Fargo, N.D. — English department members Rebecca Hayes, Heather Steinmann, Kelly Cameron, Kelly Sassi and Amy Rupiper Taggart presented at the National Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) Conference, held Oct. 12-15 in Mankato, Minn. The theme of the conference was “Feminist Challenges or Feminist Rhetorics? Locations, Scholarship, and Discourse.”
Cameron, a former master’s degree student and current lecturer in English, presented "An Irish Mother India: Margaret Cousins' Rhetoric of Witnessing in ‘We Two Together.’ " The paper suggested Margaret Cousins, an Irish woman working in India, used a rhetoric of witnessing, acting as a medium to advance Indian women's rights.
Hayes, a current master’s degree student in English, presented on her archival research on Aloha Eagles letters. Eagles was a North Dakota legislator who worked on a bill that would have legalized abortion, and Hayes suggests Eagles and her correspondents used the rhetorics of identity to navigate the socially sensitive topic of abortion. Her presentation was titled "Who Are You and I…?; Rhetoric of Identity in the Aloha Eagles Letters."
Rupiper Taggart, associate professor of English, presented "The Axis of Agency and Social Control: Jessie Fauset's Rhetorical Space and the Rhetoric of Respectability," which examines a Harlem Renaissance literary figure and Progressive era leader from a rhetorical perspective. It suggests she participated in both highlighting images of a rising African American middle class and in a rhetoric of respectable behavior rooted in the Baptist Women's Convention, all with the goal of race "uplift."
Sassi presented her work on S. Alice Callahan's novel “Wynema.” The presentation, titled "She Wrote It, BUT . . . It's 'Assimilationist Dogma': Indigenous Feminist Spatial Rhetoric in the First Novel by a Native American Woman," suggests rather than being assimilationist, “Wynema” uses indigenous rhetorics of dual voicing, among other techniques, to reach white audiences.
Heather Steinmann, a doctoral student, joined a panel on "Rhetoric and Fictions: Interpretation and Collaboration," and she presented her work "Victimization in Dorothy Allison's ‘Bastard out of Carolina’: Turning the Inside out." In this presentation, Steinmann suggests Allison uses fictional writing techniques to expose readers to the experience of oppression that cannot be fully realized in purely academic writing.