A Feminist Legacy: The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude by Suzanne Bordelon

By Suzanne Bordelon

The first book-length research of a pioneering English professor and theorist at Vassar collage, A Feminist Legacy:  The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck explores Buck’s contribution to the fields of schooling and rhetoric in the course of the innovative period. by way of contextualizing Buck’s educational and theoretical paintings in the upward thrust of women’s academic associations like Vassar collage, the social and political flow towards suffrage, and Buck’s personal egalitarian political and social beliefs, Suzanne Bordelon deals a scholarly and well-informed therapy of Buck’s achievements that elucidates the ancient and modern impression of her paintings and life.

Bordelon argues that whereas dollar didn't name herself a feminist, she embodied feminist beliefs through hard the whole participation of her lady scholars and by means of demanding energy imbalances at each educational, social, and political level.

A Feminist Legacy reveals that Vassar collage is an undervalued yet major website within the heritage of women’s argumentation and pedagogy. Drawing on a wealthy number of archival assets, together with formerly unexamined basic fabric, A Feminist Legacy strains the beginnings of feminist theories of argumentation and pedagogy and their lasting legacy in the fields of schooling and rhetoric.

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Extra resources for A Feminist Legacy: The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck (Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms)

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Rhetoric, then, was not a mere conduit; it was a form of knowledge. In their textbook, Buck and Woodbridge ask students to practice experiments slowing down their process of perception so that they can trace the order and sequence of their observations and better understand these universal thought processes. According to the authors, the “order evidently proceeds from the vague to the definite, from the general to the detailed, and the impressiveness of the description lies in the accuracy with which the writer has recognized the characters and value of the different stages in perception” (11).

This social and activist emphasis, which was central to Buck’s life and work, was particularly evident in her work in drama. Toward the end of her career, Buck extended her work in rhetoric into the realm of drama and participated in the Little Theater movement. The movement developed in opposition to the commercial theater, which primarily featured melodramas, romances, and musicals but seldom addressed the significant social and political issues facing industrial America (Heller and Rudnick 5).

S. women’s rights/suffrage movement. In her analysis of women’s persuasive efforts, Campbell identifies several recurring strategies, which she terms feminine style. She explains that many women speakers used these strategies in an effort “to reduce the hostility of audiences by appropriating traditional elements of femininity into their performances and presentations” (“Consciousness-Raising” 51). Although this style is not exclusive to women, Campbell explains that it reflects their learning experiences during this period (Man Cannot 14).

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