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Rhetorica in Motion

Feminist Rhetorical Methods and Methodologies

Edited by Eileen E. Schell and K. J. Rawson

Publication Year: 2010

Rhetorica in Motion is the first collected work to investigate feminist rhetorical research methods in both contemporary and historical contexts. The contributors analyze the decision-making processes and methodologies employed in deciphering the origins, meanings, theories, workings, and manifestations of feminist rhetoric. The volume examines familiar themes, such as archival, literary, and online research, but also looks to other areas of rhetoric, such as disability studies; gerontology/aging studies; Latina/o, queer, and transgender studies; performance studies; and transnational feminisms in both the United States and larger geopolitical spaces. Rhetorica in Motion incorporates previous views of feminist research, outlines a set of principles that guides current methods, and develops models for undertaking future inquiry, including working as individuals or balancing the dynamics of group research. The text explores how feminist research embodies what has come before and reflects what researchers, institutions, and instructors bring to it and what it brings to them. Underlying the discovery of this volume is the understanding that feminist rhetoric is in constant motion in a dynamic that resists definition.

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Series: Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

It’s an honor and a pleasure to write the first words in this wonderful new collection that takes Rhetorica one step further from her static historical representation and moves her into new spaces with new tools. Rhetorica in Motion explores how all the work on feminist rhetorical theory...


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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction: Researching Feminist Rhetorical Methods and Methodologies

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pp. 1-20

In titling this volume Rhetorica in Motion, we acknowledge the historical image of Rhetorica, a queen bearing a sword.1 We also acknowledge the work set into motion by Andrea Lunsford and the members of Annette Kolodny’s graduate seminar at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)...

1. Theoretical and Methodological Challenges

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pp. 21

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Refiguring Rhetorica: Linking Feminist Rhetoric and Disability Studies

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pp. 23-38

Feminism and disability studies ought to be powerful allies. Feminist rhetorical methods provided a foundation for the emerging field of disability studies in the humanities in the late 1980s. And in the 1990s, disability studies theories and methods developed synergistically with feminism...

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Queering Feminist Rhetorical Canonization

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pp. 39-52

In The Western Canon, Harold Bloom (1994, 35) describes the canon as “exist[ing] precisely in order to impose limits, to set a standard of measurement that is anything but political or moral.” As Bloom describes it, canonization is an inherently normativizing process—canons exist by...

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Cosmopolitanism and the Geopolitics of Feminist Rhetoric

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pp. 53-70

In “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Orient” Caren Kaplan demonstrates the power of cosmopolitan travel and its imperialist entailments in global feminist discourse. In this romantic image of Clinton as a “citizen of the world,” taking up the cause of third world women’s oppression, we...

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Growing Routes: Rhetoric as the Study and Practice of Movement

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pp. 71-85

In 2002, I began collecting literacy narratives from postwar generation Vietnamese women in order to understand the ways in which acquiring English is sponsored and compelled by capitalism’s expansion in the third world (see Crawford 2007). At that time, I categorized the...

2. Reflective Applications

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pp. 87

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Making Pathways: Inventing Textual Research Methods in Feminist Rhetorical Studies

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pp. 89-103

As a scholar first trying to establish a research agenda as a tenure-track faculty member, I found that early efforts to articulate my research agenda to a general scholarly audience in faculty evaluation reports and grant applications were uncertain at best. I lacked a language to satisfactorily...

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Rhetorics of Possibility: Challenging the Textual Bias of Rhetoric through the Theory of the Flesh

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pp. 104-117

In the summer of 2002, I found myself in Mexico City looking for Malintzin Tenepal, known to some as La Malinche or Doña Marina Malintzin. This woman, who was Hernan Cortés’s lover and translator, as well as the symbolic mother of Mexican and Chicana/o peoples, had been a...

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Mining the Collective Unconscious: With Responses from Ruth Ray and Gwen Gorzelsky

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pp. 118-135

Some two years ago, my colleague Ruth Ray, a composition scholar and feminist gerontologist (2000, 2008), told me about an archive of nearly one thousand case files stored in a closet at the Hannan Foundation, a senior services center in downtown Detroit, a short walk from our offices...

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Researching Literacy as a Lived Experience

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pp. 136-151

Much important work in rhetoric and composition is derived from a specifically feminist orientation. While some of this work focuses on empirical methods and methodologies, outside of case study research we still lack both a strong orientation toward empirical research and a significant...

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Rhetorica Online: Feminist Research Practices in Cyberspace

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pp. 152-169

The World Wide Web is an important space and media in which people communicate and scholars study the rhetorics of diverse populations. Type, for example, “women’s groups online” into Google, and as of May 2008 the number of hits returned will be approximately 150,000. ...

3. Pedagogical Postscript

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Writing as Feminist Rhetorical Theory

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pp. 173-188

What would it mean to read feminists as rhetorical theorists of writing, rather than predominately as social theorists? What can this sort of directed reading teach us about writing and rhetoric? And what can we do with what we learn? These questions lead me to explore a method for...


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pp. 189-197


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pp. 199-219


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pp. 221-224

Index [Includes Spine and Back Cover]

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pp. 225-232

E-ISBN-13: 9780822973676
E-ISBN-10: 0822973677
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822960560
Print-ISBN-10: 0822960567

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Feminism and education.
  • Rhetoric -- Research -- Methodology.
  • English language -- Rhetoric -- Research -- Methodology.
  • Feminism -- Research -- Methodology.
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