The Design of Web 2.0: The Rise of the Template, the Fall of Design by Kristin Arola
Abstract: In a time when Web 2.0 technologies dominate web experiences, and when the media by and large sings the praises of the personal empowerment afforded by such technologies, it is important to bring a critical lens to the design of Web 2.0. Although there are many empowering and engaging features of user-driven content, this article explores the downside to template-driven design. Through tracing the decline of homepage web authoring (where users had control of visual design choices) alongside the rise of social networking sites (where users have little to no control over the visual design of their representation), I call for a renewed attention to the rhetoric of design. Click here for reading.
The Chicano Codex: Writing against Historical and Pedagogical Colonization by Damián Baca
Abstract: Contemporary Chicano codex rhetorics subversively question the alleged superiority of Western writing traditions, while reminding us that Mesoamerican pictographs have been an important—although repressed—part of rhetorical history. Click here for reading.
Declarations of Independence: African American Abolitionists and the Struggle for Racial and Rhetorical Self-Determination by Jacqueline Bacon
Abstract: By the late 1830s, many African American abolitionists began publicly expressing a desire for independence from white antislavery leaders with whom they had previously collaborated. In powerful statements declaring their desire for self-determination, they argued that their white colleagues’ attempts to control and restrict their rhetoric and activism were offensive and oppressive. In doing so, they critiqued white abolitionist leaders’ racism, affirmed African Americans’ right to create arguments on their own terms, and uncovered the history of black rhetorical activism that gave them empowering precedent for their efforts. Click here for reading.
Descendents of Africa, Sons of '76: Exploring Early African-American Rhetoric by Jacqueline Bacon and Glen McClish
Abstract: African-American rhetoric of the early Republic has been largely unexplored by rhetorical scholars. Addressing this gap in the scholarship, this study analyzes two intricately related forms of discourse: late eighteenth-century petitions and speeches celebrating the 1808 abolition of the international slave trade to the United States. Both sets of texts con- tribute to the expression of an African-American public voice, build upon and critique American ideals while retaining a proud sense of African heritage, exploit the available generic conventions, develop increasingly radical appeals, and feature arguments that transcend local issues to engage general questions of identity and history. Click here for reading.
Tales of Tragedy: Strategic Rhetoric in News Coverage of the Columbine and Virginia Tech Massacres by Cynthia Willis-Chun
Abstract: School shootings have become an all-too-familiar part of the U.S. mediascape. The news breaks slowly at first, with tense reports of violence on campus and assurances that more information will be forthcoming. As details emerge, the number of victims is released, the perpetrators are identified, and media then grapple with the complex task of making sense of what seem to be senseless acts of violence. The discourse that follows such incidents is also fairly predictable: age-old debates around gun control are revived, concerns about young men in crisis are aired, and questions about prevention, mental health, and media influence. Click here for reading.
A Woman's Place Is in the School: Rhetorics of Gendered Space in Nineteenth-Century America by Jessica Enoch
Abstract: Nineteenth-century American leaders in education came to advocate a redesign of the schoolroom that resulted in its being seen as more the province of female teachers than of male teachers. This discourse of reform serves as a case study of how space itself may be rhetorically “gendered.” Click here for reading.
Expanding Working-Class Rhetorical Traditions: The Moonlight Schools and Alternative Solidarities among Appalachian Women, 1911–1920 by Jane Greer
Abstract: This essay urges scholars and teachers interested in the rhetorical agency of economically disenfranchised groups to expand their field of vision beyond the organized labor movement. The author discusses the Moonlight Schools, founded in Kentucky in 1911 by Cora Wilson Stewart, as a site for investigating alternative forms of solidarity. More particularly, she argues that Appalachian women used the literacy skills they developed under Stewart’s tutelage to support their own long-standing practices of neighborliness. By thus looking beyond strikes, walkouts, and other dramatic rhetorical moments from the labor movement, this essay hopes to begin building a more nuanced understanding of how people with limited economic resources gain purchase in the world through words. Click here for reading.
Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments by Mary Hocks
Abstract: This essay illustrates key features of visual rhetoric as they operate in two professional academic hypertexts and student work designed for the World Wide Web. By looking at features like audience stance, transparency, and hybridity, writing teachers can teach visual rhetoric as a transformative process of design. Critiquing and producing writing in digital environments offers a welcome return to rhetorical principles and an important pedagogy of writing as design. Click here for reading.
(Re-)Dressing the KKK: Fred Shuttlesworth's Precept Hermeneutic and the Rhetoric of African American Prophetic Patriotism by David Holmes
Abstract: This article focuses on Fred Shuttlesworth, founder and president of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and the one who convinced Martin Luther King Jr. to participate in the Birmingham civil rights campaign of 1963. A folksy preacher and an exceptional leader, the article examines his use of the precept hermeneutic in his rhetoric. Like King, Shuttlesworth falls within the African American jeremiad tradition of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth. Unlike King, the author argues, Shuttlesworth utilizes the precept hermeneutic to repudiate segregation but not simply because of his fundamentalist worldview; he deployed this form of exegesis to foreground larger principles of progressive patriotism, religious activism, and racial egalitarianism. As a result, Shuttlesworth constructs a rhetorical strategy that, drawing upon a canonized view of scripture, paradoxically deconstructs, disrupts, and dismantles canonized perspectives on racial, religious, national and international identities. Click here for reading.
"Between the Eyes": The Racialized Gaze as Design by Sue Hum
Abstract: Given the ubiquity of images and, implicitly, the habits of looking that influence the production of those images for both representation and communication, English studies requires a theory of Design that better accounts for dominant perceptual habits that function both to constrain acts of choice making and to restrict the repertoire of available resources. This article contributes to that agenda by focusing on one perceptual habit: the racialized gaze, a dominant cultural habit for perceiving race-related visual phenomena. Employing a fascinating take on the political cartoons of the nineteenth-century artist Thomas Nast as “racialized design,” Hum uses this work to complicate the idea of both design and gaze for students and teachers of visual rhetoric today. Specifically, she argues, among other points, that “the racialized gaze as Design provides a valuable theoretical framework for visual rhetoric, exegesis, and cultural analysis by directing our attention to how designers may unwittingly sustain practices of racialization and perpetuate racially based sociocultural exclusions.” Click here for reading.
Rhetorical Borderlands: Chinese American Rhetoric in the Making by LuMing Mao
Abstract: In this article I argue that the making of Chinese American rhetoric takes place in border zones and that it encodes both Chinese and European American rhetorical traditions. By focusing on the discursive category of "face" and "indirection"/ "directness:' I demonstrate that Chinese American rhetoric becomes viable and transformative not by securing a logical, unified, or unique order, but by participating in a process of becoming where meanings are in flux and where significations are contingent upon each and every particular experience. Click here for reading.
Embracing Wicked Problems: The Turn to Design in Composition Studies by Richard Marback
Abstract: Recent appeal to the concept of design in composition studies benefits teaching writing in digital media. Yet the concept of design has not been developed enough to fully benefit composition instruction. This article develops an understanding of design as a matter of resolving wicked problems and makes a case for the advantages of this understanding in composition studies. Click here for reading.
A Man of Feeling, A Man of Colour: James Forten and the Rise of African American Deliberative Rhetoric by Glen McClish
Abstract: This study examines the rhetorical practice of James Forten, an African American activist of the early republic. Focusing on four texts written between 1800 and 1832 for white audiences and considering Forten's efforts to align white readers with the plight of both free and enslaved American blacks, I explore pathos (particularly as conceived by eighteenth-century Scottish rhetoricians), the suppliant ethos, appeals based on Pennsylvania and U.S. legal and political traditions, and arguments addressing the practical concerns of the audience. Through such analysis, I demonstrate Forten's pioneering role in the development of African American deliberative rhetoric. Click here for reading.
Walls with a Word Count: The Textrooms of the Extracurriculum by Alexandria Perry
Abstract: This article examines text-based locations (textrooms) as a third strand of the extracurriculum of composition. Through a diachronic analysis, I examine the nineteenth-century periodical Godey’s Lady’s Book and three twenty-first-century blogs as coauthored classrooms or powerful sites of women’s informal writing education. Click here for reading.
Forging a Mestiza Rhetoric: Mexican Women Journalists’ Role in the Construction of a National Identity by Cristina Ramirez
Abstract: During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, various Mexican women journalists pioneered a mestiza rhetoric that was resistant to oppressive ideologies. Click here for reading.
Multicultural Public Spheres and the Rhetorics of Democracy by Phyllis Mentzell Ryder
Abstract: Through choice of style, genre, evidence, grammar, language and other discourse conven tions, writers and readers negotiate the framework in which we might speak and that we will accept as "public discourse" when others speak. In the case of the American public, the struggle over such conventions is a necessary and vital part of our democratic process; stylistic differences can be attempts to create rival publics, even when the "interactions ... seem to have no manifest political content" (Warner 14). But such struggles are often overlooked in the debates about how to prepare citizens for democratic participation. Those conversations tend to either focus on teaching student-citizens only how to participate in the dominant American public discourse, or, alternatively, they recognize the limita tions of the current dominant discourse and desire an (impossibly) accessible, universal, inclusive standard for a single public discourse. Rather than take either of these paths, I argue, we need to value the rhetorical struggle itself as an ongoing part of democracy. Click here for reading.
The Available Means of Persuasion: Mapping a Theory and Pedagogy of Multimodal Public Rhetoric by David M. Sheridan, Jim Ridolfo, and Anthony J. Michel
Abstract: Whether or not the Internet will facilitate the emergence ofa "sharing community" comprised of"all citizens ofthe world" remains to be seen. Equally uncertain are the limits to the possible forms that participation in this new community might take. What new types of discourses might citizens produce? What new roles might they assume? The answers to these questions are dependent, in part, on our conceptions of public rhetoric. As many have noted, the Internet and other digital technologies allow us to communicate notjust through words, but also through sounds, colors, photographs, and other semiotic resources. What uses will public rhetoric find for these new affordances? What corresponding transformations will rhetorical education need to undergo? Click here for reading.
Colonial Memory and the Crime of Rhetoric: Pedro Albizu Campos by victor Villanueva
Abstract: The author recounts his efforts to find out about Puerto Rican activist Pedro Albizu Campos, who was imprisoned chiefly because of his rhetoric. Click here for reading.
Queer Rhetorical Agency: Questioning Narratives of Heteronormativity by David L. Wallace and Jonathan Alexander
Abstract: This article argues that addressing homophobia is only a starting point and that the work of looking carefully at heteronormativity is a much more difficult task. The authors consider this a rhetorical task since sexuality constructs our literacy development and sense of agency. Since heteronormativity is a rhetorical domain of power, queer perspectives can push us toward new ideas of agency. Click here for reading.
Digital Rhetoric: Toward an Integrated Theory by James Zappen
Abstract: This article surveys the literature on digital rhetoric, which encompasses a wide range of issues, including novel strategies of self-expression and collaboration, the characteristics, affordances, and constraints of the new digital media, and the formation of identities and communities in digital spaces. It notes the current disparate nature of the field and calls for an integrated theory of digital rhetoric that charts new directions for rhetorical studies in general and the rhetoric of science and technology in particular. Click here for reading.
If none of the 20 titles above interest you, please go to the John Jay library, use the databases, and find any article published after 2010 from one of the following journals:
Rhetoric Society Quarterly