“When they sculpt Sharon Crowley’s likeness into the Mount Rushmore of Writing Studies, the chapters in this superb collection will be worthy of reciting at the opening ceremony. A fitting tribute and important reading for theorists in rhetoric and composition.”
—Peter Khost, Stony Brook University
Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies collects original scholarship that takes up and extends the practices of inventive theorizing that characterizes Sharon Crowley’s body of work. Including sixteen chapters by established and emerging scholars and an interview with Crowley, the book shows that doing theory is a contingent and continual rhetorical process that is indispensable for understanding situations and their potential significance—and for discovering the available means of persuasion.
For Crowley, theory is a basic building block of rhetoric “produced by and within specific times and locations as a means of opening other ways of believing or acting.” Doing theory, in this sense, is the practice of surveying the common sense of the community (doxa) and discovering the available means of persuasion (invention). The ultimate goal of doing theory is not to prescribe certain actions but to ascertain what options exist for rhetors to see the world differently, to discover new possibilities for thought and action, and thereby to effect change in the world.
The scholarship collected in Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies takes Crowley’s notion of theory as an invitation to develop new avenues for believing and acting. By reinventing the understanding of theory and its role in the field, this collection makes an important contribution to scholarship in rhetorical studies and writing studies. It will be valuable to scholars, teachers, and students interested in diverse theoretical directions in rhetoric and writing studies as well as in race, gender, and disability theories, religious rhetorics, digital rhetoric, and the history of rhetoric.
Publication supported in part by Texas Tech University.
Contributors: Jason Barrett-Fox, Geoffrey Clegg, Kirsti Cole, Joshua Daniel-Wariya, Diane Davis, Rebecca Disrud, Bre Garrett, Catherine C. Gouge, Debra Hawhee, Matthew Heard, Joshua C. Hilst, David G. Holmes, Bruce Horner, William B. Lalicker, Jennifer Lin LeMesurier, James C. McDonald, Timothy Oleksiak, Dawn Penich-Thacker, J. Blake Scott, Victor J. Vitanza, Susan Wyche