Performing Feminism and Administration in Rhetoric and Composition Studies


Performing Feminism and Administration in Rhetoric and Composition Studies



This book posits definitions, tactics, and consequences of feminist administration. Inspired by tensions that arise between feminist beliefs and administrative imperatives, contributors write from their locations as WPAs, Graduate WPAs, Writing Center Directors, WAC Directors, Chairs, and Journal Editors, and also from their locations as graduate students, adjunct faculty, and assistant, associate and full professors. From these differing locations, contributors identify issues of concern for feminist administrators, share stories of their own successes and failures, theorize these experiences in light of feminist thought and practice, and offer pragmatic recommendations to readers. Because contributors do not all agree, the 14 chapters challenge one another as well as readers. Together these chapters forward three claims: (1) gendered issues still exist within rhetoric and composition studies, (2) the models in this collection may be adapted by readers for their own situations, and (3) the dominant trope for performing feminist administration is oxymoron, the ability to keep two conflicting ideas in one’s head at the same time and engage that conflict as a springboard for productive feminist action.



Publication Date



Hampton Press


Cresskill, NJ


English Language and Literature


Table of Contents



Actions Un/Becoming a Feminist Administrator: Troubled Intersections between Feminist Principles and Administrative Practices / Krista Ratcliffe and Rebecca Rickly

Part I. The politics of connecting ethics, theory, and praxis

1. What's Ethics Got to Do with It?: Feminist Ethics and Administrative Work in Rhetoric and Composition / Carrie Leverenz

2. Checking the Source(book): Supplemental Voices in the Administrative Genre / Jeanne Gunner ; 3. When Theory and Practice Collide: Becoming a Feminist Practitioner / Sibylle Gruber. --

Part II. Performing WPA work: challenging feminist assumptions about collaboration

4. Collaborative Writing Administration as Intellectual Inquiry / Lynée Lewis Gaillet and Letizia Guglielmo

5. The Maternal Melodrama of Writing Program Administration / Christine Farris

6. Interrupting Collaboration: Feminist Writing Program Administration and the Question of Status/ Ilene Crawford and Donna Strickland

7. Three Models of Mentorship: Feminist Leadership and the Graduate Student WPA / Julie Nelson Christoph, Rebecca S. Nowacek, Mary Lou Odom, and Bonnie Kathryn Smith

Part III. Performing WPA work: challenging institutional assumptions about gender and agency

8. A Tale of Two Tech Chicks: Negotiating Gendered Assumptions about Program Administration and Technology / Amy C. Kimme Hea and Melinda Turnley

9. Managed Care: All-Terrain Mentoring and the "Good Enough" Feminist WPA / E. Shelley Reid

10. Defining Moments: The Role of Institutional Departure in the Work of a (Feminist) WPA / Kathleen Blake Yancey

Part IV. Performing WAC and WC work: challenging spaces in the university and in feminist theory

11. "Where Else Should Feminist Rhetoricians Be?": Leading a WAC Initiative in a School of Business / Kate Ronald, Cristy Beemer, and Lisa Shaver

12. Centered Women: Performing Gender and Power in the Writing Center / Carol Mattingly and Paula Gillespie

Part V. Performing chair and editorial work: Challenging institutional and disciplinary practices

13. Herding Cats: Feminist Practices and Challenges in Chairing an English Department / Linda Hanson

14. Computer and Composition Online: Performing Feminist Community Amid the Politics of Digital Scholarship / Kristine Blair and Lanette Cadle

Afterwords: Echoes from the Trenches and the Feminists Who "Dig" Them / Krista Ratcliffe and Rebecca Rickly

Appendix: The Supplemental Website:


Works Cited

About the Editors and Contributors

Author Index

Subject Index

Publisher Link

Performing Feminism and Administration in Rhetoric and Composition Studies