The essays in Rhetorica in Motion constitute collectively an insightful framework for thinking reflectively and reflexively about theories, practices, and pedagogies that have been well informed by various intersections of feminisms and rhetorics as a relatively new field of inquiry. This volume demonstrates that we are accumulating now quite a full range of scholarly habits, knowledge, and wisdom using these perspectives, and it offers us, therefore, an excellent resource for seeing this work, as the editors say, 'in motion.' Kudos to Eileen Schell and K. J. Rawson for their leadership in pushing forward three decades of scholarship and teaching in our field with clarity and critical insight.
Rhetorica in Motion is the first collected work to investigate feminist rhetorical research methods in both contemporary and historical contexts. The contributors analyze the decision-making processes and methodologies employed in deciphering the origins, meanings, theories, workings, and manifestations of feminist rhetoric.The volume examines familiar themes, such as archival, literary, and online research, but also looks to other areas of rhetoric, such as disability studies; gerontology/aging studies; Latina/o, queer, and transgender studies; performance studies; and transnational feminisms in both the United States and larger geopolitical spaces. Rhetorica in Motion incorporates previous views of feminist research, outlines a set of principles that guides current methods, and develops models for undertaking future inquiry, including working as individuals or balancing the dynamics of group research. The text explores how feminist research embodies what has come before and reflects what researchers, institutions, and instructors bring to it and what it brings to them. Underlying the discovery of this volume is the understanding that feminist rhetoric is in constant motion in a dynamic that resists definition.
The time is right to rethink the role of feminism in rhetoric and composition. Committed but not dogmatic, these thoughtful scholars move beyond exhausted categories without losing the valuable insights of the past decades. Rhetorica in Motion will become indispensable for a new generation of feminist scholars in our field.
Eileen E. Schell is associate professor of writing and director of the writing program at Syracuse University. She is the author of Gypsy Academics and Mother-teachers: Gender, Contingent Labor, and Writing Instruction, coauthor of Rural Literacies, and coeditor of Moving a Mountain: Transforming the Role of Contingent Faculty in Composition Studies and Higher Education.