Editors’ Introduction

This issue of Peitho was crafted just after the biannual Feminisms and Rhetorics De-Conference taking place at Spelman College in Fall 2023. There, the editorial team were all inspired by the rich and diverse panels that demonstrated how the political and scholarly work of feminism is pushing to make and reimagine a just future. After the editorial team presented “Making Publishing in Peitho Transparent” to a well-attended panel, they eagerly awaited the submissions from participants that would showcase the scholarly possibilities that come out of a de-conference. At the same time, they all heard and indeed felt the power of Tamika Carey’s keynote address, “The Uses of Fatigue: Invitations, Impatience, and Investments,” which acknowledged that the work of feminism is uneven and exhausting and that at the center is rage. During continued fraught times not only in the US but also across the globe, as feminists we rage but we are also challenged to question our own affinities and practices and to recognize our own political affordances and limitations. Because Carey’s keynote focuses on rage and fatigue and their presence and legacies within the feminist community, especially feminists of color, we thought it was imperative to publish it here in Peitho. In particular, her questions, What are feminists’ ways of making it (Ballif, Davis, and Mountford) in times like these? And […] how can we collectively imagine feminist futures when so many of us are tired?” are generative because they push us to imagine ways of doing feminist work in sustainable ways. Though our term as editors will have ended by the next Feminisms and Rhetorics conference in 2025, we hope that publishing the keynote addresses may become a tradition. 

Carey’s focus on feminist futures and fatigue resonates with our two other articles in this issue. Holland Prior in her essayReimagining Sponsorship: Recovery Work, Institutional Sponsorship, and the Nearly Forgotten Rev. Mary A. Will” puts Deborah Brandt’s theories of literacy sponsorship in conversation with feminist rhetorical studies in order to forward a new feminist rhetorical recovery project based not on a figure’s words but on the figure’s relationship with an institution. Carving out a new feminist future through this unique method, Prior cogently demonstrates the affordances of this method for tracing the rhetorical practices of women whose words and work may have been erased, squelched, or would not otherwise be known.  Prior implicitly recognizes how the politics surrounding a speaker may limit how their rhetorical actions were archived and circulated. As a result, her method importantly draws attention to the relationship between figures and institutions. Further drawing our attention to how institutions shape rhetorics, Amy Vidali, draws attention to how choice feminism has inadvertently promoted damaging rhetorics around infertility. Drawing from her personal experiences with infertility, Vidali’s essay resonates with Carey’s keynote essay in that both demonstrate the utility of rage even as may face exhaustion. Vidali uses her experiences to draw attention to the need to understand and communicate about infertility through the lenses of feminist disability and reproductive justice because they reframe the issue temporally, outside of a normative progression controlled by personal choice and responsibility. Ultimately, Vidali offers us new feminist rhetorical practices that treats infertility not as a person failure but as a human condition that changes across a lifetime.   

Jennifer Sano-Franchini and Nina Ha’s Recoveries and Reconsiderations essay in this issue describe the important recovery work involved in building an archive. Their project recovers the history of Asian and Asian American students at their institution, Virginia Tech, and in the surrounding Appalachian community. Sano-Franchini and Ha engage in collaboration among undergraduate students, faculty, and staff to construct this archive in community about the range of Asian and Asian American experience at Virginia Tech. The Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition (CFSHRC) has a collection of resources, “Fighting Anti-Asian Racism and Rhetoric,” and we will be recommending that this archive be added to the collection for its powerful demonstration of antiracism and belonging that universities can and should support and learn from.   

Included in this issue is also an In Memoriam tribute to activist, teacher, poet, and scholar Minnie Bruce Pratt who, in solidarity with others of her generation, paved the way for many to not only embrace sexuality but also to connect oppressions within a heteronormative and heterosexist system. Rebecca encountered Pratt’s work as an undergraduate student with a minor in Women’s Studies. For Rebecca, Pratt’s book S/He showed the workings of heteronormativity and sexism relied on each other.  

The first time Clancy read Pratt’s work was just over twenty years ago, for a feminist studies seminar when she was a student at the University of Minnesota. She was assigned Pratt’s 1984 essay “Identity: Skin Blood Heart,” published in Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism. Pratt reflected on her life experiences, including her childhood in Centreville, Alabama. Having spent most of her life until that point 170 miles north in Florence, Alabama, Clancy felt a shared understanding with Pratt and appreciated the deft way she described the cognitive dissonance that white evangelical Christians in the southern United States often showed, and still show, about US foreign policy, especially in the Middle East: 

in evangelical theology, the establishment of the state of Israel, the growth of an “Arab-Moslem confederacy,” the rise of “red” Russia and China, are seen as important only as preparation for the second coming of Christ; the Christian messiah will come again only when Arabs and Jews in the Middle East “fight a battle into which all the world’s nations will be drawn”—Armageddon. All non-Christians will suffer horribly in these “end-days,” which are described as specifically a time of “purification” for Jews. Christian believers will escape this holocaust, which some of them think might be a “limited” nuclear war, because they will be caught up into heaven in “the Rapture,” and return to earth only after Christ’s coming has prevented the destruction of the planet. Such “Christian” believers, in their Arab-hating and their Jew-hating (disguised as Jew-loving, the right-wing Friends of Israel) have no motivation to work for peace in the Middle East, no interest in the needs of both Palestinians and Jews for safe homes, but only an interest in continuing the long history of imperialist nations in pitting the two peoples against each other. (46-7, my emphasis) 

Pratt, writing in the early 1980s, summarizes the arguments Clancy was hearing later in that decade in her Southern Baptist church’s youth group (this same church brought Lt. Col. Oliver North in to give a talk, with much fanfare, shortly after the Iran-Contra hearings). “Identity: Skin Blood Heart” was published forty years ago, and it’s still as timely now. Rebecca and Clancy didn’t have the opportunity to work closely with Pratt as the contributors here did, but Benjamin Zender, Eileen E. Schell, and C.C. Hendricks share their memories of her as a teacher, mentor, and colleague, and we can see the reach of Pratt’s legacy in their thoughtful tributes.  

Cluster Conversation: Gender and the Rhetoricity of Work 

We are pleased to publish in this issue a Cluster Conversation edited by Michelle Smith and Sarah Hallenbeck. The Cluster started as a weekend workshop at the Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) Summer Institute in 2023 at Penn State. From Thursday, May 25 through Saturday, May 27, participants engaged in the intensive reading, discussion, and workshopping of ideas that is emblematic of RSA workshops, and we’re happy to showcase writing that comes out of that rich, deeply collaborative intellectual environment. In this Cluster, authors examine a variety of different kinds of work and norms and policies about work. Lillian Campbell shares findings from her interviews with tele-observers who work in hospitals and are overlooked members of care teams. Ashley Beardsley reveals the obscuring of labor in Rachael Ray’s show 30-Minute Meals, which demonstrate home-cooked meals that can be prepared in half an hour. Ray makes simple recipes seem more complicated and elevated than they in fact are, while also omitting some of the work that must be done to prepare the meals, including grocery shopping and cleanup. Kristina Bowers analyzes policies of US workfare programs and how they effectively prevent most people with Long COVID from being able to access benefits. Ashley Hay introduces readers to Repairman67, a content creator who posts primarily on TikTok and OnlyFans and is a sex worker, sex educator, and influencer whose work involves creating intimacy with viewers in a digital attention economy. Kelsey Taylor Alexander’s piece looks closely at the the r/antiwork forum on Reddit, a space where users are doing serious critique of cultural norms about work, especially during the pandemic. Alexander historicizes this conversation, situating it in the Protestant work ethic, and she uses David Graeber’s critique of capitalist logics to intervene in received notions of work-as-identity.  

Our cover art for this issue is by Pilar Emitxin, an illustrator and graphic designer in Córdoba, Argentina. The image, “El Feminismo Va a Vencer” (“Feminism Is Going to Win”), is posted on Justseeds, a wonderful place to buy art: posters, postcards, calendars, stickers, and more. Justseeds also has a repository of digital graphics that are Creative Commons licensed. We are grateful for Emitxin’s generosity in providing this art in the repository, and we are proud to feature it on the Winter 2024 cover.  

Nicole O’Connell’s review of Unsettling Archival Research: Engaging Critical, Communal, and Digital Archives completes the Winter 2024 issue. This issue may be the last one that will be featured on the CFSHRC’s website: Peitho will be moving to the WAC Clearinghouse platform soon. It is still the journal of the CFSHRC, and all issues that are currently on the CFSHRC’s website will continue to be archived here, but future issues will appear on the WAC Clearinghouse’s website. This partnership will provide more resources for the journal, including funding and production support, and ease in assigning Digital Object Identifier (DOI) numbers for each contribution to Peitho. We’re excited to be working with the WAC Clearinghouse, and we hope you enjoy this Winter 2024 issue.  

 Works Cited 

Emitxin, Pilar. “El Feminismo Va a Vencer.” Justseeds, justseeds.org/graphic/el-feminismo-va-a-vencer/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024. 

Pratt, Minnie Bruce. “Identity: Skin Blood Heart.” Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti- Semitism and Racism, edited by Elly Buikin, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Barbara Smith, Long Haul Press, 1984, pp. 1-55. 

Editors’ Introduction

Transnational Solidarities 

Fall 2023 has been fraught. Across US college and university campuses, students have been threatened and arrested due to speaking out about the violence that, although happening in Gaza for decades, came to a peak with Hamas’ kidnapping and murdering Israeli civilians.  This violence carries on in the extreme as Israel continues to viciously target Palestinian citizens and military forces—murdering over 18,000 Palestinians at the time of writing this. During the fall, three Palestinian college students, visiting family and friends, were shot while walking down the street in Burlington, VT over their Thanksgiving break.  A “doxxing truck” drove through Columbia University’s campus showing faces of student protesters. Just as Palestinian students have been targeted, since Oct 7th, Jewish students have also been threatened on and off campuses across the US as part of a rising wave on antisemitism, including ideologies that conflate Judaism with zionism.Faculty have felt silenced as administrations have asked them not to write statements in response to the growing violence globally and the unrest on their campuses, while administrators at some of the US’s most elite colleges have been scrutinized for their responses to the conflict. Locally, many of my university’s graduate students, particularly international graduate students, report feeling unsafe. As emotions run high and the conflict continues, campuses are becoming more deeply divisive places and conversation, debate, and listening—some of the tenets of rhetorical study—have seemingly become impossible. While universities have historically been fraught places for many students and faculty, humanistic inquiry at its best is supposed to create an environment where students are encouraged to listen to others, hear different and conflicting perspectives, read deeply, think and act critically, and take rhetorical risks. This seems difficult, almost impossible, in the current moment. Yet, for me as feminist rhetorical scholar, this moment has made me turn back to transnational feminist theory and its focus on solidarity. For transnational feminist scholars, the starting point for solidarity begins with not only hearing different and conflicting perspectives but also attending to how conflict and war are critically embedded in sociohistorical contexts. Solidarity does not always mean agreement or consensus.   

As I have taken in the growing divisiveness on my own campus and in my own community (even among my friends), I have been reflecting on my own role as a feminist scholar and editor. As a transnational feminist rhetorical scholar, this divisiveness to me is not only unsettling but it is also not productive because at the heart of transnational feminist thinking is the understanding that “differences and commonalities… exist in relation and tension with each other in all contexts” (Mohanty 521). Foundational transnational feminist scholar Chandra Mohanty calls for transnational feminist approaches that attend to the legacies of imperialism and colonization that work through sexist and racist policies and representations, as well as the resulting unevenness of political economic structures across the globe. She also calls for framing feminist projects through the knowledge that this unevenness creates different on-the-ground feminist intentions and politics that, at times, may be in conflict with other feminist projects and experiences. In short, transnational feminists seek to forge connections and solidarities across scales based not on common experiences of gender oppression, identity, and patriarchal oppressions alone but on the various ways that legacies and contemporary structures of violence frame women’s lives in different ways. Transnational feminism is a useful framework to approach this current moment where we need new strategies for understanding and communicating about violence. 

Divisive thinking pits women against each other and makes it difficult to recognize the systems and scales (the local home or community and the global spaces) through which communities suffer violence. While I am in no way a scholar who studies or fully understands conflict and violence in the Middle East, as a feminist scholar, I am all too aware that violence is gendered and that in war, occupation, and conflict, women’s bodies become literal battle zones—sometimes as an act of public war meant to publicly dehumanize the enemy and others in private settings meant demoralize, silence, and take control (“Women and Newborns Bearing the Brunt of the Conflict in Gaza”). Reports from Gaza suggest that women on both sides of the conflict have been raped, murdered, and humiliated. War, occupation, and conflict make transnational feminist solidarity politics paramount for feminist rhetorical practices and analyses.   

An article in the online publication The Intercept described how just days before the events of Oct 7th, the Palestinian feminist group Women of the Sun and the Israeli feminist group Women Wage Peace met in various symbolic places throughout Israel and Palestine with the goal of recognizing how violence is gendered and calling out the violence of occupation on all women—Palestinian and Israeli alike but at different scales and effects. On a beach-side table, both sides sat down to write a formal declaration for ending the decades-long conflicts among Israeli and Palestinians. The declaration begins “We, Palestinian and Israeli mothers, are determined to stop the vicious cycle of bloodshed and to change the reality of the difficult conflict between both nations, for the benefit of our children” (WWP). The meeting between both these feminist groups is a great example of a transnational feminist solidarity practices. This group of women see the necessity of solidarity for peace in the region, but they recognize that solidarity does not mean erasing difference or only attending to sameness. Rather, the two groups see the necessity of making connections between how both sides of the conflict, who have different aims and projects, ultimately carry out their violent policies and practices on the backs of women and often without seeing the unintended consequences of violent policies and practices.   

While the article shows how deeply violence is gendered in its recognition that “In conflict settings, rape and sexual violence are used as strategic, systematic, and calculated tools of war, ethnic cleansing, and genocide,” both sides see the history of violence in the region to be gendered in insidious and often quieter ways. The Intercept reports how “The situations [of each feminist groups] are not exactly parallel, but feminists in both Israel and the Palestinian territories are under attack by the most tribalist elements of their societies, each of which envisions its own version of a ‘pure’ society, whose achievement requires the modesty, piety, and subservience of women” (Levine). The article points out how Prime Minister Netanyahu has created a coalition between extreme-right Religious Zionists who are anti-women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and who seek to remove women from public life. Moreover, the military’s violent colonial practices further reinforce other sorts of gendered violence that impact not just Palestinian women but also Israeli women, such as how in the military, in which all women must serve, over one third of women report sexual harassment. As another example, a feminist human rights organization in Ramallah has noted “how Israeli policies such as home demolition, movement restrictions, night raids, and child arrests increase the burdens of family and household, reinforc[ing] women’s ‘traditional roles within the Palestinian patriarchal society’” (Levine). The organization goes on to say, “Coupled with discriminatory laws pertaining to family reunification and marriage and cultural policing by radical Islamists, these policies exaggerate male domination and female dependency and trap women in abusive relationships” (Levine). In other words, as this feminist organization notes, even when the state of Israel supports liberal feminist equality projects, policies are enacted in the name of saving women from patriarchal violence, including that which Hamas is reported to support, while simultaneously reinforcing it. This is pattern seen widely throughout the history of colonization—using women as arguments for political intervention (Spivak).   

Understanding conflict and violence across different scales and contexts demonstrates a transnational feminist analytic. The activism and connections made by Women of the Sun and Women Wage Peace, and the article in The Intercept, reflects what Mohanty has explained as a transnational feminist practice: “A transnational feminist practice depends on building feminist solidarities across the divisions of place, identity, class, work, belief, and so on” (530). Even though Mohanty is writing in the early 2000s, I believe it is apt today to be reminded by her words: “In these very fragmented times it is…very difficult to build…alliances and also never more important to do so.” (530). She argues against divisiveness and instead asks feminists to engage in solidarity projects that are “anti-imperialist, anticapitalist, and contextualized” and that “expose and make visible the various, overlapping forms of subjugation of women’s lives” (515). Mohanty’s approach is also a rhetorical project that requires listening to and understanding different scales and experiences in order to ask questions about, understand, and rhetorically transform location situations. Transnational feminist scholars Ashwini Tembe and Millie Thayer, drawing from Mohanty’s work, further explain that solidarity practices must create the conditions in which “differently situated communities can come together for ‘active struggle’” and then forge “alliances based on common analytic goals rather than similarity of identities” (7; 1). In the example above, similarity of identity would not create solidarity by women who are exploited differently and unevenly within one location. Rather, to create solidary requires understanding not only how gendered exploitation works and looks different within different locations or different political or ethnic orientations but also how the systems themselves are grounded in gender. The transnational feminist solidarity practices above help me to critique the divisiveness I see on my own campus and community by reminding me to think about the broader contexts and history of this war and the rhetorical projects that surround them.  Understanding the various ways that structures organize legacies of gendered exploitation and oppression across borders requires a particular kind of attunement to how they are rhetorically constructed and how they are understood and interpreted on the ground. To me, this is a project of feminist rhetorical scholars, one that I hope to see reflected in future pages of Peitho 

While the essays for this issue do not address the conflicts in the Middle East, what they do offer us is reminders of the wide scope of feminist rhetorical theories and the importance of feminist rhetorical practices for reshaping our knowledge and understanding of history and the present; indeed, they offer feminist approaches that we may apply to other contexts. For example, Kristy Crawley’s essay “The Quest for Meaningful Work: Enacting New True Woman Values via Epideictic Rhetoric” focuses on how women have the power to reframe their roles even when there are pressures to act within the confines of gendered expectations. Crawley shows how women business and literary writers redefined the virtues of the new true women in the 19th century to include the values of resourcefulness, critical thinking, and self-fulfillment “as a basis for educating or guiding readers’ conduct through praising and blaming.” Similarly, Lisa Mastrangelo, drawing from Royster and Kirsch’s feminist rhetorical theories of strategic contemplation and social circulation alongside her employment of Barret-Fox’s cold kairos, reconsidered the value and project of Evelyn Cameron, a photographer whose eye captured what life was like as non-natives moved into the western part of what is now the US in the early part of the 1900s. Mastrangelo asks, “How do viewers ‘read’ the work of a person such as Cameron, particularly if their gaze, like mine was initially, is focused on her as exceptional?” The essay explores how “Cameron’s work as a photographer as well as the images she produced contribute to the more inclusive notions of gender” and women’s roles in defining the American West for non-native people; in doing so, Mastrangelo argues that works from women like Cameron importantly interrupt the idea that the American West was merely a masculine space. Also drawing from Royster and Kirsch’s concept of strategic contemplation, Zoe McDonald reads Hilary Rodham Clinton’s 2015 memoir What Happened as an important turning point toward Clinton espousing pluralist feminist practices. As McDonald argues, Clinton’s memoir offers readers many opportunities to strategically contemplate their own orientation to the election and in doing so, readers are directed by the memoir toward anti-violence and anti-racist coalition. Taken together, the essays in this issue offer readers feminist rhetorical lenses—specifically the role of feminist reframing, re-seeing, and contemplation—that we can employ to better understand our own rhetorical projects.  

Coalescing and Remembering in Cluster Conversations 

This issue has two Cluster Conversations, whose editors have done an outstanding job bringing these authors’ work together and presenting it here. With input from the Peitho Editorial Team, Rebecca writes above in response to the violence in Gaza, and she speaks for all of us about this horror, which continues to unfold as we follow events in the news and on social media. We will not look away, tune out, or be desensitized to this human suffering. Amid the devastation in Gaza and elsewhere in the world, we are also seeing turmoil domestically, as the Supreme Court is hearing a case to prohibit access to mifepristone in an added threat to abortion rights, and as state legislatures and governors in some states keep pressing their racist, transphobic, queerphobic agendas. The first Cluster, “Addressing the Barriers Between Us and That Future: (Feminist) Activist Coalition Building in Writing Studies,” is a powerful collection of writing about the frictions, frustrations, failures, and frontières associated with forming coalitions in this context of book banning, suppression of Critical Race Theory, and derailment of work in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity. The contributors to the Cluster reflect on their experiences and directly name and describe the demoralizing and infuriating treatment they have experienced and witnessed, especially in academia. They offer models for creating community in unwelcoming spaces and advocating for change in institutions. Getting to that future requires listening to these stories, and the authors in this Cluster are courageous to be the ones to tell them. 

The second is a hybrid Cluster Conversation/In Memoriam devoted to Wendy Bishop’s legacy of writing, teaching writing, and mentoring, on the twentieth anniversary of her tragic passing at age 50 of cancer. I didn’t have the honor of meeting Bishop, but I worked closely in the early 2000s with one of her graduate students, Charlie Lowe, who treasured being one of her mentees. He had been working on his dissertation for at least a year, a project I thought was fascinating: an analysis of voice-recognition technology and its potential for composition, particularly with regard to the then-controversial concept of voice in writing. But one day in an email, he added as an aside: “Oh, and I ditched my dissertation,” explaining that he was starting over and writing about another topic. I couldn’t believe Bishop had gone along with that plan – it was such a good topic (still is), and he’d done a lot of writing on it! — but she supported him, and he ended up writing a good dissertation about another topic. She was serious about radical revision.  

The pieces in the Bishop Cluster share memories of her mentoring, leadership, and teaching, and although it’s been two decades since Bishop’s death, the issues raised are still very much relevant in academia: burnout, feminized labor of teaching and administration, and the division between rhetoric and composition studies and creative writing: two fields that still need to talk to each other more. Some of the authors remark that Bishop wouldn’t like some of the changes that have taken place in the last twenty years. I think she would especially dislike the rise of program assessment and rubrics, which tend not to reward or encourage creativity and experimentation. I think she would also balk at the automation in writing and teaching: automated essay scoring, automated plagiarism detection software, and large language models (generative AI), though she may have approached LLMs with curiosity. Even readers who, like me, did not know Bishop will find this Cluster Conversation engaging to read; these pieces reorient us to what matters the most as we do the work of writing and teaching writing. Much has changed since Bishop taught and mentored students, but, to end this issue on a note of hope – and the dream of peace – we can remind ourselves of the power, generativity, and legacy of kind words, connection, and support: for students, colleagues, and community.  

Works Cited 

Levine, Judith. “It’s Feminist to Demand a Ceasefire in Israel–Palestine.” The Intercept, 5 Dec. 2023, theintercept.com/2023/10/26/israel-palestine-feminism-ceasefire/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023. 

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. “‘Under Western Eyes’ Revisited: Feminist Solidarity through  Anticapitalist Struggles.” Signs, vol. 28, no. 2, 2003, pp. 499–535.  https://doi.org/10.1086/342914.  

“Women and Newborns Bearing the Brunt of the Conflict in Gaza, UN Agencies Warn.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news/item/03-11-2023-women-and-newborns-bearing-the-brunt-of-the-conflict-in-gaza-un-agencies-warn. Accessed 14 Dec. 2023.  

Spivak, Gayatri. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present.  Harvard UP, 1999 

WWP. “The Mothers’ Call, 2023.” Women Wage Peace, 16 Sept. 2023, www.womenwagepeace.org.il/en/the-mothers-call-2023/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023. 


Coalitions sometimes sustain—whether through embracing or navigating differences (Glenn and Lunsford) by releasing those who disagree with their respective practices and missions, or in recalibrating and finding new purpose in some other shared motive. Coalitions, however, also often dissolve: perhaps the dissolution takes place due to the fracas of attempting to include, or because some attempt to speak for others, or maybe in contentions over best practices, or even in a kind of successful irrelevance–as its members’ “strategic use of positivist essentialism in a scrupulously visible political interest” possibly having seen fruit with policies revised, officials elected, or mindsets changed (Spivak 205).

But coalitions do not come easy, as they usually represent ephemeral, desired attachments to what cultural theorist Sara Ahmed might call “happy objects” in her 2010 book The Promise of Happiness. And often, as historical challenges to mainstream white feminism borne of unbelonging—particularly in calls by Black feminists like Audre Lorde and feminists of color like Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa—attest, coalitions can offend, disbar, and serve racist, heteropatriarchal, settler-colonial, ableist, or otherwise normative ends, whether or not they intend to. They may, alternatively, result in the formation of new kinds of coalitions among racially marginalized subjects; for instance, Black lesbian feminist and Combahee River Collective founder, Barbara Smith, credits Moraga and Anzaldúa’s collection This Bridge Called My Back as “a document of and a catalyst for these coalitions” (xliv). And while some cultural philosophies–such as Afropessimism, for example (Wilderson III)–ultimately reject coalition altogether, those in feminist circles have theorized/practiced the politics of coalition (arguably) from nascence, from the event that collective organization became central to its justice-oriented missions.

It may be worth repeating that coalitions certainly do not come easy, and when idealized by its participants’ visions of “common ground,” might grow more difficult, less open, and do more harm than any initial aspiration for social good. They also often fail: fail to reach across difference/s, fail to fulfil their purposes, or fail to maintain momentum after initially coalescing. And, of course, coalitions do emerge and exist with more explicitly nefarious end-goals. Coalitions are not inherently positioned toward human good. With this backdrop in mind, alongside the contemporary work of the many who continue to reiteratively theorize coalition in our fields and subfields, such as communication scholar Karma R. Chávez, rhetoric and writing studies scholar Pritha Prasad and technical communication scholars Rebecca Walton, Kristen R. Moore, and Natasha N. Jones, this special issue emphasizes the myriad (re-)makings, 

(re-)breakings, complications, desires, challenges, and dreams lived, practiced, and theorized by its contributors in their varied roles and spaces.  

When we proposed this special issue, we sought to illuminate the conceptual and embodied contact zones we discuss above. Tensions that, for us, were centered by scholars and attendees who participated in any of the three CCCC Feminist Workshop between 2021-2023 when the majority of the editors of this special issue co-chaired. During that time frame, CCCC’s shifted from in-person to fully online to hybrid due to COVID-19 and attempted to move toward more national and international attendance inclusivity. With this organizational backdrop, it was during the 2021 CCCC Feminist Workshop that we grappled with coalition as a commonplace. Lana Oweidat called on us to understand the value of sitting in discomfort, arguing for coalitions that center accountability, responsibility, ethics and intersectionality (a call carried forward by Fitzzsimmons’s and Prasad’s piece in this issue). Aja Martinez also reminded us of the potential of being uncomfortable, of recognizing our discomfort as an indication that we were engaged “in the homework of coalition,” echoes of which we experience in Karen Tellez-Trujillo’s contribution, temporal loops experienced by many of us as we moved through the virtual spaces of conference that year.

As we carried the ideas of Oweidat and Martinez, along with the ideas from the other feminist scholar presenters and attendees, back to our communities and began proposing the 2022 CCCC Feminist Workshop, we responded to Perryman-Clark’s call by inviting feminist scholars whose research and teaching addressed the need for us, as educators and activists, to construct spaces–in our classrooms and communities–that adequately respond to the traumatizing lived experiences of our students, while acknowledging how traumatizing many of academia’s practices, practices steeped in white supremacist notions of power and power acquisition, continue to be. We also more formally imagined the workshop space as having the potential to be an intellectual and professional loop, proposing a recursivity in attendance, speaking, and mentoring by feminist scholar presenters from one year to the next. 

Consequently, scholar-presenters (graduate students, current faculty, and emeritus scholars) from the 2021 CCCC Feminist Workshop were invited to return as respondents and Workshop co-leaders in 2022 and 2023, where the cycle would then, again, repeat. This, we believed, might be a sustainable strategy for rooting the Workshop as a constant (prospective) site for coalition-building. The CCCC Feminist Workshop, then, would be an annual convening dedicated to offering an opportunity to construct a diverse, intergenerational coalition that would not ignore the discomfort and violence of past attempts to build trans-generational coalitions in feminist circles in our field. If this was possible, a space to construct more opportunities to listen recursively to emerging, current, and past wisdom of participants might open (Brereton & Gannet; Wang; Gaillet). We hoped, then, that the coalition-building would both be attendant to what Aja Martinez argues is the “responsibility of privilege,” and we would work to center and amplify new and diverse voices by encouraging a joining and rejoining of on-going and ever-changing scholarly conversations.

Centering the above strategy, then, the 2022 Feminist Workshop featured BIPOC and un(der)represented scholars, which included august feminist respondents and emerging scholars, who grappled with how to focus on student wellbeing in the decision-making of education, how to approach teaching and learning through trauma-informed perspectives, how to address the double pandemic that was (and still is) affecting both our health and our ability to live safely in an environment where black and brown bodies are constantly being policed and killed, and how, if any way, coalition could be used to inform these processes (search #FeministWorkshop #4C22 on X, formerly Twitter, for snapshots of the day). Karma Chávez, who is published in this issue, challenged us during that workshop to interrogate an assumption of commonality that is pervasive in discussions of coalition-building, particularly in feminist circles, while Mays Imad, a neuroscientist, shared her research on trauma-informed pedagogies and practices being deployed more frequently in higher education, as communities found themselves collectively processing the ongoing trauma of COVID-19, asking the audience to attend to the very real generational and active traumas experienced by students and educators. We ended the day listening and learning from Beverly Moss, Shirley Wilson Logan, Lana Owedait, and Kathi Yancey as they conversed in a roundtable discussion. “What’s a different type of model for coalition going forward?” Moss asked. In response, Logan encouraged us to disrupt the idea(s) that coalition-building is an invitation to others to join us in the spaces in which we already reside; instead, she said, we should consider learning where folx are already doing the work and building coalitions in those spaces. From these ideas, the editors began (re)imagining this work as a recognition of and as a traveling toward coalition. As reflection and movement.

Moss’s question, carried from the 2022 workshop into our everyday lives, encouraged the co-chairs to trouble presence for the CCCC 2023 Feminist Workshop, acknowledging in the proposal that we had already spent two years focused on the trials, opportunities, and trauma inherent in coalition building, emphasizing a commitment to disrupt, dismantle, and rebuild coalitions across commonplaces and differences. As Karma Chávez observes in The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance, “because coalescing cannot be taken for granted, it requires constant work if it is to endure” (8). Inspired by Frankie Condon’s challenge to think more deeply about how we might “do hope” in difficult circumstances, we expanded our focus on coalitions as means for inclusion/exclusion by focusing on how our organizations and institutions limit or expand notions of “presence.” 

In Chicago, we centered rage and discomfort, movement and inertia, sound and silence, flow and “stickiness” (Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion). We asked: what does it mean “to be present” in spaces historically structured for the exploitation and demise of historically marginalized peoples? In what ways might we dream new futures together by acknowledging, mourning, and healing from–but not premised on continuing–such violence? When we met face-to-face for the first time in two years, we celebrated and lamented and challenged and imagined. One of the key initiatives at the Workshop was also the invitation to various Caucus leaders to come and share key initiatives from their own workshops, special interest groups, and SIGs. Representatives from the Asian/American Caucus, Black Caucus, Latinx Caucus, LGBTQIA+ Caucus, and more, came and educated Feminist Caucus members regarding their initiatives, ideas, frustrations and hopes for coalition. 

As workshop leaders, feminist scholars, and attendees challenged, interrogated, reimagined, and (sometimes) reproduced what Fitzsimmons and Prasad (in this issue) call “the rhetorics of positivity and abundance surrounding questions of identity, power, and social justice” an exigency emerged to continue these conversations in the pages of Peitho. In this way, we wanted the intellectual work of the workshop to extend to the larger field, to ask folks to listen and learn how feminist scholars navigate the paradox of coalition-building. The authors in this issue took up our call to the field to continue to interrogate this paradox, to challenge the belief that coalition-making is inherently a tactic that centers a building with, to expose the failures of coalition-building to construct more diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces, to articulate, as Chávez reminds us, both “the dangers and possibilities of coalitions.” 

In this vein, we have organized this issue into four thematic categories that emerged as we read and re-read across the manuscripts. In the first section, entitled “Coalition in Theory/Praxis,” authors Chávez, Glasscott et al., House et al., and Fitzsimmons and Prasad work to uncover the potential for fractures, repairs, and new growth in coalitional work. The authors provide context for what they argue is the potential of hegemonic reification in coalitional work. When read collectively, the difficulties Chávez and House highlight are further brought into focus by the practices detailed by both Glasscott et al. and Fitzsimmons and Prasad. Ultimately, the authors deftly break down how, if unacknowledged or under-examined, imperialist desires for conquest insidiously and negatively impact just structures of engagement. They provide readers with ways to apply inclusive coalition theory to practice even in these troubling times. These skillful reminders then lead us to section two, “Accountability with/in Community Relations.” 

“Accountability with/in Community Relations” opens with Letizia Guglielmo and Meghan Stipe’s detailing of their campus and community partnership, as they detail their own practice of  Del Hierro, Levy, and Price “orientations and re-orientations.” These differing instantiations of accountability continue in section two through both the works of Keshia Mcclantoc and Megan Faver Hartline and Maria Novotny. Mcclantoc highlights how understanding, defining, working with, and establishing community partnerships requires actionable principles of accountability. Principles of accountable reciprocity, then, as outlined by authors Hartline and Novotny through the works of Alvarez, Riley Mukavetz, Shah, Patel, Baker-Bell, Martinez, Crewnshaw, and McCoy, are applied throughout the section. The Peitho authors poignantly demonstrate that without direct leadership from community partners, feminist coalition cannot thrive. 

From unearthing practices rooted in white supremacist notions of suppression to the klaxon call of the effects of burnout on student performance, section three or, “The Promises and Perils of Coalition Building in Academia,” these authors focus our attention on the ways in which coalition impedes or promotes inclusive academic ecologies. The section opens by Abbas et al, who show that coalition work, especially in the context of an academic department is always, already messy, complicated, unfinished, and generally further from change than coalitional activists might hope. This is followed by McDermott who performs an examination of the ways in which their disciplinary training might be one of the very things inhibiting the ability of feminists to form life-giving coalitions for change. These investigations are further challenged by the work of Ghimire et al, as they position transnational mentorship as a functional way to build disciplinary coalitions across time and space. 

To remind us of the time-bound nature of coalition, section four closes the issue with the section “Temporal Politics of Coalition.” The authors of this section remind us of the recursive nature of coalition, both in the forming and maintenance of inclusive coalition. They examine the ways in which coalition and relationships with/in them change over time while having the potential to chase continuity along the thoroughfares of established legacy. From the localized examples provided by McMartin and Diaz to the instantly recognizable iconography examined by Molko, this section provides ways in which readers can examine time and timeliness as concepts directly influenced by the building, staying power, and adaptability of locality. The section closes with Tellez-Trujillo’s individual contemplation on coalition’s meanings for her inside and outside of the academy, emphasizing how lived experience, writing, and retreat may inform coalitional engagement and mentorship across time and space.

Of course, the special issue would not be complete without the work of some of our foremothers who bring each of us to this space. Shirley Wilson Logan, Cheryl Glenn, and Andrea Lunsford use the afterword to ruminate on dual calls–one from Moss in the Workshop itself (as we’ve mentioned earlier), and one in the 2015 text in Peitho by Glenn and Lunsford that calls for more inclusion “to seize kairotic moments as they arise to keep central the goals of supporting research by, about, and for women and mentoring young scholars squarely in its sights” (13). Together, these foremothers consider how this special issue responds to their calls, to continue our recursive trajectory, as we work to uncover, recover, and trouble the temporality and embodiment of coalition. 

We want to thank the diligent support of Clancy Ratliff and the Peitho team for their engagement, guidance, and patience from the writing of our call for this special issue through its publication. We are particularly grateful to PS Berge for the thoughtful design of the cover. The collection would be empty if not for the over fifty authors who worked tirelessly to write, revise, rewrite, revise, and edit these texts. It was our honor to facilitate this collective conversation on coalition. 

Works Cited

Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Routledge, 2004.

Ahmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. University Press, 2010.

Brereton, John and Gannet, Cinthia. “Intergenerational Exchange in Rhetoric and Composition: 

Some Views from Here.” Composition Studies, vol. 49, no.1, 2021, pp. 119-24.

Condon, Frankie. “2023 Call for Proposals: Doing Hope in Desperate Times.” Conference on 

College Composition and Communication, https://cccc.ncte.org/cccc/call-2023

Chávez, Karma. Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities

University of Illinois Press, 2013.

Chávez, Karma R. The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance. University of Washington Press, 2021.

Gaillet, Lynée Lewis. “Growing Pains: Intergenerational Mentoring and Sustainability of the 

Coalition’s Mission.” Peitho, vol. 24, no. 4, Summer 2022, https://cfshrc.org/article/growing-pains-intergenerational-mentoring-and-sustainability-of-the-coalitions-mission/ 

Glenn, Cheryl and Andrea A. Lunsford. “Coalition: A Meditation.” Peitho, vol. 18, no. 1, 2015, 

  1. 11-14. https://cfshrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/18.1FullIssue1.pdf

Lorde, Audre. “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House.” Sister Outsider: 

Essays and Speeches. Crossing Press, 1984, pp.110-113. 

Martinez, Aja Y. “The Responsibility of Privilege: A Critical Race Counterstory Conversation.” 

Peitho, vol. 21, no. 1, 2018, pp. 212-233. 


Moraga, Cherríe and Gloria Anzaldúa, Eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical 

Women of Color. Persephone Press, 1981. 

Perryman-Clark, Stacey. “2022 Call for Proposals: The Promises and Perils of Higher Education: 

Our Discipline’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Linguistic Justice” Conference on College Composition and Communication, https://cccc.ncte.org/cccc/call-2022.   

Prasad, Pritha. “‘Coalition is Not a Home’: From Idealized Coalitions to Livable Lives.” Spark: 

A 4C4Equality Journal. Vol. 3, 2021. https://sparkactivism.com/volume-3-call/from-idealized-coalitions-to-livable-lives/

Smith, Barbara, Ed. Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology. Women of Color Press, 1983.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Subaltern Studies. Deconstructing Historiography,” In Other 

Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. Methuen, 1987, pp.197-221. 

Walton, Rebecca, Kristen R. Moore, and Natasha N. Jones. Technical Communication after the 

Social Justice Turn: Building Coalitions for Action. Routledge, 2019.

Wang, Zhaozhe. “Too Green to Talk Disciplinarity.” Composition Studies, vol. 49, no. 1, 2021, 

  1. 160-163. https://compositionstudiesjournal.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/wang_49.1.pdf

Wilderson III, Frank B. Afropessimism. Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2020. 

Editors’ Introduction 

The 2022-2023 academic year has come to an end, and while some may mark this year as “post-pandemic,” most of us are still feeling its consequences. We are mourning lost loved ones, perhaps carrying debt from a period of lost income, and burdened by other forms of debt as well: sleep and rest debt most centrally. We are working with students who have experienced learning loss, including in many cases our own children. The summer may or may not be an opportunity to rest, as we struggle to regroup and make progress on long-stalled research projects, pursue additional summer jobs to supplement income, and just do the work that is needed at home.  

In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, residents of many states in the US are dealing with other serious emergencies and attacks. Those of us who are trans, and who have friends and family members who are trans, are contending with state legislatures’ attempts to deny life-saving gender affirming health care, which was already far too burdensome to access. Those of us who work within our communities and institutions to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, decolonization, and belonging are seeing small and hard-won gains being threatened. Those of us with student loan debt are facing the end of the respite from having to make monthly payments and are having to make difficult plans and choices about household budgets.  

As these events unfold around us, we continue writing, mentoring, and supporting our communities as we are able. We gather together this month, June 2023, for Juneteenth events (in the US) to learn about our history, and for Pride celebrations to show solidarity with the most vulnerable in our communities, insisting on the right to exist, and thrive, in public as queer and trans. This issue of Peitho is among these acts of resilience. 

Hyoejin Yoon Memorial 

We begin this issue by remembering Hyoejin Yoon, who passed away on December 16, 2022. She was a professor at West Chester University and a leader in the field of composition studies, particularly in the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Asian/Asian American Caucus. Essays by Eileen Schell, Terese Guinsatao Monberg, and Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Jennifer LeMesurier, and Jen Bacon share memories of their years of knowing Hyoejin. In last summer’s issue of Peitho marking the journal’s tenth anniversary, one of the essays, written by Brooke Boling, Laura R. Micciche, Katie C. Monthie, and Jayne E.O. Stone, engaged feminist grief by going through the archives of Peitho and reading the memorials. We are committed to devoting space in this journal to remembering cherished feminist mentors and reflecting on their legacies, especially those lost far too soon, as Hyoejin Yoon was at only 52 years old.  

Schell’s personal account of her friendship with Yoon is a beautiful portrait of a mentoring relationship, and it helps those of us who did not have the good fortune to meet Hyoejin to have a way to know her. Monberg and Sano-Franchini’s essay collects memories from several members of the CCCC Asian/Asian American Caucus who worked with Hyoejin for many years, and they share their experience of working closely with Hyoejin, including on the excellent book Building a Community, Having a Home: The CCCC Asian/Asian American Caucus. Monberg and Sano-Franchini also provide a review of Yoon’s published research and show its contribution to the field. Jennifer LeMesurier’s piece has the immediacy of remarks delivered in an in-person meeting; Hyoejin had been scheduled to serve as the respondent after a panel discussion at the Asian/Asian American Caucus meeting at CCCC in February 2023, and Jennifer is speaking in her place, both engaging the valuable research presented by early-career scholars, as Hyoejin would have done, and paying tribute to her as well. It was a difficult rhetorical task, and LeMesurier does it with the utmost intellect and sensitivity. Finally, Jen Bacon’s remarks, delivered at a memorial at West Chester University, show us the magnitude of the impact that colleagues can have on each other day to day, year to year.  


The essays for this Spring 2023 issue offers scholarship that move from the local classroom out into the global realm and back again. They demonstrate various acts of resiliency: a teacher patiently leads students towards a feminist consciousness, even when they are reluctant to follow, students question and educate others about the research practices of their land-grant university, and a novel carves out new forms of human rights ideals that are based on feminist solidarities instead of capital accumulation.  To begin, Abby Dubisar’s essay “Feminist Ethos and Global Food Systems Rhetorics on Campus” and Weiming Denise Yao Gorman’s essay “From Textual Subjects to Voracious Feminists: Rethink Constitutive Rhetoric,” for example, center students and their rhetorical practices. In Gorman’s case, she explores how students come to her communication studies classroom as reluctant feminists but leave as voracious ones. Gorman chronicles the pedagogies she uses that help students develop feminist thinking and action in her general education classroom, demonstrating how rethinking constitutive rhetoric through feminist rhetorical theory alongside centering students’ experiences and perspectives helps students to develop a feminist politic. Her deep dive into classroom practices offers feminist teachers a series of pedagogical approaches to moving even reluctant students towards becoming voracious feminists.   

Dubisar similarly shows how students developed and employed their feminist ethos when challenging their land-grant university’s politics around global food security and GMO research and testing. Students schooled in feminist and transnational feminist thinking attuned to legacies of colonialism and global capital production, challenged their institution’s broader narrative of “feeding the world” by asking who was really benefitting from their institution’s seemingly charitable food system projects. Dubisar’s analysis shows how students’ ethos around food systems and their rhetorical actions had both limits and possibilities—the students were able to employ rhetorical strategies to question and call out their university’s limited understanding of food systems but at times were ignored due to their subject positions. Although Dubisar does not mention it specifically in her essay, the rhetorical actions and knowledge-making strategies that the students engaged in demonstrate the unique lenses that rhetorical scholars can bring to interdisciplinary projects that can help disrupt the Capitalist-economic, colonial, and neo-imperial logics that often frame global food system projects. Such ethos will potentially help policymakers and scientists create better global food systems projects. The students that are showcased in Dubisar’s essay demonstrate the sorts of rhetorical acumen and resilience that Gorman sought to develop in her students and the sort of anti-capitalist human rights approaches Belinda Walzer gestures to in her essay in this issue. As one of the students in Dubisar’s essay argues, the GMO research the university conducted overlooked the local needs and perspectives of populations that the research purported to benefit.  This sort of local (on the ground) connection to global issues is echoed in Walzer’s study of how local human rights needs are represented.   

Walzer, in her essay “Economies of Rights: Transnational Feminism and the Transnational Structure of Rights,” relatedly seeks to disrupt the Capitalist-economic, colonial, and neo-imperial logics that frame human rights discourses around global sex trafficking. Walzer’s deep transnational feminist analysis demonstrates the ways that economic rhetorics form the basis of the logic of women’s rights in general, making projects of solidarity across difference difficult. To imagine a model of transnational feminist solidarity, Walzer then turns to a Burmese novel that complicates the economic logics of human rights. As Walzer describes, the novel exposes the limits of the trope of passive sex-trafficking victim that tends to frame anti-sex trafficking human rights discourses. Instead, the novel depicts a subject of gendered human rights who, because her sex-work does not fit with the dominant victim narrative, cannot be recognized within the larger rhetoric of global capitalism in human rights. It is through transnational feminist rhetorical solidarity that the novel disrupts the legal marking of gendered human trafficking. As all these essays show, feminist resilience and practices can take many forms and each practice can move us closer to a more just world. 

Cluster Conversation on Feminist Internet Research Ethics 

This issue also includes a Cluster Conversation, a feature in Peitho that first appeared in Spring 2020 with the Queer Rhetorical Listening Cluster. In this issue, we have a collection of pieces about Feminist Internet Research Ethics, edited by Kristi McDuffie and Melissa Ames. These seven essays offer insights not only about internet research ethics, but also research methods, research design, and feminist pedagogy. Internet research ethics has been a topic of study since at least the early 2000s, and with each new technology, the ethical responsibilities of researchers must be reconsidered in an accretive process. The essays in this cluster show the progression of the conversation about ethics in internet research, which was fairly new when I was in graduate school in the early 2000s. The question we frequently grappled with was: are we studying texts, or are we studying people?  

The contributors to this Cluster Conversation unpack the complexities of that early question, taking into account perceived privacy, vulnerability of the people involved, sensitivity of the subject matter in posts, removal of identifiers, whether or not permission was requested and granted, and sharing of the research with participants prior to publication: generally having and maintaining a good, respectful relationship with users in online communities. Cam Cavaliere and Leigh Gruwell explain the importance of self-care and strong mentoring when doing research about aggression and harassment online: a real problem that needs to be studied, but that can be very upsetting to engage with. Wilfrido Flores describes a new approach to coding data: “slow coding,” which requires researchers to slow down and approach data more reflectively and that can result in conclusions that are more nuanced, accurate, and critical. Hannah Taylor shares careful ethical reflection on work that she has done on visual content online, which is more difficult to anonymize. Charles Woods and Devon Fitzgerald Ralston offer a heuristic for reflecting on research ethics specific to podcasting, which reveals the considerable behind-the-scenes labor and time commitment involved in producing podcasts; it is valuable for any scholar who is including podcasting in their tenure and promotion dossiers. Nora Augustine’s examination of the ethics of doing research about online support groups engages the rapidly shifting norms of privacy and confidentiality that are in effect for support groups that meet on Zoom. Gabriella Wilson’s essay on teaching feminist research ethics and methods is a helpful guide, with student-facing reflection prompts, that can be adapted for any undergraduate or graduate course, including first-year writing. Because so much communication happens online, most of the research we do in our field is internet research, so this cluster would make a valuable addition to any syllabus of a course on methods for a graduate program or for undergraduate research.  

Book Reviews 

With this issue, we are thrilled to introduce our new Associate Editor, Jennifer Nish. Thanks to her work, we have three book reviews in this issue. Maria Ferrato reviews Utopian Genderscapes: Rhetorics of Women’s Work in the Early Industrial Age, by Michelle C. Smith. Lane Riggs reviews Ethics and Representation in Feminist Rhetorical Inquiry, edited by Amy Dayton and Jennie Vaughn. Ellen O’Connell Whittet reviews Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative, by Melissa Febos. These three books are diverse in subject matter but all equally interesting and relevant.  

We hope you enjoy this issue, including its cover art, which was a labor of love: the CCCC Feminist Caucus gave conference attendees the opportunity to create fabric squares to be made into a wall quilt, which Holly Hassel sewed after the conference. The Caucus then auctioned the quilt, with the proceeds going to help fund caregiving grants for the CCCC convention. We thank the Feminist Caucus for allowing us to use a photograph of the quilt as the cover of the Spring 2023 issue. The next issue will be from our guest editors: Angela Clark-Oates, Louis M. Maraj, Aurora Matzke, and Sherry Rankins-Robertson. It’s a summer special issue with the theme Coalition as Commonplace: Centering Feminist Scholarship, Pedagogies, and Leadership Practices, and we’re excited to read it.  



Editor’s Introduction

The Winter issue of Peitho arrives on the heels of the first in person CCCCs since 2019 and the tri-annual conference Writing Research Across Borders held in Norway. The energy at these conferences was palpable. To be able to have unplanned encounters with folks in the hallways, during sessions, and even as we walked down the street reminded us all how important connecting with people in real time is, how travel helps us develop new understandings about place, language, and culture, and how much getting away for the daily grind of work can open new ways of thinking and seeing. In the best-case scenario, engaging in in person intellectual exchange humanizes the experiences and perspectives and helps us develop empathy (and sometimes anger), coalition, and shared political commitments to changing institutions and structures. Indeed, my intersectional feminist politics is always strengthened (and sometimes challenged) by the concerns and perspectives outside my small bubble of academia in Western MA.   

While not all essays explicitly state it, each essay in this Winter issue of Peitho is demonstrating an important shift in the field toward centralizing intersectional perspectives born specifically out of the deep political and scholarly work of women of color historically and in the present. As these essays show, when feminist scholars extend beyond liberal feminist lenses that do not address how racialized, heteronormative, ethnocentric, and class power work together, they begin to see how white feminism became a feminism that “unremarks” on the concerns of women of color and other marginalized people (White-Farnham), on how intersectional and material analyses or labor and power can create institutional change (Cox and Riedner), and how an African American Club’s study group’s secretaries worked to re-compose dominant narratives about African American women and their histories (Nelson). Feminist scholars of color have long shown that race and gender cannot be separated from our political commitments and are in fact central to them. These essays reflect Peitho’s ongoing commitment to expanding feminist rhetorical theory and showcasing feminist teaching and administrative/institutional practices.  I am excited to see that the authors of this issue have centralized these lenses in their approach to reading archives, developing cross generational coalitions, and in questioning the persistence of a feminist politics that does not take intersectionality into account.  We hope to continue this conversation not only in Peitho but at the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference in Fall 2023! 

This issue of Peitho also, sweetly, offers a demonstration of intergenerational feminism as the artist for our cover is the (feminist) mother of one of our authors (Rachel Riedner). We are so pleased to be able to showcase both of their works in the same issue.  

–Rebecca Dingo (Co-Editor) 

The Winter issue also includes two Recoveries and Reconsiderations pieces, both examining the rhetorical work of women in patriarchal faith communities. The first, by Tiffany Gray, is a preliminary look at some interesting archival documents: the Mormon Women’s Oral Histories Collection at Claremont Graduate University. The women who share their oral histories grapple with their identities as women and as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as Gray shows. Gray ends her tour through this archive by offering a list of considerations, some of which can help researchers who are new to archival work navigate their way through collections of archives.  

Gray’s essay is a recovery, and the second piece, by Samantha Rae-Garvey, is a reconsideration: it looks back at Beth Moore, who was a prominent Southern Baptist leader until she decided to leave the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in 2021. Rae-Garvey focuses on Moore’s Twitter account, the main place where she struggled, publicly, to process her anger about the dismissal, dehumanization, and abuse of women in the Southern Baptist Convention.  Rae-Garvey claims that the SBC mislabeled Moore’s speaking engagements as “preaching,“ possibly in an attempt to squeeze her out of the SBC by insinuating that Moore was assuming the role of pastor, which is limited to men (Moore herself never called herself a pastor or her speaking preaching).  

There are people of all genders who see inequity and mistreatment when it happens in faith communities. In Sonia Johnson’s 1981 feminist memoir, From Housewife to Heretic: One Woman’s Struggle for Equal Rights and Her Excommunication from the Mormon Church, another story of a life lived in a faith community, she recounts years of seeing and experiencing small acts of injustice against women and girls and filing each one of them away.  

Eventually, Johnson remarks, her file burst.  

–Clancy Ratliff (Co-Editor) 

Introduction to the Fall 2022 Issue

Cover art: “Our Secret,” by Mike Edwards 

 Mike Edwards (https://preterite.net) is an associate professor of rhetoric and composition at Washington State University in Pullman. His work has appeared in Pedagogy, Rhetoric Review, and a number of edited collections. His scholarship focuses on the intersections of rhetoric, technology, composition, and economy. He likes cats. 

Greetings from the Peitho editorial team! This issue marks one year of Clancy and I leading the journal! In addition to day-to-day tasks of keeping the journal fresh, relevant, and fierce, we have been working on creating processes that align with our commitment to anti-racist practices, improving our submission and reviewing processes, and working to make the journal more accessible not only on our site but also in databases. With our new editorial board, our constantly hardworking team, and our soon to be announced associate editor, we see that Peitho is going to thrive! But we need our readers’ continued support too. Please fill out (and share with your feminist colleagues) our reviewer interest survey. We rely on our feminist community to act not only as supportive peer reviewers but also mentors for prospective authors. Our current list is a bit out of date. Over the past years, many of our reviewers may have developed additional research, teaching, and service expertise, and there are always new folks entering the conversation. We’d like to know who you are, what you are doing, and how you’d like to engage with the Peitho community.  

In this Fall 2022 issue of Peitho, feminist approaches to agency, context, and genre thread across the essays and demonstrate the dynamic and broad feminist inquiry that scholars continue to bring to the journal. Read together, authors in this issue invite readers to consider rhetorical nuances by re-seeing and re-examining the agentive writing of individual women students (“Student Writings as ‘Mutt Genres’ and ‘Unique Performances’), the popularity of the well-circulated and celebrated book Persepolis (“Global Mobility”), and the rhetorical uses of shame and affect (“Unsticking Shame”). These essays demonstrate the importance of feminist rhetorical scholars working at various scales and the need for scholars to consider contexts. In this issue’s case, this means examining local writing and composition pedagogy within the context of one university in the mid-west USA, tracing rhetorics of shame in a US-national context, and questioning the transnational perceptions of the Iranian Revolution in a book that has been incredibly popular for US and European audiences.  

In Azadeh Ghanizadeh’s essay “Global Mobility and Subaltern Knowledge: A Transnational Feminist Perspective on Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis,” she lays bare the often unexplored complex historical and feminist contexts of the well-circulated (especially in first-year writing curriculums) book Persepolis. In doing so, Ghanizadeh draws attention to how US and European-feminist audiences often celebrate the book for its feminist and multicultural story of migration and Iranian identity. However, as Ghanizadeh suggests, rhetorics of Islamophobia and Eurocentric feminism weave through Persepolis and thus limits US and European audience members’ understanding of the complexities of migration. Moreover, such rhetorics perpetuate misunderstanding about people and cultures different from our own. As she argues, these rhetorics are shaped by histories of capitalism, colonialism, and cosmopolitanism, making them fascinating for US and European audiences who are interested in stories about exile and subaltern identities while not demonstrating these discursive limits for the very people they impact. Ghanizadeh asks us as readers to re-see and re-examine the affinity of stories like Persepolis. This essay is timely given the protests in Iran against strict veiling laws that have come in the wake of the murder of Masha Amini, a member of Iran’s minority Kurdish group, at the hands of police for allegedly wearing her hijab incorrectly. Amini’s murder is just one of many examples of the violence against women, particularly women protesters, currently unfolding in Iran. 

While Ghanizadeh is concerned with audiences’ needs to understand the nuance of popular stories about subaltern women, Sarah Polo, in “Student Writings as ‘Mutt Genres’ and ‘Unique Performances,’” looks at how women students write against and with common rhetorical and composition conventions. She uses the archive of one student at the University of Kansas in the early 1900s to show how women students developed savvy rhetorical skills and agency that responded to (and even critiqued) their writing instruction. As Polo details, the student’s unique uptake of genres shows a shift from the teaching of rhetoric to the teaching of composition and in doing so she asks her audience to re-see and imagine how students developed agency through their writing. Polo’s nuanced reading of the archive points to the complex ways that student writing and their “mutt genres” helps readers revise the history of composition. 

Like Polo, Hannah Taylor considers how participants of the Braving Body Shame Conference similarly use rhetorical skills to carve out agency and in doing so help rhetorical scholars re-examine how they have analyzed rhetorics of shame. Shame, according to Taylor, has been flattened in rhetorical theory. Taylor shows how participants in the conference have usefully redefined shame by attending to it not as monolithic and flattened feeling but rather as a recursive process that can be generative and agentive. By drawing readers’ attention to the nuances of shame and recontextualizing as it as agency, Taylor offers feminist scholars grounded and fruitful examples of how to reconsider rhetorics of shame. Taylor ultimately ends with a call for scholars to ground their analyses of women and their rhetorical acts “as characterized by those women,” shifting feminist rhetorical methods toward thinking about the dynamics of agency. 

A Note on Copyright (and Accessibility) 

In the past, Peitho has provided only PDF versions of articles. Then, for a time, we had both web and PDF versions of articles, and then only web versions. Recently, under the leadership of our Web Coordinator, Kelli Lycke, we have been offering both PDF and web versions of articles again. We do this for two main reasons: first, we sometimes get inquiries from people who are putting together portfolios for tenure and promotion, and they would like a PDF of their article with the journal’s formatting and branding. Second, and more significant, for accessibility: PDFs offer more flexibility for screen readers – apps like Speechify allow users to download PDFs and listen to them without needing an internet connection. Kelli is leading the effort to design front matter for the PDF version of the journal, and copyright is part of that.  

When I (Clancy) first applied to be an editor of Peitho, I was thinking about my time in graduate school, when I first became passionate about open access scholarship. I wanted to be a part of Peitho, especially because it is free and open access, meaning no subscription fees are required and no paywalls, logins, or other barriers to entry exist. When I was in graduate school, during the height of the blogosphere, some of us mounted an informal campaign to pressure rhetoric and composition journals to adopt Creative Commons licenses, and several did: Kairos, Computers and Composition Online, and The Writing Instructor. Now, we are pleased to announce that the issues of Peitho during our term as editors will have a CC-BY license, or Attribution license. That is considered the gold standard of open access, meaning that we grant permission in advance for Peitho articles to be reprinted in edited collections, archived on other websites including institutional repositories and course websites, as well as permission in advance for adaptations, including translations into other languages and audio recordings. We hope that, observing the process of shared governance including input from the Peitho Editorial Board, Coalition Advisory Board, and Coalition Executive Board, we may eventually revise the Peitho bylaws to adopt a Creative Commons Attribution license permanently.  

Editors’ Introduction

We are approaching the tenth anniversary of Peitho’s transition from newsletter to journal and the 26th anniversary of its beginning as newsletter. When we started as the editorial team, we noticed right away that the tenth anniversary would happen during our term. Because summer had traditionally been the season of our special issues, we decided that this issue would be a Cluster Conversation about the tenth anniversary of the journal, and we posted a call for contributions in February 2022. Cluster Conversations afford a lot of flexibility in terms of genre and length of manuscript, encouraging shorter and longer essays. I (Clancy) am the co-editor in charge of Recoveries and Reconsiderations and special sections, which includes special issues, Cluster Conversations, and memorials, so I am the editor of this issue and the author of this introduction. 

This journal is named for Peitho, the goddess of persuasion, not to be confused with Rhetorica, an image from one of Mantegna Tarocchi’s cards that personifies the art of rhetoric (there are cards for Philosofia and Geometria too, among others). I thought about the goddess when trying to come up with ideas for the cover, but I had nothing specific in mind. However, recently I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I saw a post from Dr. Jody Shipka, whose art and rhetorical critique in multiple media, including cake and cookies, always impress me. She had been experimenting with drawing, and she posted the image on the right below. According to Shipka, it was simply a practice sketch; she had been drawing objects and animals and wanted to get better at drawing people. This sketch was based on a random image from an image search for bald heads, because Shipka wanted to focus her practice that day on the proportions and shapes of heads without hair. I didn’t know that backstory until later, but in a turn of unintended consequences, on that day her drawing struck me immediately as a perfect piece of cover art for this issue, as a new, reimagined look for the goddess Peitho. Shipka graciously agreed to let us use the image for this issue’s cover. I thought about the “how it started/how it’s going” meme template for the transformation of the image of the goddess: 

Image Description: On the left, the words “how it started” and, underneath, an image of art representing the goddess Peitho, a full-length portrait of the goddess in a flowing robe, with curly hair wearing a headpiece similar to a crown. She is leaning to the left, as though lunging away from someone outside the frame. On the right, the words “how it’s going” over a sketch of a woman with a shaved head. The sketch shows her head and shoulders. She has a stern expression on her face and is glaring off to the viewer’s left.

This goddess is angry. She is tired of bad-faith argumentation; disinformation; both sides-ism; people who put other people’s existence, humanity, and rights up for debate; settler colonialist narratives that are presented as objective history; book banning; tone policing; mansplaining; misgendering; and microaggressions. She is the goddess for this moment.  

As we reflect on the past decade and look to the future, the Peitho editorial team seeks to bring these sentiments to the journal as well. Part of the reflection and preparation for this tenth anniversary issue involved an impromptu graduate course focusing on the journal, which I will describe.  

The Peitho Course 

At my university, like many others, we are underfunded and trying to keep costs as low as possible for students. Faculty members retire, and we are not given permission to replace them; instead, we hire and rely on Visiting Assistant Professors and instructors on temporary, one-year appointments, to teach undergraduate and graduate students. In the summer of 2021, we lost one of our VAPs, who had received another offer for a permanent position. We were happy for her, but we soon had to turn to the course schedule for the fall to decide whether to cancel or reassign her courses. One of them was a cross-listed undergraduate/graduate course about feminist studies. Her theme had been Caribbean Women Writers, and the class was full. I didn’t want those students to miss out on the opportunity to take a feminist studies course, so on short notice, I decided to teach it as an overload with the topic Publishing Feminist Research. The class would be a deep dive into the archives of Peitho. The nearly ten years of issues of the journal would be our course text, and I would fold in some content about journal editing and the peer review process. It would keep the class from being canceled as well as give me rich preparation for the tenth anniversary issue.  

I contacted the students individually to explain the situation and to propose the new topic. I asked if they would still be interested in taking the course with me and the new topic, and I assured them that I understood if they wanted to make other plans and take a different course instead. Most of the students wanted to stick with the class, so we proceeded. The archives of Peitho provided ample material for discussion about theories and methods used in feminist research, as well as historiography, uses of archives, and intersectionality. The students in the class served as the selection committee for the two articles we nominated for the Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition volume (more on that in the next section!). As we discussed each article in the previous volume year with the task not only of analyzing the articles but specifically evaluating their quality, we raised the question of what makes a great scholarly article in feminist studies. We came up with these criteria: 

  • relevance to a wide audience in gender and sexuality studies 
  • methodological sophistication, impressive use of archives, years of ethnographic observation, etc. 
  • accessibility in writing style, organization 
  • creativity, in writing style, genre, or theoretical approach 
  • historical awareness (not engaging in ahistoricity) 
  • adhering to highest standards of ethics and respect in dealing with human participants, sacred cultural artifacts, etc. 
  • inclusivity, mindfulness of multiple perspectives: transgender, race, disability, age, class, etc.; demonstrating this by citing BIPOC, transgender, and disabled scholars 
  • not engaging in erasure 
  • global awareness, transnational approach; understanding of imperialism, colonialism, neoliberalism, postcolonialism 

 The Editorial Team will likely keep these criteria for nominating articles for the series going forward. Students each wrote brief statements selecting two articles from the volume year with explanations of why they chose each one. They did other projects as well, including audio recordings of Peitho articles for possible future use as a podcast series, similar to the audio recordings that Kyle Stedman did of each chapter of the book Bad Ideas About Writing. I am grateful for their engagement in the archives of the journal, and though it wasn’t the Caribbean Women Writers class they had intended to take, I hope they got something out of the course.  

Peitho x Best of the Journals 

Image Description: on the left, a close-up photo of Efe Franca Plange, whose long hair is behind her shoulders. She is wearing a yellow tank top, hoop earrings, and a sticker or pin of the Jamaican flag. She has a serious expression on her face. On the right is the logo for Parlor Press and the logo for the Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition series.

Congratulations to Efe Franca Plange, whose article “The Pepper Manual: Towards Situated Non-Western Feminist Rhetorical Practices” was selected to represent Peitho in the 2021 edition of Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition. This is the first year that Peitho has been part of the Best of the Journals series, and we are thrilled to participate. Starting with our term as editors, one of the responsibilities of the Editorial Team will be to look back at the past volume year and nominate two articles that will go forward to the series editors at Parlor Press, who have a review and selection process to determine which of the two will appear in Best of the Journals. Because this is the final issue of volume 24, we are preparing to decide on our two nominations now. We welcome reader feedback; if a particular article stood out to you, please write to us and let us know.    

In This Issue 

First we have Barbara L’Eplattenier and Lisa Mastrangelo’s essay about the process of transforming Peitho from a newsletter into a journal: a complex endeavor that was slow and incremental. It tells the story of how we got here.  

Sarah Keeton’s powerful autoethnographic essay positions them within and against the theory and research in feminisms and rhetorics, including work that has been published in this journal, and meditates beautifully on critical love, loving, becoming, and learning.  

Abby Breyer’s outstanding survey of the archives of the journal does painstaking work studying the topics, theories, methods, and approaches of each article in each issue, and she provides a narrative of herself integrating the scholarship into her own understanding of the field.  

Samira Grayson’s article is of special interest to me, as it addresses evidence of collaboration in the Peitho archives. We want to believe that feminist work is highly collaborative and centered in relationships, and often it is, but Grayson’s findings show that our archives do not include that many coauthored articles. Collaborative writing is a feminist model of authorship, but we don’t necessarily see it more in Peitho than in other journals. (This issue, however, is half co-authored!) Grayson recognizes, though, that co-authorship is only one of many forms of collaboration. 

Michelle Smith and Haley Swartz provide a thorough intellectual history of the material turn in feminist rhetorics, tracking engagement with the material as a concept through the archives of the newsletter, as it became part of a story of the discipline alongside recovery work and retheorizing rhetorics. 

Tarez Samra Graban, Holly Hassel, and Kate Pantelides offer a comprehensive history of both the CFSHRC and the CCCC Feminist Caucus. They show the formation and growth of these groups as well as the difference they have made for generations of women in the field.  

Lynée Lewis Gaillet’s essay is a reflection on her time as a member of (and officer in) the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. This journal is the house organ of a professional organization, and it is important to tell the story of that body to understand an important part of the journal’s context. Gaillet shares how the CFSHRC grew over a period of years, thanks to intergenerational, multidirectional mentoring.  

Laura Micciche etc. have a beautiful reflection on the memorial tributes that have been published in Peitho over the years. During our term as editors, we have published memorials for Lisa Ede and bell hooks. We thought of it as simple commemoration and making our written memories part of the archival record of our field, but they show a deeper, instructive function of the memorials, a recommitment to mentoring and loving others as part of the legacy of these women.  

I would like to hold space here for some other people we have lost, far too soon, who passed away before our term as co-editors began, people we would also like to memorialize in Peitho: Genevieve Critel, a graduate student at The Ohio State University, who passed away May 26, 2012. Carolyn Handa, professor at the University of Alabama, who passed away March 12, 2014. Amy Rupiper Taggart, professor at North Dakota State University, who passed away June 13, 2017. Katie McWain, professor at Texas Woman’s University, who passed away September 15, 2019. Joyce Irene Middleton, professor at East Carolina University and former president of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, who passed away April 13, 2020. We remember. 

Image description: a collage of headshots against a black background, three on the top row and two on the bottom. Top: Katie McWain against a solid brown background, Joyce Irene Middleton, in a black-and-white photo with a display cabinet in the background, and Genevieve Critel, outdoors with a natural body of water in the background. Bottom: Carolyn Handa, sitting in front of a bookshelf, and Amy Rupiper Taggart in a still from a video interview, in front of a hallway lined with windows.

Upcoming Plans: Cluster Conversations and Summer 2023 Special Issue 

Several months ago, we posted a call for proposals for special issues, with the goal of finding a theme for the summer 2023 issue. The Editorial Board reviewed the proposals and made the difficult decision to select only one for summer 2023. The proposals were all excellent, and some of them will be published in future issues as Cluster Conversations. The first of these will be in the Spring 2023 issue: (CTRL-)Shifting Practices: Advancing Internet Research Ethics through Feminist Rhetorics, edited by Kristi McDuffie and Melissa Ames. The theme of the Summer 2023 special issue will be “Coalition as Commonplace: Centering Feminist Scholarship, Pedagogies, and Leadership Practices,” guest edited by Angela Clark-Oates, Sherry Rankins-Robertson, and Aurora Matzke, and the call for proposals is included in this issue.  

In closing, we urge readers to join in the overall Peitho project in any way you like: submit a manuscript, review a manuscript, write a book review, offer feedback on articles that moved you in one way or another or what you’d like to see in the journal, apply for our vacant Associate Editor position (that search will begin soon), assign an article in your course, create some art that we can use for the cover of a future issue, volunteer to mentor an author as they revise their manuscript, and please do stop by the Peitho tables that will appear at future conferences.  

Editors’ Introduction

It has been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world and left no community untouched. As we are sure our readers are all aware, we are reminded each day that this pandemic lingers. Just this past month, COVID deaths in the US reached over one million and staggering rates of inflation continue to impact the world’s most vulnerable, making it even more difficult to make ends meet. More locally, as Peitho’s editors, we have seen how the pandemic has deeply affected our journal as well. It often takes a good two years to develop a cogent argument supported with research and theory, to draft, seek feedback, and rewrite and a year or more to have a manuscript reviewed and to revise. We also know that, although not all feminist scholars identify as women, that women across the globe have carried the weight and have been some of the most affected by the pandemic. Due to the timetable of scholarly publication, we’re concerned that we will continue to see the effects of the pandemic on women’s scholarship for another year or more to come. We also know that queer, non-binary, and trans scholars as well as scholars of color have had to live through the pandemic alongside continued violence against them and their communities. Likewise, as Peitho Winter 2022 author Jessica McCaughey detailed in her essay on how the pandemic impacted graduate student writing production, due to increased responsibilities at home and outside the home in the form of various sorts of care work, women have not been able to complete the amount of work that they had been able to pre-pandemic.  And sadly, our journal has felt the effect of these events in the form of a low number of submissions. As a result, this issue is a bit shorter than the past issues. We have no articles to offer. However, we are proud to publish a small set of robust Recoveries and Reconsiderations and book reviews.  

We want to point out that we hope that our readers are moved —and supported— to write and publish soon. There is so much for us as feminists to write for and against: 

  • The recently leaked Supreme Court memo that would effectively end Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion demonstrates how feminist intervention is direly needed. Access to abortion, safe birth control, and safe birthing practices and technologies are all socially and racially just practices, and striking down Roe v. Wade may compromise all these things. Communities of color have already been the most impacted by abortion restrictions.  
  • The nomination and confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court is a long overdue event in United States history. We chose a photograph of her for the cover of this issue to laud her as a superlatively accomplished jurist and to insist on more recognition for more Black women. 
  • Men with guns have committed mass shootings with horrifying frequency: 14 May 2022 – a man murdered ten people in a grocery store in Buffalo, NY. 15 May 2022 – a man murdered one and injured five others at a church in Laguna Woods, CA. 24 May 2022 – a man murdered 21 people, nineteen of them children, at an elementary school in Uvalde, TX. 1 June 2022 – a man murdered four people and then took his own life at a medical building in Tulsa, OK. Gun policy and mental health, like everything else, are feminist issues.  
  • In the Gulf South and east coast, hurricane season 2022 has just begun, and on the west coast, wildfire season has just begun. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are facing deadly heat waves. Residents are simultaneously dealing with the real trauma of climate disasters from the last several years and dreading what will come next. Climate crisis is a global, feminist issue. 

As scholars of rhetorics and feminisms, we may decide to do research and writing about abortion rights, Justice Jackson (and the racialized sexism she endured during her confirmation hearings), mass shootings, or climate disasters. Even if we study other topics, however, this news is still happening around us as we research and write, and that matters. It’s important to us as editors to acknowledge this. Current events are part of the material conditions of writing, as well as of teaching and learning, just as personal, health, and family situations are. 

The authors who contributed to the Spring 2022 issue have worked during this turmoil, and we are proud to present their articles. “Selvedge Rhetorics and Material Memory” by Jennifer Clary-Lemon is a surprising look at how much history and narrative is embedded in the smallest objects, in this case selvedges, which are the edges of bolts of fabric, which have information about the design and the company that made the fabric. Those who have worked with wallpaper may know that selvedges appear on some wallpaper rolls as well:  

Figure 1. Detail of wallpaper selvedge from a roll of wallpaper from Clancy Ratliff’s childhood home. Image description: a print that resembles a woven basket in shades of beige, light tan, dark tan, and black. Below the print is a beige space. On the left side, in capital black letters, is the word TRIM. On the right side is a bar of color in the light tan shade, as well as three squares side by side. The left square is in the light tan shade with a beige number 1 in the center. The middle square is the dark tan shade with a beige number 2 in the center. The right square is black with a beige number 3 in the center.

Using a fabric selvedge as a point of entry and rhetorical accretion as a methodological guide, Clary-Lemon reveals a feminist historical narrative about the textile industry and its abuse of women and children. Her article helps to open a space for studying fabric archives.  

Asmita Ghimire’s article “Yogmaya Neupane: The Unknown Rhetorician and the Known Rebel” shares the story of Yogmaya, a feminist activist in Nepal during the early 1900s. When women in England and the US were pushing for the right to vote, Yogmaya and her coalition, Nari Samiti, were fighting on behalf of women and girls in Nepal, to end discrimination and abuses including Sati, the immolation of widows after their husbands’ deaths. Ghimire interweaves personal narrative, research, and conversation with a senior scholar, Barbara Nimri Aziz, the primary scholarly authority on Yogmaya to reconsider Yogmaya as a rhetorician as well as a feminist activist.    

Rachel Molko’s article “SCUM Manifesto as a Rhetoric of Domination” analyzes Valerie Solanas’s rhetoric as feminine rage. In 2022 (and for many years prior) we don’t take Solanas seriously as a feminist writer, but Molko reconsiders SCUM Manifesto using Ahmed’s idea of a “feminist snap” and analyzing it as an expression of rage. While it attempts to make an earnest argument about patriarchy and gender, it fails to do so and instead replicates domination, that of women over men. Molko uses her careful reading of Solanas to reflect thoughtfully about feminist accountability. She offers those familiar with SCUM Manifesto a new take on it, and others an opportunity to encounter it for the first time.  

Our book reviews provide a preview of two very important books about severe traumas. The first is Erin Green and Jessica Enoch’s review of All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles, a monograph about one family heirloom that demonstrates much about history, race, research, archives, and more. Rachel Smith Olson reviews What It Feels Like: Visceral Rhetoric and the Politics of Rape by Stephanie R. Larson, an exhaustive analysis of rape culture in recent years in both public discourse and legal contexts.

Editor’s Introduction

This Winter issue of Peitho arrives on the heels of the death of the beloved and deeply influential Black feminist writer/scholar/teacher/activist bell hooks, for whom we offer a memorial. It also comes out as the US (at least) begins to enter what is hopefully the endemic stage of COVID and some light at the end of the tunnel after two very dark years for many of us. But this issue also comes at the beginning of what looks like a possible reinvigoration of the Cold War as the world watches Russia invade Ukraine.  

As I think about the legacy of hooks I am inspired to make connections between the rhetorics of racial capitalism, gender, and conflict and I encourage Peitho readers and writers to do the same.  As I scroll through social media and listen to the news, I am reminded of how raced and gendered rhetorics of the Cold War persist into the present and how they have produced particular sorts of sentimentalities about the tensions between capitalism and communism, as well as who is worthy of protection and who is discounted. I was moved by postcolonial rhetoric and composition scholar, Priya Sirohi’s recent post on her Facebook page when she described the uneasiness, I was feeling but couldn’t put into words.  She states “It’s easy to love Ukraine because as far as the international imagination knows, they are a peaceful country bullied by a bigger and meaner one, with a former comedian as the President. It’s very easy to hate Russia because we have long hated Russia for its bullying and killing of spies and terrible dictator. These stories are part of the Western imaginary.”  Importantly, Sirohi’s post goes on to recognize that, while the world has and should rally around Ukraine, there has been little notice of a similar conflict between India and Kashmir.  She sees the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and India and Kasmir as connected: 

the populist nationalism and long-standing Cold War era tensions make the two invasions the same. Russia wants a buffer with its enemies in Europe. India wanted to wrest control of Kashmir from Pakistan. The arguments about cultural hegemony are the same in both. The difference is that India and Kashmir are not predominantly white nations, and therefore their problems aren’t considered close to the hearts of people in the West. It’s not easy for Western media and politics to love nations with brown or black people in them because their problems are presented through thinly veiled racism as problems of the ‘third world’; Ukraine is European in the global imagination, and therefore its invasion feels shocking – it’s not the behavior of ‘civilized’ nations in the West. 

Sirohi’s observations and connections between nation-state powers, race, colonial histories, and global politics resonate strongly with the political and feminist project that hooks forwarded and lived. hooks’ legacy is demonstrating how structures of racism, capitalism, and gender work in tandem to reproduce and perpetuate dominant class structures, not only in the US but also globally. 

I first read hooks as an undergraduate student where I quickly learned through her work that Black people in the US were subjected to colonialism and that that those historical wounds still persist today. Her book Teaching to Transgress served as the only textbook of the required Feminist Pedagogy class I took while earning my MA in Women’s and Gender Studies. From hooks, I learned how to curate creative spaces for all learners in my classes while working to attend to the persistent wounds of racism, capitalism, and patriarchy present on the students in my class and in their worldview. 

We, the Editorial Team of Peitho, open this issue with a set of reflections on hooks’ legacy from scholars and activists situated not only around the world, but who also live/d and learn/ed in the very region of the US that hooks lived and grew up in.  We are struck by how many contributors to her memorial were moved and influenced by hooks’ owning her background as a poor Black Appalachian woman and seeing it as a source of strength, activism, and inspiration. As our collection of reflections show, hooks’ observations and feminist commitments transcend the globe and writers demonstrate important connections between legacies of oppressions, for example, present in Hyderabad, India and rural northern Georgia, US, not to mention within our own field of rhetorical studies.  

hooks’ legacy and commitment to understanding how different forms of oppression are interconnected, frames the potpourri of feminist rhetorical scholarship this issue of Peitho offers. In addition to several reflections on the legacy of bell hooks, Jessica McCaughey presents data on how the pandemic impacted graduate student writing, Sarah Dwyer considers the how university diversity statements serve as “straightening devices” for queer bodies, and C.C. Hendricks demonstrates how beat poet and activist Diane di Prima demonstrates feminist rhetorical practices that until now have been ignored.  Taken together, these essays demonstrate how feminist rhetorical theory can offer a vision of change, whether it is in how our institutions can write more inclusive diversity statements, how they might better support vulnerable graduate students, or even how understanding past writer-activist figures can help us imagine new and more just worlds. Peitho encourages more contributions that follow political and activist commitments as they live on in hooks’ and other feminists of colors’ thinking and continued legacies in particular, by expanding our notions of identity and locality in order to fully contextualize them in transnational patterns of injustice as the Ukraine example, Sirohi’s statement, and hooks attunement to locality within oppressive systems show. 

Work Cited

Sirohi, Priya. Post about Ukraine, Russia, India, and Kashmir. 27 February 2022, 11:53AM, https://www.facebook.com/priya.sirohi. Accessed 27 February 2022. 

Editors’ Introduction

We are so excited to be launching the first issue of Peitho as a new editorial team! We, co-editors Rebecca Dingo (overseeing articles), Clancy Ratliff (overseeing Recoveries and Reconsiderations), and Temptaous McKoy (overseeing the book reviews) along with our stellar team of assistants Ashley Canter, Stacy Earp, and Stacie Klinowski, and our web coordinator Kelli Lycke, we’ve been working together to curate this issue since this summer and to continue the most excellent work of out-going editor, Jen Wingard and her assistant, Rachelle Joplin. We thank Jen and Rachelle for taking the time to on-board our new team and to pass on to us a well-organized journal with cuttingedge feminist scholarship. Amid our enthusiasm for this issue, we also mourn the passing of Lisa Ede, who died on September 29, 2021, and we take the work of memorializing her very seriously. The pieces in this issue are thoughtful, heartfelt reflections on Ede’s legacy as a scholar, mentor, and teacher. We would like to thank The Ohio State University Press for granting permission to republish Ede’s final published essay. The essays by Michael Faris, Jessica Restaino, Asao Inoue, Vicki Tolar BurtonEhren Pflugfelder, Tim Jensen, Kristy Kelly, Sarah Tinker Perrault, and Rachel Daugherty remind us, through their memories of Lisa Ede, what our work means: its purpose and significance. 

Rebecca Dingo, Co-Editorarticles 

I feel fortunate, that my first issue as co-editor follows the timely and powerful summer issue (Peitho 23.4) on “Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric” edited by Gwenolyn Pough and Stephanie Jones.  Although some of the essays for this Fall 2021 issue were already in the pipeline prior to me coming on as co-editor, it was my goal in editing this first issue’s articles to make sure that the powerful and challenging conversations, methods, and critical theories developed in the summer issue be taken up in our current issue. Indeed, I asked each of our article contributors—all of whom were in some way addressing race, geopolitics, nation, feminism, and rhetoric in their articles—to extend the conversation from the special summer issue. I felt it was important that the articles printed in this Fall 2021 issue reflect the vision that Pough and Jones assert: that feminist rhetorical scholarship must address the “ways that race, feminism and rhetoric intersect across time, in this moment, and around the world.” In this issue, I sought to extend their commitments, and their sentiment resonates strongly with my vision for the journal’s articles over my next four years as co-editor.  

I see the feminist study of rhetoric, composition, and communication to be at an interesting and important place. I believe that Peitho is poised to address the deep cultural tensions—around race, gendered violence, white supremacy, and imperialism that exist within the U.S., within the US’s complex transglobal relations, and often throughout the globe. These tensions make it necessary for feminist work to evolve and change. As the contributors from the “Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric” special issue make clear, feminist scholars must think about gender and race in “nuanced” (Jones and Pough), intersectional (Dziuba and Fain), “collaborative” (Browdy), and “contextually driven” (Plange) ways. Current events in the U.S. and across the world demonstrate quite readily that these scholars’ approaches (and more approaches!) are desperately needed in our field. For example, in the U.S., we continue to see blatant and deadly racism, sexism, and gendered violence at the hands of white people in power, which has fueled activist commitments to social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and MeToo. Yet, in broadening outside of the U.S., we are (hopefully) emerging from a global pandemic that has laid bare the deep racial, gendered, and geopolitical systematic inequalities that were (for those with privilege, at least) until then, more hidden. Beyond the pandemic, we are seeing the continued punishment and inhuman treatment of migrants as they seek to escape prosecution—Muslims in China, children at the US-Mexico border, Yemini and Syrians scattered throughout the Middle East and Europe (and other places), desperate migrants from the Middle East used as political pawns between Belarus and Poland, to name a few. Likewise, scholars and activists are now actively naming the structures of white supremacy that imbue all aspects of U.S. and global culture; at the same time, transnational feminist scholars, particularly U.S.-based Black scholars and women of color from the U.S. and Global South, have for a long time challenged all feminists to address how imperialism, settler colonialism, neocolonialism, and neoliberal political economies (e.g. Kaplan and Grewal, Lowe, Mohanty, Hong, Spivak, to name a few) thrive and persist through the rhetorical processes of racialization, gendering, and exclusion (see e.g. in our own field, Dingo, Orr, and Flores).  

These are the conversations that I believe ought to be at the forefront of Peitho; these are the approaches and topics I hope to forward during my time as co-editor overseeing article publication. While many feminist rhetorical scholars such as Aja Martinez, Strom Christine Pilloff, Jennifer Lin LeMesurier, and Kyle Larson have already begun to take on these issues within Peitho and Peitho continues to extend its commitment to racial justice, more work needs to be done to identify the rhetorical patterns and processes that support intersecting structures of racism, white supremacy, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, gender, imperialism, and inequalities within political economies. I have been excited by the queer and decolonial feminist rhetorical scholarship Peitho has recently showcased that start to make these connections. Using a queer feminist lens, scholars such Rachel Presley and GPat Patterson and Leland G. Spencer importantly have re-imagined ways to decenter whiteness.  Similarly, Sophia Maier, V. Jo Hsu, Christina V Cedillo, & M. Remi Yergeau demonstrate the ways disability, imperialism, colonialism, and heteronormativity are fractally related. Yet, following scholars such a Lisa Flores, Lisa B. Y. Calvente, Bernadette Marie Calafell, and Karma R. Chávez, it is also time to begin examining critically the field of feminist rhetorical studies’ theoretical underpinnings, commitments, methods, and practices to account for its own raced, gendered, imperialist, and ethnocentric focus. As co-editor, in addition to displaying new work in already established areas, I would like to draw Peitho readership’s attention to new approaches in the field that address these sorts of structures of power. Indeed, I call for more work that draws attention to how rhetorics can shape (and re-shape), continue, structure, and expose systems of power.  

In this Fall 2021 issue, I asked for article contributors to name and site the places where knowledge-making specifically around race, feminism, and rhetoric was coming from and, as a result, readers will see the direct ways that the contributors have taken up the work of the summer issue. I deeply appreciate that the authors took up this challenge, and I hope that doing so sets the tone for the future of Peitho 

Yet, I also want to highlight that each essay critically forwards new feminist methods and lenses that draw readers’ attention toward how white women’s relationships to intersectionality developed, how to engage in reparative historiography to highlight buried voices, how to consider rhetorical agency under settler colonialism and within a racist imperial system, and how neoliberal political economy limits, links, and asks for new feminist rhetorical practices and feminist rhetorical methods that attend to silences and bodies. For example, in the essay, “Ghostwriting for Racial Justice: On Barbara Johns, Dramatizations, and Speechwriting as Historical Fiction,” author Zosha Stuckey examines how reparative historiography methods can offer feminist scholars ways to recreate texts that have not been archived. Likewise, in “Rhetorical Failures and Revisions in the Second-Wave: Emerging Intersectionality in the Ethe of Activist Zelda Nordlinger,” Megan Busch considers how white women were reframing their feminist approaches to think about race and class in the 1970s, during the second wave U.S.-feminist movement. Much like Stucky’s essay in this issue, in “Indigenous Women’s Voices in the Colonial Records of South Africa: Asking for Permission,” authors Emily January Petersen and Breeanne Matheson search through colonial records in South Africa to see how indigenous women developed agency to survive and maintain their cultural practices (even when their direct voices were absent from archives) within a violent settler colonial system that thrives on racial hierarchies.  Working between the continents of Africa (specifically Uganda) and North America (specifically the U.S.), in the essay “Silently Speaking Bodies: Affective Rhetorical Resistance in Transnational Feminist Rhetoric,” author Ashley Canter considers how two groups of women from different locations and cultures used their bodies to protest when their voices were ignored in order to draw attention to environmental degradation in the local communities; in each case, women physically strip themselves of clothing or hair to draw attention to the destructive strength of neoliberal political economies and the resulting land loss. Taken together, these articles turn our attention to the various ways that feminist scholars can highlight individual rhetors while making visible the operations of rhetoric in both structuring and resisting the interconnected systems of structural racism, white supremacy, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, gender, imperialism, and inequalities within political economies.   I hope that you find these essays continue to grow and showcase the feminist commitments and spirit of our field.   

Clancy Ratliff, Co-EditorRecoveries and Reconsiderations  

When I was in graduate school in the early 2000s, I did a fair amount of rabble-rousing online (in the early days of the blogosphere) in an effort to push the field of rhetoric and composition studies toward more online, open-access scholarly publishing. I and other graduate students from various universities would get together at conferences and proclaim that more senior scholars needed to be publishing in these journals so that they would have more prestige: in other words, using their privilege to support these journals. I am now trying to be the full professor I wanted to see in the world when I was a student. I have always read and valued Peitho, and I admire the Coalition’s forward-looking thought in transforming the Peitho newsletter into an open-access journal. I still believe in paywall-free scholarship and am grateful to have the opportunity to serve the discipline as co-editor of Peitho. Like Rebecca, the editorial team and I share the commitment to making Peitho a journal that centers intersectional and global feminisms and critiques caste systems in the United States and elsewhere (Wilkerson) and that respects the labor of authors, reviewers, and everyone else involved in the production of each issue. Rebecca and I have read and will be observing the practices in “Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors.” This statement of best practices is a vital guide for anyone involved in academic publication.  

My primary role as co-editor is working with the Recoveries and Reconsiderations section of the journal. The CFSHRC announced this new feature in 2019, envisioning it as a space for shorter pieces of scholarship that may engage new and emerging developments in feminisms and rhetorics, or that provide some initial analysis of archival materials, or a new perspective on an old topic. Recoveries and Reconsiderations is a space for starting new conversations in feminist studies.  

This issue features three Recoveries and Reconsiderations essays. Taken together, these articles illustrate the complexity of the kyriarchy (as Rachel Presley has used the term), the simultaneity of workings of power, and the ways that people struggle against some aspects of systems of laws, norms, and practices while benefiting from other aspects. Mary Le Rouge’s essay “Research on the Literate Practices of Field Matrons on the Hopi Reservation” is a vivid example; Le Rouge writes about one of her ancestors, her great-great-grandmother, who was a field matron on the Hopi reservation. The field matron program was one of many functions of settler colonialism: white women were hired to go into Indigenous people’s homes and teach Indigenous women how to keep house like white settler women. This program served to erase Indigenous foodways and medical knowledge, among other traditions, and field matrons also played a role in the removal of Indigenous children from their homes and placement in violent boarding schools. Le Rouge explains that this is a program that she has directly benefited from, as her great-great-grandmother was able to support herself and her sons financially by doing this work. Le Rouge shows that white women in 2021 need to sit with the knowledge of this particular way that white women perpetuated settler colonialism. Jaclyn Fiscus-Cannaday’s article provides an examination of feminist coworking spaces. While perhaps the most well-known service for renting office space is WeWork, Fiscus-Cannaday investigates spaces that are specifically designed for women, like CAMPspace and The Riveter, and raises interesting questions about how space can be used rhetorically. Susan Ghiaciuc, Cathryn Molloy, and Vanessa Rouillon offer a notable reconsideration: S. Weir Mitchell was a physician who is remembered primarily for the restrictive “rest cure,” which served as containment for women experiencing emotional pain. The focus of Ghiaciuc, Molloy, and Rouillon’s work, however, is not Mitchell, but instead Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, a feminist woman who wrote letters to Mitchell. They suggest that other men in history may have likewise been engaged in correspondence with women who challenged their views, and they encourage scholars to look for these kinds of archival materials.  

Future Plans 

We, the incoming editorial team, bring new ideas to Peitho, and we welcome feedback on these ideas as well as other new ideas. We are interested in using Creative Commons licensing for articles as a way to concretize our commitment to open access publication. Creative Commons licensing is a way to grant permissions in advance, such as permission for an author to put a copy of their Peitho article in their university’s institutional repository of scholarship, as some universities require or encourage faculty to do. Some versions of Creative Commons licenses also allow readers to create derivative works of articles, such as a graphic novel version of an article or an audio recording, which increases accessibilityThe image used for the cover of this fall’s issue is a Creative Commons licensed photograph taken by NASA, titled “Sunrise from the International Space Station,” and its license allows use of the photograph as long as the original source is attributed and the derivative work (our cover, in this case) is for noncommercial use. We are experimenting with audio recordings of articles, and we hope to release these eventually. We are also including image descriptions in the captions of images in our articles; in doing so, we want to help normalize this practice. As we begin our term as editors, we welcome inquiries, recommendations, and ideas of all kinds, including ideas for clusters in future issues and topics for special issues. We hope you learn from the articles in this issue and that they prove to be generative, inspiring response and continued thinking and acting within your communities.  

Works Cited 

Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors. 2021. tinyurl.com/reviewheuristic. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021. 

Browdy, Ronisha. “Black Women’s Rhetoric(s): A Conversation Starter for Naming and Claiming a Field of Study.” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Calvente, L, Bernadette Marie Calafell & Karma R. Chávez (2020) Here is something you can’t understand: the suffocating whiteness of communication studies,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 17:2, 202-209. 

Chávez, Karma R. “Beyond Inclusion: Rethinking Rhetoric’s Historical Narrative.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, vol. 101, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 162-172.  

Dingo, Rebecca. “Speaking well: The benevolent public and rhetorical production of neoliberal political economy.” Communication and the Public, vol. 3, no. 3, 2018, pp. 232–246. 

Dziuba, Allison. “We Want to Be Intersectional”: Asian American College Students’ Extracurricular Rhetorical Education.” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Fain, Kimberly. “Black Feminist Rhetoric in Beyoncé’s Homecoming.” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Flores, Lisa A. Deportable and Disposable. The Penn State UP, 2021. Print. 

Grewal, Inderpal, and Caren Kaplan. “Transnational Feminism Cultural Studies: Beyond the Marism/Postsrtucturalism/Feminism Divides.” Between Women and Nation. Vol. 2. Durham: Duke UP, 1994. 430-45. Print. 

Hong, Grace. “Existentially Surplus: Women of Color Feminism and the New Crisis of Capitalism.” GLQ , vol. 18, no. 1, 2011, pp. 87 – 103. 

Larson, Kyle. “Remonstrative Agitation as Feminist Counterpublic Rhetoric.” Peitho, vol 20, no. 2, Spring/Summer 2018. 

LeMesurier, Jennifer Lin “Searching for Unseen Metic Labor in the Pussyhat Project.” Peitho, volume 22, no. 1, Fall/Winter 2019. 

Lowe, Lisa. The Intimacies of Four Continents. Duke UP, 2015. Print. 

Maier, Sophia, V. Jo Hsu, Christina V Cedillo, and M. Remi Yergeau. “GET THE FRAC IN! Or, The Fractal Many-festo: A (Trans)(Crip)t.” Peitho, vol. 22, no. 4, Summer 2020. 

Martinez, Aja Y. “The Responsibility of Privilege: A Critical Race Counterstory Conversation.” Peitho. Vol. 21, no. 1, Fall/Winter 2018. 

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. ““Under Western Eyes” Revisited: Feminist Solidarity through Anticapitalist Struggles.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 28.2 (2003): 499-535.  

NASA Johnson. “Sunrise from the International Space Station.” www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/29185510223. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021. 

Ore, Ersula J. Lynching: Violence, Rheotric, and American Identity. U Mississippi Press, 2019. Print. 

Patterson, GPat and Leland G. Spencer. “Toward Trans Rhetorical Agency: A Critical Analysis of Trans Topics in Rhetoric and Composition and Communication Scholarship.” Peitho, vol. 22, no. 4, Summer 2020. 

Pilloff, Storm Christine. “Métis and Rhetorically Listening to #BlackLivesMatter.” Peitho, vol. 23, no. 1, Fall 2020. 

Pough, Gwendolyn and Stephanie Jones, “On Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric: An Introductory/Manifesto Flow…” Peitho, vol. 23, no 4, Summer 2021. 

Presley, Rachel. “Toward a Trans Sovereignty: Why We Need Indigenous Rhetorics to Decolonize Gender and Sexuality.” Peitho, vol. 22, no. 4, Summer 2020. 

Spivak, Gayatri.  A Critique of Postcolonial Reason:Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Harvard UP, 1999. Print. 

Wilkerson, Isabel. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, 2020. Print.