Feminism, rhetoric, and composition

Recently I decided that I needed to include at least a little on women’s rhetoric in my Rhetoric survey, Engl 5001. I was surprised that there are not many more resources than there were 5-10 years ago.  I then started looking into Composition theory and found a bit more, and more importantly, much more discussion about why it’s a relatively undeveloped topic in a comparatively liberal and diverse field.

Since Composition has always had about 50% women and because men and women have received equal attention in most research studies, there seems to have been an assumption that gender just wasn’t an issue.  But of course all of us, students and teachers alike, arrive in the classroom carrying all of the usual baggage, and our composition practices are gendered.

Just lately some theorists are starting to look at this, and revisit prior studies to consider how the conclusion might change if one were to consider the impact of gender.  –I’ll say more about that tomorrow when I get to my office and have the anthology in front of me!

In the meantime, I’m going to bring it into my classes a bit more, and of course some of this scholarship will be relevant for my own research on the way women and men use technology, and construct narratives about that use.

1 comment for “Feminism, rhetoric, and composition

  1. Rachel
    March 12, 2009 at 1:32 am

    This is a little disheartening to read as I compile information for my research proposal. Just how limited is the research that has been compiled on women’s rhetoric? I particularly would like to address women’s rhetoric in American Literature, and if at all possible, I would like to narrow my focus to women writers who get less canonical and educational spotlight than those we are all familiar with.

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