Past Issue: Volume 19 | Issue 1:

Fall/Winter 2016

Issue Introduction

Editor’s Introduction and Welcome

I want to welcome everyone to Peitho 19.1, the Fall/Winter 2016 issue. I am very excited to build from the excellent work of the previous editors, Pat Sullivan and Jenny Bay. This issue in particular represents a collaboration among us. Most of the pieces in the issue were finalized during my transition, but were ushered through the review process by Pat and Jenny. So please do enjoy this issue. It represents a true collaboration between editoral teams.

Wingard, Jennifer. “Editor's Introduction and Welcome.” Peitho 19.1 (2016): 2-4.

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Women and Corporate Communication in the Early American Republic

This article examines the work of women in corporations and corporately structured organizations during the early American republic. The technology of the corporation enabled both for-profit and non-profit groups to efficiently gather and disperse funds, manage employees, and communicate with staff and shareholders. As managers and members of organizations such as the New York Female Missionary Society, women played a key role in the development of corporate communication and in the development of the corporation itself.


Keywords: Early American republic; corporate communication; Methodist; women

Vorhies, Heather Blain. "Women and Corporate Communication in the Early American Republic." Peitho 19.1(2016): 5-27.

Women, Work, and Success: Fin de Siècle Rhetoric at Sophie Newcomb College

“Women, Work, and Success: Fin de Siècle Rhetoric at Sophie Newcomb College,” identifies a kairotic moment in the current conversation about gender in all-women’s colleges. We look to a now-closed (a year after Hurricane Katrina in 2006) women’s college in New Orleans to understand how faculty, students, and alumnae used rhetoric at the fin de siècle and early part of the twentieth century to construct a successful vision for women’s education. In calling their public rhetorics “epideictic,” we note that they were strategic rhetoricians who praised the institution of women’s education in documents like the student and alumnae-run magazine, The Newcomb Arcade, and in promises made by faculty in their speeches about education, and even in alumnae’s oral histories that were supposedly more candid. Together, we’ve written this article because it affords the field of Feminist Rhetoric with historical data and documents from female students and alumnae who were making a case for women’s education when it was in its incipience. The research we have done will help modern-day rhetoricians see and reflect upon the rhetorical foundations of women’s education in the South and in general, to then go forth to interpret the broader future of women’s education and an expanded sense of women’s gender.


Keywords: women, work, success, rhetoric, New Orleans, New South, reality, gender, art, pottery, education, students, teachers, alumnae

Jeansonne, Christine and Lillian Bridwell-Bowles. "Women, Work, and Success: Fin de Siècle Rhetoric at Sophie Newcomb College." Peitho 19.1 (2016): 28-53.

Feminist Fissures: Navigating Conflict in Mentoring Relationships

Scholarship in rhetoric and composition has richly addressed the role of feminist mentoring and how a feminist perspective of mentoring might work across various mentoring configurations. However, there is little feminist rhetorical scholarship that discusses the transition from a graduate mentoring group to a faculty mentoring group. This case study examines how one group navigated the change from graduate mentors to faculty mentors, revealing how unarticulated conflict lead to the end of the relationships. In unpacking this narrative, this article argues that feminist mentoring scholarship has not done enough to openly discuss the role of conflict in mentoring. Lacking scholarship to guide the transition of the group, the members instead relied on assumptions about the role of feminist mentoring and what it means to be a feminist mentor. This piece offers ways of embracing conflict in feminist practices.


Keywords: mentoring, faculty, graduate student, feminist mentoring, conflict

Gindlesparger, Kathryn and Holly Ryan. "Feminist Fissures: Navigating Conflict in Mentoring Relationships." Peitho 19.1 (2016): 54-70.

Race, Women, Methods, and Access: a Journey through Cyberspace and Back

Feminist historians of rhetoric and composition have begun to consider how digital technologies may enhance and occlude their scholarship, and this growing body of scholarship is impossible to ignore. This article traces the authors’ failed attempt to locate two historically important educators, Susie and Lottie Adams, in both physical and digital archives. While frustrating, the search for the Adams women led to some important conclusions about silence and invisibility and the underlying reasons why the researchers were ultimately unsuccessful in locating them. These explanations invite further discussion of a disciplinary conversation that is already well underway.


Keywords: Access, Digital Humanities, Race, Women, Historiography, Recovery

Gutenson, Leah DiNatale and Michelle Bachelor Robinson. "Race, Women, Methods, and Access: a Journey through Cyberspace and Back." Peitho 19.1 (2016): 71-92.

From the Margins of Healthcare: De-mythicizing Cancer Online

“From the Margins of Healthcare: De-mythicizing Cancer Online” is a deeply personal study in which a breast cancer survivor and participant-observer in the large, online peer-to-peer healthcare community emerges from the silenced margins of medical paternalism to give voice to patients often silenced in traditional healthcare settings. This study examines one online thread, an immediate archive, women’s rhetorical history in the making, as a site of feminist praxis through a collaboratively written response to standard medical practice that interrogated top-down policies allowing the silenced to find power and agency.


Keywords: healthcare, cancer survivor, patient advocacy, feminist community building, online support communities

Beemer, Cristy. "From the Margins of Healthcare: De-mythicizing Cancer Online." Peitho 19.1 (2016): 93-127.

Linking Rural Women Transnationally: Iowa’s “First Lady of the Farm” and Post WWII Ethos

This essay expands understanding of situated and invented ethos by analyzing the archival writings of Ruth Buxton Sayre (1896-1980), known as “First Lady of the Farm.” Rhetorical analysis of post-WWII writings by Sayre, as well as archival photographs and publications about Sayre, position Sayre as a model for constructing negotiated ethos and accessing authority through multiple roles. Ultimately, this essay argues that Sayre had to redefine the accepted characterization of women on farms not only to propel her own pursuits as a rhetor, but also to convince farm women of their responsibilities for postwar reconstruction, positioning them as global citizens.


Keywords: archival research, Ruth Buxton Sayre, peace, rural women, rural rhetoric, post-world war II, farm, Iowa, midwest, women’s history, Farm Bureau, Associated Country Women of the World

Dubisar, Abby M. "Linking Rural Women Transnationally: Iowa’s 'First Lady of the Farm' and Post WWII Ethos." Peitho 19.1 (2016): 128-149.

Action Hour

Performing Feminist Action: A Toolbox for Feminist Research & Teaching

Presentations from the Coalition’s session at CCCC 2016 that showcase emerging scholarship and “new work” in feminist research, histories of women, and studies of gender and sexuality in our field.

Performing Feminist Action

Book Reviews

Rev. of Rhetoric in American Anthropology: Gender, Genre, and Science. by Risa Applegarth

Derkatch, Colleen. Rev. of Rhetoric in American Anthropology: Gender, Genre, and Science. by Risa Applegarth. Peitho 19.1 (2016): 150-5.

Rev. of Rhetorics of Motherhood by Lindal Buchanan

Luedkte, Dalyn. Rev. of Rhetorics of Motherhood. by Lindal Buchanan. Peitho 19.1 (2016): 156-60.

Rev. of Composition Studies Through a Feminist Lens by Shari J. Stenberg

Whitney, Kelly. Rev. of Composition Studies Through a Feminist Lens by Shari J. Stenberg. Peitho 19.1 (2016): 161-5.

Review Essay – Rethinking Recovery Work: New Directions in Feminist Histories of Rhetoric

Books Reviewed

Jack, Jordynn. Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks. Urbana; Chicago; Springfield: U of Illinois P, 2014. Print. 320 pages.

Jensen, Robin E. Dirty Words: The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, 1870-1924. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2010. Print. 264 pages.

Koerber, Amy. Breast or Bottle?: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2013. Print. 192 pages.

Singer, Sarah. "Rethinking Recovery Work: New Directions in Feminist Histories of Rhetoric." Peitho 19.1 (2016): 166-77.