Other grounds: popular genres and the rhetoric of anthropology, 1900-1940 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Applegarth, Risa
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • Other Grounds: Popular Genres and the Rhetoric of Anthropology, 1900-1940, examines how gender, race, and genre interact in a discipline's bid for scientific status. As anthropology professionalized early in the twentieth century, the ethnographic monograph became the primary site for legitimate scientific knowledge, and many practitioners-- especially women and Native Americans-- found their concerns and knowledge practices marginalized. These marginalized professionals responded creatively to the monograph's ascendance by developing alternative genres flexible and capacious enough to accommodate their intellectual and rhetorical goals. This study recovers a proliferation of alternative genres, including field autobiographies, folklore collections, and ethnographic novels, that rhetors created in the early twentieth century to access rhetorical resources unavailable in the discipline's privileged forms. I demonstrate that marginalized rhetors, including Gladys Reichard, Ruth Underhill, Ann Axtell Morris, Frank Applegate, Luther Standing Bear, and others, used these hybrid genres to influence professional practice and to intervene in broader debates taking place outside professional boundaries-- debates, for instance, over indigenous land rights and federal Indian education policy. For scholars in rhetoric, this project offers a critical vocabulary for analyzing spatial-rhetorical practices, by (1) connecting contemporary genre theory with studies of spatial rhetorics, (2) analyzing a range of spatial tropes and topoi, and (3) introducing for critical use such terms as rhetorical scarcity, rhetorical trajectories, and rhetorical recruitment. Ultimately, this project critiques the power of spatial representations to naturalize relations of domination, and recovers inventive rhetorical strategies that use spatial representations to call for-- and create-- knowledge that demands ethical response and action.
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  • In Copyright
  • Danielewicz, Jane
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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