Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing
An original study on the use and misuse of global institutional rhetoric and the effects of these practices on women, particularly in developing countries. Using a feminist lens, Rebecca Dingo views the complex networks that rhetoric flows through, globally and nationally, and how it’s often reconfigured to work both for and against women and to maintain existing power structures.
Rebecca Dingo is assistant professor of English and women’s and gender studies at the University of Missouri. She is the author of Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing.
Networking Arguments presents an original study on the use and misuse of global institutional rhetoric and the effects of these practices on women, particularly in developing countries. Using a feminist lens, Rebecca Dingo views the complex networks that rhetoric flows through, globally and nationally, and how it’s often reconfigured to work both for and against women and to maintain existing power structures.
To see how rhetorics travel, Dingo deconstructs the central terminology employed by global institutions—mainstreaming, fitness, and empowerment—and shows how their meanings shift depending on the contexts in which they’re used. She studies programs by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the United States, among others, to view the original policies, then follows the trail of their diffusion and manipulation and the ultimate consequences for individuals.
To analyze transnational rhetorical processes, Dingo builds a theoretical framework by employing concepts of transcoding, ideological traffic, and interarticulation to uncover the intricacies of power relationships at work within networks. She also views transnational capitalism, neoliberal economics, and neocolonial ideologies as primary determinants of policy and arguments over women’s roles in the global economy.
Networking Arguments offers a new method of feminist rhetorical analysis that allows for an increased understanding of global gender policies and encourages strategies to counteract the negative effects they can create.
“Forcefully arguing that rhetorical networks have material effects on women’s lives, Dingo’s Networking Arguments intervenes in timely critical debates and develops new methods for transnational feminist rhetorical scholarship. Dingo’s persistent critique of the liberal (and neoliberal) individual subject allows her to theorize the ways that social being and structures of power condition rhetorical expression. This critique opens the door for profound challenges to the notions of an autonomous rhetorical subject and a stable (spatially and temporally) rhetorical situation.”—Bret Benjamin, University at Albany, SUNY
“A highly readable, astute, and thorough intervention into rhetorical studies. Rebecca Dingo’s transnational feminist rhetorical analysis is a must-read for scholars and students who take the relationship between language and power seriously. Her text intervenes in those operations by demonstrating the complexities of how gendered rhetorics circulate within neoliberal globalization.”—Rachel Riedner, George Washington University
“Represents the most recent interventions feminist rhetoricians can make in the discourses that shape women’s imagined and lived conditions. Dingo’s methodology holds the potential to expand the inquiries of feminist rhetoric by encouraging feminist rhetoricians to engage with rhetorics as they circulate transnationally, shaping women’s lives in the process.”--Rhetoric Society Quarterly