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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Until recently, women have been neglected as subjects of scholarly interest in rhetorical studies. Though women were writing and speaking, they have not, for the most part, been considered rhetors per se. This chapter traces the relationship of rhetoric to feminist movements (first-, second-, and third-wave feminism), demonstrating the multiple ways feminism and rhetoric have come to establish a mutually enhancing relationship. The chapter locates four means through which feminist rhetoricians enact social, academic, and political change: resistant rereadings of treatises from the rhetorical canon; recovering and recuperating female-authored texts and performances; constructing feminist theories and rhetorical practices; and extrapolating theories from texts not usually thought of as rhetorical. This summary demonstrates that scholars of rhetoric and writing studies have been riding the waves of feminisms, struggling to resist, resee, and reshape the rhetorical tradition in ways that admit, embrace, and celebrate women and feminist understandings.

Keywords: rhetoric, rhetorical studies, feminism, feminist rhetoricians, rhetorical practices, rhetorical canon, rhetorical tradition, rhetors, writing studies

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