Nov 212016


This summer, Cruz Medina reached out to This Rhetorical Life to share an interview he had done with Ana Castillo. As Medina states in this episode:

As a writer, Ana Castillo’s work is the art that identifies subject matter before those of us who are academics and scholars are able to apply lenses or qualify and quantify these rich sites of inquiry. And this is so important because there are still folks doing research on Latinas/os who bring in very little or no Latina/o scholarship, reaffirming what Jacqueline Jones Royster said in “When the First Voice You Hear Is Not Your Own,” that we are once again told that Columbus discovered America.

The intersections of Xicana feminism and Latinx literature addressing structured oppression are certainly not new, but in this contemporary political moment, it’s important to reaffirm a sense of survival. As Ana Castillo states:

We have to think about the people we have marginalized and disenfranchised most—and everybody in society at some point or another is. So it’s a fallacy to think that we have democracy and that everybody has the same opportunity. But, in terms of patriarchy, you know, women for eons have been kept in a secondary place. In terms of race issues in this country, which is only over 200 years old, but if we include the Americas, we’re talking about the conquest of Mexico and Peru and so on, so over half a millennium ago, here, of colonialism here. If we talk about other places in the world, it’s been going on for a very, very long time. Twenty or thirty years is just a drop in the bucket as far as some of the things that we’re addressing.

Read the transcript, or listen to the episode below. Featuring music from Blue Dot Sessions.

Sep 262014

Even as I sort of talk about the notion of community, though, I think that it’s important to problematize that emphasis because it suggests a homogeneity that may inadvertently exclude other voices or presume that a gender issue isn’t also a race issue, a class issue, a sexuality issue. So I think it’s very important even as we sort of try to come together and be advocates and change agents to really use this conference through venues such as the gender caucus tomorrow and the race caucus a little later this afternoon to problematize and not presume that everyone feels included—that we’re one big happy family. Because that’s not realistic. Every community operates within a system of power, and who feels enabled by that, and who feels disenfranchised? — Kris Blair

Telephone operator and switchboard, Kalamazoo, Michigan. RPPC, Postmarked 1908. Image Credit: Wystan.

Telephone operator and switchboard, Kalamazoo, Michigan. RPPC, Postmarked 1908. Image Credit: Wystan.

Episode 23 is a special compilation of statements collected from this past year’s Computers & Writing in Pullman, WA. Inspired in part by the excellent line of female keynotes (on disability, access, and women in technology fields), the second year of the gender caucus, and a general urgency in the field—and beyond—to discuss what it’s like to be a woman working and researching and teaching in a male-dominated field, we put out a call for women scholars to share their experiences in the field. This podcast features statements from 12 teacher-scholars ranging from graduate students who attended C&W for the first time to women who have actively shaped the field.

To access a PDF of the full transcript, please click here: Transcript for Episode 23

The music sampled in this podcast is “Por Supuesto,” “Blessed,” and “Not the Droid” by Podington Bear, “Homesick” by Keytronic, and “Rain-bow Window” by Diaphane.

Nov 012013

So we’re starting by defining the topic or the term of latina. Who is being included in that? Then we’re looking at questions of who are we going to include? Why are we going to include them? And which works are significant and important in talking about nationalism and feminism?

Image of a sign on a building that reads, "Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies / The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection"

The Benson Latin American Collection (

Episode 14 features an interview with Cristina Devereaux Ramírez at the 2013 Feminism and Rhetorics Conference at Stanford University. In this episode, Ramírez discusses her upcoming book project Mestiza Rhetoric: Ocupando Nuestro Puesto (Claiming Our Space), an anthology collaboration with Jessica Enoch on Mexican women journalists, and the choices we make as archival researchers about whose voices to include and how these voices can contributely positively not only to the field of rhetoric and composition but also to young latina students.

To read a PDF of the full transcript, please download it here: Transcript for Episode 14

The music sampled in this podcast is “As Colorful as Ever” by Broke for Free and “From Stardust to Sentience” by High Places.

Jul 162013

In Networking Arguments, Rebecca Dingo enacts a feminist transnational rhetorical analysis of global policies and conferences that are about women’s role in a global economy. Focusing on three rhetorical commonplaces—gender mainstreaming, fitness, and empowerment—Dingo extends traditional rhetorical analysis to account for how arguments shift rhetorically as they are networked. Our conversation begins by us discussing the differences between the three feminist transnational terms Dingo uses to explain exactly how rhetorics shift: transcoding, ideological trafficking, and interarticulation. As we talk about gender mainstreaming—the development of policies that are intended to promote gender equality and women’s best interests—and women’s empowerment, we discuss how transcoding, ideological trafficking, and interarticulation offer different nuanced ways that these well-intending rhetorics shift and are distorted.

An image of Dingo's book cover: Networking Arguments. A night image of people standing on the sidewalk at Times Square.

Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing

Episode 10 features CCR student Kate Navickas interviewing Rebecca Dingo. A follow-up to the transnational feminism panel held in March (which you can listen to here), Dingo discusses both the theoretical and practical concepts highlighted in her book, Networking Arguments.

To read a PDF of the full transcript, please download it here: Transcript for Episode 10

The music sampled in this podcast is Yacht’s “We Have All We Ever Wanted,” “Emo Step Show” by Custodian of Records, and “Golden” by High Places.

Apr 122013

From a feminist perspective, what does it mean to live a rhetorical life in a globalized world? Why is a feminist perspective productive for 2013? What are important sites and lived spaces in which we need to be rhetorical? How do you bring a feminist perspective that highlights a transnational world into your teaching, your administrative duties, your service work, your field commitments, personal life, and your activism? How do you locate transnational issues and sites that are important? And finally, how do you enact a feminist transnational method?

On March 22nd, the CCR Graduate Circle hosted our first live-recorded podcast event:  “Feminist Perspectives on Living a Rhetorical Life in a Transnational World.” To facilitate this conversation, we invited a range of diverse speakers with different areas and levels of expertise on transnational feminism and rhetorical studies. Participants in the panel included Rebecca Dingo, Dana Olwan, Anna HensleyTim Dougherty, and Eileen Schell.

Image of "transnational" woman's face.

“Feminist Perspectives on Living a Rhetorical Life in a Transnational World.” Image created by Seth Long.

To read a PDF of the full transcript, please download it here: Transcript for Episode 7.

The music sampled in this podcast is “Stay the Same” by Bonobo.