Never Forget: Ground Zero, Park51, and Constitutive Rhetorics

The Park51 uproar had a ripple effect on Muslim communities throughout America with reports of arson, vandalism, and violence at mosques. The shutdown of Park51 was another reminder that the constitutional right to practice religion freely and build houses of worship does not apply to Muslims.

Recognizing New Styles: How Graduate Students Are Coping With COVID

“COVID-19 demonstrates the kind of support—both monetary and emotional support—that is needed to succeed. I feel like there is more exigence now while we are still in this pandemic. I think that graduate students can support one another by advocating for BIPOC students and other folks in the margins who need more from the university.” — B López.

Issue 2

A Settler Archive: A Site for a Decolonial Praxis Project

by Romeo García

“Settler archives haunt us all. In reading its contents, I gain a greater understanding of my brown(ed) body. Settler archives demand a carefully reckoning, to be sure, with erasure, death, terror, trauma, and settler invention practices, all of which affect how and why I speak today from a particular place, out of a particular history, and from a particular community practice.”

The University of Utah “Utes:” Towards Increased Rhetorical Sovereignty

by Cassidy Hoff

“The University of Utah Department of Athletics’ (or University of Utah Athletics Department) media guides released from 1990-2016 in the sports of gymnastics, men’s and women’s basketball, and football highlight the way the university utilizes the “Utes” nickname, circle and feathers logo, and Swoop mascot to construct a “Ute” brand. This “Ute” brand encompasses the logo, mascot, and nickname, and also a “Ute” identity that can be assumed and performed by athletes, fans, spectators, and media.”

The Historical Work of Cultural Rhetorics: Constellating Indigenous, Deaf, and English-Only Literacies

by Sarah Klotz

“While off-reservation boarding schools devastated indigenous language and kinship structures, they also generated inter-tribal coalitions that laid the groundwork for new waves of Indigenous activism in the twentieth century. In what follows, I read a series of artifacts from the Carlisle archive to explore how comparative cultural rhetorics work can benefit from the fine-grained inquiry that archival research affords.”

Issue 1

(Re)Composing Our Consent: Critical Digital Literacies as Remixed Terms of Service

A small part of a cultural rhetorics approach to critical digital literacies is asking students to remix for target audiences that are vulnerable to the exploitation of their data based on their use. By constellating the ways in which users compose and navigate social media, the ToS remix project recomposes the doctrine of consent, allowing users to reclaim how that information is understood, communicated, and delivered.

Considering the Possibilities of a Cultural Rhetorics Assessment Framework

In this particular moment, finding something queerly useful within assessment structures will be painful and frustrating as our institutions push us to keep doing what we have always done. But finding something, anything, in the pain we are feeling, the frustration we are carrying, the work we can/will no longer do illustrates what might be possible in the here and now.

Welcome to constellations: a kind of storied introduction

Malea Powell and Alexandra Hidalgo, Editors-in-Chief

“Our central theory-to-practice tenet has been to value and practice cultural rhetorics orientations in our day-to-day editorial work with one another, with reviewers and mentors, and with authors. We do that in a number of ways but one you’ll notice as you engage the pieces here is a practice of honoring all contributors to a piece, including those whose labor usually goes unseen.”

Listening to Stories: Practicing Cultural Rhetorics Pedagogy

by Christina V. Cedillo, Victor Del Hierro, Candace Epps-Robertson, Lisa Michelle King, Jessie Male, Staci Perryman-Clark, Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, and Amy Vidali

“[A cultural rhetorics practice] means to consider your own story, and how your position contributes to your understanding of that story, but it also means to consider all the other stories that aren’t being told, or aren’t be heard, or aren’t being heard by the majority. It asks—is anything sacred?”

Toward a Rhetoric of Kagiso: Rhetoric and Democracy in Botswana

by Megan Schoen

“Kagiso as a rhetorical concept allows us to understand a discourse of democracy not grounded solely in the West—and one not tied to the limited binary of democracy as either agonism or consensus. Kagiso offers a powerful, living example of a discursive tradition that transcends this simplistic dichotomy between agonism and consensus because harmony and dissent are held closely in productive contact.”

Embodied Encounters: A Case for Autobiographical and Haptic Filmmaking

by Anne von Petersdorff

“The acknowledging of the filmmaker’s body can remind us that the process of cinematic production is dependent on the participation of others: every image carries the footprints of a culturally and historically situated way of knowing, the absence or presence of an agreement between the camera operator and the object of the gaze, the incentive of economic gain, power relations, gender roles, expected ways of behaving, and so on.”

Rasquache Rhetorics: a cultural rhetorics sensibility

by Kelly Medina-López

“Rasquache as cultural rhetorics theory and practice presents a robust approach to meaning making by allowing users to pull from the compendium of theories, ideas, experiences, tangible tools, and intangible epistemologies they can access. Recycling, upcycling, making do, and making new meaning through whatever is available is an explicit performance of rasquache.”

What Fucking Clayton Pettet Teaches Us About Cultural Rhetorics

by Becca Hayes, Kathleen Livingston, Casey Miles, Jon M. Wargo, Ames Hawkins, Ezekiel Choffel, Steven Hammer, Erin Schaefer, and Les Hutchinson

“We acknowledge the dissonance and disjointedness this project entails. Therefore, we provide no exhaustive remarks or conclusions, but rather a constellation of queer provocations. We work to render the ‘queer’ intelligible by making the piece and our responses to it seemingly unintelligible to heteronormative cultural logics.”

Web Texts

4C4Equality: Writing Networks for Social Justice

edited by Liz Lane and Don Unger

The 4C4Equality initiative focuses on writing networks for social justice. To that end, this web text provides a platform for activist-scholars in writing, rhetoric, and literacy studies to learn from, support, and productively challenge one another in developing local work and in resisting draconian policies emerging from the current US political regime.