha’s application:

“This tightly focused study of Indian American women’s negotiation of discourses of the model minority advances the Coalition’s mission and makes a significant contribution to diversity scholarship.”

Another judge concurred:

“With the focus of Nisha’s work on the Indian American women’s experience and discourse, her scholarship addresses an under-studied minority group that can make significant contributions to the diversity conversation. Her chosen topic for research is absolutely relevant to the CFSHRC’s mission.”

Nisha has published in Composition Forum (2020) and Business and Professional Communication Quarterly (2016), and is currently working on an article about her experiences creating a graduate student committee on anti-racism at CMU. The CFSHRC is in the process of formalizing its plans for Fall 2021 virtual conferencing; please watch for more announcements about how we will spotlight Nisha’s work at one of our upcoming events.


As the Coalition embarks on summer activities and fall planning, we invite you to watch for announcements and calls for our remaining competitions this year: the Lisa Ede Mentoring Award (to be announced late summer/early Fall); the Presidents Dissertation Award (to be announced late summer/early Fall); the Nancy A. Myers Feminist Research Grant (deadline: Dec. 15, 2021) and the Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award (deadline: Dec. 1, 2021). Remarkably, Coalition members have not slowed down even while facing numerous challenges at work and at home. Awards do not and cannot compensate for what time, productivity, and personal circumstances our members have lost in a long and difficult year, but we are nonetheless glad to celebrate your milestones with you and buoy you however we can. We look forward to your nominations and applications in the coming months!

Very sincerely,

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

and members of the inaugural Shirley Wilson Logan Diversity Scholarship Committee

David Gold
Karen M. Hansen-Morgan
Ruby Nancy
Alexis E. Ramsey-Tobienne
Kendall Turchyn

Nan Johnson Outstanding Graduate Student Travel Award Recipients

True to its namesake, the Nan Johnson Award was created to support graduate students in their scholarship, to enable their  participation at Feminisms and Rhetorics, and to help them find new and returning venues for networking and professionalization. The award is presented biennially in odd years to graduate students working in the field of composition and rhetoric and it recognizes outstanding scholarship and research in the areas of feminist pedagogy, practice, history, and theory. In place of the 2021 Feminisms and Rhetorics, the Coalition opted to open up the award to support free registration at any summer or early fall 2021 conference where recipients can share and deepen their understanding of feminist work.

On behalf of this year’s Nan Johnson Outstanding Graduate Student Travel Award committee, I am pleased to announce our 2021 award recipients:

Morgan Banville
doctoral student in Rhetoric, Writing and Professional Communication — East Carolina University

Brienna Fleming
doctoral student in Rhetoric and Composition — Ohio University

Priyanka (Priya) Ganguly
doctoral student in Rhetoric and Writing — Virginia Tech

Ashley Pendleton
recent MA in English — University of Missouri-Kansas City
incoming doctoral student in English — Florida State University

Laura Rosche
doctoral candidate in English — Indiana University

Rhiannon Scharnhorst
doctoral candidate in Rhetoric and Composition — University of Cincinnati

Nisha Shanmugaraj
doctoral candidate in Rhetoric — Carnegie Mellon University

Rachel Stroup
doctoral student in English — University of Maryland

Basanti Timalsina
doctoral student in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture — Michigan Tech

The 9 recipients named above represent all stages of a graduate career, and their work this summer and fall reflects the full range of applications and contributions of  feminist rhetorical histories, theories, and practices to interdisciplinary questions. The 2021 awardees will be attending the 2021 SIGDOC conference, as well as the Rhetoric Society of America’s 2021 Summer Institute, participating in workshops on “Histories of Rhetoric Elsewhere and Otherwise,” “Archival Power,” “Precarity and Visual Praxis,” “Rhetoric and Public Health,” “Rhetoric and Sexual Violence,” “Making a Career in Rhetorical Studies,” and “Engaging Critical Horizons of 21st-Century Feminisms and Rhetorical Studies.”

Please join us in congratulating these scholars, and in thanking the generous donors who made sustaining and increasing this year’s award possible. Finally, please join me in thanking members of the 2021 Nan Johnson Outstanding Graduate Student Travel Award Committee, who put in several hours of labor over several days at a busy point in the year—for some, at the end of the semester, and for others, in the brief window between spring and summer terms:

David Gold
Karen Hansen-Morgan
Ruby Nancy
Alexis Ramsey Tobienne
Kendall Turchyn


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

We Need You! Please Complete the 2021-2022 CFSHRC Volunteer Survey

Many thanks to all who have helped the Coalition this past year as we worked to make the organization and the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference more inclusive, accessible, affordable, and anti-racist. As we continue this important work, we would like to involve a broader swath of people in constructing concrete changes to our “business and conferencing as usual.”

To this end, we’re reaching out to members and supporters who might be interested in serving in different capacities as part of this change-making. We hope you will take a few minutes to complete our brief “2021-2022 Volunteer Survey,” available at the following link:

Please submit your response by Friday June 4th. Thank you for your help!


Wendy Sharer, President



Resources for Fighting Anti-Asian Racism & Rhetoric

The Coalition celebrates the fact that, on May 18th, Congress passed the “COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act,” legislation that responds to the significant increase in violence against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAAPI) populations in the US since the beginning of the pandemic. The bill cleared the Senate nearly unanimously last month and now heads to the President’s desk for final signature.

The moves by our federal government to address violence and hate crimes against AAAPI people are urgently needed, but so too are the efforts of teachers, scholars, and activists seeking to change the stereotypical and dehumanizing narratives that enable anti-Asian racism. With the urgency of this work in mind, the Coalition hosted “Witnessing Anti-Asian Racism and Rhetoric: A Speaking and Listening Forum” via Zoom on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Co-facilitated by Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Bo Wang, and Wendy Sharer, the forum invited attendees to share their experiences of Anti-Asian racism and rhetoric and their ideas and strategies for confronting this racism and rhetoric.

We know that many people were unable to attend the event, so we are pleased to share compiled suggestions from the session on the Coalition website. Please visit and scroll down to the “Resources” section to find the “Fighting Anti-Asian Racism & Rhetoric” link, which will take you to lists of publications, organizations, and multi-media resources dedicated to identifying and eradicating anti-Asian racism. You will also find action ideas, compiled from the May 5th session, for individuals, scholars, teachers, and professional organizations.

Please check out these resources and help us to make them even more robust! We encourage you to share your suggestions for additions with Wendy Sharer, President CFSHRC, at



Event: Witnessing Anti-Asian Racism and Rhetoric: A Speaking and Listening Forum

In response to the rapidly increasing hate crimes against the AAAPI (Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander) community, the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition invites AAAPI colleagues and allies to a virtual forum that will provide the opportunity to speak up and speak out about Anti-Asian racism and rhetoric, to share stories and experiences, to be heard, and to listen. This session is intended to provide a space for participants to contemplate and have a conversation about what we can do to educate ourselves and the public on AAAPI histories and lived experiences; dismantle racist and misogynistic myths, narratives, and tropes that continue to endanger the AAAPI community; build coalitions across different racial and ethnic groups; and move forward with mutual accountability, respect, and solidarity.
Day/ Time:
  • Wednesday, May 5, 1:00 PM ET


  • Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Virginia Tech
  • Wendy Sharer, Eastern Carolina University
  • Bo Wang, California State University, Fresno

Registration is free but required. Please register at this address: 

Compiling List 
**The Coalition is also compiling a list of resources for understanding and combating anti-Asian racism and rhetoric. Please send suggested resources, with brief descriptions, to Resources will be shared via the Coalition website (

Peitho 23.2 Now Live!

The most recent issue of Peitho is now live! Take some time to enjoy tributes to Kate Ronald (compiled by Charlotte Hogg, Meredith Love, Lisa Shaver, and Ann S. Updike) and engage with outstanding, complex, and diverse feminist scholarship by Veronica Popp and Danielle Phillips-Cunningham, Jennifer Keohane, Amy Robillard, Rebecca Jones, and Rebecca Temple.

Many thanks to the editorial team Jen Wingard, Temptaous McKoy, Rachelle A.C. Joplin, and Jen England

Kathleen Ethel Welch Article Award Winners

The Kathleen Ethel Welch Outstanding Article Award was created in honor of the Coalition’s first president and co-founder, Kathleen E. Welch, whose immeasurable impact on the organization continues today. The award is presented biennially in odd years for refereed work published in Peitho journal to recognize outstanding scholarship and research in the areas of feminist pedagogy, practice, history, and theory. This year’s judges had the honor of reading and rating excellent articles from seven issues of the journal—volumes 21.2 through 23.1. These articles presented diverse approaches to feminist and historical scholarship, pushing the boundaries of both field and discipline, and many of them reflected collaborative authorship.

While we would normally confer awards at our Action Hour event on the Wednesday evening prior to CCCC, this year we rely on virtual conferral and social media. Thus, on behalf of the 2021 Kathleen Ethel Welch Outstanding Article Award Committee, I am pleased to announce this year’s award recipients and honorable mentions: Ana Milena Ribero and Sonia C. Arellano (award recipients); Patricia Fancher, Gesa Kirsch, and Alison Williams (honorable mention); and GPat Patterson and Leland Spencer (honorable mention).


Ana Milena Ribero, recipient of the 2021 Kathleen Ethel Welch Outstanding Article Award for “Advocating Comadrismo: A Feminist Mentoring Approach for Latinas in Rhetoric and Composition,” Volume 21.2. Dr. Ribero is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Oregon State University.

Sonia C. Arellano, recipient of the 2021 Kathleen Ethel Welch Outstanding Article Award for “Advocating Comadrismo: A Feminist Mentoring Approach for Latinas in Rhetoric and Composition,” Volume 21.2. Dr. Arellano is Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Central Florida.

This year’s Article Award committee felt that Ribero and Arellano’s call to rethink the whole discourse around mentoring is salient. Their article absolutely fulfills one of the Coalition’s principal missions: to attend to the education and mentoring of feminist faculty and graduate students in scholarship, research methods, praxis, and the politics of the profession. One judge wrote the following of this winning piece:

This article gives timely attention to the discipline and to the important, understudied area of feminist Latina rhetorical strategies of mentorship.

Another judge concurred:

In offering comadrismo as a mentoring model, Ribero and Arellano successfully elide the dichotomy between assimilationist and resistant approaches to professionalization. They elegantly describe how comadrismo can speak back to the white hegemonic norms that have underscored many mentoring practices while also transforming the structured mentoring relationship into a site for institutional critique. Furthermore, the dialogic nature of their article demonstrates comadrismo as an embodied practice.


Patricia Fancher, honorable mention for “Feminist Practices in Digital Humanities Research: Visualizing Women Physician’s Networks of Solidarity, Struggle, and Exclusion,” Volume 22.2. Dr. Fancher is Faculty in the Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Gesa Kirsch, honorable mention for “Feminist Practices in Digital Humanities Research: Visualizing Women Physician’s Networks of Solidarity, Struggle, and Exclusion,” Volume 22.2. Dr. Kirsch is Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and Director of the Writing Center at Soka University.

Alison Williams, honorable mention for “Feminist Practices in Digital Humanities Research: Visualizing Women Physician’s Networks of Solidarity, Struggle, and Exclusion,” Volume 22.2. Professor Williams is Faculty in the Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

While this article did not win the 2021 award, this year’s judges appreciated the authors’ creative approach to historiographic recovery of women physicians through the visualization of solidarity networks and citational politics. Judges particularly admired the care with which the authors demonstrate “naming” as a simultaneous inclusive and exclusive practice. Their article absolutely fulfills one of the Coalition’s principal missions: the advancement of feminist research and pedagogy across histories, locales, identities, materialities, and media. One judge wrote the following:

This article demonstrates an excellent research design and thoughtful consideration of the idea of feminist community. Furthermore, it has broad implications for future research.

Another judge concurred:

Not only is this article sophisticated in argument and clear in scope, it also reflects several approaches to feminist scholarship that readers of Peitho have come to value: it reflects the historical, the digital, and the critical—particularly in revealing with honest sensitivity the egregious limits of certain kinds of feminist solidarity movements.


GPat Patterson, honorable mention for “Toward Trans Rhetorical Agency: A Critical Analysis of Trans Topics in Rhetoric and Composition and Communication Scholarship,” Volume 22.4. Dr. Patterson is Assistant Professor of English and LGBT Studies Coordinator at Kent State University Tuscarawas.

Leland G. Spencer, honorable mention for “Toward Trans Rhetorical Agency: A Critical Analysis of Trans Topics in Rhetoric and Composition and Communication Scholarship,” Volume 22.4. Dr. Spencer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary and Communication Studies, and affiliate faculty in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Miami University.

While this article did not win the 2021 award, this year’s judges felt that Patterson and Spencer made several critical pathways more visible for conducting research on trans subjects and/or into trans topics. One judge wrote the following:

This extensively well-researched article prompted generative discussion and prompted considerations of how the literature review is in itself a feminist genre, one that demonstrates tireless labor and acts as a welcome to future scholars and a gift to current researchers. This article will no doubt chart the course of future research in Trans Rhetorical work and in the field, broadly construed.

Another judge concurred:

Patterson and Spencer actively reconsider how different forms of materiality—literature, visual media, genre, reviews (like itself), etc., as well as pedagogy—can help contribute to a reconfiguring of trans* agency beyond simply undoing and replacing. They propose methods that can help us regenerate conversations around representations rooted in time—contemporary and not—and explain why/how these require evaluations that do more than switching out paradigms. Ultimately, they help us question how to reconfigure the way we understand and support spaces for trans* realities, voices, and representation that are relevant in shaping current and future scholarship.


Please join us in congratulating these scholars and teachers on their work. We look forward to your nominations and applications for the several awards still upcoming this year!

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

and members of the 2021 Kathleen Ethel Welch Outstanding Article Award Committee
Rachel Jurasevich
Kimberly R. Lacey
Jolivette Mecenas
Nancy Myers
Kate Pantelides

Please Welcome the Incoming Peitho Editorial Team!

The Coalition is thrilled to announce the next editorial team for Peitho: co-editors Rebecca Dingo and Clancy Ratliff. The team’s first issue will be 24.1, fall 2021. As the biographies below attest, these two feminists bring incredibly deep expertise and impressively broad accomplishments to the journal. Welcome, Rebecca and Clancy!

Image of Rebecca Dingo smiling, wearing blue shirt with tan backgroundRebecca Dingo is Associate Professor of English in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Massachusetts. She is a recognized national and international scholar who has pushed transnational work into the forefront of feminist rhetorical studies. She is the author of Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing, which won the W. Ross Winterowd Award in 2012. Additionally, with J. Blake Scott, she has edited the book The Megarhetorics of Global Development. Her work has been well-cited not only in rhetoric, composition, and communication studies, but also across other disciplines and sub-disciplines including feminist international political studies, global education studies, women’s studies, literacy studies, and disability studies. She has been invited to give workshops, seminars, and lectures in the US, South Africa, Lebanon, and Belgium on transnational and feminist approaches in rhetoric and writing, and she was invited by the United Kingdom Parliament of International Development Committee to offer a policy memo that comments on how their disability programs might be more inclusive. Having recently completed her responsibilities as Writing Program Director at UMass, she is currently working with Dr. Rachel Riedner on a monograph, tentatively titled Beyond Recovery: Reckoning with Race, Nation, Imperialism, and Exceptionalism in Feminist Rhetorical Theory, and has been developing courses in contemporary rhetorical theory and writing human rights.

Image of Clancy Ratliff smiling with black and white striped blazer, black shirt, and red and blue necklaceClancy Ratliff is Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research interests are in feminist rhetorics, authorship, copyright, plagiarism, intellectual property, and writing program administration. She has published articles in Pedagogy (including an article selected for reprint in Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition, Parlor Press), PeithoTETYCComposition ForumWomen’s Studies QuarterlyKairos, and other journals and edited collections. She has served on the NCTE College Section Steering Committee, the NCTE Executive Committee, the CCCC Nominating Committee, and several CCCC Task Forces. She has taught writing for 22 years, including teaching writing in the Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, first-year writing, technical writing, speech, senior-level capstone seminars, pedagogy seminars for graduate teaching assistants, and graduate seminars in rhetoric and composition studies. Ratliff has directed seven dissertations and three MA theses and is directing others in progress. She has served in a variety of administrative positions, including Director of First-Year Writing, Director of Graduate Studies, and currently Assistant Department Head. She is the faculty adviser for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette College Democrats, and she volunteers with Second Harvest South Louisiana, United Way, the Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, and other community organizations. Ratliff is currently at work on projects in environmental rhetoric and local rhetorical campaigns to remove Confederate monuments in Lafayette, Louisiana and Florence, Alabama.

The Coalition and Editorial Board of Peitho would like to extend a special thank you to Jen Wingard for all of her excellent work as editor of the journal for the past five years. We are confident that Rebecca and Clancy will continue the legacy of cutting-edge feminist scholarship that Jen helped bring to Peitho.

Event: “Art in the Time of Chaos” featuring Alexandra Hidalgo

In lieu of the Coalition’s annual “Wednesday Evening Event” at CCCC, we hope you will join us for a conversation with feminist scholar, teacher, and filmmaker, Alexandra Hidalgo (details below). Don’t worry–we haven’t forgotten about the second half of our annual event! Information about virtual “mentoring tables” is coming soon.

Alexandra Hidalgo

“Art in the Time of Chaos: Intersectional Feminist

Collaborations Between Latinas Across Continents”

Tuesday, April 20th @ 3 PM Eastern

Registration is free but required. Register at:

photo of Alexandra Hidalgo  holding a camera in one hand, looking relaxed, in a pink patterned dressAs cofounder of the online publication agnès films: supporting women and feminist filmmakers and author of Cámara Retórica, Alexandra Hidalgo has spent over a decade theorizing feminist filmmaking as a methodology and activist tool.

In this presentation, Hidalgo will use film scenes and crew interviews in order to discuss her in-production feature documentary A Family of Stories, which tells the story of how her life was transformed by her journey to investigate the mystery of her father’s 1983 vanishing while he was buying gold in the Venezuelan Amazon and the secrets she uncovered about him, her family, and herself.

To capture her journey of self and familial discovery, Hidalgo works with producer Natalia Machado, editor Cristina Carrasco, and consulting editor Andrea Chignoli—fellow Latinas living in Argentina, Spain, and Chile. Her collaborators have brought their own experiences into shaping the film, enriching the story with their perspective. In the presentation, Hidalgo will screen scenes from the film and describe their collaboration process to argue for the value of intersectional feminism when working on memoir projects.

About Alexandra Hidalgo

Alexandra Hidalgo is an award-winning Venezuelan filmmaker, film and TV critic, theorist, memoirist, and editor whose documentaries have been official selections for film festivals in 15 countries and been screened at universities around the United States. Her videos and writing have been featured on The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, NPR, The Criterion Collection, and Women and Hollywood.