front cover of Jewish Rhetorics
Jewish Rhetorics
History, Theory, Practice
Edited by Michael Bernard-Donals and Janice W. Fernheimer
Brandeis University Press, 2014
This volume, the first of its kind, establishes and clarifies the significance of Jewish rhetorics as its own field and as a field within rhetoric studies. Diverse essays illuminate and complicate the editors’ definition of a Jewish rhetorical stance as allowing speakers to maintain a “resolute sense of engagement” with their fellows and their community, while also remaining aware of the dislocation from the members of those communities. Topics include the historical and theoretical foundations of Jewish rhetorics; cultural variants and modes of cultural expression; and intersections with Greco-Roman, Christian, Islamic, and contemporary rhetorical theory and practice. In addition, the contributors examine gender and Yiddish, and evaluate the actual and potential effect of Jewish rhetorics on contemporary scholarship and on the ways we understand and teach language and writing. The contributors include some of the world’s leading scholars of rhetoric, writing, and Jewish studies.

front cover of Rhetoric and Religion in the Twenty-First Century
Rhetoric and Religion in the Twenty-First Century
Pluralism in a Postsecular Age
Edited by Michael-John DePalma, Paul Lynch, and Jeff Ringer
Southern Illinois University Press, 2023

Expanding the scope of religious rhetoric  

Over the past twenty-five years, the intersection of rhetoric and religion has become one of the most dynamic areas of inquiry in rhetoric and writing studies. One of few volumes to include multiple traditions in one conversation, Rhetoric and Religion in the Twenty-First Century engages with religious discourses and issues that continue to shape public life in the United States.  

This collection of essays centralizes the study of religious persuasion and pluralism, considers religion’s place in U.S. society, and expands the study of rhetoric and religion in generative ways. The volume showcases a wide range of religious traditions and challenges the very concepts of rhetoric and religion. The book’s eight essays explore African American, Buddhist, Christian, Indigenous, Islamic, and Jewish rhetoric and discuss the intersection of religion with feminism, race, and queer rhetoric—along with offering reflections on how to approach religious traditions through research and teaching. In addition, the volume includes seven short interludes in which some of the field’s most accomplished scholars recount their experiences exploring religious rhetorics and invite readers to engage these exigent lines of inquiry.  

By featuring these diverse religious perspectives, Rhetoric and Religion in the Twenty-First Century complicates the field’s emphasis on Western, Hellenistic, and Christian ideologies. The collection also offers teachers of writing and rhetoric a range of valuable approaches for preparing today’s students for public citizenship in our religiously diverse global context.  


front cover of Stepping Into Zion
Stepping Into Zion
Hatzaad Harishon, Black Jews, and the Remaking of Jewish Identity
Janice W. Fernheimer
University of Alabama Press, 2014
Considers the question “Who is a Jew?”— a critical rhetorical issue with far-reaching consequences for Jews and non-Jews alike

Hatzaad Harishon ("The First Step") was a New York-based, multiracial Jewish organization that worked to increase recognition and legitimacy for Black Jews in the sixties and seventies. In Stepping into Zion, Janice W. Fernheimer examines the history and archives of Hatzaad Harishon to illuminate the shifting definitions and borders of Jewish identity, which have critical relevance to Jews of all traditions as well as to non-Jews.

Fernheimer focuses on a period when Jewish identity was in flux and deeply influenced by the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. In 1964, white and Black Jews formed Hatzaad Harishon to foster interaction and unity between Black and white Jewish communities. They raised the question of who or what constitutes Jewishness or Jewish identity, and in searching for an answer succeeded—both historically and rhetorically—in gaining increased recognition for Black Jews. Fernheimer traces how, despite deep disagreement over definitions, members of Hatzaad Harishon were able to create common ground in a process she terms "interruptive invention": an incremental model for rhetorical success that allows different groups to begin and continue important but difficult discussions when they share little common ground or make unequal claims to institutional and discursive power, or when the nature of common ground is precisely what is at stake. Consequently, they provide a practical way out of the seemingly incommensurable stalemate incompatible worldviews present.
Through insightful interpretations of Hatzaad Harishon's archival materials, Fernheimer chronicles the group's successes and failures within the larger rhetorical history of conflicts that emerge when cultural identities shift or expand.

front cover of Teaching through the Archives
Teaching through the Archives
Text, Collaboration, and Activism
Edited by Tarez Samra Graban and Wendy Hayden
Southern Illinois University Press, 2022

Disruptive pedagogies for archival research

In a cultural moment when institutional repositories carry valuable secrets to the present and past, this collection argues for the critical, intellectual, and social value of archival instruction. Graban and Hayden and 37 other contributors examine how undergraduate and graduate courses in rhetoric, history, community literacy, and professional writing can successfully engage students in archival research in its many forms, and successfully model mutually beneficial relationships between archivists, instructors, and community organizations.

Combining new and established voices from related fields, each of the book’s three sections includes a range of form-disrupting pedagogies. Section I focuses on how approaching the archive primarily as text fosters habits of mind essential for creating and using archives, for critiquing or inventing knowledge-making practices, and for being good stewards of private and public collections. Section II argues for conducting archival projects as collaboration through experiential learning and for developing a preservationist consciousness through disciplined research. Section III details praxis for revealing, critiquing, and intervening in historic racial omissions and gaps in the archives in which we all work. 

Ultimately, contributors explore archives as sites of activism while also raising important questions that persist in rhetoric and composition scholarship, such as how to decolonize research methodologies, how to conduct teaching and research that promote social justice, and how to shift archival consciousness toward more engaged notions of democracy. This collection highlights innovative classroom and curricular course models for teaching with and through the archives in rhetoric and composition and beyond.


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