This article names microaggressions as a rhetorical and pedagogical phenomenon. To make the case for rhetorical and pedagogical intervention, the authors define and trace microaggressions in literature from rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies; share cross-disciplinary understandings of microaggressions; and offer illustrations from sites of research, teaching, and service.
Rhetorical and Pedagogical Interventions for Countering Microaggressions
Rasha Diab is associate professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing and a faculty affiliate of the departments of English and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work centers on the rheto-rics of peacemaking, Arab-Islamic rhetorics, and revisionist historiography. Her book Shades of Suḷh ̣: The Rhetorics of Arab-Islamic Reconciliation (2016) won the 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Outstanding Book Award. She has articles and chapters published and forthcoming on peacemaking rhetoric and Arab-Islamic reconciliation rhetoric and on violence/microaggressions and social justice in rhetoric and writing studies. She is currently writing a book tentatively titled “On Word Weaving and Peacemaking.” This book focuses on the interconnectedness of Arab-Islamic traditions of conciliation, legal-political rhetoric, and rhetorical historiography.
Beth Godbee is an educational consultant, entrepreneur, and public writer focused on everyday living for justice. In 2018, Beth left a faculty position after being promoted with tenure to associate professor of English (Writing Studies) at Marquette University. As an independent scholar, Beth continues to pursue research in matters of relational communication; social interaction; and racial, social, and environmental justice. Among her publications are articles in Research in the Teaching of English, Community Literacy Journal, Feminist Teacher, College English, Writing Center Journal, Inside Higher Ed, and Praxis. Beth’s current projects include several pieces on microaggressions and trauma in higher education, her blog Heart-Head-Hands.com (feeling, thinking, and doing for justice), and a book project on epistemic justice.
Cedric Burrows is assistant professor in the Department of English at Marquette University. His scholarship focuses on African American rhetoric, textbooks, religious rhetoric, cultural rhetoric, and social movements. His forthcoming book project focuses on how the black rhetorical presence is perceived (or misperceived) by mainstream culture. Titled Rhetorical Crossover: The Black Rhetorical Presence in White Culture, the book argues that because mainstream culture misunderstands the black rhetorical presence, African Americans feel that they have to pay a “black tax” to enter white spaces. His work has appeared in Writing Program Administration, Praxis, Journal of Africana Religions, and Rhetorics of Whiteness.
Thomas Ferrel is director of the Writing Studio and teaches for the Department of English at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He is also a codirector for the Greater Kansas City Writing Project. His scholarship focuses on critical pedagogy, institutional social justice work, and writing center studies. His current projects explore the rhetoric of service and how teachers carry commitments to equity and principles from their classroom pedagogy into service work for their departments, home institutions, local communities, and professional disciplines. His work has appeared in Composition Forum, Praxis, Across the Disciplines, the National Writing Project’s Projects in Action series, and the Writing Center Journal.
Rasha Diab, Beth Godbee, Cedric Burrows, Thomas Ferrel; Rhetorical and Pedagogical Interventions for Countering Microaggressions. Pedagogy 1 October 2019; 19 (3): 455–481. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-7615417
Download citation file: