Volume 21 | Issue 1:
This is why having a journal such as Peitho, that publishes work that looks to both the historical and the current moment as sites of feminist analysis, is so valuable. And this particular issue of Peithodoes this work. It moves the analyses between past and present with an eye toward how each time period is not static, but rather a conversation point in a larger feminist project. It is not enough to rely on the lessons from the past, which at times fall on deaf ears it seems. But we must put those lessons in conversation with the happenings of the present, so that we may learn how to create stronger arguments, analyze seemingly disparate happenings, and ultimately learn how to work together as accomplicesrather than mere allies.
Martinez, Aja. “The Responsibility of Privilege: A Critical Race Counterstory Conversation.” Peitho 21.1 (Fall/Winter 2018): 212-33.
Abstract: Situated in feminist rhetorical studies, this essay attends to how a select group of women assumed leadership and asserted authority in their work with the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The essay attempts to understand how women became managers and workers by studying the writing and symbolic acts of Bertha Palmer, President of the Board of Lady Managers, and several associates. Using archived correspondence, primary texts, and recent feminist rhetorical methodology, the essay recovers the women’s rhetorical practices, examines perceptions of gender and leadership, and sketches the challenge of “leaning in” in the rapidly changing working world of the late nineteenth century.
Keywords: rhetoric, women’s work, women managers, public memory, performing self, Bertha Palmer, Columbian Exposition
Abstract: This article reinforces and extends claims of other scholars who historicize service-learning pedagogy in the academy with the work of Jane Addams. Featuring archival data from two students who worked at the Northwestern University Settlement (NWS) for credit with a 1930-31 sociology course, it introduces one trajectory of Addams’ influence beyond Hull House at the NWS when run by Harriet Vittum who was considered a second Jane Addams by Chicagoans. This study furthers claims by scholars of service-learning who argue for the relevance of emotional work by featuring the role of emotions and importance of autobiographical writing for Addams as a young woman as she prepared herself for social work and also for the Northwestern students fulfilling their coursework at the settlement.
Keywords: Jane Addams, America’s progressive era, service-learning, pedagogy, emotions
Abstract: This article studies the writings of Hester Mulso Chapone (1727-1801) a prolific member of the late-eighteenth century Bluestocking circle. Working within genres traditionally available to women, most notably the conversational rhetoric of letters, Chapone advocates for an expanded social role and rhetorical education for young women. These letters later circulated publicly as Letters on Filial Obedience (1751) and Letters on the Improvement of the Mind (1773). Chapone’s participation in a tradition of feminist writing deserves attention because of her success foregrounding personal experience as a source of authority and deploying personal writing to persuade, inform, and confront prevailing power structures.
Keywords: Conversational Rhetoric, Feminist Rhetoric, Life Writing, Bluestockings
Abstract: Historically, literary critics have considered Wilkie Collins’s Woman in White as yet another example of a novel that tentatively endorses alternate versions of acceptable femininity but ultimately confines women within the traditionally confines of domesticity by the novel’s close. To draw such a conclusion, however, would be to overlook Collins’s intertextual relationship with artists and paintings of this time. By employing the lens of visual rhetoric, a reader has a better understanding of how Collins uses Marian Halcombe’s proximity to windows throughout the novel as a means for challenging domestic ethos to the very last page.
Keywords: feminist rhetoric, Pre-Raphaelite art, Wilkie Collins, Victorian art, sensation novels, domestic ethos
Abstract: Focusing on Dr. Edward Hammond Clarke, this article explores the formal structures linking nineteenth-century texts about drug abuse and women’s education. Although Clarke’s Sex in Education (1873) has been extensively studied for its antifeminist arguments, this article is unique in incorporating the materia medica (pharmacy) lectures he delivered at Harvard. Through the similar organization and use of clinical case reports in both types of texts, Clarke framed women’s education as a potentially dangerous drug, and encouraged the treatment of female students as objects of medical research. This article analyzes formal patterns linking pharmaceutical literature with antifeminist arguments against women’s education.
Keywords: Rhetorics of health and medicine, nineteenth-century America, women’s education, antifeminism, pharmaceutical rhetorics, Sex in Education, Dr. Clarke
Abstract: I argue that the weblog writing of women in the fundamentalist, patriarchal, radically pro-natalist Quiverfull movement constitutes an anti-feminist collective rhetoric that spreads gendered behavior digitally. Implicit use of feminist discursive strategies persuades women to take up the Quiverfull life and creates a richly-networked online space specifically to provide continued support for these religious behaviors. This analysis of Quiverfull weblogs reveals how groups held together by beliefs and connected behaviors, rather than physical locale or institution, propagate themselves through technology. Although this is a small movement, its digital presence specifically offers rhetoricians a window into how religious groups make fundamentalist Christian gender ideology persuasive in the twenty-first century.
Keywords: feminism, feminist rhetoric, weblogs, fundamentalist Christianity, Quiverfull
Abstract: This article introduces Martha L. Root’s cosmopolitan rhetoric, which exemplifies how women speaking from (religious) margins interpret traditions to create calls for social change. In lectures delivered between the world wars, Root argued for “cosmic education,” a global peacemaking program promoting openness and civic service in learners, which she distilled from precepts of the Bahá’í Faith. Root implored every listener, from her US co-nationals to audiences worldwide, to evangelize peace. Her rhetoric of unity harnessed principle with practice to animate the cycle of cosmic education, a cycle she modeled by inventing transnational sisterhood with the 19th-century Persian poet Táhirih Qurratu’l-Ayn.
Keywords: cosmopolitanism, transnational rhetoric, religion, 20th century, Iran, Bahá’í Faith
Abstract: This essay extends the possibility that historical conduct books encourage women to work from within to enact agency reforms, particularly to survive the hostilities they faced in first-century China as well as exterminate misogynistic attacks in medieval Europe. With two translated works spanning across socio-historical milieus, Ban Zhao’s Lessons for Women (first-century China) and Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the Three Virtues (fifteenth-century France) reveal systematic approaches for ethical praxis that may have only been used to gain agentive powers for women through rhetorical education, contributing to the ontogenesis of pro-feminist movements.
Keywords: conduct books for women, feminist rhetorical devices, agency reforms, symbolic identifications
Abstract: This article brings the traditional archival paradigm and the pop-up movement into conversation with each other through a close reading of the POP-UP Archive of the Arizona Queer Archives, AQA, in collaboration with FARR, a coalition of feminist scholars, artists, and activists of public scholarship. We trace the interdisciplinary processes of planning and performing the POP-UP Archive while also attending to the pedagogical-political possibilities created by community-university-activist partnerships, more generally, and community-based archival productions, more specifically. The POP-UP decentered institutionalized educational and archival models in a turn towards community-based sites of inquiry and oft-marginalized forms of knowledge production. We contend that the AQA POP-UP Archive facilitated queered feminist rhetorics of (dis)location to provoke unruly, embodied, and sensuous encounters with local bodies of knowledge. Through interconnected readings of POP-UP participant reflections and the lesbian feminist oral histories, we delineate the embodied, affective, and temporal capacities of the POP-UP’s (dis)locational rhetorics. We provide a “POP-UP Archive Toolkit & Field Notes” as a means of encouraging fellow scholars, activists, and archivists to extend this approach into localized archival and community contexts.
Keywords: rhetorics of (dis)location, queer theory, community archives, feminist pedagogy, oral history, performance, (dis)locational placemaking