Notes: Carolyn Skinner, Women Physicians & Professional Ethos in Nineteenth Century America

Skinner, Carolyn. (2014). Women physicians & professional ethos in nineteenth century America. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Summary:

Skinner discusses the complications of women physicians in nineteenth century America creating professional ethos.

Quotations:

“[E]thos often is not crafted in response to a coherent and identifiable set of audience values but instead is composed in a dynamic context that includes multiple competing ideas about the “best” virtues; consequently, ethos formation frequently involves value negotiations as well as reciprocity between rhetor and audience identity constructs” (p. 175).

Reflection:

This is becoming a bit of a recurring question, but I’m wondering about moments in which these cordial appeals for acknowledgement are not possible or only perpetuate problems. I’m not trying to say this is a gap in Skinner’s text as it was not a part of her project—her work contributes a great deal to reconsidering ethos and particularly a feminist ethos in complicated and nuanced ways. What I’m wondering is how, within that framework of a feminist ethos that she offers us, is there space for rhetoric’s insufficiency or failure, or a rhetoric of refusal.

We learn a lot of how the conditions of women physicians and how they negotiate ethos and/through professionalism. This negotiation happens in locations that are hostile to these women. But still, what we see is a mutual engagement that is inherent in the word negotiation (p. 175).

If we must attend to the conditions that allow for persons to engage in rhetorical negotiation, what conditions need to be present for refusal? For, what the only rhetorical term I have at my disposal for this, kakoethos?

I’m still working on this project looking at ACT UP activists and what’s striking is their refusal to participate in negotiation. What they perform instead is an ardent insistence that they be seen and heard on their own terms, silencing the dominant discourse that systemically silenced them. What conditions need to be met for this mode of rhetorical action that refutes traditional conceptions of how ethos participates.

 

Notes: Caroline Dadas, “Messy Methods: Queer Methodological Approaches to Researching Social Media”

Dadas, Caroline. (2016). Messy methods: Queer methodological approaches to researching social media. Computers and Composition, 40, 60-72.

Summary:

Dadas explains the queer methodology that ran through her social media research, highlighting the queering of private/public binaries, the complicated role of ethos, and the possibility of queerness as techne.

Keywords: Research Methods, Methodology, Queer Rhetorics, Queer Theory, Technology

Sources:

Browne, Kath & Catherine J. Nash (Eds.). (2010). Queer methods and methodologies: Intersecting queer theories and social science research. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.

Cushman, Ellen. (1996). The rhetorician as an agent of social change. College Composition and Communication, 47(1), 7-28.

Law, John. (2004). After method: Messiness in social science research. New York, NY: Routledge.

Quotations:

“As more and more citizens are turning to social media platforms for civic work, rhetoric and composition must continue to develop methodological approaches that help study these online spaces. In particular, how do researchers ethically gather data from such sites, considering the tendency for users to treat online spaces as private interactions (McKee & Porter, 2009)? How might we use social media not only as sites of study but also as a method for conducting qualitative research? How can we adapt established research methods to better meet the needs of such dynamic spaces?” (61).

“Queer theory’s rich tradition of interrogating the public and the private provided me with the framework for establishing connectivity between my methods, data, and theoretical approach. The resonances between queer theory and digital research practices in terms of publicity and privacy make queer methodologies particularly fruitful for online research” (61).

“Glasby offered the “rhetorical negotiation” as a way of working through competing ideas (in her case, the dissonance between her personal and scholarly orientations to marriage equality) without expecting the kind of neat resolution that often dominates academic discourse. Rather, as Glasby”s (2014) approach showed, queer epistemologies honor the tensions, fissures, and gaps that often emerge in our research” (62).

“In this context, then, queer methodology functions both as a commitment to researching sites that have not previously found legitimization, as well as a willingness to draw from a range of disciplinary methods. Likewise, Kath Browne and Catherine Nash (2010) emphasized queer research as a way of challenging frameworks of power, located both in the disciplinary tools available to the researcher, as well as in her chosen topic(s). For Browne and Nash, ”Queer research’ can be any form of research positioned within conceptual frameworks that highlight the instability of taken-for-granted meanings and resulting in power relations’ (2010; p. 4″ (62).

“Uninterested in using queerness simply as a theoretical application or a framework for influencing research methods, they [Browne and Nash (2010)] argued that queerness should intersect with ‘those sets of logical organizing principles that link our ontological and epistemological perspectives with the actual methods we use to gather data’ (p. 2). Just as any methodology addresses the relationship between theory, data, and method, queer methodologies help negotiate methods that often do not yield clear-cut results” (63).

“Law (2004), more explicitly than most researchers, acknowledged the profound unknowability of many phenomena that we attempt to study; in doing so, he proposed that we embrace a more messy approach that does not purport to ensure the inherited Enlightenment-era notions of replicability, reliability, or objectivity” (63).

“[A] queer methodology is sensitive to moments when attention from a researcher might bring unwanted publicity to a participant/cause (Banks & Eble, 2009); it also acknowledges the benegits of publicity, particularly when conducting civic-based research, and seeks to harness those benefits in rhetorically savvy ways” (66).

“[U]sing queer ethics as a method involves establishing a more intimate relationship with participants… I drew on a queer ethic to divulge my sexual orientation. Due to the nature of the study…, I believed that disclosing my sexual orientation might be the primary gesture I could make toward establishing intimacy with them. At the same time, I worried that doing so would alienate those potential participants who opposed marriage equality” (66).

“[A] queer methodological stance will often not yield convenient results” (66).

“[A] queer methodology can help weigh all the factors involved and arrive at a decision that demonstrates a commitment to advocating for social justice while also showing care for our participants and ourselves. Such a methodology recognizes that the boundaries between safety and danger are not clear cut, and that acknowledging the fluidity of identity can help us navigate these boundaries in rhetorically savvy ways” (67).

“In other words, transparency can look very different at various stages of research. While being up-front about aspects of one’s life can enrich a project and benefit the researcher-participant relationship, other moments within the same study may require a more reserved approach. Implementing both strategies does not signal inconsistency but rather a kairotic sensitivity” (67).

“The methodology that I claimed, then, allowed for residing along various points on the public/private continuum as a researcher. Queering the methodological notion of transparency allowed me to be ‘public’ in one scenario and to privilege a more private approach in another—and to negotiate the seeming inconsistency by embracing the fissures that emerged in my method” (68).

“In this sense, queerness does not mean being either transparent or not with participants; what is queer is allowing for a broad range of possibilities when it comes to interacting with participants and data. Being able to adjust one’s approach throughout the course of a study, depending on the context, is a valuable tool at a researcher’s disposal” (69).

“Rhetoric and composition as a field has wrestled with its methodological diversity, sometimes seeking out categorization and classification as a way of demonstrating rigor and clarity in our research…. Because queerness flies in the face of clarity, reconciling it with methodological rigor might seem contradictory. In response, I turn to Boelstorff’s (2010) question about what queer studies would look like if it were less concerned with producing episteme than with techne…. When applied to the notion of queer methodologies, techne offers the possibility of troubling normative attitudes toward research rather than setting out a fixed set of characteristics that define such a methodology” (70).

“[V]iewing queerness as techne helps us to reorient toward the process of adaptation, the flexibility of method, the need to constantly change our approaches” (70).

“Using a lens of failure, we can see these disruptions as instances of nonlinearity: that research does not necessarily progress through sequential stages of (private) data collection and analysis and then on to a (public) presentation of the findings when the researcher is ready. Refusing this linear progression is one way that we might adapt established research methods to better meet the needs of dynamic online spaces” (71).

Tending to Archives and a Summer Reading List

Tending to Archives:

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The question of curating, (at)tending to, and constructing an archive also asks how knowledge is (co)created, valued, and arranged. Popova (2015) reminds that “[w]e tend to treat our knowledge as personal property to be protected and defended. It is an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order.” This makes knowledge political and material in how an archive is produced. Clary-Lemon (2014) offers materialist archival processes; to define material, she writes, “By material, I mean the connection to the “real” (Blair 16), or as Barbara Dickson has it, “the signification of material things and corporeal entities” like bodies, texts, substance, and site” (382). By discussing materiality in terms of archival methods, she argues, one can examine how meaning is accrued through the curation of objects. One of the key critiques of how archival research has been talked about is the relationship to meaning and objects when she writes, “The separation of objects from ideas by the notion that ‘objects mediate knowledge’ has a long history in Western thought, and as researchers we often do not disrupt this assumption, looking instead to explicitly mine that mediation in our archival glimpses” (384).

In tending to this repository, I’ve continually grappled with how we could invent new ways of creating, being, and becoming in the design and continuation of this webspace. After all, Derrida (1998) writes that the “structure of the archiving archive also determines the structure of the archivable content even in its very coming into existence and in its relationship to the future. The archivization produces as much as it records the event” (17). Derrida writes later that the archive “produces more archive, and that is why the archive is never closed. It opens out of the future” (68). My intent is to make this an archive of play; one that encounters pasts and imagines futures. A teleological golden snitch that opens at the close, an inhabiting of khôra. A blogged archive that gives place a prior and conjecture (Derrida, 1995). A willful archive in which the parts may not producing the whole, where parts can be followed, traced, invent new trajectories, and create excesses of archival experiences (Ahmed, 2014).

Having wrapped up my first year of grad school at Eastern Michigan, this blog has become a sustained habit for me—one that serves as a repository for notes, making public my explorations and reflections, as well as one that sustains my inquiry. It makes followable and returnable, it makes interactive and exploratory, it produces and mediates texts and contexts for writing, reading, thinking, and knowing. I hope to continue this habit critically and conscientiously, becoming aware of the texts that are included and the futures it imagines as well as those that are not included. I hope this is a repository that invents, sustains, “and makes an attempt not to treat his knowledge as a treasure, or even a possession, or even a self-esteem enhancement device —” (Popova, 2015).

References:

Ahmed, Sara (2014). Willful Subjects. Durham: Duke University Press.

Clery-Lemon, Jennifer (2014). “Archival Research Processes: A Case for Material Methods,” Rhetoric Review 33.4, 381-402.

Derrida, Jacques (1998). Archive Fever. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Derrida, Jacques (1995). On the Name. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Popova, Maria (2015). “Umberto Eco’s Antilibrary: Why Unread Books are More Valuable to Our Lives than Read Ones.” BrainPickings.

Reading List:

Journal Articles:

Alexander, Jonathan, and William P. Banks. “Sexualities, Technologies, and the Teaching of Writing: A Critical Overview.” Sexualities, Technologies, and the Teaching of Writing. Spec. issue of Computers and Composition 21.3 (2004): 273-293.

Alexander, Jonathan, Janell Haynes, and Jacqueline Rhodes, eds. Public/Sex: Connecting Sexuality and Service Learning. Spec. issue of Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service-Learning 9.2 (2010).

Alexander, Jonathan, and Jacqueline Rhodes. “Queer: An Impossible Subject for Composition.” JAC 31.1–2 (2011): 177–206.

Banks, William P. “The Values of Queer Jacketing: What Happens When Student Writers Go Gay?” MEAT Journal 1.2 (Winter 2005–06).

Banks, William P. “Written Through the Body: Disruptions and ‘Personal’ Writing.”The Personal in Academic Writing. Spec. issue of College English 66.1 (2003): 21-40.

Banks, William P., and Jonathan Alexander. “Queer Eye for the Comp Program: Toward a Queer Critique of WPA Work.” The Writing Program Interrupted: Making Space for Critical Discourse. Eds. Donna Strickland and Jeanne Gunner. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2009. 86-98.

Barradell, S. (2013). The identification of threshold concepts: a review of theoretical complexities and methodological challenges. Higher Education, 65(2): 265-276.

Bennett, Jeffrey. “‘Born This Way’: Queer Vernacular and the Politics of Origins.”Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 11.3 (2014): 211-230.

Bianco, Jamie. “Composing and Compositing: Integrated Digital Writing and Academic Pedagogy” Fibreculture 10 (2007).

Carr, Allison. “In Support of Failure.” Composition Forum 27 (2013).

Curtis, M. & Herrington, A. “Writing Development in the College Years: By Whose Definition?” CCC 55 (2003): 69-90.

Dean, Tim. “Bodies that Mutter: Rhetoric and Sexuality.” Pre/Text: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory 15.1-2 (1994): 80-117.

Fox, Catherine. “Reprosexuality, Queer Desire, and Critical Pedagogy: A Response to Hyoejin Yoon.” JAC 26.1-2 (2006): 244-53.

Fox, Catherine Olive-Marie. “Toward a Queerly Classed Analysis of Shame: Attunement to Bodies in English Studies.” College English 76.4 (2014): 337-56.

Goltz, Dustin Bradley. “It Gets Better: Queer Futures, Critical Frustrations, and Radical Potentials.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 30.2 (2013): 135-151.

Gray, Mary L. “‘Queer Nation is Dead/Long Live Queer Nation’: The Politics and Poetics of Social Movement and Media Representation.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 26.3 (2009): 212-236.

Hall, Donald E. “Cluelessness and the Queer Classroom.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 7.2 (2007): 182-91.

Highberg, Nels P. “‘Because We Were Just Too Scared’: Rhetorical Constructions of Patient Zero.” Medical Humanities Review 18.1-2 (2004): 9-26. Print.

Houle, Brian R., Alex P. Kimball, and Heidi A. McKee. “‘Boy? You decide; Girl? You Decide’: Multimodal Web Composition and a Mythography of Identity.” Computers and Composition Online (Fall 2004).

Jordan, Jay. “Rereading the Multicultural Reader: Cross-Cultural Composition Readers and the Reconstruction of Cultural Identities.” College English 68.2 (November 2005).

Kopelson, Karen. “Queering the Writing Program: Why Now? How? And Other Contentious Questions.” Writing Program Administration 37.1 (2013): 199-213.

Landau, Jamie. “Reproducing and Transgressing Masculinity: A Rhetorical Analysis of Women Interacting with Digital Photographs of Thomas Beatie.” Women’s Studies in Communication 35.2 (2012): 178-203.

Libretti, Tim. “Sexual Outlaws and Class Struggle: Rethinking History and Class Consciousness from a Queer Perspective.” College English 67.2 (2004): 154-171.

Matsuda, Paul Kei. “Embracing Linguistic Diversity in the Intellectual Work of WPAs.” WPA 31.1-2 (2009): 168-71.

Mitchell, Danielle. “I Thought Composition Was about Commas and Quotes, Not Queers: Diversity and Campus Change at a Rural Two-Year College.” Composition Studies 36.2 (2008): 23-50.

Monson, Connie and Jacqueline Rhodes. “Risking Queer: Pedagogy, Performativity, and Desire in the Writing Classroom.” JAC 24.1 (2004): 79-92.

Morrison, Margaret. “Laughing with Queers in My Eyes: Proposing ‘Queer Rhetoric(s)’ and Introducing a Queer Issue.” Queer Rhetoric. Spec. issue of Pre/Text: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory 13.3-4 (1992): 11-36.

O’Donnell, R. (2010). A critique of the threshold concept hypothesis and its application to opportunity cost in economics.(Working Paper No. 164). http://www.finance.uts.edu.au/research/wpapers/wp164.html

Ramsby, Fiona Harris. “The Drama as Rhetorical Critique: Language, Bodies, and Power in Angels in America.” Rhetoric Review 33.4 (2014): 403-420.

Rand, Erin J. “Queer Critical Rhetoric Bites Back.” Spec. issue of Western Journal of Communication 77.5 (2013): 533-7.

Rawson, K. J. “Transgender Worldmaking in Cyberspace: Historical Activism on the Internet.” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking 1.2 (2014): 38-60.

Rawson, K. J. “Rhetorical History 2.0: Toward a Digital Transgender Archive.”Enculturation 16 (2013).

Rawson, K. J. “Accessing Transgender // Desiring Queer(er?) Archival Logics.”Archivaria68 (2009): 123-140.

Selfe, Cynthia L. “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing.” CCC 60.4 (2009): 616-63.

Sewell, John Ike. “‘Becoming Rather Than Being’: Queer’s Double-Edged Discourse as Deconstructive Practice.” Journal of Communication Inquiry 38.4 (2014): 291-307.

Shipka, Jody. “A Multimodal Task-based Framework for Composing.” CCC 57.2 (2005): 277-306.

Smith, J. “Students’ goals, Gatekeeping, and Some Questions of Ethics.” CCC 48 (1997):299-320.

Smith, Lauren. “Staging the Self: Queer Theory in the Composition Classroom.” In Calvin Thomas (ed.) Straight with a Twist: Queer Theory and the Subject of Heterosexuality. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. 68-85.

Spade, Dean, and Craig Wilse. “Sex, Gender, and War in an Age of Multicultural Imperialism.” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Wordmaking 1.1 (2014): 5-29.

Wallace, David L., and Jonathan Alexander. “Queer Rhetorical Agency: Questioning Narratives of Heteronormativity.” JAC 29.4 (2009): 793-819.

West, Isaac. “Queer Generosities.” Spec. issue of Western Journal of Communication 77.5 (2013): 538-41.

West, Isaac, Michaela Frischherz, Allison Panther, and Richard Brophy. “Queer Worldmaking in the ‘It Gets Better’ Campaign.” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. 0.1 (2013): 49-86.

Wight, Jules. “Saving Private Manning? On Erasure and the Queer in I Am Bradley Manning Campaign.” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking 1.1 (2014): 118-129.

Young, Anna M., Andria Battaglia, and Dana L. Cloud. “(UN)Disciplining the Scholar Activist: Policing the Boundaries of Political Engagement.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 96.4 (2010): 427-35.

Book Chapters and Edited Collections:

Alexander, Jonathan, and Elizabeth Losh. “‘A YouTube of One’s Own?’: ‘Coming Out’ Videos as Rhetorical Action.” LGBT Identity and New Online Media. Eds. Christopher Pullen and Margaret Cooper. New York: Routledge, 2010. 37-50.

Andrews, John. (2001). Meaning, knowledge, and power in the map philosophy of JB Harley. In Paul Laxton (Ed.), The new nature of maps: Essays in the history of cartography (pp. 1–32). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hesse, Doug. 2012. “Who Speaks for Writing? Expertise, Ownership, and Stewardship.” In Who Speaks for Writing: Stewardship for Writing Studies in the 21st Century, edited by Jennifer Rish and Ethna D. Lay, 9-22. New York: Peter Lang.

Morris, Charles E., III, and K. J. Rawson. “Queer Archives/Archival Queers.”Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric. Ed. Michelle Ballif. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2013. 74-89.

Neary, Mike and Joss Winn. “Student as Producer: Reinventing the Student Experience in Higher Education.” The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience. London: Continuum, 2009.

Ouellette, Marc. “Come Out Playing: Computer Games and the Discursive Practices of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality.” Computer Games and Technical Communication: Critical Methods and Applications at the Intersection. Eds. Jennifer deWinter and Ryan M. Moeller. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 35-51. Print.

Prior, Paul, & Shipka, Jody. “Chronotopic lamination: Tracing the contours of literate activity.” In Charles Bazerman, & David Russell (Eds.), Writing selves/Writing societies: Research from activity perspectives. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse and Mind, Culture, and Activity, 2003.

Rhodes, Jacqueline, and Jonathan Alexander. “Experience, Embodiment, Excess: Multimedia [E]visceration and Installation Rhetoric.” The New Work of Composing. Eds. Deborah Journet, Cheryl Ball, and Ryan Trauman. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital P / Utah State UP. 2012. Web.http://ccdigitalpress.org/nwc/chapters/rhodes-alexander/home.html

Books:

Banks, Adam J. Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground. Mahwah, NJ: Earlbaum, 2006.

Bell, David and Jon Binnie. The Sexual Citizen: Queer Politics and Beyond. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2000.

Goncalves, Zan Meyer. Sexuality and the Politics of Ethos in the Writing Classroom. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005.

Gould, Stephen J. The Mismeasure of Man. New York: E.W. Norton, 1981.

Hanson, F. Allan. Testing Testing: Social Consequences of the Examined Life. Berkley: University of California Press, 1993.

Haggerty, G. C. & Zimmerman, B. Profession of Desire: Lesbian and Gay Studies in Literature. NY: MLA (1995).

Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History. London: Verso, 2005. Print.

Plummer, Ken. Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions for Public Dialogues. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003.

Prosser, Jay. Second Skins: Body Narratives of Transsexuality. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Rubin, Henry. Self-Made Men: Identity and Embodiment among Transsexual Men.Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2003.

Sloop, John M. Disciplining Gender: Rhetorics of Sex Identity in Contemporary US Culture. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2004. Print.

Spurlin W. (Ed.) Lesbian and Gay Studies and the Teaching of English. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2000.

Turner, William B. A Genealogy of Queer Theory. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2000.

Wallace, David L. Compelled to Write: Alternative Rhetoric in Theory and Practice. Logan: Utah State UP, 2011. Print.

Yancey, Kathleen Blake, & Huot, Brian (Eds.). Assessing writing across the curriculum: Diverse approaches and practices. Greenwich, CT: Ablex, 1997.

Yep, Gust A., Karen E. Lovaas, and John P. Elia, eds. Queer Theory and Communication: From Disciplining Queers to Queering the Discipline(s). Binghamton, NY: Haworth, 2003.