Notes: Katja Thieme & Shurli Makmillen, “A Principled Uncertainty: Writing Studies Methods in Contexts of Indigeneity”

Thieme, Katja, & Shurli Makmillen. (2017). A principled uncertainty: Writing studies methods in contexts of indigeneity. College Composition and Communication, 68(3), 466-493.

Summary:

Thieme & Makmillen situate research methods as reproducing disciplinary epistemologies and trouble assumptions of validity and universality by situating research methods as a principled response, drawing on indigenous rhetorics and genre theory.

Keywords: cultural rhetorics, disciplinarity, genre, indigenous rhetorics, methodology, research methods, rhetoric, writing studies

Sources:

Bhattacharya, Kakali. (2007). Consenting to the consent form: What are the fixed and fluid understandings between the researcher and the researched? Qualitative Inquiry, 13(8), 1095–115.

Cole, Daniel. (2011). Writing removal and resistance: Native American rhetoric in the composition classroom. College Composition and Communication, 63(1), 122–44.

Quotations:

“At the heart of critical questions on a method’s transparency and reproducibility are concerns about what it is that is being reproduced if research follows the path of established forms of inquiry” (p. 468).

“References to methods are a shorthand that is similarly indicative of community practices and allegiances. Like genre names, method references focus on central but isolated aspects of a process that involves rich and varying sets of steps and interactions. These shorthands can create a sense of stability and naturalization” (p. 469).

Notes: Pamela VanHaitsma, “Queering the Language of the Heart: Romantic Letters, Genre Instruction, and Rhetorical Practice”

VanHaitsma, Pamela. (2014). Queering the language of the heart: Romantic letters, genre instruction, and rhetorical practice. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 44.1, 6–24.

Summary:

VanHaitsma, in studying 19th Century letter writing manuals and letters, argues that these genre instruction manuals taught heteronormative rhetorical practices of letter writing, but in this instruction created moments of queer repurposing or adaptation.

Keywords: genre, queer, queer rhetorics, rhetoric, writing studies

Quotations:

“In teaching ways of being, genre instruction in the romantic letter was heteronormative insofar as it systematically normalized opposite-sex relations—and, just as importantly, particular versions of them” (p. 8).

“Yet, even as manuals taught a heteronormative conception of romantic relations, they provided resources for composing queerly gender-crossing forms of address” (p. 10).

“Manuals did not teach that writers compose romantic letters simply to develop romantic relationships, or to develop conversations within romantic relationships about a range of topics, such as politics. Instead, manuals taught that the purpose of romantic letters was to court or be courted in pursuit of marriage between a man and a woman” (p. 16).

“Yet even as manual instruction was mainly heteronormative, it taught the romantic letter genre as open to nonnormative adaptation through gender-crossing address, unrestrained outbreaks, and queer repurposing. In other words, however normative genres and genre instruction may be, they are not entirely settled; they are flexible and susceptible to queer challenge and repurposing” (p. 20).