Writing (Rhetorical) Histories

Workshop Leaders:

Jessica Enoch, University of Maryland
Cheryl Glenn, Penn State University

Historical narratives are primarily motivated to do something, and that something always has to do with contributing to the growth, the vitality, and the strength of a person, a people, a culture, often at the expense, erasure, or silencing of another person, another people, or another culture. Thus, historiography is always partial and interested, an interpretive enterprise, rhetorical through and through.

This workshop will explore what histories in our discipline do by exploring the methods and methodologies that undergird our work in writing (and re-writing) rhetorical (or institutional) history. We will explore together how histories are composed, investigating together archival, theoretical, and indeed political concerns. We will offer moments for collaboration and response to participants’ specific research inquires and projects. Preliminary reading will include texts such as Michelle Ballif’s Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric and Victor Villanueva’s Landmark Essays on Historiography.

Questions should be directed to Cheryl Glenn, cjg6@psu.edu.