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Rhetoric and Ethnicity

By Keith Gilyard, Vorris Nunley

From style and genre to identity, politics, and pedagogy, America is characterized by a citizenry with multiple perspectives speaking and writing in multiple voices. Rhetoric and Ethnicity foregrounds the complexity of American culture and asks a series of basic questions:

  • How might ethnic rhetorics function as generative sites of difference?
  • How might ethnic rhetorics shape composition instruction?
  • How do they relate to the rhetorical tradition, classical and contemporary?
  • How can we both celebrate and critique regional, racial, and gender alternatives that exist along the broad linguistic spectrum within our daily lives as teachers of English?
  • How can ethnic rhetorics influence the purposes and modes that comprise the American rhetorical tradition?
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From style and genre to identity, politics, and pedagogy, America is characterized by a citizenry with multiple perspectives speaking and writing in multiple voices. Rhetoric and Ethnicity foregrounds the complexity of American culture and asks a series of basic questions:

  • How might ethnic rhetorics function as generative sites of difference?
  • How might ethnic rhetorics shape composition instruction?
  • How do they relate to the rhetorical tradition, classical and contemporary?
  • How can we both celebrate and critique regional, racial, and gender alternatives that exist along the broad linguistic spectrum within our daily lives as teachers of English?
  • How can ethnic rhetorics influence the purposes and modes that comprise the American rhetorical tradition?
Drawn from a 2001 conference entitled "American Ethnic Rhetorics," the essays in this volume open up vigorous debate about alternative discourses and modes of presentation. Drawing upon a methodology Gilyard calls "critical ethnicity," the authors analyze notions of history, identity, and pedagogy in essays that range from scholarly article and aesthetic analysis to autobiographical memoir and personal confession.