Race, Rhetoric, and Composition

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Keith Gilyard
Boynton/Cook, 1999 - History - 146 pages
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With all our talk about race, much of the conversation and its attendant activity has been emotive rather than analytic. Theorizing race has yet to catch up with all the personal, albeit necessary, reflections in classrooms and professional outlets. The aim of Race, Rhetoric, and Composition is to speed things along.

This volume is perhaps the most important and significant contribution yet made in rhetoric and composition to critical race studies. Eschewing conventional conversation about multiculturalism, these writers incorporate both materialist and less economically explicit analyses to examine, instead, some of the constructed qualities of "race." They consider the historical interplay of race and language, and current examples of racialized discourse-ranging from "Indian-ness" to "Orientalism" to "whiteness formation" to "Black aesthetics." At the same time, these authors provide practical guidance on addressing issues of race in the classroom, which writing instructors will find immediately useful.

It was Gilyard's goal from the start to provide a modest collection of aligned yet flexibly critical articulations about race, rhetoric, and composition. As such, his book is an excellent supplement to graduate texts. But there are no prerequisites for using Race, Rhetoric, and Composition other than a general curiosity about "race talk" in public discourse and about connections between "race" and college composition.

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About the author (1999)

KEITH GILYARD, Professor of Writing and English at Syracuse University, has written and lectured extensively on language and literacy. Long active in professional organizations, he is currently Associate Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. He is author or editor of six previous books, including Voices of the Self, for which he received an American Book Award in 1992.

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