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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.

Reading and Writing the Social Swirls of The French Chef: Social Circulation and the Fan Mail of Julia Child

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 3, Spring 2021

Author(s): Lindy E. Briggette

Abstract: This article uses social circulation to consider fan mail written to Julia Child during her time on public television’s The French Chef. Analyzing a selection of fan letters written between 1963 and 1967, I explore how Child’s performances circulated rhetorical opportunity into the homes of fans, thus motivating their own rhetorical action. By highlighting letters that include commentary on the fan letter genre as well as letters that illustrate writers’ material literacy practices, I argue that fans and fan letters contribute to the complex rhetorical ecology that shapes the social circulation of Julia Child.

Tributes to Kate Ronald

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Compiled by Charlotte Hogg and Meredith Love

Review of Lives, Letters, and Quilts: Women and Everyday Rhetorics of Resistance

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Rebecca Jones

From Isolated Stories to a Collective: Speaking Out About Misogyny in English Departments

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Amy Robillard

Abstract: Preliminary findings from a study of misogyny in U.S. English departments reveal that participants’ understanding of the power of story persuaded them to push past their fears of misogynistic punishments to confidentially share their stories with the author. This article identifies the most persuasive aspects of story and the punishments most anticipated by participants when sharing their experiences of breaking patriarchal norms in a space where storytelling is otherwise encouraged.

“On Display Eight Hours a Day”: Gendering and Racializing Clerical Work During the Early Cold War

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Jennifer Keohane

Abstract: Just Between Office Girls, a bi-monthly pamphlet for the clerical worker, offered advice for women laboring in offices in the early Cold War. Clerical work, as one of the most gender-segregated industries, is an important site to investigate how work is gendered, racialized, compensated, and valued. This essay explores the disciplining of female clerical workers in these pamphlets between the mid-1950s and early 1970s. I identify constitutive rhetoric, a care work frame, and embodiment as rhetorical processes that gendered clerical work in this historical moment. These rhetorics supported the gendered and racialized geopolitics of the Cold War. Through messaging that feminized clerical work, the pamphlets constituted a white, relatively passive labor force disinclined to protest and primed to consume. Such messages served U.S. political interests during the Cold War. I offer this analysis to explore how rhetoric positions labor within social value structures.

Justice for All: The Womanist Labor Rhetoric of Nannie Helen Burroughs

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Veronica Popp and Danielle Phillips-Cunningham

Abstract: We argue that Nannie Helen Burroughs (1870-1961), usually interpreted as purely a missionary and remedial educator, was in fact also a significant labor leader and rhetorican. This argument is significant because it challenges gendered and classed constructions of history and rhetoric that render invisible the work women like Burroughs did during nadir. She believed a women’s labor collective (womanist principle of solidarity) would lead to social, political, and economic rights for Black women, which would result in liberation from racial, class and gender inequities for the entire Black community. We examine how Burroughs developed and employed her audacious, progressive, and forward-thinking labor rhetoric through an analysis of three major texts: “The Colored Woman and Her Relations to the Domestic Service Problem” (1902), “Divide Vote or Go to Socialists” (1919) and “My Dear Friend” (1921). We also argue that her womanist labor rhetoric led to the formation of a historic labor union for African American domestic workers in 1921, the National Association of Wage Earners (NAWE). We intend for our examination of her writings to commence rather than end a discussion about who Burroughs was as a labor organizer and rhetorician. She sought to liberate black women from penury by offering a broad educational focus on labor to her students and the larger black community, instilling racial pride in her students, and placing these women into positions of stable employment through a womanist labor platform.

Works by Kate Ronald

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Compiled by Ann S. Updike

Reprint of “The Making of Available Means,” an Anthology by Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Lisa Shaver

Abstract: Drawing on interviews with Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald, this essay shares the story behind the making of Available Means: An Anthology of Women’s Rhetoric(s), published in 2001. This story not only provides valuable historical context for this widely used and referenced anthology, it captures an important early moment in the field of rhetoric and composition, and even gleans a few teaching suggestions from the collection’s creators.

Review of Women’s Professional Lives in Rhetoric and Composition: Choice, Chance, and Serendipity

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 2 Winter/Spring 2021

Author(s): Rebecca Temple

“There’s Just Something About Her”: The Lasting Influence of Anti-Suffrage Rhetoric on American Voter Attitudes

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 1 Fall 2020

Author(s): Chelsea Bock

Abstract: In this article, I pair my original research with recent data on voter attitudes in America to conclude that sexism among the eligible voting population remains a problem in the 21st century. Additionally, my research suggests that women are more likely than men to exhibit sexist attitudes toward women in politics. This article is timely in a critical election year and significant in its focus on women as participants in their own discrimination.

“An American Orphan”: Amelia Simmons, Cookbook Authorship, and the Feminist Ethē

Peitho Volume 23 Issue 1 Fall 2020

Author(s): Elizabeth J. Fleitz

Abstract: This article analyzes the rhetorical moves made by Amelia Simmons, author of American Cookery, the first American cookbook, published in 1796. Simmons identifies herself on the title page as “an American Orphan.” This article discusses that rhetorical move in terms of its historical and rhetorical context. While initially Simmons’ emphasis on her “American orphan” status might seem counterintuitive (or at least irrelevant), a further exploration into her text shows this to be a calculated risk. Simmons is capable of navigating multiple identities (a woman; an uneducated, working-class orphan) simultaneously, and using them to her advantage through her identity statements, morality statements, and her use of sentimental narrative style. From this analysis, I argue that Simmons’ use of ethos in the text demonstrates what might now be interpreted as a modern American feminist ethē emerging in the 18th century.

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