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Review of Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Brittany S. Hull

Review of Asian American Feminisms & Women of Color Politics, edited by Lynn Fujiwara and Shireen Roshanravan

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Chen Chen

On Race, Feminism, and Rhetoric: An Introductory/Manifesto Flow…

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Gwendolyn Pough and Stephanie Jones

Manifesto of a Mid-Life White Feminist Or, An Apologia for Embodied Feminism

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Tracee L. Howell

Abstract: In this work of critical autoethnography, I interrogate my experience of perimenopause to present a manifesto as critique of white feminism, utilizing an analysis of Aristotelian persuasion and force (peitho and bia) as a call-to-action to white feminists to do better in response to the 1977 Combahee River Collective’s “Black Feminist Statement”. I further petition that the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of critical menstrual studies be formally recognized and validated within feminism, arguing that its focus upon the body—and its potential for embodiment as feminist epistemological inquiry—provide openings within academic feminism to center the experiences of scholars of color and, perhaps, for a praxis of an inclusive l’écriture feminine of the 21st century.

Black Women’s Rhetoric(s): A Conversation Starter for Naming and Claiming a Field of Study

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Ronisha Browdy

Abstract: In this essay, the author generally discusses the collective body of scholarly work at the intersections of Black womanhood, Black feminism, and rhetorical studies that has significantly impacted the field of rhetorical studies over the last 20+ years. Although individual scholars have considered whether or not to identify “Black women’s Rhetoric” as a rhetorical genre, while others have named their individual research and pedagogical work as some variation of “Black Women’s Rhetoric(s),” there has lacked a direct and explicit claiming of “Black Women’s Rhetoric(s)” as its own independent subject area and disciplinary community. Using personal experience, and analysis of two texts identified as African American/Black Women’s Rhetorics, the author argues that Black Women’s Rhetoric(s) must be named and claimed as a rhetorical genre and unique sub-field of rhetorical studies. This essay concludes with a call for collaborative identification and recognition of Black Women’s Rhetoric(s) as a collective, while offering a framework as a starting point for future discussions.

Black Feminist Rhetoric in Beyoncé’s Homecoming

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Kimberly Fain

Abstract: With past projects, such as Lemonade (2016), Beyoncé has embraced her language practices as an African American woman to evoke agency and empowerment both for herself and her community. Here, with Homecoming, Beyoncé communicates similar rhetorical intentions. However, as the first Black woman to headline Coachella, she communicates her role as a culture maker and trailblazer to shift her audience’s thinking, promote activism, and shape social movements. Meaning, Beyoncé’s rhetorical intentions stretch beyond her 200 performers. As perhaps, the most successful woman performer in the world, she aims to influence both the Coachella audience and Netflix audience. During this Homecoming film, Beyoncé performs various songs from past albums to convey various rhetorical messages of Black womanhood and sexuality. When Beyoncé merges African American Women’s Language practices with her Southern Black identity, she represents the complexity of intersectional identity. By featuring positive images of Black women, Beyoncé demonstrates knowledge and resistance to negative stereotypes. In other words, Beyoncé’s Homecoming reflects emotional and personal experiences of Black women that are also inherently political. Beyoncé employs Black feminist themes to transform our cultural appreciation of ourselves with Homecoming, which emphasizes how Black Women’s rhetorical practices are culturally impacting the world.

The Pepper Manual: Towards Situated Non-Western Feminist Rhetorical Practices

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Efe Franca Plange

Abstract: Even as feminist historiographic research gains increasing salience in rhetorical studies, enough work remains to be done in terms of rhetorical practices in non-Western contexts. To this end, this paper focuses on the digital activism of the Ghanaian based feminist group, Pepper Dem Ministries (PDM), to argue for an instance in which African women resort to available, but little-known cultural resources to position activist work concerning feminism, gender representation, and inequality. Specifically, the analysis explores the mako Adinkra symbol’s ancestral wisdom of inequality and uneven resources which informs the group’s work and how the activist group used this knowledge to challenge the problem of manels (all-male panels) in Ghana. The group uses the strategy of flipping scripts and tactics of humour and sarcasm to name oppressive patriarchal practices that exclude women from participating in civic debates. I argue that the effectiveness of this group could be attributed to their recovery of the mako Adinkra symbol as it situates their activism in a cultural context, thereby decolonizing feminist knowledge-making and rhetorical practices, while debunking the perceived notion that feminism is “unAfrican.”

“We Want to Be Intersectional”: Asian American College Students’ Extracurricular Rhetorical Education

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Allison Dziuba

Abstract: In this article, I explore how three Asian American student groups work to create spaces of intellectual and social belonging through their longing “to be intersectional.” I argue that their efforts are forms of extracurricular rhetorical education: each group employs “intersectionality” to understand their positions as speaking and writing subjects who are always already embedded within systems of power. “Intersectionality” serves as an epistemological and discursive method that is core to how these students relate to one another and to their experiences in university settings.

I Heard That: The Sociolinguist Reality of the Black Feminist Afrofuture

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Stephanie Jones

Abstract: This article examines the “sociolinguistically constructed” meaning of Afrofuturism in order to define it as a Black feminist discourse. Using Geneva Smitherman’s concept “““Black sociolinguist reality””,” this article traces the history of Afrofuturism through its use by Black feminist speculative fiction authors as rhetorical praxis that recognizes Black language practices as processes of invention unique to Black linguistics that constructs the multitudinous nature of Blackness in the future. The recognition of a “Black sociolinguist reality” allows for more work that recognizes Black people have always been tastemakers, content creators, scholars, and artists that represent the uniqueness of Black style in ways that can and should always be celebrated, but can never be duplicated. By bringing Afrofuturism to rhetorical and feminist studies this article argues that “Black sociolinguist reality” is a practice of emergent strategy which recognizes the efforts of Black feminist speculative fiction authors to create worlds that disrupt notions of capitalistic chronicles of progress. This article is the winner of the 2021 Geneva Smitherman Award for Research in Black Language, Literacies, Cultures, and Rhetorics.

On Testimony, Bridges, and Rhetoric

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): La-Toya Scott, Kimberly Williams, Andrea N. Baldwin, and Laura Gonzales

Abstract: This webtext leverages the potential of digital writing to illustrate how the authors define, navigate, and practice rhetorical feminism in the academy. Four different voices layer together experiences, letters to feminist mentors, and examples of teaching in the pandemic to demonstrate how a feminism grounded in Black and Latinx praxis provides space for reflection, joy, and survivance in white supremacist academic institutions.

Review of Black or White: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 4, Summer 2021

Author(s): Andrea A. Lunsford

DIY Invitational Rhetoric: Engaging with the Past, Promoting Ongoing Dialogues, and Combating Racism

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Kristy Crawley

Abstract: In this article, I argue for a more useful type of invitational rhetoric, meaning a peaceful exchange of perspectives with the goal of understanding instead of persuading or changing others. I reconsider Sonja K. Foss and Cindy L. Griffin’s theory of invitational rhetoric through a new application that I refer to as DIY invitational rhetoric and utilize Jasmine Sanders’s New York Times article “A Black Legacy, Wrapped Up in Fur” to illustrate DIY invitational rhetoric’s efficacy. My work highlights DIY invitational rhetoric’s value as a feminist rhetorical strategy for combating racism.

Review of Black Women in Politics: Demanding Citizenship, Challenging Power, and Seeking Justice

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Margaret V. Williams

Review of Feminist Connections: Rhetoric and Activism Across Time, Space, and Place

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Caitlin Burns

Review of The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Ryan Mitchell

Disturbing White Perfectionism in the Graduate Student Habitus

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Britt Starr

Abstract: Rasha Diab, Thomas Ferrel and Beth Godbee argue that to make antiracist transformation actionable in the composition classroom, educators need to enter the work with a “willingness to be disturbed.” A willingness to be disturbed, however, is not a disposition easily assumed for rhetoric and composition graduate students who are trained in academic climates that prohibit vulnerability and valorize perfection. This essay argues that perfectionism operates as a pillar of White supremacy culture in higher education that undermines graduate students’ potential engagement with antiracist transformation. Recognizing that transformation at the personal level is just one of many processes required on the path to institutional transformation, in this short essay, I hope to provoke feminist graduate faculty of rhetoric and composition to consider how they might disentangle perfectionism from its complicated, normative place in the graduate student habitus in order to advance the antiracist transformation of our field.

Hitting the Limits of Feminist Rhetorical Listening in the Era of Donald Trump

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Faith Kurtyka

Abstract: This reflection considers the psychological, physical, and emotional toll of attempting to listen to conservative women in the post-Donald Trump-era. I consider the ways that theorizations of rhetorical listening fall short when scholars are faced with the conservative discourses that resonate prominently in our contemporary culture, and I offer questions for feminist scholars to consider as they move foreward in their attempts to listen to voices with whom they disagree.

The Praxis of Listening in Feminist-Relational Research

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Christiane Boehr

Abstract: This essay reflects on the rewards and challenges in using close, recursive listening as a feminist-relational practice in conducting qualitative research. Drawing on examples from a case study on women writing in community, I argue that rigorous, associative listening practices create a holistic portrayal of participants and sustain a respectful, power-sharing ethos. Specifically, discussing Carol Gilligan’s Listening Guide as a voice-centered analytical tool, I advocate for the praxis of critical and mindful listening as an organizing principle to create knowledge, make meaning, and reveal truths that might otherwise remain hidden.

Students’ Written Responses to Holocaust Survivor Nessy Marks

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Elizabeth McGhee Williams and Kate Pantelides

Abstract: When Holocaust survivor Nessy Marks passed away in 2011, one of her most valued possessions, a collection of thank you letters written to her by the children from the many schools and places of worship she visited during her lifetime, found its home at our university. This report on in-progress work describes our efforts to recover, preserve, and analyze the letters in this archive. We highlight two trends in these letters: that of writers to affiliate with Ms. Marks through a sense of patriotism and duty, or through ancestry as a way of connecting to guilt and pain.

From Resilience to Resistance: Repurposing Faculty Writers’ Survival Strategies

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Sandra L. Tarabochia

Abstract: This article utilizes poetic inquiry as a feminist research methodology to humanize and shed light on faculty writer development. More specifically, found poetry—a radical strategy for qualitative inquiry that blends humanities and social science approaches—is used to examine and represent the experience of resilience (adversity and perseverance) among faculty writers. It is widely acknowledged that faculty writers struggle to produce scholarship in a “publish or perish” climate intensified by the neoliberal agenda of higher education, especially women and scholars from marginalized groups who disproportionately suffer the effects of racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, colonialist institutions. However, despite a few studies revealing best practices of publishing scholars, we know relatively little about the lived experience of faculty writers. In order to surface embodied realties of writers, interview data from an ongoing longitudinal study of faculty writers is presented as a composite found poem. Drawing on feminist critiques, the data poem is analyzed to reveal problems with resilience as a framework for faculty writer support. Critically interrogating writers’ experiences of adversity, the article suggests how mentors (institutionally appointed mentors, chairs, tenure committees, journal editors, and peers) can change the discourse and practice around resilience in our support of faculty writers.

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