Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric
A Peer Reviewed Journal of Current Event Analysis

Current Issue: Volume 5, Issue 1/2

Updated June 16, 2015


Rhetorical Autoethnography
Brett Lunceford

Although autoethnography has been used in other fields, rhetorical scholars have been slow to embrace this methodology. However, a handful of examples of rhetorical criticism demonstrate how embracing the personal experiences of the critic and writing about those experiences can provide the reader with a greater understanding of rhetorical processes. This essay proposes some potential ways to connect rhetorical criticism and autoethnography by focusing on the role of emotion in rhetorical discourse and the role of the critic. The essay concludes with some broad guidelines for writing rhetorical autoethnography. Keywords: Autoethnography, Emotion, Narrative, Rhetoric, Rhetorical Criticism

Cyber-Storming the Castle
Brian J. Snee

This essay examines the controversy over the removal of a student newspaper adviser. The author traces the ways that the narrative put forth on social media by the previous adviser was taken up uncritically by other journalists. This case provides a cautionary tale concerning online journalistic practice. Keywords: Autoethnography, College Administration, Journalism, Twitter

Disaster and Memory: How the Tragic Erasure of Mnemonic Devices Affects Personal Memory
John H. Saunders

In this essay, the author explores the loss of ready access to memory through mnemonics in the aftermath of a fire which destroyed almost all of his possessions. He considers the ways in which physical objects serve as mnemonic devices that trigger memory, how we have trained ourselves to rely on them to index our memory, and how traumatic erasure of them irreversibly alters how we then access memory. Keywords: Autoethnography, Memory, Mnemonics, Trauma

Cultivating Community Through Academic Blogging
Lisa Glebatis Perks

Although academic publishing may seem a solitary exercise, this need not take place in a vacuum. This essay provides an example of one author’s attempt to create an online community through a blog describing her ongoing book project. She describes how individuals resisted her attempts to foster interaction on the site; instead, they interacted individually with the author across various media in a “hub-and-spoke pattern,” rather than with each other. Keywords: Academic Publishing, Autoethnography, Blogging, Constitutive Rhetoric

Say Yes to the Text
Jennifer Burg

In this essay, the author describes her experience as a participant in the reality television show Say Yes to the Dress. She delves into the production aspects of the show and her own feelings of identification with the production staff. She also considers the multiple audiences, both present and not present, in applying for, producing, and participating in a reality television show. Keywords: Audience, Autoethnography, Bridal Rituals, Femininity, Reality Television, Wedding Rituals