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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Scholarly investigations of nineteenth-century U.S. feminist rhetoric in communication studies are intimately intertwined with the goals and rhetorical practices of mid-twentieth-century U.S. feminism. Beginning with an anecdote about the recovery of the U.S. “woman’s rights” movement by radical feminists of the 1960s, this chapter highlights the ways the generation of history is always embedded in the historical moment in which history is produced and circulated. It then examines the disciplinary contexts for the production of early studies of U.S. women’s public advocacy, focusing special attention on the development and use of “feminine style,” a key rhetorical concept articulated by communication scholar Karlyn Kohrs Campbell. Drawing lessons for future scholarship from this disciplinary history, the chapter concludes by forecasting new directions in the study of nineteenth-century U.S. rhetoric and feminism, ranging from ongoing projects of recovery to reconceptualization of gender and identity.

Keywords: feminism, feminist rhetoric, feminine style, communication, public advocacy, gender, identity, woman’s rights movement, disciplinary history, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell

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