Communication and Culture | Feminism in Rhetorical Theory
C619 | 24075 | Phaedra C. Pezzullo

Tu, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM, MJ 124

Meets with CULS-C 701 and AMST-G 620

Qualifies for the Ph.D. Minor in Human Sexuality

Open to Graduates Only!

Instructor: Phaedra C. Pezzullo
Office: Mottier Hall 206
Phone: 855-2106
Instructor’s Website:

The overall goal of this graduate seminar is to present and critically
engage a range of theoretical and political tensions that have
provoked theorists who have produced work in the intersections between
feminism and rhetoric over the past two decades (whether they
themselves would claim those labels or not).  Since the seminar is
structured to provide an introduction to a variety of perspectives,
each week’s themes could open up into an entire research trajectory
unto itself and, hopefully, for some of you, this is precisely what
will happen.  Although we will engage essays from the discipline of
rhetoric, the majority of the seminar will be dedicated to questions
of “feminist rhetoric” as appreciated from an inter- and
multi-disciplinary perspective.  The reading materials and class
discussion will address the rhetorical construction of gender and sex
identity; cultural articulations made between gender and sexuality;
how rhetorical gender dynamics are confronted through examining racial
and economic identities; the gendering of everyday life through place
and objects; the invention and possibilities of modes of resistance to
gendered/sexualized/sex-based oppression; and the influence feminists
and queer theorists have had on critical methods, thinking, and
practices. We will not focus upon an essentialist communicative style
of women versus men or the recovery of women’s words and histories.

Required seminar readings most likely will include:

E-Reserves on topics such as defining “feminist rhetoric” and public
sphere theory.

Judith Butler, Undoing Gender (London: Routledge, 2004).

John M. Sloop, Disciplining Gender: Rhetorics of Sex Identity in
Contemporary U.S. Culture (Amherst, MA: UMass P, 2004).

Robyn Wiegman, American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender (Durham:
Duke UP, 1995).

Sarah Pink, Home Truths: Gender, Domestic Objects, and Everyday Life
(Berg Publishers, 2004).

Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (NY: Penguin, 1988).

Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 2nd ed.
(NY: Aunt Lute Books, 1987/1999).

Chandra Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory,
Practicing Solidarity (Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2003).

Cynthia Enloe, The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age
of Empire (Berkeley: U of CA P, 2004).

Seminar expectations:
Active Attendance and Regular Participation
Five Discussion Papers
Book Review
Final Paper