Composing containment: Incorporating the queer into professional and cultural rhetorics
KeywordsLanguage, Rhetoric and Composition.
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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.
AbstractComposing Containment speaks to the paradigm shift in composition studies that has been codified in a number of ways, such as the post-process movement, social-epistemic rhetoric, and cultural rhetoric. Integrating concerns in reception theory, textual and cultural analysis, rhetorics of difference, queer theory, and critical composition pedagogy, each chapter includes an investigation of the rhetorical construction and ideological function of difference in a particular social site: the disciplinary practices in composition, the pop-culture program, Will & Grace, and the discourse advocating the legalization of same-sex marriage. Admittedly, these are substantially different sites of inquiry with their own distinct rhetorical, generic, and political expectations; each site deploys difference as it participates in the production of dominant social values, however. Moreover, as the critiques presented in this project reveal, these sites produce similar ideological effects that secure racist, sexist, classist, and heterosexist ideology. Articulating this discursive resonance extends scholarship in rhetoric and composition in multiple ways. First, it engages the discourse of sexuality in order to further chart its rhetorical terrain. Second, while doing so, it identifies and critiques a dominant rhetorical strategy of this discourse, the rhetoric of incorporation. Third, it models a process of critique to demonstrate how this rhetoric works in contradictory ways. While it creates an image of progressive politics through its inclusion and apparent advocacy on behalf of the Other, for instance, the rhetoric of incorporation actually functions to contain the potentially disruptive power of difference---whether that difference is associated with queerness, basic writing, or liberatory pedagogy. Finally, this project suggests that the social prominence and efficacy of this rhetorical strategy can be countered only with methods of critique that link studies of rhetoric to theories of ideology and materiality.
Degree ProgramGraduate College