Reclaiming Memoria for Writing Pedagogies: Toward a Theory of Rhetorical Memory
AuthorKennedy, Tammie Marie
Committee ChairMountford, Roxanne
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWhile memoria is the fourth canon of rhetoric, its generative power remains essentially absent from rhetoric and composition studies. In my dissertation I use Mnemosyne's story as a way to reconceptualize memoria beyond the confines of mnemonic techniques and memorization. I provide an overview of memoria using the terministic screens of storehouse, invention, and subjectivity in order to explain its absence and the consequences of this gap. I posit that the generative, critical, and embodied qualities of memory shape our ways of knowing and being and our hermeneutical, inventive, and revisionary practices.I argue that memory is rhetorical: it's not just what is remembered/forgotten that matters, but how it is remembered, by whom, for what purpose, and with what effect. Rhetorical memory is a process and product(s) of remembering. Rather than remaining fixed, rhetorical memory is dynamic, relational, infused with emotion, steeped in imagination, and context dependent. It is also relational, not autonomous and continuous. When memory is written, it expresses, analyzes, connects, rebuilds, and transforms the links between private and public, past and present, self and other, reason and emotions, fact and fiction, and mind and body. Rhetorical memory is (re)visionary. In chapter two, I explicate the constructed/reconstructed nature of rhetorical memory as demonstrated by Maxine Hong Kingston in No Name Woman. I also examine how rhetorical memory enriches feminist pedagogy(s), especially how agency might emerge and be sustained. In chapter three, I focus on the critical aspects of rhetorical memory by investigating how the memory of Mary Magdalene was constructed to maintain cultural hegemony. I argue that rhetorical memory provides a critical tool for underrepresented groups to critique, disrupt, and revise truth claims often represented in traditional bodies of knowledge. In chapter four, I assert that rhetorical memory empowers writers to uncover white privilege and take action against such injustices. I also include a section on how I incorporate rhetorical memory into my pedagogical practices. I call on scholar teachers to address how our professional discourses and scholarly conventions impede how we communicate about the kinds of insights we gain from rhetorical memory.
Degree ProgramRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English