ENGL 4320: CTW Response 1 – “Feminist Rhetoric in the Digital Sphere” & The Ferguson Syllabus

The two pieces discussed in this response highlight ways in which social media and the digital realm can be harnessed as tools to push back against oppressive power structures. Through two different modes of digital text, they demonstrate the power that technology has in giving voices to those who are routinely silenced. The first of the two texts I will be discussing is “Feminist Rhetoric in the Digital Sphere: Digital Interventions & the Subversion of Gendered Cultural Scripts” by Liz Lane. The article starts by recounting a 13 hour filibuster delivered by Wendy Davis in 2013. When Davis was evicted from the podium during the final hour of the filibuster—for allegedly veering off topic—fellow senator, Leticia Van de Putte took the podium. Addressing not only her colleges but the viewers of the session—in-house and digital—she asked, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand for her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” The article uses Van de Putte’s rhetorical question to address the larger subject of how women can be recognized, acknowledged, heard, and respected in the digital sphere, or as Lane puts it: “At what point must a woman speak online in order for her voice to be recognized?” She speaks to the role of authority in male spaces, the silencing of women, and the rhetorical subversions used by women and enabled by the digital sphere that “strengthen the presence feminist rhetoric in online discourse.” Lane notes that while there are empowering aspects afforded by the digital sphere, it can also facilitate harassment more easily. The piece uses well applied supporting...

Response 1: Derrida and Hunter

Derrida’s selection entitled “Plato’s Pharmacy” and Hunter’s essay, “The Embodied Classroom: Deaf Gain in Multimodal Composition and Digital Studies”, have a conversation with each other across time.  The first author pointedly discusses Plato’s Phaedrus, analyzing and adding musings to the work in an effort to revive and understand it, and the latter focuses on the tendency to trust language for everything in the classroom while forgetting the power of non-verbal communication.  Together, these selections point to the same truth: there is a separation between the body-bound mind and body-free language. It is upon Derrida’s work that Hunter’s finds a foothold.  To begin, Derrida gives background information about Phaedrus.  It was not received well in the first few centuries of its existence.  Some claimed that the work showed Plato’s immaturity while others claimed that the dialogue pointed to Plato’s old age (66-67).  Either way, Plato’s language provided an image of the writer in scholars’ minds of someone who was not as competent as his other work would suggest.  The only reason they could think of for this different was some bodily issue.  This is an important note to make because even before Derrida unpacks the content of Phaedrus, the readers encounter a relationship between the body and written word.  Continuing on, Derrida claims that his reason for writing is that writing and reading are the same thing.  In order to read well, he must write, even if to do so is merely a repetition (63-65).  He then discusses logography and the origin of logic.  “What does it mean to write in a dishonorable manner?  And, Phaedrus also wants to know,...

Critical Thinking through Writing Essay

Written centuries apart, one would not automatically connect Plato’s Phaedrus with Liz Lane’s “Feminist Rhetoric in the Digital Sphere: Digital Interventions & the Subversion of Gendered Cultural Scripts.” However far apart they appear in subject, time, and space, they do contain some similar qualities worth noting. Essential to each piece is the definition of rhetoric and rhetoric’s place within society; however, each text focuses on rhetoric in different ways. The Works In Phaedrus, Plato speaks through a dialogue between Socrates and Phaedrus, who discuss the art of rhetoric. This one-scene play incorporates example speeches and discourse to examine the definition of rhetoric, its purpose, and how one uses it. The beginning is filled with a rhetorical challenge in which Socrates refutes the value of a speech by Lysias. The resulting speeches by Socrates create a bit of a cumbersome beginning in which the knowledge that comes later in the text is needed to fully understand and appreciate. Readers are forced to read the text several times in order to comprehend the intricacies presented by Plato. Filled with examples and comparisons, it explains the role of rhetoric in a society, which history tells us, limited participation based upon gender and class. Liz Lane directly addresses the gender gap of Ancient Greece touching upon the history of rhetoric and how women have been excluded from this realm in her text, “Feminist Rhetoric in the Digital Sphere.” Lane continues into the present day discussing how women are still culturally excluded from rhetoric. When women enter the public debate, they are often threatened and abused. She examines how women are using digital technology...
css.php