Volume 20 | Issue 2:
Abstract: Like the cover selection indicates (Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, New York, 1969, Illustrations by Salvador Dali, provided by the Rose Rare Book Collection and University of Dayton Collections), we have seemingly stepped through the looking glass since the 2016 election. Instead of seeing public incendiary speech and rogue Presidential tweets on the decline, they are staples in the news cycle. So much so, that often the real news reads as satire. If we are truly living in an era where down-is-up and up-is-down, we need astute critique and painstaking analysis more than ever. And this particular issue of Peitho provides just that.
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.
Keywords: Available Means; women’s rhetoric; collaboration
Abstract: Charleston Receipts, “the oldest Junior League Cookbook still in print,” offers an opportunity to further consider the rhetorical work of cookbooks when circulated outside the home. Originally compiled in 1950 as a fund-raising project, Charleston Receipts is a common type of cookbook for American women’s organizations. However, since it was penned by upper-crust Junior League Club members, Charleston Receipts circulates elite white narratives about race and class relations in the mid-century south in addition to its recipes for Plantation Punch and Cooter Soup.
Keywords: Charleston Receipts, Junior League, White Supremacist Rhetoric, Race and Class Relations
Abstract: This article reconsiders the rhetorical legacy of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, a Southern postbellum organizing group, in light of emerging scholarship on cultural rhetorics and critical whiteness studies as well as popular critiques of white womanhood by women of color writing online. Using cultural rhetorics methodologies of constellating, critical reflexivity, and affirmative hyperlinking, the author articulates white women’s rhetorical practices of appropriation, exclusion, and tokenism, locating these practices both in the archival records of the ASWPL as well as in contemporary rhetorical scholarship on the group. By returning to the archives of the group’s founder, Jessie Daniel Ames, the article shows that the founding of the ASWPL was an explicitly segregationist act and critiques appraisals of the group as successful at ending lynching. The article advocates situating the group’s legacy within richer histories of Black women’s anti-lynching activism and taking up the call made by digital writers of color to include white appropriation and erasure in discussions of fair use, intellectual property, and plagiarism.
Keywords: whiteness, white feminism, critical race theory, cultural rhetorics, fair use, ASWPL
Abstract: This article draws upon research with an Arab Muslim blogger on Tumblr to introduce “remonstrative agitation” as feminist counterpublic rhetoric. Farrah (the blogger’s chosen pseudonym) uses remonstrative agitation to challenge discursive and rhetorical imperialism, provoking accelerated circulation of counterdiscourse in response to impositions and harassment from white nationalists and white feminists. It functions as a performative, parrhesiastic rhetoric to claim rhetorical agency in the face of epistemic injustice while offering her counterpublic audiences discourse to learn from, relate to, and circulate. This article ultimately offers insights, methods, and visualizations for digital counterpublic rhetoric and future research.
Keywords: Counterpublics, blogging, remonstrative agitation, parrhesia, feminist rhetoric
Abstract: Drawing on a rhetorical framework of parrhesia, this article discusses the work of nineteenth century feminist Matilda Gage, who was largely lost to history until recently when women’s studies and rhetoric scholars began to uncover her part in the woman suffrage movement. Gage considered speaking out against organized religion to be her life’s work, but little research has concerned her beyond woman suffrage activism. Through a framework of parrhesia, Gage’s forgotten anticlerical work opens new doors for understanding women rhetors and activists, as well as for research on the rhetorical practices of nonreligious individuals.
Keywords: Matilda Gage, parrhesia, woman suffrage, women’s rights, anticlericalism, 19th century
Abstract: By examining divergent evangelical responses to Donald Trump’s discourses of sexual violence, I build rhetorical theory from everyday rhetorical practices by religious adherents and I offer feminist rhetoric teachers language that might help confront religion-informed support for rape culture. My analysis relies on theologian and Nazi-resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s distinction between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” Through their social media writing in October 2016, prominent evangelical women Beth Moore and Jen Hatmaker enact a “costly rhetorical grace” that countered the “cheap rhetorical grace” stemming from “proverbs of ashes” (i.e., evangelical commonplaces) that permitted misogyny and rape culture to persist. These rhetors used costly rhetorical grace to deliberate about Christian values by revising evangelical commonplaces: viewing instances of assault and coercion as primarily about sex rather than power and violence, promoting instant forgiveness, and appealing to in-group identity and trust to diminish the need to confront rape culture.
Keywords:evangelicalism, grace, rape culture, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Donald Trump
Abstract: Margaret Thatcher, the first woman Prime Minister of Britain, was a controversial figure who has been largely ignored in feminist rhetorical scholarship. This article argues that the field should pay attention to political women in the 1980s to consider how they contributed to conservative and Neo-liberal ideologies that persist today. Examining Thatcher’s rhetorical performance in Prime Minister’s Questions during the Falklands War, this article argues that she manipulated her political context with great success and contributes to an understanding of diverse women’s rhetorical practices.
Keywords: Margaret Thatcher, “Iron Lady,” neoliberalism, presidential rhetoric, women’s rhetorical practices
Abstract: This article argues that rhetorical engagement on social media involves everyday acts of citizenship that are enmeshed in transnational power relationships. The article analyzes two widely-circulated series of photo-stories about Syrian and Iraqi refugees by the blog Humans of New York (HONY) and audience engagement with the series on social media. Many audience members perceived the series and their engagement with the stories as acts that opposed the racist and Islamophobic discourses in the United States during the 2015 refugee crisis. However, the photo-stories and comments often reproduced the imperialist and racist logics through which Syrian and Iraqi refugees experience precarity and state violence.
Keywords: Humans of New York (HONY), refugee crisis, Syrian and Iraqi refugees, imperialism, precarity, transnational feminist rhetorics
Carey, Tamika L. Rhetorical Healing: The Reeducation of Contemporary Black Womanhood. State University of New York P, 2016. 212 pages.
Hidalgo, Alexandra. Cámara Retórica: Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition. Computers and Composition Digital Press. Utah State UP, 2016. Video book.
Kennedy, Tammy M., Joyce Irene Middleton, and Krista Ratcliffe, editors. Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education. Southern Illinois UP, 2017. 338 pages.
Ryan, Kathleen J., Nancy Meyers, and Rebecca Jones, editors. Rethinking Ethos: A Feminist Ecological Approach to Rhetoric. Southern Illinois UP, 2015. 320 pages.