Increasingly, rhetorical scholars are using fieldwork and other ethnographic, performance, and qualitative methods to access, document, and analyze forms of everyday in situ rhetoric rather than using already documented texts. In this book, the authors argue that participatory critical rhetoric, as an approach to in situ rhetoric, is a theoretically, methodologically, and praxiologically robust approach to critical rhetorical studies. This book addresses how participatory critical rhetoric furthers understanding of the significant role that rhetoric plays in everyday life through expanding the archive of rhetorical practices and texts, emplacing rhetorical critics in direct conversation with rhetors and audiences at the moment of rhetorical invention, and highlighting marginalized voices that might otherwise go unnoticed. This book organizes the theoretical and methodological foundations of participatory critical rhetoric through four vectors that enhance conventional rhetorical approaches: 1) the political commitments of the critic; 2) rhetorical reflexivity and the role of the embodied critic; 3) emplaced rhetoric and the interplay between the field, text, and context; and 4) multiperspectival judgment that is informed by direct participation with rhetors and audiences. In addition to laying the groundwork and advocating for the approach, Participatory Critical Rhetoric also offers significant contributions to rhetorical theory and criticism more broadly by revisiting the field’s understanding of core topics such as role of the critic, text/context, audience, rhetorical effect, and the purpose of criticism. Further, it enhances theoretical conversations about material rhetoric, place/space, affect, intersectional rhetoric, embodiment, and rhetorical reflexivity.
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About the Author
Michael Middleton is assistant professor of argumentation and public discourse in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah.
Aaron Hess is assistant professor of rhetoric at Arizona State University at the Downtown Phoenix campus.
Danielle Endres is associate professor of rhetoric in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah.
Samantha Senda-Cook is assistant professor of rhetoric in the Department of Communication Studies and affiliated faculty with the environmental science and sustainability programs at Creighton University.
Table of Contents
1. Theorizing Participatory Critical Rhetoric
2. The Politics of Participatory Critical Rhetoric
3. An Embodied Critical Presence
4. From Context to Field in Participatory Critical Rhetoric
5. Participants and Perspectives