by Cristina De León-Menjivar, Old Dominion University I was recently asked to find a photo that captures my struggles as a mother with chronic illness. I spent hours scrolling through the hundreds of photos on my phone. I scrolled, scrolled, and scrolled. Nothing I...
Coping with COVID
By Shiva Mainaly Gruwell, Leigh. Making Matters: Craft, Ethics, and New Materialist Rhetorics. Utah State University Press, 2022. Attune or fail? This simple question explains that if the architect of the rhetorical assemblage makes all human and nonhuman actants...
by Codi Renee Blackmon Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, From the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter by Charlton McIlwain begins with the question, “When will black lives really matter?” McIlwain’s work answers this question by making the argument...
“The recent attacks on tenure illustrate not only the usual US anti-intellectualism, but also the alignment of various strands of the pandemic milieu: conservative attacks against liberal and anti-racist education, panics over the decreasing value of productivity culture, and a changing US demographic.”
“Many of us already had done work integrating technology or online instruction into our courses, but the shifts in institutional and student expectations, as well as personal losses that affected our lives, made us continue to reflect upon these practices.”
“You Know, Anger Can Be Righteous”: A Review of James Chase Sanchez’s Salt of the Earth and Joel Fendelman’s Man on Fire
“In Salt of the Earth, Sanchez unpacks how Grand Saline’s storytelling tradition sustains and preserves white supremacy by constellating his most salient memories of Grand Saline (Sanchez, personal interview) and scholarship on the rhetorics of race and racism, protest, silence, cultural rhetorics, and storytelling as methodology.”
“COVID-19 has shown us that our bodies need to be close to other bodies, even when that closeness makes us vulnerable. Our bodies need to move, to emote, to connect to some communal rhythm and melody in order to think, create, thrive.”
“Dancing with the Devil affirms this conception of the stranger as the unfamiliar, the unnatural outsider, enticing women to join him in dance, warning others: this is what happens when you break the seemingly natural boundaries of the community established by traditional religious and cultural institutions. The stranger is a metaphor that becomes real, created to quell the anxiety felt by established norms and institutions during the Chicanx Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. But, the story lives on even today.”
“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.”
“At a time of so much chaos and change, we posit that bridging digital writing and cultural rhetorics pedagogies can help teachers and students alike envision new futures and interventions within and beyond the university, as pedagogy can help bring healing and reflection in both classroom and community contexts.”
Wanaragua: An Embodied Performance of Resistance, Recognition and Resilience Among The Garinagu of Belize
“But the Wanaragua is more than just a vibrant dance; it represents the most culturally significant part of the Christmas celebration. It is an embodied performance of resistance and resilience for the Garinagu of Belize.”
“We have indeed sought to publish work by and about BIPOC and diverse populations, and we will continue to do so, not because we think we are going to single-handedly take down the chains that bind us with this kind of scholarship, but because those diverse voices are rich and engaging and gift us with new territories to explore and transformative ideas to ponder.”
“cultural rhetorics is pushing the boundaries and erasing borders for the field at large, setting the mark of what rhetorical scholarship can be.”
“Building and navigating relationships should start long before we collect any data.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Theory With No Practice Ain’t Shit”: A Review of Aja Y. Martinez’s Counterstory: The Rhetoric and Writing of Critical Race Theory
“In short, Counterstory teaches and demonstrates how to incorporate anti-racist writing into any classroom via the ancient method of narrative, reframed to center BIPOC and non-normative voices and language use.”
Send My Love to the Family: A Review of Glasby, Gradin, and Ryerson’s Storytelling in Queer Appalachia: Imagining and Writing the Unspeakable Other
“This collection of eleven essays looks through singular narratives of a homogenous Appalachia—white, cisgendered or heteronormative, solely masculine, repressive, or backwards—to see many experiences of Appalachian queer identity, engaging narratives of exile, return, and liminality as the writers demonstrate that Appalachia itself is ‘a little bit quare.'”
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?
“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?”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The goal of this article is to examine current forms of white privilege through the lens of whiteness studies and Hip Hop pedagogies in writing classrooms in order to begin to dismantle these kinds of damaging rhetoric in our society and ultimately raise student’s rhetorical awareness of the white privilege tropes that surround them.”
“[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?”
“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.”
“Beyoncé won the 2017 Grammys in the same way she won the 2016 Super Bowl—by rewriting history with her flesh. To write skin is, like birth, to create futures.”
“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.”
edited by Don Unger and Liz Lane
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.