Volume 9.3: Persistence

Showcasing the many intersections of public rhetoric, current controversies, and effective pedagogy, the authors in this issue of Present Tense bring to light some remarkable instances of persuasive techniques and offer nuanced critiques of those moments in less than 2,500 words.

Book Review: Vaccine Rhetorics, by Heidi Yoston Lawrence

Written prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Heidi Yoston Lawrence introduces her monograph, Vaccine Rhetorics, with a . . . candid and vulnerable personal story about refusing the rotavirus vaccine booster for her son. She then goes on to make an astoundingly prescient claim: “Even the most ardent supporter of vaccination might one day be faced

Healthcare Communication as a Social Justice Issue: Strategies for Technical Communicators to Intervene

This makes me wonder, isn’t the whole point of having easy access to healthcare to enable human beings to live a better life, irrespective of their race, religion, gender, nationality, class, or economic status? Isn’t healthcare a basic human right provided even to the minority ethnic populations, like myself, so that we can live a

Removing Agency and Perpetuating Violence: Rape Culture in University Student Handbooks

With Miller and Iverson’s findings, not only are handbooks at the center of college students’ ideologies, but they are also texts that uphold the power of those in charge—those who have a vested interest in underreporting and dismissing allegations of sexual violence. Thus, as the field has already set forth: language around sexual violence matters

Volume 9.2: NCTE/CCCC Cross-Caucus Present Tense “Diversity is not an End Game: BIPOC Futures in the Academy”

“Diversity is not an End Game: BIPOC Futures in the Academy” marks the final installment in a conversation across multiple journals that examines the injustices behind crisis-driven diversity initiatives within the academy and how these initiatives impact BIPOC across the fields of rhetoric, composition, and communication. Following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Amhad

Backchannel Pedagogies: Unsettling Racial Teaching Moments and White Futurity

What does it mean for BIPOC, especially in the academy where teaching holds profound cultural and economic value, when past racism is repackaged as future pedagogical opportunity? How does white time weaponize pedagogy to “dictate the pace” (Cooper) of racial progress? The above examples demonstrate how the white, neoliberal academy’s deep investment in teaching/learning can

“If you don’t want us there, you don’t get us”: A Statement on Indigenous Visibility and Reconciliation

To clarify our opening, we don’t resent this essay. We resent that to make Indigenous space with a bunch of well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning folx is to brace ourselves for an act of settler colonial violence and white nonsense. Whether we are trying to do our own work and just need some damn permit approval, are

“People Were Being Nasty”: White Fragility and Calls for Collective Violence against Scholars of Color

This essay is concerned with what we have described . . . as the politics of summoning. We offer our own experiences as a case study in order to demonstrate how white scholars evoke these summonings, the means by which they reprimand and attempt to retain control of those who refuse to answer their call,

Art and Heart to Counter the One-hour-Zoom-diversity Event: Counterspaces as a Response to Diversity Regimes in Academia

This text explores our work as Women of Color (WoC) nurturing spaces and practices in response to the mirages of support, the inadequacy of resources, and the tepid responses to systemic oppression within the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of our university, a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) in the Midwest. Via reflective vignettes, we discuss

A Time to Dream: Black Women’s Exodus from White Feminist Spaces

Scholarship in rhetoric and composition explores intersections between race and gender, especially within writing program administration (Craig and Perryman-Clark “Troubling the Boundaries; Craig and Perryman-Clark “Boundaries Revisited). While exploring intersections between race and gender, particularly in conjunction with BIPOC experiences, the focus often shifts to microaggressive experiences, pain, and hopeful processes for healing (Carey “A

“How Dare You”: Greta Thunberg, Parrhesia, and Rhetorical Citizenship

This article examines Thunberg’s speech within the context of democratic deliberation, citizenship, and the practice of parrhesia, the rhetorical tradition of speaking truth to power within the public sphere, especially when doing so is risky. Thunberg’s status as a child, especially one with disabilities, makes her outspokenness transgressive within the context of a meeting of

Hate Crimes & the Contradictions of “Brownwashed” Conservatism

In this article, I consider the political ramifications of the Kansas shooting—specifically, a Republican politician’s uptake of Kuchibhotla’s widow, Sunayana Dumala, to support broadly anti-immigrant policies—as a form of rhetorical “brownwashing.” Racist violence is written into the deep structure of the U.S. settler colonial state, and we cannot neatly periodize it within presidential administrations. That