Rebecca Dingo

Rebecca Dingo

Rebecca Dingo is an assistant professor in the Department of English and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri. She is the coeditor of The Megarhetorics of Global Development.

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 itÆs 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 theyÆre 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 womenÆs 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.

The Megarhetorics of Global Development

After World War II, an unprecedented age of global development began. The formation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund allowed war torn and poverty stricken nations to become willing debtors in their desire to entice Western investment and trade. New capital, it was foretold, would pave the way to political and economic stability, and the benefits would “trickle down” to even the poorest citizens. The hyperbole of this neocolonialism, however, has left many of these countries with nothing but compounded debt and unfulfilled promises.

The Megarhetorics of Global Development examines rhetorical strategies used by multinational corporations, NGOs, governments, banks, and others to further their own economic, political, or technological agendas. These wide-ranging case studies employ rhetorical theory, globalization scholarship, and analysis of cultural and historical dynamics to offer in-depth critiques of development practices and their material effects. By deconstructing megarhetorics, at both the local and global level, and following their paths of mobilization and diffusion, the concepts of “progress” and “growth” can be reevaluated, with the end goal of encouraging self-sustaining and ethical outcomes.