Morning Meetings

This year’s conference features a new kind of session: morning meetings.  These are highly participatory 50-minute events that allow for small-group work aimed at activist work and/or mentoring in the tradition of the FemRhets conference. We intend for these meetings to be inclusive and to allow attendees to shape their own active and productive responses. 

Conference attendees are invited to participate in the following types of morning meetings: 

  • Organizing for Activism: 50-minute sessions devoted to envisioning, strategizing, and planning activism that bridges feminist academic work to activist work outside the academy. 
  • Mentoring Feminist Scholars: 50-minute sessions focused on feminist issues in teaching, research, leadership, and academic activism. 

See all Morning Meeting topics and agendas below.

Friday, October 6, 2017: Organizing for Activism

Meetings held 8:00 - 8:50am at University of Dayton Marriott Ballroom
“Without Community, There is No Liberation”: Developing Digital Organizing Strategies & Communities while Resisting Silence & Isolation

Meeting Conveners:
Shea Stuart, Gardner-Webb University
Collyn Warner, Independent Scholar & Writing Instructor

This interactive, collaborative workshop transforms foundational concepts from digital rhetorical and feminist studies into a revolutionary digital organizing strategy with tools for participants. Presenters bring pragmatic experience from sociopolitical conservative and rural environments. The workshop presenters have organized with marginalized communities in these environments by establishing safe dialogue spaces, ultimately finding digital technologies paired with community literacy strategies to be critical tools. Building on the work of Mowshowitz, Karpf, Willson, and Kavada, this workshop explores the affordability and effective use of how social media advances virtual communities as sites of community and composition collaboration. Within a virtual environment, communities develop which connect those who may have felt very alienated in personal community organizing efforts, and the Internet provides anonymity for those who may need to create virtual profiles for safety in their physical communities. The continuation of strengthening this collective identity through increased efforts of collaborative composition, then, will continue to hold powerful implications for activists. Furthermore, this workshop will provide examples of how to take that digital organizing and bring it into participants’ physical communities, while looking at how to fuse the two.

The workshop will include a variety of topics:

1. Developing identity as an organizer
2. Gaining grassroots advocacy through digital tools
3. Identifying stakeholders and colleagues through digital spaces
4. Creating a connection between virtual and on-ground grassroots work.

Participants will leave this interactive workshop with an initial digital strategy, and they will be members of a virtual community for further support.

Speaking ||Alt Wright||: Examples of Using Rhetorical Skills & Social Media in the Political Landscape of 2017


Meeting Conveners:
Chris Boese, Metadata Solutions
Elizabethada Wright, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Avesa Rockwell, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Amy Clark, University of Minnesota-Duluth

Repeatedly, there have been calls for rhetoricians to practice what they teach to influence opinion outside the classroom. Though there may be pitfalls of creating a public activist voice when our classrooms may have students who oppose our positions, there are ways to negotiate these hazards. Additionally, social media increasingly allows rhetoricians to be good citizens speaking well—if we know how to negotiate this media.

This morning meeting is intended to inspire and assist scholars to use their rhetoric outside of the academy using social media. First overviewing the facilitators’ experiences with activism and social media, this session will inform participants of best practices of using social media to create rhetoric in the public sphere. Particularly, this meeting will discuss social optimization and microtargeting for grassroots organizing and how to use big data tools to enhance rhetorical effectiveness in this era of Trump-Putin “dark advertising .’


Saturday, October 7, 2017: Mentoring Feminist Scholars

Meetings held 8:00 - 8:50am at University of Dayton River Campus
Feminist Reflections on Mentorship and Community Based Collaboration

Meeting Conveners:
Kelly Concannon, Nova Southeastern University
Juliette Kitchens, Nova Southeastern University

In this meeting, we plan to discuss how we have worked to collaboratively create a literacy center at an at risk high school. Using the components of a feminist based pedagogy, we co-created a literacy program with female undergraduate students. Thus, we hope to use this meeting to discuss how to continue to participate in feminist activism outside of the university.

Creating a space where feminist undergraduate female students serve as co-mentors in the construction, implementation, and reflection on community-based literacy projects affords us with significant insight to the impact that these collaborations have on participants/students/ learners.

To this end, we believe that this shift allows us to expand our networks to include student voices in ways that resist more traditional representations of students’ participation in such collaborations.

Publishing an Edited Collection: A Process Approach

Meeting Conveners:
Julie Jung, Illinois State University
Amanda Booher, University of Akron
Kellie Sharp-Hoskins, New Mexico State University
Melody Bowdon, University of Central Florida
Angela M. Haas, Illinois State University, and
Michelle Eble, East Carolina University

Innovative scholarship in feminist rhetorics often has trouble getting published in the field’s dominant academic journals. Sometimes reviewers lack the expertise necessary to understand a submission’s argument; other times a submission’s feminist politics proves too threatening to the disciplinary status quo. For this reason, the edited collection serves an important role in feminist rhetorics, as it creates a space for scholars to voice underrepresented perspectives while also legitimizing within the discipline knowledges on which other scholars can build.

Targeted to scholars who have never before edited a collection, this meeting offers practical advice from experienced editors on how to do so. Attendees will also have the opportunity in small groups to ask specific questions, share their ideas for future collections, and connect with potential collaborators.

1. Process Overview (20 mins)

 • Commissioning Chapters vs. Doing an Open Call
• Writing the CFP
• Identifying Presses
• Selecting Proposals
• Writing the Introduction
• Working with Contributors (setting deadlines; managing relationships; communicating reviewers’ comments; fact-checking and copy-editing chapters)
• Working with the Press (querying editors; writing the prospectus; writing a revision plan; completing the marketing questionnaire; securing a contract; preparing publication-ready manuscript)
• Working with Your Department (representing productivity; applying for research leave; covering the cost of indexing)
• Publicizing the Collection (proposing sessions at conferences; contacting journals for reviews)

2. Break-out Discussion Groups (30 mins)

Why We Write: Prison, Literacy Activism, and Social Justice

Meeting Conveners: 
Tobi Jacobi, Colorado State University
Wendy Wolters Hinshaw, Florida Atlantic University

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” 
― Angela Y. Davis 

In recent months, Davis’ words have become a rallying cry for feminists across the nation. This morning meeting will highlight several tactics for engaging in feminist literacy-based activism with women writing behind bars. Meeting leaders will briefly overview their experiences working with women writers in a Colorado county jail and a Florida state prison as well as the university-prison outreach that emerged through writing collaborations. Leaders will present specific print and digital tactics for engaging in literacy activism that invents, produces, and circulates writing that challenges and counternarrates the socially fixed concept of the incarcerated women. Participants will have opportunity to brainstorm and map adaptations for their teaching and outreach contexts. 

5 minutes: participants respond to an opening writing prompt 
10 minutes: audio clips of incarcerated women reading their work (based upon same prompt) 
10 minutes: overview of feminist tactics used by meeting leaders in two university-carceral collaborations. 
15 minutes: pairs work to develop applications to local teaching and outreach contexts 
15 minutes: large group discussion of ways to extend these tactics of literacy activism beyond prison walls 

Workshop leaders will share print and digital materials with participants as examples of site-specific literacy activism.

Listening as Mentoring: Peer Relationships in TA Mentoring

Meeting Conveners:
Sara Austin, Bowling Green State University
Lauren Garskie, Bowling Green State University
Kristin LaFollette, Bowling Green State University
Kelly Moreland, Bowling Green State University
Lauren Salisbury, Bowling Green State University

This Morning Meeting will explore feminist, scaffolded approaches to mentoring new teaching associates based on current practices at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). Each of this session’s Meeting Hosts played an integral role in the Fall 2016 installment of ENG 6020, Composition Instructors’ Workshop, at BGSU, which will be the basis for discussion at the meeting. Hosts’ roles in the course include a co-facilitator of the workshop (Assistant Director of the first-year writing program), two peer mentors (Program Assistants), a regular visitor and contributor to workshop sessions, and a student/mentee from the course.

The first 10 minutes of the meeting will be spent acquainting participants with the course and mentoring practices, where each of the Meeting Hosts will describe the role she played in the course and her mentoring experiences.

Next the Hosts will invite participants to share their experiences with TA mentoring (10 minutes), noting the various similarities and differences among programs and institutions.

Employing a methodology of rhetorical listening, we will then collaborate to form a list of best practices for feminist peer mentoring that values participants’ and Hosts’ experiences equally (10-15 minutes).

With the remaining time, the Hosts and participants will role play listening-as-mentoring, employing the best practices we discussed.