Conversations I have had with Coalition members tell me that members of this group for any length of time hold one particular trait in common: a strong conviction that, while it is hard work to position oneself at school or in the profession, we cannot risk leaving that positioning up to others. For most of us (if not all of us), it is only through long, tedious and recurring processes of articulating our identities and negotiating others' perceptions of them that we begin to fit well in any given context. Even then, our fittedness occurs incrementally through extant classifications (i.e., we might be identified as multi-ethnic for purposes of institutional data-gathering, touted as "the rhetorician/writing specialist in the literature department" as a way of proving intellectual diversity, or otherwise engendered to help fulfill a quotient for national ranking or standing).
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Just ahead of Winter Solstice (in the northern hemisphere), I send a request on behalf of the Executive Board.
Please find a few (~5-6) spare moments to fill out our annual membership survey, available at this link (https://goo.gl/forms/DnNQLChHYuUYbVby1). Please feel free to do so now or just after the holidays as you contemplate returning to the vagaries of the next semester/quarter/term. The survey will collect responses through January 15, 2019.
May you all experience the realities of a peaceful, joyous, and humane new year, no matter the circumstances,
(on behalf of the Executive Board)
When the current Coalition president wrote these words in a September 27 blog post, she did not anticipate that they would speak much beyond that day’s topic:
“[T]here is a great and well defined need for what the members of this organization do—not only to assuage crises in settings as public as the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, but also to make the less conspicuous publics that we occupy every day of our lives into more critically visible and audible spaces. More often than not, the discourses we find ourselves having to engage in involve the promotion of fear, the preservation of self, the shoring up of a single position, or the mitigation of an immediate crisis. … More often than not, the intersecting spaces that we occupy do politically and emotionally conflict.”
However, they did and they do speak to the occasion of a blog forum we had hoped to conduct, which was in turn motivated by several concurrent threads on the WPA-L listserv between October 21 and October 30, including the consequent hashtag (#wpalistservfeministrevolution), and which resonated across parallel threads into the month of November 2018.
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The School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at James Madison University invites proposals for the 12th Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference to be held at Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg, VA, November 13-16, 2019.
This year’s theme invites participants to reflect on or redefine current trends in and future possibilities for grassroots feminist activism in what we are calling “DIY feminist activism”-- advocacy work that prioritizes inclusion and diversity by engaging in projects that are freestanding, self-supporting, and/or crowdsourced. DIY feminist activism is in tune with overlapping identities and, thus, is inherently intersectional; it celebrates the power of individuals to spearhead innovative, creative solutions to issues and problems that are often neglected or mishandled when left to institutional powers. Read more ›
Like many of you, I'm simultaneously intrigued and exhausted by watching, listening to, and reading about today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, investigating sexual assault allegations brought forth by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. As the positions from which various senators spoke oscillated between critiquing the process, critiquing the investigative ethics, questioning what counts as evidence, and making statements about one another’s motives and behaviors—and moreover, as the performances oscillated between expressions of maltreatment, expressions of solidarity, and expressions of mistrust—it became less clear to me what should be at stake in the hearing at this moment, let alone what will have been at stake when the hearing gets taken up in other historic moments. (What should have been clear became so easily obfuscated.)
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With CCCC 2019 notifications having gone out, we are pleased to share early details of the Coalition-sponsored session on Wednesday evening, March 13 (2019) in Pittsburgh!
Two-thousand and nineteen will mark the Coalition's 30th year, and what better way to do so than through a critical re-examination of intersectional work? As usual, our two-part session will be open to all 4C19 conference-goers.
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The central terminal of the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa is architecturally significant. Some of the walls are constructed of polished geologic stone as if to mark the origins of the continent, and on some of these stone walls the traveler will see a carving or marquee with an African proverb. The attribution of these proverbs is interesting – sometimes they are unknown, sometimes they are far too broadly attributed, and at other times they are mis-attributed but have become woven into the postcolonial discourses of an African country nonetheless. Regardless of its origins, this particular proverb has come to my mind repeatedly over the past few months, as an indication of how the Coalition’s idea of feminist scholarship has informed – and continues to inform – the work of the field at large: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
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We are pleased to publish this call for proposals for a Special Issue of Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition
Rhetorical Pasts, Rhetorical Futures: Reflecting on the Legacy of Our Bodies, Ourselves and the Future of Feminist Health Literacy
Special Issue Editors
Sara DiCaglio, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University
Lori Beth De Hertogh, Assistant Professor, James Madison University
On April 2, 2018, the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective announced that they would no longer publish updated print or digital versions of their foundational text, Our Bodies, Ourselves (OBOS) due to financial pressures and the changing nature of online health information. Since its original publication in 1970, OBOS (then called Women and Their Bodies) has provided “evidence-based information on girls’ and women’s reproductive health and sexuality” to millions worldwide. It was included in the Library of Congress’ 2012 exhibit “Books That Shaped America” and recognized by Time magazine as one of the best 100 nonfiction books published in English (OBOS, About Us). As Susan Wells aptly puts it: “Our Bodies, Ourselves was not just a routine women’s health manual with a feminist twist. Nothing like it was available when the book was first published in 1970” and it was eagerly consumed by “an audience of women hungry for this information” (2). Read more ›
Believe it or not, the Rhetoric Society of America's 50th anniversary conference is next week! That means it's time to dust off the conference duds, finish those talks, and fire up the social media accounts.
Two years ago at #RSA16 we held the happiest of happy hours, and we celebrated our new nomenclature. This time, the program boasts more than 100 sessions
with feminist perspectives, including presentations on sex, gender, and sexuality in conjunction with all aspects of rhetorical studies. #TheFeministsAreComing all right.
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The Rhetoric Society of America's 18th biennial conference promises to celebrate the past and build towards the future for scholars of rhetoric and composition. And feminist scholars are occupying important roles in these conversations. We are delighted and overwhelmed to see that the conference will include a robust range of feminist rhetorical scholarship, which you can find on each page of the program. We offer you this list of sessions featuring research, methods, theories, and performances that are of particular interest to feminist scholars in the history of rhetoric and composition. This is not a complete list, and we welcome recommendations from our members and readers.
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