Mothers have been present in the academy for decades, making space for themselves and for the rest of us through their embodied presence, mentorship, and overt activism. Despite the presence of mothers in these earlier decades, mothers were largely instructed to keep their identities as mothers apart from their identities as scholars.
“In all my classes, I want students to see themselves in the materials I assign and to reflect on texts/stories that are not primarily for them but another community.”
“Building and navigating relationships should start long before we collect any data.”
“cultural rhetorics is pushing the boundaries and erasing borders for the field at large, setting the mark of what rhetorical scholarship can be.”
“I want to hope that this is a reminder that universities are filled with people, and that nothing we do here should be more important than supporting one another’s ability to live and thrive.”
“No matter where we stand, our ability and inability to make it through this mess is mingled with how we embrace (physically, mentally, emotionally, digitally) our relations.”
“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.”
“Trump denying that he is racist constructs an implied premise that (un)intentionally authorizes a white supremacist attitude: as long as a person is not the most racist person, a moderately or even severely racist person can overlook his or her own racial unawareness.”
“While approaching violence through assemblage is risky, the work of destabilizing dominant ways of looking cannot happen solely through written analysis. Visual production offers different ways of knowing for both maker and spectator, and violence is too prevalent and significant a problem to lay aside any tools available to reckon with it.”
“The hostile underpinnings of ‘women and children first’ became even clearer a few days after the Titanic’s sinking, when journalist Frances Wayne wrote an editorial for The Denver Post entitled, ‘Women must explain why they abandoned mates in death.'”
“I had a minor breakdown due to all the stress—the panic set in and I just began to cry because it was all too much (being a mother to my children, being a good teacher, colleague, and activist for equity, diversity, and inclusion in my writing program).”
“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.
“How has the university reflected on and named their own issues with systemic racism and oppression? How have they taken a closer look at how much money has been allocated toward campus police in comparison to developing programs and initiatives that actively challenge white supremacy within the campus climate?”
Online Learning in a Time of Crisis: Using Physical Distance and Digital Space to Develop Learning Communities
If “cultures are made up of practices that accumulate over time and in relationship to specific places” (Powell, et al.), how do we co-create that culture alongside students in online classes without the “physical geographies” we can re-make together? What happens when we are never in the same physical place/space with each other? When we have no shared past to remember?
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.
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.
“[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?”
“As they tenaciously place one foot in front of the other during their long existences, journals take copious unexpected and often electrifying turns. They perform some cryptic alchemy, blending the contributions of editors, authors, reviewers, and readers to fashion their own identities and personalities.”
The Historical Work of Cultural Rhetorics: Constellating Indigenous, Deaf, and English-Only Literacies
“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.”
“The dirt under her fingernails, the traces of caring for the land, is the metaphor that guides our essay as we retell the memories we have of our migrant mothers, their care, their labor/s, and their fight, as well as the gendered criminalization of migrants in the U.S”
Performing Gender Asymmetry: Material Rhetoric and Representation at the National Museum of American History
“Memory spaces are inherently material, requiring us to walk through them, look at them, read and think and use our other senses to understand them. Each of these acts is embodied and carried out in relation to the physical entity or space with which we are engaged.”
“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.”
“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.”