Cultural Rhetorics in Theory & Practice - Readings for September Sessions 2017

Cultural Rhetorics in Theory & Practice - Readings for September Sessions 2017

This year's September Sessions theme, "Cultural Rhetorics," will open up questions from rhetoric in the field that our program will likely interrogate all year long. For this issue of "Rhetoric in the Field," we'll share the core readings from September Sessions that will frame our program's understanding of what cultural rhetoric is and how it impacts our classroom practice. 

Our Core Readings

Bratta, P. & Powell, M.  “Introduction to the special issue: Entering the cultural rhetorics conversations.” Enculturation: a journal of rhetoric, writing and culture 21, 2016.  

Bratta and Powell provide a brief intellectual history of cultural rhetorics and gives readers a clear sense of some definitions of what cultural rhetorics is and can look like.

Mao, L. “Thinking beyond Aristotle: The turn to how in comparative rhetoric.” PMLA, 129 (3), 2014, 448-455.  

Mao offers a critical rhetorical comparison of different rhetorical traditions. This article re-frames an understanding of Western rhetoric and puts it in the context of a cultural comparative conversation.

In addition to the core readings from Bratta & Powell and Mao, smaller working groups of individuals will also choose an additional reading that interrogates questions at the intersection of cultural rhetorics and classroom practice. These readings have  clear pedagogical implications for our program. 

Assessment & cultural rhetoric


Balester, Valerie. “How Writing Rubrics Fail: Toward a Multicultural Model.” Race and Writing Assessment. Edited by Inoue, Asao B., and Mya Poe. Studies in Composition and Rhetoric, vol. 7. Peter Lang, 2012, 63-78.

Behm, Nicolas & Keith D. Miller. “Challenging the Frameworks of Color-Blind Racism: Why We Need a Fourth Wave of Writing Assessment Scholarship.” Edited by Inoue, Asao B., and Mya Poe. Studies in Composition and Rhetoric, vol. 7. Peter Lang, 2012, 63-78.


Elbow P. “Do We Need a Single Standard of Value for Institutional Assessment? An Essay Response to Asao Inoue's 'Community-Based Assessment Pedagogy'.” Assessing Writing: An International Journal. 2006;11(2): 81-99.

Inoue A. “A Reply to Peter Elbow on 'Community-Based Assessment Pedagogy'.” Assessing Writing: An International Journal. 2007;12(3):228-233.

Inoue, Asao B., and Mya Poe, editors. Race and Writing Assessment. Studies in Composition and Rhetoric, vol 7. Peter Lang, 2012.

“Special Issue: Toward Writing Assessment as Social Justice.” College English, vol. 79, no. 2, November 2016.

Style, form, convention & cultural rhetoric


Bawarshi, Anis. "The challenges and possibilities of taking up multiple discursive resources in US college composition." Edited by Horner, Lu, and  Paul K. Matsuda. Cross-Language Relations in Composition (2010): 196-203.

Royster, Jacqueline Jones. "When the first voice you hear is not your own." College Composition and Communication 47.1 (1996): 29-40.


Lu, Min-Zhan. "Professing multiculturalism: The politics of style in the contact zone." College composition and communication 45.4 (1994): 442-458.

Matsuda, Paul Kei. "The myth of linguistic homogeneity in US college composition." College English 68.6 (2006): 637-651.

Classroom environment and infrastructure & cultural rhetoric


“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Understanding Expectations and Mapping Preferences for Writing Classroom Design:” Dana Gierdowski and Susan Miller-Cochran, Making Space (2016).

Del Hierro, Victor, Daisy Levy, & Margaret Price. “We Are Here: Negotiating Difference and Alliance in Spaces of Cultural Rhetorics.” Enculturation 21 (2016).


Williams, Bronwyn T. “Speak for Yourself? Power and Hybridity in the Cross-Cultural Classroom.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 54, no. 4, 2003, 586–609. JSTOR,

Lloyd, K. “Crossing Cultural and Gender Borders to Change the Way We Use Discourse in the Classroom.”  CEA Forum 42, 1 (2013): 246-261,

Assignments and syllabi & cultural rhetoric


Jordan, Jay. “Composing Intercultural Relationships.” Redesigning composition for multilingual realities. Conference on College Composition and Communication of the National Council of Teachers of English, 2012: 117-143.

Bawarshi, Anis. "Sites of invention: Genre and the enactment of first-year writing." Concepts in composition: Theory and practice in the teaching of writing (2012): 208-225.


Agger, Ben, and Beth Anne Shelton. "Time, Motion, Discipline: The Authoritarian Syllabus on American College Campuses." Critical Sociology 43.3 (2017): 355-369.

Baecker, Dianne L. “Uncovering the Rhetoric of the Syllabus: The Case of the Missing I.” College Teaching. 46.2 (1998). 58-62.

Davila, Bethany A., and Cristyn L. Elder. "Welcoming Linguistic Diversity and Saying Adios to Remediation: Stretch and Studio Composition at a Hispanic-Serving Institution." Composition Forum. Vol. 35. 2017.

Womack, Anne-Marie. "Teaching Is Accommodation: Universally Designing Composition Classrooms and Syllabi." College Composition and Communication 68.3 (2017): 494.

Multimodality & cultural rhetoric


Alvarez, Sara et al.  "On Multimodal Composing." Kairos 21.2 (2017).

(Many will want to engage with all of the included video texts.  We suggest watching at least three of these multimedia texts:  Sara P. Alvarez: Cuando Escribo; Khirsten L. Echols: Composing with Black Noise; & Amy Nichols: Composing Relationships and Experiences)


Horner, Bruce, Cynthia Selfe, and Tim Lockridge. "Translinguality, transmodality, and difference: exploring dispositions and change in language and learning." (2015).

Shipka, Jody. "Transmodality in/and processes of making: Changing dispositions and practice." College English 78.3 (2016): 250.

Oral presentation & cultural rhetoric


Chawla, Devika, and Amardo Rodriguez. "Postcoloniality and the speaking body: Revisioning the English oral competency curriculum." Cultural Studies? Critical Methodologies 11.1 (2011): 76-91.

Conquergood, Dwight. "Rethinking elocution: The trope of the talking book and other figures of speech." Text and Performance Quarterly 20.4 (2000): 325-341.   


Hao, Richie Neil. "Rethinking critical pedagogy: Implications on silence and silent bodies." Text and Performance Quarterly 31.3 (2011): 267-284.

McGee, Ebony O., and Lasana Kazembe. "Entertainers or education researchers? The challenges associated with presenting while black." Race Ethnicity and Education 19.1 (2016): 96-120.

McKerrow, Raymie E. "Corporeality and cultural rhetoric: A site for rhetoric's future." Southern Journal of Communication 63.4 (1998): 315-328.

 Warren, John T. “The Body Politic: Performance, Pedagogy, and the Power of Enfleshment.” Text and Performance Quarterly 19 (1999): 257-66.

  ---  “Performative Pedagogy, At-Risk Students, and the Basic Course: 14 Moments in Search of Possibility,” Basic Communication Course Annual 15 (2003): 83-116.                

  ---  “Reflexive Teaching: Toward Critical Autoethnographic Practices off/in/on Pedagogy.” Contestation and Opportunity in Reflexivity. Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies 11 (2011): 130-144.

Tutoring and conferencing & cultural rhetoric


Garcia, Romeo. “Unmaking Gringo-Centers.” The Writing Center Journal 36.1 (2017): 29-60.

Johnson, Michelle T.  "Racial Literacy and the Writing Center." Writing Centers and the New Racism: A Call for Sustainable Dialogue and Change, edited by Laura Greenfield and Karen Rowan, Utah State University Press, 2011. 222-238.