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Mapping Methods of Feminist Historiography

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Rachel Chapman

on 26 May 2015

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Transcript of Mapping Methods of Feminist Historiography

“In ‘
Recasting

Recovery
and
Gender Critique
as Inventive Arts: Constructing Edited Collections in Feminist Rhetorical Studies’, I found that an early either/or relationship between the arts of
recovery
and
gender critique
gives way to a both/and approach that opens multiple possibilities for rich lines of inquiry in and reflection on feminist rhetorical studies for editors, and, by extension, other researchers” (Ryan 91).
“To invent ‘
Recasting
,’ I
reread
papers, bibliographies, articles, and exam responses I had saved in various electronic and print forms to revisit what I already knew and gather this material together to take a new look. This activity of gathering and rediscovering texts I had forgotten or neglected--this recovery -- reminded me that I did know something about feminist rhetorics and gave me direction for seeking out new material to deepen my reading as I researched databases anew and followed bibliographies and references to other historical and contemporary texts” (Ryan 92).
(rhetorical
practice of) remembering
“I see the
rhetorical practice of remembering
as working within while expanding the boundaries of historiographic recovery, and I understand the
rhetorical process of gendering
as an extension of and elaboration on
gender analysis
” (Enoch 60).

“Disconnecting the act of
recovery
from the goal of
revising
rhetoric’s history, these scholars turn their attention to the
rhetorical practice of remembering
women. From this kind of work emerges historiographic practices that examine the ways women’s pasts have been leveraged and the rhetorical ends these remembrances served; that analyze the dominant and alternative modes of production groups have used to remember women; and that investigate the constraints groups have faces and the negotiations they have made in their attempts to commemorate women” (Enoch 65).
recovering
“As numbers of scholars have observed, feminist historians have worked to achieve the goal of
revising
rhetorical history by creating scholarship that falls into two dynamic and robust categories: (1) histories that
recover
the work of female rhetors and rhetoricians, and (2) histories that
reread
the rhetorical tradition through the lens of
gender theory
” (Enoch 58).
“I see the
rhetorical practice of remembering
as working within while expanding the boundaries of historiographic
recovery
, and I understand the
rhetorical process of gendering
as an extension of and elaboration on
gender analysis
” (Enoch 60).
“Another goal is to showcase critical and creative practices that center not just on work that involves
rescue
,
recovery
, or
(re)inscription
--as we normally talk about the three Rs of our work--in recognition of women as rhetors but also on finding innovative ways to engage in an exchange with these women both critically and imaginatively in order to enable a more dialogic relationship between past and present, their worlds and ours, their priorities and ours” (Royster and Kirsch 14).
“Only in the light of recent feminist scholarship
recovering

and
recuperating
women’s contributions in the broad history of culture making--in philosophy, literature, language, writing, societal structure, religion, history, education, reading, psychology, and gender--have we begun to view rhetorical history differently, have we begun to
regender
it” (Glenn 2).

(re)inscribing
“In highlighting a place for critical imagination, we seek, therefore, to leave open the possibility of
rescue
,
recovery
, and
(re)inscription
while bringing attention to the challenge of expanding knowledge and
re-forming
not only what constitutes knowledge but also whether and how we value and accredit it” (Royster and Kirsch 20).
rescuing
“The imperative is to articulate a framework that is both recognizable to the people engaged in the work and simultaneously useable in a dynamic, flexible, and enlightening way as we move beyond the core agenda of
rescuing
,
recovering
, and
re(inscribing)
women into the history of rhetoric (the three Rs) to work that is more transformative for the field” (Royster and Kirsch 18).
recuperating
“Only in the light of recent feminist scholarship
recovering
and
recuperating
women’s contributions in the broad history of culture making--in philosophy, literature, language, writing, societal structure, religion, history, education, reading, psychology, and gender--have we begun to view rhetorical history differently, have we begun to
regender
it” (Glenn 2).
reclaiming
terms of engagement:
mapping methods of feminist historiography

regendering

Rhetoric
Retold
:
Regendering
the Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance
(Glenn)

“Coming into view, albeit still dimly, are the inclusionary rhetorics of the future, rhetorics that will account for the
regendered

rhetorical terrain on which feminist archaeologists and researchers have already begun to identify women’s bodies” (Glenn 2).
reframing
“In contrast, we recognize the positive signification of disability and believe that feminism’s engagement with disability can
refigure
the face, body, and voice of rhetoric(a). We
reframe
disability, not only by turning around this words usual function as the ultimate specter of derogation, but also by making use of its gathered meanings in order to shape and focus a new critical lens built upon the generative potential of an alliance between disability studies and feminism” (Dolmage and Lewiecki-Wilson 23-24)
rhetorical process of gendering
retelling
Rhetoric
Retold
:
Regendering
the Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance (Glenn).

“Rhetoric can be
retold
and
regendered
only if gender relations are deemed influential upon social and intellectual events and changes” (Glenn 18).


Gendered analysis
, though not neatly severed from
recovery
and
reclamation
work, broadens the scope of feminist rhetoric by beginning to interrogate the category of gender. This work begins with a conceptual category of analysis, such as silence or listening, and then demonstrates examples of how that category functions as a feminist rhetoric” (Rawson 49).

Recovery
, often figured as ‘merely’ adding to the canon, and
gender critique
, which I defined as both the analytical work of
rereading
and
rewriting
the rhetorical tradition from a gendered viewpoint and the theoretical work of, in Cheryl Glenn’s words, ‘
regendering
’ the rhetorical tradition, emerge as transformative research methods. They are not, ultimately, so easily distinguished or opposed to one another as one might first suppose [....] Rather
recovery
can be as transformative as analysis, criticism, and theorizing” (Ryan 91).
Reclaiming
Rhetorica: Women in the Rhetorical Tradition (Glenn)

“At the same time that the
reclamation
and
recovery
work in feminist rhetorics has been incredibly generative, it continues to be fraught with particular challenges and debates over the potential normativizing effects on scholarship based on the category of woman, over the most productive approaches and bodies of evidence that can be gathered and assessed about women’s contributions, over the need to account for the way gender intersects with race, class, nation, and culture, and over ethics and embodiment in feminist research” (Schell 11).
"As Mountford’s study shows, when feminist scholars enact
gender analysis
, they do the important work of investigating how gendered hierarchies have shaped rhetorical history. In so doing, they
revise
the tradition by disturbing conventional understandings of what is valuable and what is not and attending to those theories, practices, and understandings deemed inadequate or even invisible through the
gendering
process” (Enoch 68).
“I see the
rhetorical practice of remembering
as working within while expanding the boundaries of historiographic
recovery
, and I understand the
rhetorical process of gendering
as an extension of and elaboration on
gender analysis
” (Enoch 60).

“Rather their [scholars who analyze the
rhetorical process of gendering
] work is predicated on the idea that the
process of gendering
is deeply rhetorical in that it relies on discursive, material, and embodied articulations and performances that create and disturb gendered distinctions, social categories, and asymmetrical power relationships” (Enoch 68).

“A gendered
rereading
of masculine rhetoric means that rather than identifying and analyzing the work of
recovered
women rhetors, scholars leverage gender theory to interrogate the relations of power operating inside the tradition that defines and naturalizes legitimate (masculine) and illegitimate (feminine) rhetorical theory, practice, and knowledge” (Enoch 67).
re-anchoring
“More publications ensued, all working to theorize--or metatheorize--not only what it might mean to write histories of rhetoric, but what it might mean to
rewrite
histories of rhetoric by
regendering
or
revising
them” (Ballif 1).
“Essentially, we wanted a useful metaphor for
re-anchoring
in a more generative way the convergence of both the values added by the use of feminist ideologies in rhetorical analyses and the use of rhetorical theories and criticism in feminist analyses, all well considered within a thickly rendered social, political, economic, cultural context”
(Royster and Kirsch 23).
re-investing
“While feminist researchers have the tools to
reanimate
the rhetorical tradition and
re-invest
the body with rhetorical meaning, they should recognize that disability reaches into all bodies, not only those that appear ‘abnormal’” (Dolmage and Lewiecki-Wilson 28).
reimagining
“We chose the term “social circulation” as leverage for understanding these complex interactions:
reimagining
the dynamic functioning of women’s work in domains of discourse,
re-envisioning
its various impacts and consequences within these localities, and linking these analyses in an informative and compelling way to forward a larger understanding of rhetoric as a cultural phenomenon and very much a human enterprise” (Royster and Kirsch 23).
rereading


Recovery
, often figured as ‘merely’ adding to the canon, and
gender critique
, which I defined as both the the analytical work of
rereading
and
rewriting
the rhetorical tradition from a gendered viewpoint and the theoretical work of, in Cheryl Glenn’s words, ‘
regendering
’ the rhetorical tradition, emerge as transformative research methods” (Ryan 91).
refiguring

Refiguring
Rhetorica: Linking Feminist Rhetoric and Disability Studies” (Dolmage and Lewiecki-Wilson)

“In contrast, we recognize the positive signification of disability and believe that feminism’s engagement with disability can
refigure
the face, body, and voice of rhetoric(a). We
reframe
disability, not only by turning around this words usual function as the ultimate specter of derogation, but also by making use of its gathered meanings in order to shape and focus a new critical lens built upon the generative potential of an alliance between disability studies and feminism” (Dolmage and Lewiecki-Wilson 23-24)

“By acknowledging that rhetorical history is not neutral territory, the
refiguring
of Aspasia, or any other woman, for that matter, as a bona fide rhetorical figure transforms the rhetorical terrain” (Glenn 15).

recontextualizing
remapping
restorying
“Such
restorying
(on whatever grounds--gender, class or race, for example) can take place only within a reevaluation of rhetorical theories in general (Blair and Kahl)” (Glenn 10).
reenvisioning
“The fundamental point is that this paradigm for the recovery and
reenvisioning
of experience recognizes not just the potential for knowledge-making but also the potential for an understanding that exists at the intersections of scholarship and creative imagination” (qtd. in Royster and Kirsch 20).

Royster and Kirsch refer to Royster’s 1992 book
Traces of a Stream
, a text which we would like to include in the future.
redefining
“Because acts of definition figure significantly in my research, I emphasize this specific kind of explaining as another strategy for theorizing. Certainly, the holistic impulse to recast recovery and gender critique is a significant act of
redefinition
” (Ryan 99).

“I have increasingly found definition, or rather,
redefinition
, as well as feminist encouragement to
resee
and
revise
to be powerful means of theorizing to create change as a feminist pragmatic rhetorician. I don’t mean to create new definitions to be reified, but to embrace the ways definitions change and evolve as a result of feminist perspectives. Defining is also a valuable means of enacting agency and promoting reform to, in this case, rethink concepts in a feminist context” (Ryan 100).
retheorizing
“Acknowledging this conundrum, ‘we’ historians are confronted with an exigency, inviting us to
retheorize
(the) writing of histories of rhetoric. The work of the authors here collected asks us to
retheorize
by provoking us to search, again, for the excluded third--but specifically for the excluded third methodology--of writing histories of rhetoric” (Ballif 4).
queering
“My initial attempt to
queer
the feminist rhetorical canon engages with the methodological norms that define feminist
recovery
and
gendered analysis
in rhetorical studies. [...]
Queer
theory can be a useful analytic for feminist rhetoric because it provides a lens to scrutinize normativities, including gender normativity and heteronormativity in the field” (Rawson 41).
“Writing the Other into Histories of Rhetorics: Theorizing the Art of
Recontextualization
” (Mao)

“Drawing upon this emphasis on openness and interdependence, the art of
recontextualization
rejects any external principle or overarching context to determine the context of the other and relies on terms of interdependence and interconnectivity to constitute and regulate representation of all discursive practices. [...] Filled with other echoes and reverberations, each act [of contextualization] responds, rejoins, realigns, and reaffirms” (Mao 46).

“Now a link in the chain of representation, every act of contextualization is necessarily an act of
recontextualization
” (Mao 47).
“Mapping the Silences, or Remapping Rhetorical Territory” (Glenn 1).

“Instead, any
remapping
must locate female rhetorical accomplishments within and without the male-dominated and male-documented rhetorical tradition that it interrogates” (Glenn 10).
re-membering
“Historiography, reading it crookedly and telling it slant, could help me shape--
re-member
--a female rhetorical presence” (Glenn 8).

re-forming
revising
“As numbers of scholars have observed, feminist historians have worked to achieve the goal of

revising

rhetorical history by creating scholarship that falls into two dynamic and robust categories: (1) histories that
recover
the work of female rhetors and rhetoricians, and (2) histories that
reread
the rhetorical tradition through the lens of gender theory” (Enoch 58).
reseeing
“Our willingness to interrogate, test, and unfold that scholarship will advance our
rethinking
,
reseeing
, and
rewriting
of rhetorical history, much of which will always be ‘rhetorical iterations, saturated with the impure representations, intrinsic interestedness, and general obstreperousness of any discourse’ (Blair, “Contested” 417, emphasis added)” (Glenn 15).
rethinking
“Our willingness to interrogate, test, and unfold that scholarship will advance our
rethinking
,
reseeing
, and
rewriting
of rhetorical history, much of which will always be ‘rhetorical iterations, saturated with the impure representations, intrinsic interestedness, and general obstreperousness of any discourse’ (Blair, “Contested” 417, emphasis added)” (Glenn 15).
rewriting
“But no single analytical category (historiography, feminism, or gender studies, for instance), no single route into rhetorical territory, can address all our divisions or questions as we
rewrite
rhetorical histories” (Glenn 14).
reanimate
“Indeed, in
recovering
rhetorical practices of an ever-increasing range of raced, classed, and cultured women from Aspasia and Ida B. Wells to Lu Yin and Hermila Galindo, feminist historiographers have
reanimated
an astounding array of seemingly conventional topics, including the role of the rhetor (Wang; Ray; Tonn), rhetorical canons (Jarratt, “Sappho’s”; Ede, Glenn, and Lunsford), rhetorical appeals and tropes (Engbers; C. Ramirez; Skinner), rhetorical agency (Logan; Sharer, Vote; Zaeske), and rhetorical education (Donawerth; Enoch, Refiguring; Kates)” (Enoch 61).
“I was fortunate enough to find an intellectual home--in a field that we now name feminist rhetorical studies--and understand that the tools and processes for
re-forming
rhetorical studies were already in motion” (Royster and Kirsch 12).

“In highlighting a place for critical imagination, we seek, therefore, to leave open the possibility of rescue, recovery, and
(re)inscription
while bringing attention to the challenge of expanding knowledge and
re-forming

not only what constitutes knowledge but also whether and how we value and accredit it” (Royster and Kirsch 20).
“More publications ensued, all working to theorize--or metatheorize--not only what it might mean to write histories of rhetoric, but what it might mean to
rewrite
histories of rhetoric by
regendering
or
revising
them” (Ballif 1).
“Scholarship that engages the
rhetorical practice of remembering
and the
rhetorical process of gendering
releases hold of the prevailing exigencies of feminist historiography. Rather than working toward canonical
revision
, these methodologies envision a broader historiographic end: interrogating the dynamic relationships among rhetoric, gender, and history” (Enoch 60).

◦“I have increasingly found definition, or rather,
redefinition
, as well as feminist encouragement to
resee
and
revise
to be powerful means of theorizing to create change as a feminist pragmatic rhetorician." (Ryan 100).
“In my own redefinition and contribution, I wanted new and established scholars to see what
reseeing
this opposition of
recovery
and theory might mean for how we conceive of research methods--
recovery
,
gender critique
, and theorizing--in feminist rhetorical studies, and how we might do so in new ways--how we might as agents, contribute to the development of this emergent discipline” (Ryan 101).
“Defining is also a valuable means of enacting agency and promoting reform to, in this case,
rethink
concepts in a feminist context” (Ryan 100).
“While feminist researchers have the tools to
reanimate
the rhetorical tradition and
re-invest
the body with rhetorical meaning, they should recognize that disability reaches into all bodies, not only those that appear ‘abnormal’” (Dolmage and Lewiecki-Wilson 28).

Recovery
, often figured as ‘merely’ adding to the canon, and
gender critique
, which I defined as both the the analytical work of
rereading
and
rewriting
the rhetorical tradition from a gendered viewpoint and the theoretical work of, in Cheryl Glenn’s words, ‘
regendering
’ the rhetorical tradition, emerge as transformative research methods.” (Ryan 91).
Works Cited

Ballif, Michelle, ed. Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2013. Print.

Ballif, Michelle. “Introduction.” Ballif 1-7.

Dolmage, Jay, and Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson. “Refiguring Rhetorica: Linking Feminist Rhetoric and Disability Studies.” Schell and Rawson 23-38.

Enoch, Jessica. “Releasing Hold: Feminist Historiography without the Tradition.” Ballif 58-73.

Glenn, Cheryl. Rhetoric Retold: Regendering the Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1997. Print.

Glenn, Cheryl and Jessica Enoch. “Invigorating Historiographic Practices in Rhetoric and Composition Studies.” Working in the Archives: Practical Research Methods for Rhetoric and Composition. Eds.

Lunsford, Andrea, ed. Reclaiming Rhetorica: Women in the Rhetorical Tradition. Pittsburgh, PA: U of Pittsburgh, 1995. Print.

Mau, LuMing. “Writing the Other into Histories of Rhetorics: Theorizing the Art of Recontextualization.” Ballif 41-57.

Micciche, Laura R. “Writing as Feminist Rhetorical Theory.” Schell and Rawson 173-188.

Rawson, K. J. “Queering Feminist Rhetorical Canonization.” Schell and Rawson 39-52.

Royster, Jacqueline Jones. Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African American Women. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994. Print.

Royster, Jacqueline Jones, and Gesa E. Kirsch. Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2012. Print.

Schell, Eileen, and K. J. Rawson, eds. Rhetorica in Motion: Feminist Rhetorical Methods and Methodologies. Pittsburgh, PA: U of Pittsburgh, 2010. Print.

Schell, Eileen. “Introduction: Researching Feminist Rhetorical Methods and Methodologies.” Rhetorica in Motion: Feminist Rhetorical Methods and Methodologies. Schell and Rawson 1-20.
recasting
releasing hold

Releasing Hold
:
Feminist Historiography Without the Tradition” (Enoch)
“Scholarship that engages the
rhetorical practice of remembering
and the
rhetorical process of gendering

releases
hold of the prevailing exigencies of feminist historiography. Rather than working toward canonical revision, these methodologies envision a broader historiographic end: interrogating the dynamic relationships among rhetoric, gender, and history” (Enoch 60).
goals of scholarship
intentions
methods
outcomes
This graphic is our initial attempt at mapping historiographic methods feminist rhetoricians have used or written about. The project has roots in two separate courses taught by Dr. Ron Brooks at Oklahoma State University, and we hope to expand it far beyond its current manifestation into an interactive website with a full catalog of methodological terms with quotes and descriptions that draw from the breadth of scholarship in feminist rhetorical historiography.
Our source quotations serve as examples of the word occurrences within the four texts to which we have limited this initial project: Royster and Kirsch’s
Feminist Rhetorical Practices
, Ballif’s
Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric
, Glenn’s
Rhetoric Retold
, and Schell and Rawson’s
Rhetorica in Motion
. The quotes provided are not necessarily the only occurrences of these terms within the texts, nor are they wholly representative. We hope to expand the project to be more inclusive of texts and more representative of terms. Taking to heart Micciche’s claim that, “Feminist methods are inventional sources that create openings for pedagogy; feminist methodologies form the theoretical grounding through which these openings attain explanatory power and politicized significance” (174), we hope to make sense of the power and significance of these terms for ourselves and for other students of feminist rhetoric. We hope that this project contributes to understanding, and we welcome feedback and contributions to the project.
Discussion Video Part 1
Discussion video Part 2
Hillary Coenen
Oklahoma State University
English - Composition & Rhetoric
hillary.coenen@okstate.edu
Rachel Chapman
Oklahoma State University
English - Composition & Rhetoric
rachel.chapman@okstate.edu
Full transcript