Available Means

Available Means

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a€œI say that even later someone will remember us.a€a€”Sappho, Fragment 147, sixth century, BC Sapphoa€™s prediction came true; fragments of work by the earliest woman writer in Western literate history have in fact survived into the twenty-first century. But not without peril. Sapphoa€™s writing remains only in fragments, partly due to the passage of time, but mostly as a result of systematic efforts to silence womena€™s voices. Sapphoa€™s hopeful boast captures the mission of this anthology: to gather together women engaged in the art of persuasiona€”across differences of race, class, sexual orientation, historical and physical locationsa€”in order to remember that the rhetorical tradition indeed includes them. Available Means offers seventy women rhetoriciansa€”from ancient Greece to the twenty-first centurya€”a room of their own for the first time. Editors Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald do so in the feminist tradition of recovering a previously unarticulated canon of womena€™s rhetoric. Women whose voices are central to such scholarship are included here, such as Aspasia (a contemporary of Platoa€™s), Margery Kempe, Margaret Fuller, and Ida B. Wells. Added are influential works on what it means to write as a womana€”by Virginia Woolf, Adrienne Rich, Nancy Mairs, Alice Walker, and HAclAune Cixous. Public a€œmanifestosa€ on the rights of women by Hortensia, Mary Astell, Maria Stewart, Sarah and Angelina GrimkAc, Anna Julia Cooper, Margaret Sanger, and Audre Lorde also join the discourse. But Available Means searches for rhetorical tradition in less obvious places, too. Letters, journals, speeches, newspaper columns, diaries, meditations, and a fable (Rachel Carsona€™s introduction to Silent Spring) also find places in this room. Such unconventional documents challenge traditional notions of invention, arrangement, style, and delivery, and blur the boundaries between public and private discourse. Included, too, are writers whose voices have not been heard in any tradition. Ritchie and Ronald seek to a€œunsettlea€ as they expand the womena€™s rhetorical canon. Arranged chronologically, Available Means is designed as a classroom text that will allow students to hear women speaking to each other across centuries, and to see how women have added new places from which arguments can be made. Each selection is accompanied by an extensive headnote, which sets the reading in context. The breadth of material will allow students to ask such questions as a€œHow might we define womena€™s rhetoric? How have women used and subverted traditional rhetoric?a€ A topical index at the end of the book provides teachers a guide through the rhetorical riches. Available Means will be an invaluable text for rhetoric courses of all levels, as well as for womena€™s studies courses.In rereading Virginia Woolfa#39;s A Room of Ones Own (1929) for the first time in some years, I was astonished at the sense of effort, of pains taken, of dogged tentativeness, in the tone of that essay. And I recognized that tone. I had heard it oftenanbsp;...

Title:Available Means
Author:Joy Ritchie, Kate Ronald
Publisher:University of Pittsburgh Press - 2001-07-12


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