This rhetorical ecologies article is one of my favorites. It is foundational to how I think about, and do the work of being a professional writer. I think it has applications across industries, fields, and areas of study. Look for the moments in this article that are significant to you and the kind of work you want to do.
Jenny (Edbauer) Rice is a scholar in rhetoric who studies public rhetoric and communities. She currently teaches at University of Kentucky. Full disclosure: I am an unabashed fangirl.
In this reading we will examine:
- How public rhetoric and public writing works ecologically—challenging the idea of sender-receiver- text, or audience-exigence- argument. We’ll trace her definition of rhetorical ecology and think about how she theorizes place and public rhetoric as a way to help us create more active working definitions of rhetoric.
- What it means to do the work of public rhetoric. This is often synonymous, or at least analogous to doing professional writing.
Some key words to think about here:
- Rhetorical Situation
- Rhetorical Ecology
- Rhetoric (as a verb)
See if you can get a sense of what Dr. Rice means by “rhetorical Ecologies,” and how the “Keep AustinWeird” campaign works ecologically (rather than a series of discrete elements or interactions.) Keep thinking about how the public work Dr. Rice is talking about here might help you better understand the work of professional writers, or the role public communication and public writing plays in your areas of interest.
I want you to write your own discussion questions! Practice for writing these posts, and writing your own discussion questions in the coming weeks.
Weekend homework: Before class on Monday, post one or two discussion questions you would like to explore as we talk about the Edbauer reading this week as a comment on this blog post.