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The Rhetoric of Gender: Course Suggestions

This brief discussion of ideas and resources for a course on the rhetoric of
gender took place on WMST-L in August 2008.  For additional WMST-L files
available on the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 07:35:13 -0700
From: Diana Blaine <dblaine AT USC.EDU>
Subject: Gender and Rhetoric Course
Greetings all.  I am developing a composition course on the rhetoric of gender. 
Any and all reading and assignment suggestions welcome.  They will be doing
four papers, an analysis, an argument, a scholarly research paper, and a
personal narrative.  So I am looking for both theoretical and practical

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Diana York Blaine, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor
The Writing Program and Gender Studies
University of Southern California
dblaine  AT  usc.edu
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 10:57:13 -0500
From: Michael J. Murphy <mjmurphy AT wustl.edu>
Subject: Re: Gender and Rhetoric Course
Hi Diana,

Seems Deborah Tannen's writing on gendered communication/language is
relevant to your course.

Have you thought about including a unit on visual rhetoric, not just
textual? You could include materials on the use of gender in persuasive
media like advertising, media, and propaganda.


Mike Murphy

Michael J. Murphy, PhD, Lecturer
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
Campus Box 1078/220 McMillan Hall
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis MO 63130-4899
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 12:10:01 -0400
From: Nicole Garner <ngarner10 AT JCU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Gender and Rhetoric Course
Maureen Hourigan's Literacy as Social Exchange: Intersections of Class Gender
and Culture is quite good and looks at rhetoric in a praxical sense regarding
class, gender, and race with regard to students in university settings.  It is
a short book that chapters easily stand alone in and is available as an ebook
so that more people can have access to it, it can be accessed from most
university library systems and from Google books.
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 11:42:45 -0500
From: Phyllis Holman Weisbard <pweisbard AT LIBRARY.WISC.EDU>
Subject: Re: Gender and Rhetoric Course
Cecilia Ford (English Dept., Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) has a new book
_Women Speaking Up: Getting and Using Turns in Workplace Meetings_ (Palgrave
Studies in Professional and Organizational Discourse, 2008), which "analyzes
women's communication and language in relation to their power, or lack of
it, in various academic and business settings." Contents: Women, Agency, and
Participation; The Methods and The Women; Diverse Practices for Gaining
Participation;  Facilitation: Working To Make Things Work; Ideologies of
Talk and Participation; Applications and Implications; References; Index.

Study Description (from
http://wiseli.engr.wisc.edu/initiatives/researcheval/genddisc.htm ):
"Dr. Ford's research documents how women get their voices heard in meetings.
Using videotapes and detailed transcriptions of naturally-occurring
conversations in a variety of meetings, Dr. Ford found that the women in her
data regularly use questions to open participation and to project
trajectories of further talk in which the questioners emerge as major
contributors. This finding contrasts with some previous studies that pointed
to women's use of questioning as a powerless or weak strategy; Ford proposes
that some forms of questioning give power to the questioner rather than the
addressee. The book also offers a chapter presenting a fine-grained analysis
of two women who succeed in presenting disaffiliative or disagreeing turns
directed toward persons of higher institutional rank (persons who happen to
be men)."

Phyllis Holman Weisbard

Phyllis Holman Weisbard, Women's Studies Librarian
University of Wisconsin System
430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
pweisbard  AT  library.wisc.edu

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