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Queerness, Cultural Rhetorics, and Decoloniality: Expanding the Conversation(s) Webinar

Friday, November 13, 2020
1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
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This panel features four recipients of the 2020 CCCC Gloria Anzaldúa Rhetorician Award and the CCCC Scholars for the Dream Travel Award. The presentations will be followed by an audience-driven Q&A session as well as networking time.


S. Brook Corfman, University of Pittsburgh
“Against Performance: Conference Themes and Trans Critique”
Spurred by the generic and uncritical use of “performance” across presentations at the 2019 CCCC conference—quite distinct from Vershawn Ashanti Young’s call—I bring trans studies and composition into conversation, including trans studies’ critiques of performance theories. I question when and how composition turns to other fields for its methods and innovations, showing how the tension of the composition–performance–trans studies triangle elucidates composition’s broader habits of borrowing without speaking back to other areas of cultural study.

Elise Dixon, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
“Making and Unmaking: What the Lesbian Avengers Taught Me about Writing”
This presentation details a queer and cultural rhetorics framework for understanding how queer communities’ communal composing practices allow them to enact the process of world making. Through ethnographically informed qualitative interviews, I detail themes related to making from former members of the Lesbian Avengers—an activist group prominent in the 1990s—to illuminate how the communal practice of making is a deliberate and complex rhetorical act of world building, especially for marginalized communities. I conclude by discussing what lessons (academic) leaders can learn from activist organizations such as the Avengers and how to apply those lessons in their administration.

Florianne (Bo) Jimenez, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Echoing and Resistant Imagining: Cultural Rhetorics and Decoloniality in Filipino Student Writing”
I’ll be presenting my research on Filipino student writing during the American colonization of the Philippines at the turn of the twentieth century. Using theories from cultural rhetorics and decolonial thinking, I offer an overview of the transnational discourses on race, class, and language that collided at the colonial schoolhouse and analyze how student writers negotiated, resisted, and subverted US colonial ideology through writing in English.

Loretta Ramirez, California State University, Long Beach
“Critical Pedagogy and Chicanx Rhetorical Inheritances: Recovering Chicanx Historical Genealogies to Decolonize Composition Classrooms”
Developing insights from my work in decolonial theory and the long history of Chicanx visual and textual rhetorics, this presentation examines ways in which introducing genealogies of cultural rhetorics into the composition classroom may foster inclusive practices. By contextualizing student rhetoric within various cultural inheritances, I suggest that writing programs might better foster strategies wherein students enter their own historical rhetorical lineages to locate, assess, and participate in the formation of their own academic voices.


Timothy Oleksiak, University of Massachusetts Boston
Timothy Oleksiak is an assistant professor of English and director of the Professional and New Media Writing program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His work on queer listening and rhetoric has appeared or is forthcoming in Composition Studies, PRE/TEXTCollege Composition and Communication, Peitho, and Pedagogy.



Jackie Rhodes, Michigan State University
Jackie Rhodes is professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. A two-time cowinner of the CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award (for Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self and Sexual Rhetorics: Methods, Identities, Publics), she focuses her scholarly work on intersections of rhetoric, sexuality, and technology.


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