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With all our talk about race, much of the conversation and its attendant activity has been emotive rather than analytic. Theorizing race has yet to catch up with all the personal, albeit necessary, reflections in classrooms and professional outlets. The aim of Race, Rhetoric, and Composition is to speed things along.
This volume is perhaps the most important and significant contribution yet made in rhetoric and composition to critical race studies. Eschewing conventional conversation about multiculturalism, these writers incorporate both materialist and less economically explicit analyses to examine, instead, some of the constructed qualities of "race." They consider the historical interplay of race and language, and current examples of racialized discourse-ranging from "Indian-ness" to "Orientalism" to "whiteness formation" to "Black aesthetics." At the same time, these authors provide practical guidance on addressing issues of race in the classroom, which writing instructors will find immediately useful.
It was Gilyard's goal from the start to provide a modest collection of aligned yet flexibly critical articulations about race, rhetoric, and composition. As such, his book is an excellent supplement to graduate texts. But there are no prerequisites for using Race, Rhetoric, and Composition other than a general curiosity about "race talk" in public discourse and about connections between "race" and college composition.
1. Blood and Scholarship: One Mixed-Blood's Story, M. Powell
News-Surfing the Race Question: Of Bell Curves, Words, and Rhetorical Metaphors, M. Carstarphen
Terrorists, Madmen, and Religious Fanatics? Revisiting Orientalism and Racist Rhetoric, A. Wardi
Higher Learning: Composition's Racialized Reflection, K. Gilyard
Fighting Back by Writing Black: Beyond Racially Reductive Composition Theory, D. Holmes
Racing (Erasing) White Privilege in Teacher/Research Writing About Race, A. Goodburn
Power, Conflict, and Contact: Re-constructing Authority in the Classroom, R. Murray, Jr.
Coming to Voice: "Anger Disguised and Complex, Not Anger Simple and Open," B. Peters
Removing Masks: Confronting Graceful Evasion and Bad Habits in a Graduate English Class, G. Okawa