Writing from the Border: Frontier Rhetoric and Rhetorical Education at University of Arizona and University of New Mexico, 1885-1910
histories of composition
histories of rhetoric
AdvisorRamírez, Cristina D.
MetadataShow full item record
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.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the histories of the University of Arizona (UA) and the University of New Mexico (UNM) before 1910. This project brings a trans-hemispheric approach to composition history by developing a theory of "frontier rhetoric" as a lens for analysis. Used to describe the rhetorical strategies that emphasize narratives of progress to disenfranchise others, frontier rhetoric allows us to examine the ways in which colonialism is embedded within institutions and reproduced by curriculum and policies. In the case of UA, institutional stakeholders envisioned their university as an Americanization project that both opened up Arizona’s natural resources to profit, while creating a citizenry devoted to defending their country. In the case of UNM, we see a subtler manifestation of frontier rhetorics, such as in the way Spanish was emphasized for the purposes of sending multilingual teachers out into the primarily Spanish speaking regions of the territory. An analysis of the students' curricular and extra-curricular writing from this time shows that students had the opportunity to challenge and resist frontier rhetorics through newspaper writing. The curricular and extra-curricular use of public genres such as newspapers allows students to take a more active role in negotiating their own understandings of citizenship and community engagement. Finally, this dissertation connects these histories to the present by discussing the ways in which writing program administrators can use frontier rhetoric to assess the inclusivity of their programs and adopt a translingual orientation in an effort to combat monolingual mentalities. This history makes visible the ways in which colonial legacies are embedded within our educational institutions, challenges the Eurocentric tendencies of composition histories, and offers new perspectives on the ways in which rhetorical education can both reproduce and resist oppressive attitudes about language, race, and culture.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Rhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Posthumous Queer Articulations and Rhetorical Agency: The Case of David WojnarowiczMcAllister, Kenneth S.; Shumake, Jessica L.; Licona, Adela C.; Flinn, Caryl; Barnard, Ian; McAllister, Kenneth S. (The University of Arizona., 2013)This project is an archival case study of the multimedia artist and writer David Wojnarowicz. I discuss Wojnarowicz's legacy as a queer activist and public intellectual to explore the potential of his posthumous rhetorical agency. I define "posthumous rhetorical agency" as a process enacted by the living to facilitate the participation of the deceased in public life. I emphasize that developing a theory of posthumous rhetorical agency can fuel the "momentum of the archival turn" while also deepening a "commitment to the queer turn" in rhetorical studies (Morris and Rawson; Crichton). I establish that Wojnarowicz's archive possesses the ability to reach into the future with remarkable velocity to contribute to his posthumous agency because he drew on extant queer kinship networks and engaged multiple mediums as a visual artist, writer, musician, performance artist, and filmmaker. I extend Avery Gordon's position that haunting differs from trauma because haunting produces a "something-to-be-done" quality, which leads to an engagement with the present and a desire "to reveal and learn from subjugated knowledge." I argue that Wojnarowicz's legacy has a "something-to-be-done" quality about it. His legacy stands as an indictment of a nation lulled into apathetic indifference and cowed into fear of social difference: at a national level when the AIDS epidemic began, politicians and corporations were inexcusably slow to respond because the disease was assumed to infect only gay men and other "high risk" populations. Thus, in understanding Wojnarowicz's suffering - as an individual and, to take this line of argument further, as part of a collective of people with AIDS who died due to the US government's neglect of a public health crisis from which the "general public" was assumed to be safe - one can conceive of his posthumous legacy as a positive and needful presence that calls attention to the value of integrating a partially erased or forgotten history more fully into the nation's history. I conclude that a viable theory of posthumous rhetorical agency must attend to issues of how to responsibly and justly represent the work of those who have been systematically excluded, censored, or erased from the historical record.
Bodily Force and Rhetorical Function in the Afro-Brazilian Art Form of CapoeiraLicona, Adela C.; Juarez, Marissa Marie; Kimme Hea, Amy C.; Hall, Anne-Marie; Licona, Adela C. (The University of Arizona., 2012)Bodily Force and Rhetorical Function in the Afro-Brazilian Art Form of Capoeira examines how practitioners of capoeira, a dance-like martial art developed by African slaves in Brazil during the slave trade, enact forms of contestation, resistance, and accommodation through their performances, as well as how the practice of capoeira results in productions and interruptions of social and cultural hierarchies. Building upon historical research, interviews, and participant observations at a local capoeira site, I argue that the movements, gestures, and facial expressions that drive communicative performances between two or more practitioners elucidate intersections between rhetoric, performance, and the body. More specifically, I demonstrate that the capoeira body operates as a physical force that serves a variety of rhetorical functions, including intervening in social structures of dominance, performing identities, recording histories, establishing relational politics, and inviting self and communal transformation. Interrogating the art form's colonial past, I suggest that capoeira has the potential to teach anti-oppression practices and to serve as a locus of coalition building across multiple lines of difference.
The Questions We Are Taught to Ask: A History of Teaching Rhetorical Criticism and Coming to Terms with Symbolically Mediated InfluenceMiller, Thomas P.; Haker, Ute Marlies; Miller, Thomas P.; Enos, Theresa; Hall, Anne-Marie (The University of Arizona., 2010)This dissertation explores why, how, and to whom rhetorical criticism was taught in the four most noteworthy locations of a systematic rhetorical criticism instruction up to the end of the twentieth century: the schools of Isocrates, Plato, and Aristotle in ancient Greece and the twentieth-century speech communication discipline in the United States. The study shows that Isocrates, Plato, and Aristotle had clearly recognized the analysis of public speeches (and by extension the analysis of other symbolically mediated influence) as constituting a symbolic capital of the highest order and the core of their intellectual and pedagogical interest in the art of the word or rhetoric. It was precisely their recognition of rhetorical criticism's intellectual worth that prompted the three master teachers to reserve a systematic instruction in rhetorical criticism for Athens' future leaders. By contrast, the twentieth-century speech communication discipline found itself caught between a goal to teach production-oriented public speaking courses and a goal to function as a modern research discipline. Neither twentieth-century objective valued and supported rhetorical criticism as speech communication's intellectual foundation and as an advanced form of listening, reading, seeing, and thinking in which all members of the modern mass education system are entitled to receive an easily accessible, systematic, and explicit training. Both in ancient Greece and in the twentieth-century United States a systematic instruction in the analysis of symbolically mediated influence was made available to some but not others.