As the president of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition (CWSHRC) for 2012-2014, I would like to welcome you to our newly re-designed web site. Here, we have a virtual space for connecting past theories, practices, and pedagogies of women’s rhetoric and composition with the current and future interests of our constituents. Since its inception in 1990, the CWSHRC has served as a vital network for feminist scholars and teachers in our field. As a group, we are dedicated to sharing our experience in feminist research methodology and pedagogy; in teaching courses, workshops, and seminars; in mentoring colleagues, friends, and students; and in contributing to many types of community-focused projects. If these are your interests, our Coalition can help you.
Even for a non-joiner like me, the CWSHRC has been a tremendous source of inspiration and strength. I am not just talking about moral support. I am talking about colleagues who are willing to collaborate, read, review, recommend, network, and offer tangible professional help to those who share similar goals and interests. Let me be more specific. At the recommendation of my dissertation director, I joined the Coalition in 2005 when I was a graduate student—that is, a pregnant middle-aged graduate student starting my second career. By the time I finished my Ph.D. in 2007, I was divorced with three kids and a new profession that I had grown to love. I had defended my dissertation, published my first article (in the Peitho newsletter), and landed a tenure-track job at a middle-tier state university–just in time to save my life, or so it felt. Later that same fall, in October 2007, when I attended my first Feminisms and Rhetorics conference in Little Rock, AR, I discovered that I was not alone as a feminist scholar, teacher, single mother, and professional academic female. Of course, intellectually, I already understood there were other professionals of my ilk, but at the FemRhet conference, I was surrounded by feminist academics of all ranks and stripes and at many stages of life. It was like coming home…
In keeping with the open and invitational spirit that I have found in the CWSHRC, I encourage any individual interested in learning about feminist historiography, theory, practice, or pedagogy in the fields of rhetoric and composition to browse our site and join our organization. I also encourage new and ongoing members to get involved in CWSHRC, submit to Peitho, attend the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference, subscribe to our listserv, and use this site to keep up on professional developments, make connections, and share ideas. Please note that this president’s blog will serve as a special place not only for the president but also for invited scholars in the field to reflect on the ways they have done and do feminist historical and theoretical work.
I appreciate your visit to our new site.
Elizabeth Tasker Davis