Call for Advisory Board Nominations

The Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition seeks nominations** for its active Advisory Board for the 2020-2022 term. Both peer- and self-nominations are encouraged.

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“Moving” Days

January through April, in an even year, mark “moving” days for the Coalition, in more ways than one. But this year began with a unique kind of movement: Peitho journal’s moving to a fully online format. If you haven’t already, please do check out Issue 22.1 (Fall/Winter 2019). Jen Wingard, Jen England, and Peitho‘s editorial team worked diligently to put out this beautiful issue, in and around constraints caused by our decision to redesign the Coalition website.

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Don’t Slow Down

You might believe, and still you feel
The chase has just begun
That you must reach that horizon before
The setting of the sun.
You chase the light in front of you
Nightfall close behind
If you stop to catch your breath
You know what you will find.

Don’t slow down, don’t touch the ground
You know what you will find
That old grey man in tattered clothes
Following behind.

–“Don’t Slow Down,” UB40 (1981)

In any given year in the life of an organization like ours — in scope, size, membership, and vision — we expect long seasons of steady activity, punctuated with brief periods of frenetic activity. We are trending differently as of late, and anymore the activity is constant, vacillating between steady and frenetic sometimes within a week. This autumn/fall season has brought us many such weeks.

More often, the activity is positive and centered around productive occasions, and I am pleased to share the early details of one such occasion: the Coalition-sponsored session on Wednesday evening, March 25 (2020) in Milwaukee. This year’s session is focused on “Connecting Coalitions, Arts, and Pedagogies of Human Rights,” and will feature a keynote presentation by Alexandra Hidalgo, cofounder of the online publication agnès films and author of Cámara Retórica. Hidalgo will use film scenes and crew interviews in order to discuss not only her in-production feature documentary The Weeping Season, but also the cross-continental collaborative process she used in order to make the film. The Weeping Season is a first-person documentary in which she investigates the mystery of her father’s 1983 disappearance in the Venezuelan Amazon. In order to complete the film, Hidalgo is collaborating with Venezuelan producer Natalia Machado and a group of local filmmakers, as well as Cristina Carrasco, a Venezuelan editor who lives in Argentina and Spain. There are the personal and national losses that occur through the filmmaker’s storyline, and there is the collaboration that occurs among three Venezuelan women who must find ways to work across borders given the country’s current crisis. As such, the making of the film itself mirrors the documentary’s themes of loss and crisis.

Often enough, however, the activity is centered around loss and loss alone. Several Advisory Board and Coalition members have lost colleagues, lost children, lost loved ones, or are seeing the above through their own losses, or through treatment for aggressive or terminal illnesses, weighing the gravity of unfair against fair, and doing the best that we can do to keep up the pace. Inasmuch as our organization is a collective of many engaged “we’s”, few of us are any steps removed from a difficult experience, and when these difficulties compound the other complications in our lives, a figurative nightfall seems close behind indeed. In weeks and seasons like these, may we look for daylight and find it. For Coalition leadership, it is difficult to imagine a Feminisms and Rhetorics conference without Nan Johnson, but the hopeful reality is that Nan’s steadfastness already prevails in the actions of her graduate students, colleagues, and friends at Ohio State, and that we’ll experience some of those moments together next month.

Admittedly, it isn’t always clear whether we catalyze the activity or it drives us. It’s possible that our organization makes as much business as (or more than) it demands. What becomes increasingly clear is how much heart organizational work requires in these seasons when our first reasonable response may be to disengage or just lie down, knowing that nothing around us will slow down. I reiterate my thanks to the many individuals and groups who are, with heart as well as mind, doing organizational work — preparing these conferences, preparing for these conferences, and preparing the way for these conferences, in many avenues and spaces.

With best wishes for a sane November,
Tarez Samra Graban
CFSHRC President

Apply to be the next Digital Media and Outreach Director

The CFSHRC is seeking the organization’s next Digital Media and Outreach Director. Applications are due 1/15/2020.

Overview: Over the past several years, digital media use within the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition has increased considerably. Currently, the CFSHRC boasts not only a long-standing listerv and website but also Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with a team of volunteers who contribute to regular content and livetweet at conferences. Eager to make the most of these resources while meeting the demands of effective communication both within and beyond the Coalition, we are pleased to recruit the next CFSHRC Digital Media and Outreach Director to lead these endeavors.

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Writing Our Future: Feminist Collaborations between CCCC Feminist Caucus and the Coalition

Because of our shared interest in feminist work within writing studies and rhetoric, the co-authors, who are 2 of 4 co-chairs of the Feminist Caucus, provide here a brief history of the work of our group, projects that overlap with the values and interests of Coalition members, and an update on our current project, creating a online archive of the Feminist Workshop held annually at CCCC. We also describe some ideas we’ve been co-developing with Coalition president Tarez Graban for collaborative ventures in the future. 

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In Solidarity with Syracuse U faculty and students

Dear Coalition members and friends,

We write today with concern and to inform. Many of you may already be following the unfolding events regarding racist, white supremacist hate speech incidents on Syracuse University’s campus. The story is being shared widely on social media, and we wanted to ensure that members not on social media are aware and have the resources to stand in solidarity with the faculty and students of color who have been threatened.

For several days, racial slurs and hate speech have been circulated on the Syracuse campus via graffiti, email, and text. Furthermore, some students have been confronted and threatened in person. For one full timeline of incidents, see this article in Jerk Magazine. An article by Aaron Randall and Jesse McKinley in the New York Times has detailed coverage and reports on a personal threat made via email to one of our colleagues, Dr. Genevieve García de Müeller. Gabe Stern of The Daily Orange published an article yesterday which includes accurate information from Dr. García de Müeller about the threats and about the University’s response or lack of response.

There is a Black Students-led sit in as well as other forms of protest being enacted in order to draw public awareness to these incidents and to put pressure on the administration to more outwardly act in protection of students and faculty of color (cf.their list of demands and consider speaking out in support of these student activists).

The graduate-student-led NextGen group has also published a statement of solidarity, which outlines several direct actions for anyone who wishes to show their support. This statement of solidarity also includes a robust reading list that makes visible the connections between the work we do in Rhetoric and Composition and the need for anti-racist activism in academic communities and campuses.

As described in previous statements, we are appalled by these acts of hate speech, institutionalized racism, and hurtful/harmful uses of public discursive spaces for the performance of explicitly bigoted acts.

The graduate student leaders in NextGen have outlined a set of direct actions that we encourage you to consider. The SU Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, & Composition shared a petition and a template letter that can be sent to SU administration in support of Dr. Müeller.

CFSHRC Executive Board
Patricia Fancher, CFSHRC Director of Digital Media and Outreach
Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, CFSHRC Archivist

Announcing the Shirley Wilson Logan Diversity Scholarship

We are pleased to announce a new award in honor of one Dr. Shirley Wilson Logan, a mentor to us all from whom we continue to learn.

The purpose of the Shirley Wilson Logan Diversity Scholarship award is to encourage feminist scholarship (particularly historical in nature) by graduate scholars from diverse and historically un or underrepresented groups. The award will be given to first-time presenters at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference. The award includes both a monetary award ($500 each for up to 6 awardees) and participation in a specially designated session at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference.  Applicants should have an already-accepted presentation for the conference.  

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2019 Coalition Awards

We are pleased to recognize the following feminist scholars for their outstanding work. We thank these scholars for the care, honestly, and commitment they show to feminists in history and present of our fields and professions. Thank you to the many many people who served on awards committees, and to Lisa Mastrangelo for leading the expanding and important awards committees. The following awards announcements were composed by Lisa Mastrangelo:

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Don’t Slow Down

You might believe, and still you feel The chase has just begun That you must reach that horizon before The setting of the sun. You chase the light in front of you Nightfall close behind If you stop to catch your breath You know what you will find.

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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.

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