Fall 2013
- Seminar in Rhetoric: Engendering Rhetorical Power

This collaborative seminar will link with Professor Cheryl Glenn's seminar of the same name at Penn State University. Our seminars will connect digitally, visually, and face to face, with students having the option of collaborating on their seminar research projects. Our two-campus endeavor will culminate in a full-group symposium to be held at Maryland.

Course Description: Traditionally, the most powerful rhetors have been public, political, virile, aristocratic males—not females, not the working-class, not the aged or the young, not people of color. In this seminar, we will examine gender at the scene of rhetorical display to determine just how some rhetors establish themselves as “masculine,” while Others, often just as eloquent, are considered to be “feminine.” Gender, a term borrowed from grammar, signifies culturally constructed relations of power, with positions of dominance and subordination inscribed by such identity markers as biological sex, sexuality, race, class, status, ethnicity, religion, age, and physical and intellectual ability. These culturally gendered positions play out in every single rhetorical situation. After all, rhetoric always inscribes the relation of language and power at a particular moment, including who may/not speak, who is/not listened to, who may/not listen, what must/not be said, and what those listeners can/not do. Students will read, analyze, and write across various literary and rhetorical genres. They will develop their rhetorical expertise in analysis while simultaneously applying their ever-growing disciplinary knowledge to their (reading, writing, and speaking) pedagogies and practices.

 Texts may include: Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure; H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman, ar∙tic∙u∙late while black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S.; Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands; Sharon Crowley, Toward a Civil Discourse; Jessica Enoch, Refiguring Rhetorical Education; Sonja Foss, Gender Stories: Negotiating Gender in a Binary World; Cheryl Glenn, Rhetoric Retold or Unspoken; bell hooks, Writing Beyond Race; Shirley Wilson Logan, We Are Coming; Charles Morris III, Queering Public Address; Simon Ortiz, Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing; Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible or On Lies, Secrets, and Silences; course pack (articles about K. Crenshaw's theory of intersectionality and on B. Clinton's rhetorical prowess)