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Best Rhetoric & Composition Books, Articles, and Experiences of 2011

Here are the Untold Content team’s top picks of reading in Rhetoric and Composition for 2011:

  1. The Affect Theory Reader helped me see how theories can be tangled, tied, and forwarded for multiple purposes. The book explains the in-between-ness of affect (in-between disciplines, materials, movements, acts, and states of being), which got me thinking excitedly about embracing and recognizing experiences that exist between boundaries of all kinds.
  2. Gayle Solomon’s Assuming a Body offers one of the most fascinating gazes at the body in RhetComp so far. Moving theoretically out of Freud and Lacan, she understands bodies not only as holders, placers, and markers of categorization, but as uniquely fluid constructs and materials of action that function by felt senses. If you’d like to think harder about bodies and their immateriality, pick up this book.
  3. Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other was also featured in a beautiful and engaging podcast for On Being. The podcast offers stories about Turkle’s personal arrival at her research, including her first recognition that younger generations see technology as uniquely “alive.” Check it out!
  4. Two former grad students, Staci Perryman-Clark and Collin Craig pubilshed an excellent article on race and gender in WPA work titled, “Troubling the Boundaries: (De)Constructing WPA Identities at the Intersections of Race and Gender” in Volume 34 Issue 2 of The Journal of Writing Program Administration. Their article shares troubling and engaging personal experiences from graduate students of color as they face obvious discrimination in RhetComp work spaces. From classrooms and hallways, to one of our largest conferences, this article suggests methods for expanding our notions of who fits and belongs and makes up our field.
  5. The Appalachian Studies Association Conference stands in clear contrast to the busy bustle of our beloved Cs. With folk musicians jamming in the lobby, a small silent auction where you can score rare artistic works and antiques, a cozy book fair, and a warm sense in conference presentations that attendants are in it together–to support each other in our various endeavors. This conference is warm and inviting, and if you have even a slightly extroverted personality, you’ll be sure to make new friends that will very likely lead to new collaborations at this conference.

So there you have it! A quick list of works and experiences that shaped our thinking-life in 2011. Inspired by the Crunk Feminist Collective’s “Year in Crunkness.”

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