Peitho 23.2 Now Live!

https://cfshrc.org/peitho-journal/

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

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.

Denouncing Anti-Asian Rhetoric

Coalition Members and Friends,

I share the statement below on behalf of the Executive Board of the Coalition. I also want to let you know that the Coalition is working to develop online events through which we might identify strategies for responding to the frightening rise in attacks–verbal and physical–on Asian communities and on Asian women in particular (see https://stopaapihate.org/reports/). We welcome your ideas for such events. Please feel free to contact me at the email provided below.

In solidarity,
Wendy Sharer, President
president@cfshrc.org


CFSHRC Statement Denouncing Anti-Asian Rhetoric

With hearts heavy from the murders in Atlanta, the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition issues a resounding denouncement of anti-Asian rhetoric and violence.This anti-Asian rhetoric, intensified as a result of the politicization of COVID-19, is particularly dangerous for Asian women, who have long been subjected to misogynistic stereotypes that position them as Othered objects of white male desire and domination. We see and we stand with our Asian colleagues, friends, and families. #stopasianhate

Call for Proposals: Feminist Workshop @ Conference on Community Writing 2021

Another day, another opportunity from the Coalition! We are pleased to announce that CFSHRC will host a feminist-themed workshop at the 2021 Conference on Community Writing!

The conference, to be held online October 21-23, 2021, will focus on the topic “Weaving Narratives For Social Justice Action In The Local, National, Global.” The full CFP for the conference can be accessed at https://communitywriting.org/2021-call-for-proposals.

At this time, we invite individuals and groups to submit 250-500-word proposals for the Coalition’s online, interactive workshop session. As described in the Conference on Community Writing CFP,

Workshop sessions  will consist of 90 minutes of interactive presentation and collaborative work with the audience. We encourage workshop facilitators to include both academic and non-academic stakeholders for community writing. Thus, successful workshop proposals will provide a theoretical background, a discussion of community context, a presentation of fruitful collaboration, and practical tasks for the audience that the workshop panel might facilitate. Experts lead interactive and educational sessions designed to help attendees learn new skills and processes that they can apply in their own lives and neighborhoods and at their own institutions or places of work. Past workshops have included sessions on fundraising, organizing activism, contemplative practice, and building relationships between college and community.

Proposals of no more than 500 words should be submitted by FEBRUARY 5, 2021 to Wendy Sharer at president@cfshrc.orgIn addition to a description of the proposed workshop, please include names, titles, affiliations and email contact information for all proposed workshop leaders.

Proposals will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Coalition’s Advisory Board, and a selection made by March 15, 2021.

Descriptions of interactive workshops from previous Conference on Community Writing meetings are available online as follows:

Best,
Wendy Sharer,
President CFSHRC

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.

In the Coalition Archives: The Feminisms and Rhetorics Collection

I am pleased to share this post on behalf of Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, Coalition Archivist and Historian.  -Wendy


If you, like me, are missing the community of our C’s Wednesday night SIGs or are pining for the quick hallway conversations between sessions at Fem/Rhet, I invite you into the CFSHRC archive where we have a collection devoted to the Fem/Rhet conferences. From the program for the inaugural conference at Oregon State University in August of 1997 to the student-created archive for the latest conference at James Madison, the Coalition archives has some great materials to browse. 

To access the archives, please visit the finding aid on the archives page of the Coalition website. The finding aid is regularly updated with processed materials from the collection. If you are interested in any materials, please contact Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, the current archivist and historian for the Coalition to access the holdings (ramseyae@eckerd.edu). 

In addition to programs from nearly every year, the collection also features planning documents and FAQ for institutions considering hosting Feminisms and Rhetorics Conferences, conference hosting proposals, emails among liaison committee members, book exhibit information, and photographs and videos from various conferences. 

The collection takes us through the evolution of the conference and the Coalition, as we see in the variation of themes: 

  • From Boundaries to Borderland (Oregon State University, 1997) with plenaries including Jacqueline Jones Royster on “Borderlands and Common Spaces: Care and Maintenance in our Neutral Zone” and Nancy Tuana “Fleshing Rhetoric: Speaking Bodies/ Reconfiguring Sex/Gender.” 
  • Cross-Disciplinary Sites of Feminist Discourse (Univeristy of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1999) with exhibits from a variety of feminist art collectives, bookstores, and non profits  in Minneapolis.  The conference featured Voices of Women Writers, a series of readings by novelists and non-fiction writers Judith Katz, Barrie Jean Borrich, Sandra Benitez, Aurora Levins Morales, and the Tight Spaces Collective. 
  • Millikin University, 2001.There was no stated theme for this conference. Featured Keynote speakers at this conference included Krista Ratcliffe “Silence and Listening: Rhetorical Arts for “Resisting Disciplines,” Elizabeth Birmingham “Marion Mahony and Milliken Place: Gender, Erasure, and Architectural Attribution,” Lisa Ede and Andrea Lunsford “Feminism(s) and the Politics of Style” (read by Nancy DeJoy), Elizabeth Flynn “What’s in a Name?: Reconfiguring Feminist Traditions,” Joyce Irene Middleton “The Rhetorical World of Black Women Filmmakers: Camille Billops, Julie Dash, and Cheryl Dunye,” Nan Johnson “A Feminist Writes the History of Rhetoric: What does THAT Mean,” and Susan Applegate Krouse “Transforming Images: American Indian Women’s Narratives in Academia” and Jacqueline Jones Royster and Ann Marie Mann Simpkins “Marking Trails: Race, Gender, and Culture in the History of Rhetoric.” 
  • Intersections: Critical Locations of Feminist Rhetorical Practice (Ohio State University, 2003), where the introductory note highlighted participants from “46 states and 10 nations.” Featured panels included Feminist Historiography with Patricia Bizzell, Cheryl Glenn, Laura Gurak, Winifred Bryan Horner, Jan Swearingen, Kathleen Welch; “Feminist Pedagogy” with Nancy DeJoy, Lisa Ede, Hildy Miller, and Krista Ratcliffe; “Clearing the Clouds, Learning to Speak, and I Got Thunder” with Jacqueline Jones Royster, Shirley Wilson Logan, and Joyce Irene Middleton; and plenary addresses from Andrea Lunsford “All Available Means of Persuasion for Feminists,” Marcia Farr “Speech Play and Verbal Art: New Perspectives on Feminist Rhetorics” and Susan Jarrett “A Sustaining Meloncholy: Feminist Theories and Public Rhetorics.” 
  • Affirming Diversity (Michigan Tech, 2005) with Keynotes including Min-Zahn Lu “Class Matters: Gender, Critical Literacy, and the Global Restructuring of Capitalist;” Donna Harraway “We Have Never Been Human: Companion Species in Naturecultures;” Jacqueline Jones Royster “Gender, Race, and Nation;” Andrea Lunsford “Women Against War;” and Helena Maria Viramontes reading from selected works. 
  • Civic Discourse (University of Arkansas–Little Rock, 2007) where the proposal called for presentations beyond the read-aloud academic essays to more interactive and alternative formats and included a note for graduate students on how to approach the conference. Featured panels included those from outside of academia:  “The Women of Central High” and another “When Worlds Collide: Feminist Art vs. Images of Empire;” Wendy Kline “Bodies of Evidence: Activists, Patients, and the FDA Regulation of Depo Provera; Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General, and a panel on Civil Rights/Civic Discourse. Keynotes included:  Malea Powell “Making NDN Culture: American Indian Women Civic Materialities;” a welcome address from Krista Ratcliffe “Unwilling to Listen: How do you Engage in Civic Dialogue When Each Side Isn’t Civil?” a moderated panel with each of the past conference chairs; Carol Mattingly “A Habit of Civic Engagement: Nineteenth-Century Nuns Dispelling Prejudice; Jessica Rayman “Copyright, Feminism, and Digital Discourse; Hui Wu “Whose Feminism is It? The Rhetoric of Post-Mao Chinese Women Writers;  Shirley Wilson Logan “Daisy Bates and Ida Wells: Talking Across Gender.” Another highlight was a reception and tour at the Clinton Presidential Archives. 
  • Enabling Complexities: Community/Writing/Rhetoric (Michigan State University, 2009). Featured speakers included Gwendolyn D. Pough “On Prince Charming and the Strong Black Woman: Race, Representation, Rhetoric and Romance;” Ceclia Rodriquez Milenas “My English is Not Very Good Looking–Accents and Identities;” Rochelle L. Harris “From Zombies to Writing Groups and Motorcycle Rallies to Memoir: My Search for the Fifth Trope of Rhetoric;” Resa Crane Bistro “Diagnosing Intergenerational Post Traumatic Disorder: Or, a Fat Old Indian Woman Fistfights the American Psychiatric Association in East Lansing;” Terese Guinsatao Monberg “Pinay Peminists: Listening for New Locations and Re/visions of Rhetorical Theory;” and Dora Ramirez-Dhoore “Racial and Scientific Rhetoric in Eco-Political Matters: Third World Women Workers in Helena Maria Viramontes Under the Feet of Jesus and Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s Desert Blood.” This conference also opened with a community event “A Legacy of Conflict and Possibility: an Examination of Racism Between Women of Color and White Women” hosted by M. Carmen Lane from the Lane-Leota Group. 
  • Feminist Challenges or Feminist Rhetorics?: Locations, Scholarship, and Discourse (Minnesota State Mankato, 2011). Keynote speakers included Gayle Salamon, AlisonPiepmeier, as well as a number of keynote roundtables from Kate Ronald, Eileen Schell and Rebecca Dingo who discussed who feminist methodologies and practices. Mumbi Mwangi and Kyoko Kishimoto discussed Women of Color Feminisms, and Sondra Perl and Betsey Sargent revisited the intersections between felt sense, the body and feminism in pedagogy. A lunch time keynote roundtable included Jenn Melby, owner of Mankato’s Coffee Hag, and a cohort of local feminist and LGBTQI business owners. 
  • Networks and Connections: Feminisms, Rhetoric, and Local/Global Communities (Stanford University, 2013). The conference program is not currently in the archives, but it is available here. 
  • Women’s Ways of Making (Arizona State University, 2015). Currently the archive does not have the conference program in its processed holdings, but it is available here. This folder holds a variety of materials related to securing publisher tables. 
  • Rhetorics, Rights, (R)evolutions (Dayton University, 2017). Currently the archive does not have the conference program in its processed holdings, but the program is available here. 
  • Redefining Feminist Activism (James Madison University, 2019). Currently the archive does not have the conference program in its processed holdings, but the program is available here.

The programs and accompanying materials from the collection also highlight the importance of community engagement to the conference–with exhibits featuring local non-profits (such as at University of Minnesota–Minneapolis) or with community leaders offering plenaries (such as at University of Dayton) or with a roundtable with local feminist business owners (such as at the University of Minnesota Mankato). The welcome message from the 2009 Michigan State  conference directors Malea Powell and Sue Webb and conference assistant co-directors Kendall Lion and Jennifer Sano makes this connection explicit: “we have created a conference that both examines the knowledge work we already do as scholars and community activists and that creates more space for the complicated, difficult work that must follow if we want to adequately reflect the deep structure of connections/intersections/overlaps that are critical to our shared future.” They then continue by encouraging participants to “reach across the category” they identify with to forge new connections and new possibilities. 

The idea of blurring binaries was again present at the ASU conference in 2015 where organizers expressly worked to “collapse several impoverished binaries: mind/body, producer/consumer, passive recipients/active consumers, public/private, male/female, and craft/art.” The conference featured artists, weavers, knitters, and other artisans and crafters who presented alongside the more traditional conference format to showcase different ways of making.  That said, throughout all the conference programs, you see the conference encouraging broad understanding of what it means to participate in the conference–from locals housing grad students, to online reading rooms, to performing in plays. The blurring of practice and theory was also evident during the Dayton Conference where attendees helped to raise funds for Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. 

A long-standing feature of the conference that we can observe evolving through the conferences are the shared meals. From the early conferences where nearly all the meals were shared, to the more recent iterations of the conference with fewer shared meals and more emphasis on shared experiences. These experiences include the archival collection highlighted at the 2019 JMU Conference featuring exhibits on the ERA and women’s activism on campus, to the opening cocktail and hors d’oeuvres celebration at the 2017 Dayton Conference featuring a rare book collection, that included first editions of noted feminist texts, to the performance of the award-winning Scottsdale Chorus at the 2015 ASU Conference, to the catered dinner in the Rodin Sculpture Garden at the 2013 Stanford Conference, to the visit to the Clinton Presidential Library during the 2007 ULAR Conference. For me, first as a master’s student and now as a professor, these moments beyond the presentation rooms where I got to metaphorically (and sometimes literally) play with fellow conference attendees is where the magic of feminisms and rhetorics happen. 

The Feminisms and Rhetorics Collection is a reminder that the hard work of feminist rhetorical theory, practice, teaching, and learning can be extended and enriched when we gather to ask critical questions of ourselves and each other in a spirit of inclusivity and encouragement

-Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, CFSHRC Archivist and Historian

Welcome to Peitho’s Advertising Coordinator Intern, Timothy Ballingall!

The Coalition is pleased to welcome Timothy Ballingall as our first Advertising Coordinator Intern for Peitho! Timothy is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric & Composition at Texas Christian University, where he teaches courses in composition, argument, and gender. His dissertation, Rhetoric to the Lovelorn: Women’s Newspaper Advice Columns between the Wars, uses feminist historiography, archival research, feminist interpretations of ethos, and qualitative content analysis to examine advice columnists in the 1920s and 30s. His work has appeared in Peitho.

As the Advertising Coordinator Intern, Timothy will be responsible for assisting in generating advertising revenue for Peitho (contributing to and maintaining a contact list of potential advertisers, soliciting ads, collecting revenue, and assisting with the publication of the ads within Peitho, etc.) over the next 11 months.

Many thanks are due to the Peitho Editorial Board members who served as the search committee for this position: Dr. Suzanne Bordelon, Dr. Lisa Mastrangelo, and Dr. Temptaous McKoy.

Exciting Feminisms and Rhetorics News!

I am pleased to share news that the Advisory Board of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition recently passed the following motion regarding the 2023 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference:

That the Coalition delay of the re- release of the call for 2023 Feminisms and Rhetorics site hosts until the spring of 2021 and require within this call that potential site hosts front themes of anti-racist activism and center the work of feminists of color.

I also want to make you aware that several members of the Advisory Board and the broader Coalition have started work in two task forces: one that seeks to “fill the gap” left by the cancellation of the 2021 FemRhet Conference, and one that aims to investigate and propose potential structural and procedural changes to the FemRhet Conference.

In the remainder of this post, you will find background information about the timing of the call for FemRhet 2023 site hosts and the decision to front anti-racist activism and the work of feminists of color at that conference. In addition, you will learn more about the task forces. As you read and consider these items, please know that your input is strongly encouraged and most welcome. Please contact me (mailto:president@cfshrc.org) or the coordinators of the task forces (their contact information is below) with any ideas, recommendations, or feedback. Members of the Executive Board are also happy to talk through ideas with you if you are already thinking about submitting a site proposal for the 2023 conference. Please direct communications about possibly hosting the FemRhet 2023 to me or to Tarez Graban, Immediate Past President, at tarez.graban.gmail.com.

Background and Task Forces Details

During its virtual annual business meeting in March 2020, the Coalition Advisory Board voted not to co-host a Feminisms and Rhetorics conference in 2021. At that same meeting, the Board also decided to temporarily suspend site-host proposals for the 2023 Feminisms and Rhetorics conference. These decisions were made in response to ongoing conversations about the workflows, formats, and processes associated with the conference and in light of COVID-related uncertainty regarding the possibility of planning for and holding a large gathering in the near future.

With these decisions and situations in mind, the Coalition established two task forces:

  1. An “Alternative Interactions” (AI) task force that is investigating ways to enable conversations, education, mentoring, and other activities that would have occurred at our CCCC 2020 Wednesday evening action hour and during the FemRhet 2021 conference. Lisa Shaver (lisa_shaver@baylor.edu) is coordinating this task force.
  2. A “Workflow, Process, and Format” (WPF) task force that is reviewing past practices and future possibilities related to these aspects of the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference and building on the work of the Coalition’s FemRhet Policies Task Force from last year. Jessica Enoch (jenoch1@umd.edu) is coordinating this task force.

To ensure that our WPF task force members have time to complete their work and that we can, as desired, incorporate changes that they might recommend, and to allow more time for clarity with regard to how institutions and communities will resume life and business in the wake of the pandemic, it seemed advisable for a revised call for site-hosts for FemRhet 2023 to be released in the spring of 2021.

We also felt that the second part of the motion is an essential part of larger Coalition efforts to amplify voices of scholars of color, interrogate white privilege, and promote anti-racist organizational change. While many members and supporters of the Coalition have critiqued white supremacy and engaged in racial justice work in the past, current events and the enduring, centuries-long oppressions and injustices that inform them make it undeniably clear that this anti-racist emphasis for the next FemRhet gathering is not just reactive but is necessary to promote the Coalition’s mission. There are many ways to accomplish this focus in a conference gathering, and members of the Executive Board, as noted above, are glad to make themselves available to discuss ideas in advance of the re-issued call for site-host proposals.

With gratitude and hope,

Wendy Sharer, President CFSHRC

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 

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