CFSHRC Goes To Washington

purple background with CFSHRC and a red heart around the F. with the text Jan 21st, #teamfemrhet, @cfshrc @femrhet

The Women’s March on Washington is shaping up to be a historic show of feminist solidarity and collective action. We know that many of the CFSHRC are going to be attending, either in DC or in one of the many sister marches. As your professional organization, the CFSHRC wants to help you connect with fellow members of #teamfemrhet and also document our community’s participation in this historic event.

Read more ›

Posted in News, Uncategorized

Coalition of Feminist Scholars Statement of Solidarity

In 2016, the Coalition changed its name to reinforce the organization’s longstanding commitment to critical feminist work and to better reflect the diversity of its membership, where “diversity” is not always marked by stark or traditional distinctions.  After the 2016 general U.S. election, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to the values of inclusion and gender justice on which our organization was founded; to recognize and bring attention to the unique challenges involved in feminist writing, teaching, scholarship, and leadership in the current political climate; and to reiterate our support for our members.   Read more ›

Posted in News

Preparing for Interviews: Standing Out While Fitting In

by Letizia Guglielmo, Associate Professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies
Kennesaw State University

Over the last few months, my colleagues Erin Costello Wecker and Lydia McDermott have shared advice on the job search that grew out of our 4c16 CFSHRC mentoring table.

Now that your application materials are prepped and submitted, the next stage of the process likely will include various rounds of interviews via phone or Skype and face-to-face with search committees. Read more ›

Posted in Featured Guest Bloggers

Join Us at FemRhet 2017



We, the members of the planning committee, are thrilled to host the 2017 Feminisms and Rhetorics conference.   Read more ›

Posted in Calls, CFP

Feminisms and Rhetorics 2017: Call for Reviewers

The site host committee at the University of Dayton invites scholars to review paper and panel proposals for the 2017 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference.  Reviewers will be responsible for: evaluating the potential quality of conference papers, panels, roundtables, and other presentations; evaluating the relevance of the proposed work according to the conference themes; and should be committed to the timely review for acceptance to the conference.  

There are several opportunities for review.  The committee asks for reviewers to commit by November 15, 2016 and to be available for review between January 1 and February 15, 2017.  

Reviewers will be asked to return their comments on proposals within two weeks of receiving proposals.  

Reviewers must be past or current members of Feminisms and Rhetorics or Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, or attendees of previous Feminisms and Rhetorics Conferences. Interested persons should submit the following: name, contact information (email and/or phone), and areas of interest or expertise.  Please send details and inquiries to   

The conference is scheduled for Oct 4-7, 2017 in Dayton OH. See you there!

Posted in Calls, News

Be Yourself on the Job Search

Lydia McDermott
Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for Writing and Speaking at Whitman College

Around this time of year, I find myself thanking the rhetoric gods that I am no longer on the job market. You know how I feel. If you have a job, you too are thankful. If you are looking for one, you are looking forward to being on my side of that prayer.

Last month, my colleague, Erin, posted the first blog in this series on finding a job in rhet/comp. The series was spawned at the 4c16 CFSHRC mentoring tables, where we, with colleague Letizia Guglielmo, offered advice on the job hunt.

I’m going to take this opportunity to elaborate from personal experience on some of Erin’s wonderful pieces of advice.

Be Honest

Cat Typing on computer

It’s a lot of work, but remember to be yourself.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the “spin” of the job search, adjusting your documents for a variety of institutions to make yourself seem like the perfect fit. It’s also easy to become too concerned with other people’s wishes for your success: fellow graduates, your adviser, your mentors. When it comes down to it, you know who you are and where you would fit better than anyone else. Trust that.

When I was on the job hunt, I applied for a wide variety of institutions. I was flexible, as Erin so wisely advised. In my application process, I became distracted by a vague concept of prestige and I lost track of my own strengths and desires. I am an excellent teacher and I love students. As much as I enjoy my research, I need teaching to fuel me. I’m not meant to be at an R1 institution. Yet, I applied to some. I have colleagues who have taken positions similar to mine at a small liberal arts college, who really are dissatisfied with their teaching and service loads. They aspire to very prestigious journals and presses and hope to make academic waves. They’d probably be happier at a more research-intensive institution.

Think about Fit, and then Rethink

I didn’t know that I was the perfect fit for a small liberal arts college where I am part administrator and part faculty until I was interviewing for the job. True story: I had several interviews lined up at MLA. The night before my first interview, with the school where I am currently employed, I had horrible, gut-wrenching food poisoning. I got 2 hours of sleep at the most. I went into my interview convinced the whole MLA experience was for naught. My lovely interviewers kept offering me snacks and drinks, and all I could concentrate on was NOT getting sick. In the end, this distraction proved useful. I had no energy to be nervous about my answers. I could not spin them because I didn’t have the brainpower. I was forced to be honest and open and it paid off.

I enjoyed that interview. I ENJOYED that interview, despite my stomach, despite MLA, despite the fact that I never attended a liberal arts institution. Pay attention to how you feel about interviews. If you feel at home, that is a good sign. If it feels like something is off, maybe something is off.

Now that I am on the other side of job searches, we resist talking about “fit,” because it can be shorthand for discrimination. Whoever is interviewing you or evaluating your materials cannot tell you if you “fit.” However, they do know what competing demands the position needs to fill. They want to imagine you filling those demands. So, again, you must be honest. I would rather recommend a candidate for hire who is exceptionally prepared for two of the demands of the position, and only slightly prepared for a third, but willing to learn and take on the challenge.

Be Flexible, but Know your Limits

You know how daunting your dissertation was when you first wrote that prospectus? Remember the process of sorting through the literature relevant to your research? At some point, you had to stop sorting and start writing. At some point in the writing, you had to conclude. You could not make it perfect and get done in time (If you are still finishing your dissertation, take this to heart, especially if you are on the job market—you must finish). Your goal with the dissertation was ultimately a degree, not a perfect piece of writing. Your goal with the job search, is ultimately a job, not perfect job materials, not the best teaching statement ever (you will have to write it again for tenure anyway), not even the perfect job (none exist).

Give yourself a break. Do what you can and learn to let go when it is time to let go. Do other things in your life that keep you sane: exercise, eat chocolate, spend time with friends, family, and animals, work on an article (no, really), watch some Netflix (but that has an end too). Be kind to yourself and know when you need to take a break from the process. You can come back refreshed and ready for more.

Bunny falls asleep at computer.

Get some rest!


Posted in Featured Guest Bloggers

Become the Next Web Coordinator for the CFSHRC

The Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Composition and Rhetoric seeks its next Web Coordinator to maintain, monitor, and update the organization’s website. The Web Coordinator typically collaborates with CFSHRC Executive and Advisory Board members as needed. Approximate time on task averages 5-10 hours per month, with some periods of the year being slower or busier (e.g., prior to CCCC or FemRhet). Proficiency with WordPress is required.

Position Details

The CFSHRC Web Coordinator performs the following activities:

  • Filtering and responding to user questions as well as general questions about the website;
  • Working with Peitho editors to upload each issue of the semi-annually published journal, overseeing the process of archiving past issues, and liaising with the Peitho editorial team as needed;
  • Coordinating the PayPal portion of the site (e.g., radio buttons, membership information) in collaboration with the Treasurer;
  • Working with the CFSHRC Archivist to maintain the group’s administrative archive;
  • Maintaining and (as needed) updating website style guidelines.

Timeframe and Remuneration

The web coordinator serves a two-year term, typically starting on May 1 and ending on April 30, although an earlier start date is both possible and preferable this term in advance of some of the new initiatives at 4Cs.

There are no geographical restrictions on this position, as the role can be performed remotely at the Web Coordinator’s convenience.

Compensation is $500 over a two-year term, plus complementary registration for one conference each year, either to attend CCCC or FemRhet.


We seek applications from graduate students, faculty, and/or independent scholars committed to helping the Coalition maintain and expand its strong presence in the field through digital means. All applications will be considered, but strong candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Academic training and/or scholarly interest in one of several fields, including rhetoric, composition, feminist historiography, data design, or technical and professional writing;
  • Demonstrated experience managing and maintaining websites with shopping carts and PayPal connections;
  • Strong English language skills;
  • Strong collaborative and interpersonal skills both on and offline;
  • Commitment to serving the CFSHRC, which is the intellectual home of a diverse and growing group of scholars whose interests span histories of studies in gender and sexuality and feminist research in rhetoric and composition.

To Apply

Coalition members are encouraged to apply, but applicants need not be current members. Interested candidates should submit a brief letter of interest and current resume or CV. The latter should include URLs to sites designed or maintained, or access to other digital projects representing the candidate’s range of interests and abilities. Materials should be emailed to Lisa Mastrangelo ( and Tarez Graban ( by December 15, 2016.

Posted in Calls, News

Job Seekers, Be Like the Willow Tree

Guest post by Erin Costello Wecker, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of English
Director of Composition
The University of Montana

At the 4C16 CFSHRC event, Lydia McDermott, Letizia Guglielmo and I co-hosted a mentoring table on preparing for the job market. Now that the job hunt season is gearing up, we are going to use the coalition blog to sum up a few of the key points to help prepare and empower job seekers in rhet/comp. This blog post offers some insight that was shared with me while I was on the job market and things that I learned while going through the process two years ago. Be on the lookout for additional advice from Lydia and Letizia in upcoming blog posts on this topic.

Willow tree with sun beams shining through the leaves

Willow tree with sun beams shining through the leaves

Be Flexible

Be flexible and open to different kinds of academic settings and positions, this includes TYC, WPA, small Liberal Arts Colleges, and larger state Universities. Sometimes when looking at all of the job openings it is daunting to envision which type of school or position you are looking for, especially if you are just finishing graduate school.

Begin by making a list of schools and then take time to visit their website. What is their mission statement? Who would be your colleagues and what type of research are they doing? Would your position be teaching focused, research focused, a combination of the two? What type of students attend this institution (i.e. focus on STEM fields, thriving Business School, loads of English majors)? Would you be working with graduate students?

Think About Fit

From this preliminary search you can get a sense of what type of work seems exciting. It is helpful to think of your own schooling background. What type of institutions did you attend? Generate a list of things you enjoyed and things you felt did not foster your academic development.

From that list a clearer picture of what contributions you would like to make to a school will become more evident, which will in turn help to refine your list of places to apply. Let your list guide you, but do not let it rule your search–remember where we started, be flexible and open to different kinds of academic settings. To that point, generate honest and focused documents for your teaching statement, research statement, and administrative statement and tailor your CV for two-three different types of positions.

Start getting ready soon. The job ads are already coming out. You can check them out here on the handy-dandy rhet map.

Be Like the Willow

A job search is demanding, but it is also exhilarating as there is promise in each new adventure. As the title suggests, willow trees are adaptive to climate and soil, grow fast, and have a distinctive shape with strong, well-developed roots. When I went on the job market I could not imagine leaving the city I loved, especially after calling it home for fifteen years; to my mind I had roots and I was not sure I wanted to uproot them. Yet as I begin year number two in my new job, in my new home, in a new time zone, with a new climate, and new people, I am reminded that possibility is what led me to this location.

A final bit of advice, to help wrap your mind around the changes that accompany a job search, take time to read your documents over and allow yourself to enjoy, for at least a moment or two, the accomplishments that have led you to a job search in the first place. When teaching writing we often stress the importance of process vs. product, yet when on the job market it is so easy to develop tunnel vision where landing a job is the only destination in sight. So, trust your talents and embrace the opposite actions of the willow tree: reaching skyward for light and remaining earthbound for rootedness, and when a gust of wind approaches just sway; I promise you will not break.

Posted in Featured Guest Bloggers, News

Let’s Celebrate and Share Our Work!

Members of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition are busy publishing, researching, teaching, designing, leading, and mentoring. And in the process we’re shaping the future of our field.  In this blog post series, let’s celebrate Coalition Feminists Getting Sh*t Done! As the series continues, we will celebrate the accomplishments of different groups of members within the CFSHRC. To get things started, this post features recent publications, ongoing research and pedagogical projects by members of the Advisory Board, including several Executive Board members. Let’s take the time to read their work, connect with possible mentors and collaborators, and celebrate their accomplishments!

Check out this quick list of their research projects. For more detail, feel free to reach out to these Advisory Board members through their web profiles included below.

Publications and Research

Lynée Lewis Gaillet is the coeditor of the recently published book Landmark Essays on Archival Research  (Eds. Lynée Lewis Gaillet, Diana Eidson, and Donald Gammill).

Review the important essays included in this collection here. The Landmark Essays Series, edited by James J. Murphy and Coalition feminist member Krista Ratcliffe, with contributions by several other Coalition scholars, including Cheryl Glenn and Andrea Lunsford. And congrats to all of the authors included in the collection.

Charlotte Hogg published “Including Conservative Women’s Rhetorics in an ‘Ethics of Hope and Care” in Rhetoric Review 34.4.

Download the article here.

In May, after 10 years of hard, if off-again, on-again labor, Jenn Fishman, Joan Mullin, and Glenn Blalock, launched REx: The Research Exchange Index and published REx 1, which is a searchable database of peer-reviewed information about writing research conducted between 2000 and the present. As Jenn writes: “Distinct from scholarship about writing research, which tends to feature completed studies and be written by a limit set of researchers, REx was designed to capture (in brief form) information about everyone’s research activity, whether it’s ongoing, completed or stalled. There’s so much we can learn from each other, and this project represents an attempt to facilitate that. Anyone interested in getting involved or contributing to REx 2 should be in touch with Joan. She and her colleagues at UNC-Charlotte are leading the next charge.”

Explore this important resource here.

Mariana Grohowski co-authored the chapter “Subverting Virtual Hierarchies: A Cyberfeminist Critique of Course-Management Spaces” in the digital book Making Space, edited by James P. Purdy and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss.

Check out this chapter and the rest of this engaging e-book here.

Pamela VanHaitsma, with support from a 2016 Summer Research Fellowship from the Office of Research, and the 2015-2016 Robin L. Hixon Fellowship from the Department of English, both at Old Dominion University, is conducting archival research for a new project on the rhetorical practices of 19th-century women teachers in romantic friendships. Contact Dr. VanHaitsma to learn more about her ongoing research and read her recent publication “Gossip as Rhetorical Methodology for Queer and Feminist Historiography” in Rhetoric Review 35.2.

Read the article here.

Tarez Samra Graban published Women’s Irony: Rewriting Feminist Rhetorical Histories with SIUP in July 2015.  Tarez is now serving as a non-residential research fellow through the University of South Africa in Pretoria, South Africa, until 2018, and has begun a new project at the intersection of rhetoric, archives, and transnational feminism.  

Learn more about her research or reach out to Tarez through her online portfolio

Awards and Grants

Cristina Devereaux Ramirez‘s monograph Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875-1942 (UAP, 2015) was awarded the 2016 Winifred Bryan Horner Book Award.

Get your copy here!

Risa Applegarth’s book, Rhetoric in American Anthropology: Gender, Genre, and Science, received the CCCC 2016 Outstanding Book Award this year.

Read a book review in RSQ.

Jenn Fishman, Jane Greer, and  Dominic DelliCarpini were awarded a CCCC Research Initiative Grant for their work on the Undergraduate Research Impact. 

Contact Jenn for updates on this important collaborative research.


Pamela VanHaitsma is designing a graduate seminar in Women’s & Feminist Rhetorics for this fall. Check out her course website

In Spring 2017, Tarez Samra Graban will be conducting an undergraduate seminar called “Women in the Archives, Vandals in the Stacks,” where students will study and work at the intersections of feminist rhetoric, archival theory, and institutional history. In partnership with FSU’s Director of Special Collections, Graban will have students process and identify archival materials related to some of FSU’s former women faculty members.

The this list is just a small selection of what our advisory board has been doing. We hope to continue sharing and celebrating the work of coalition members more regularly on this blog. What are you working on? Let us know in the comments section or contact Trish Fancher (fancher.patricia at gmail dot com) to be included in the future blog posts.

Posted in News

Exploring RSA16 Twitter Data

The Coalition’s Director of Digital Media and Outreach Patricia Fancher asked me to write up some reflections about the data visualizations that I created with a corpus of tweet data from the 2016 Rhetoric Society of America conference. I took up the offer, because I wanted to get to know the Coalition more and also take up this opportunity to reflect a bit more about the tweet data.

If you need some context, I created some chord diagrams (see Fig. 1) that represent some isolated relationships between particular keywords used by people who tweeted about different sessions during the conference. I shared my work on the RSA Facebook page, and Patricia also shared it on the CRSHRC Facebook page.

Feel free to interact with the diagram on my website in a new tab, then come back to read on.

Screenshot of keyword chord diagram from #RSA16 Twitter feed.

Figure 1. Screenshot of keyword chord diagram from #RSA16 Twitter feed.

Generally, chord diagrams represent inter-relationships between different datum in a matrix. In this case, I developed a matrix of keywords and the number of times the keywords are mentioned together in a tweet. In the diagram, keywords are represented by the arcs that makeup the radial part of the circle. The length of the arc represents the total number of cross-mentions of each keyword. The chords linking different arcs represent the number of times the keywords are mentioned together in a tweet. Also an important note: any asterisk by a keyword means that I used a regular expression pattern to consolidate tense and closely related keywords. (See this example regex pattern for embodiment.)

Patricia suggested some of the following questions for me to consider:

  1. “How may twitter reveal the different coalitions of feminists or coalitions of rhetoricians, where we identify coalitions through grouping/chords?
  2. (How) Is tweeting a feminist practice? Does any of this material help to recommend the practice of conference tweeting to feminists/academics?

Regarding the first question, Twitter and conference tweeting have a lot of layered complexity that I can’t account for with my data work here. In my opinion, tweeting during a conference doesn’t automatically help me to develop clear connections for and between different coalitions and colleagues — not without substantial work to seek out and forge those connections (cf. Patricia’s work with the Coalition and how Women in Technical Communication uses the #womenintc hashtag). Again, my opinion about tweeting and coalition work is not grounded in my data work here. However, I think if conference organizers created a team of people who planned, collected, processed, and analyzed social media data, they could help colleagues carry out coalition-building and invent new feminist social media practices.

Inventing new feminist practices with social media data could become a more integral part to conference planning, which touches on Patricia’s second question. For instance, there seem to be connections between keywords related to race, latin/x, and disability (see Figures 2 and 3). The connections between race and latin/x make some immediate sense to me, but the links between those 2 and disability seem worthy of further investigation. With more planning and support upfront, I could have processed the data differently to analyze interesting relationships such as these. At the very least, I would have been able to supplement the chord diagram with a list of the tweets and their tweeters for each chord. Conference organizers, coalitions such as CRSHRC, and scholars could use this information to connect people and developing research.

Screenshot of chord between Disability* and Race*.

Figure 2. Screenshot of chord between the keywords of Disability* and Race*.

Screenshot of chord between the keywords of Disability* and Latin/x.

Figure 3. Screenshot of chord between the keywords of Disability* and Latin/x.

A more robust social media strategy could also help scholars consider trends surround particular kinds of research and scholarly domains. For example, the link between Archive* and Digital* is strong (see Fig. 4), which makes me wonder: What topics and problem areas are scholars concerned about between these two keywords. What is being archived digitally? And by whom? Rhetoricians invested in this research domain could start mapping trends and scholars, and analyze the tweets related to such work. The same holds true for strong links between Method* and Gender, Race*, and Feminist* (see Fig. 5). By providing this type of information, teachers could start asking their seminar students to conduct analysis of these trends as a complimentary method to traditional literature reviews.

Screenshot of chord between the keywords of Archive* and Digital.

Figure 4. Screenshot of chord between the keywords of Archive* and Digital.

Screenshot of keyword Method* and its chords.

Figure 5. Screenshot of keyword Method* and its chords.

Another social media strategy could include identifying a lack of overlap between keywords and research domains, which perhaps deserve more attention. After reviewing the chord diagram, I find it interesting that there was no or little overlap between Race and Disability and the following keywords: Object, Digital, Material, and Machine. Mapping and archiving weak connections is just as important as those with recurrently strong cross-mentions.

Future considerations about conferences and Twitter Data

By reflecting on this diagram, I hope to provide some new avenues to explore, take-up, curate, and guide coalitions and colleagues with data from conference social media practices. Much of these ideas, visions, and questions could become a reality if conference organizers created and released basic data points that could be combined with social media data sets: panels with panel titles, abstracts, keywords, session labels, times, etc. As a researcher, if I had this data and setup a number of people from across the discipline to tweet all of the panels, then I could conduct an analysis across time and against other panels at the time. I could also potentially explore ratios related to keywords, or even how the panelists’ keywords relate to the keywords used to describe the panel. Social media researchers could also conduct feminist studies of representation of conference panels and/or how panels are represented in and through social media practices. Overall, conference organizers could potentially create and facilitate numerous new scholarly functions, if they released panelist-defined data in a usable data and file format.

What other ways could conference organizers utilize and organize people who tweet to help facilitate better tweet data? If a conference created and released this panelist-defined data in a usable format, I see potential field-building opportunities too. Session times could be mapped onto people who attended and tweeted the panels. Panelists, or whomever interested after-the-fact, could then review those tweets and scholars who wrote them to make new connections and encourage future participation.

These are just a few ideas that I have been mulling over since working with this Twitter data. What questions and comments do you have about social media data and conference organization? Feel free to share your ideas on the Coalition’s Facebook page or tweet at me, @lndgrn, and use the hashtag #confdata on Twitter.

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