Text + Field

Innovations in Rhetorical Method

Edited by Sara L. McKinnon, Robert Asen, Karma R. Chávez, Robert Glenn Howard

Paperback - £27.95

Publication date:

15 June 2016

Length of book:

240 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271072104

Rhetorical critics have long had a troubled relationship with method, viewing it as at times opening up provocative avenues of inquiry, and at other times as closing off paths toward meaningful engagement with texts. Text + Field shifts scholarly attention from this conflicted history, looking instead to the growing number of scholars who are supplementing text-based scholarship by venturing out into the field, where rhetoric is produced, enacted, and consumed.

These field-based practices involve observation, ethnographic interviews, and performance. They are not intended to displace text-based approaches; rather, they expand the idea of method by helping rhetorical scholars arrive at new and complementary answers to long-standing disciplinary questions about text, context, audience, judgment, and ethics.

The first volume in rhetoric and communication to directly address the relevance, processes, and implications of using field methods to augment traditional scholarship, Text + Field provides a framework for adapting these new tools to traditional rhetorical inquiry.

Aside from the editors, the contributors are Roberta Chevrette, Kathleen M. de Onís, Danielle Endres, Joshua P. Ewalt, Alina Haliliuc, Aaron Hess, Jamie Landau, Michael Middleton, Tiara R. Na’puti, Jessy J. Ohl, Phaedra C. Pezzullo, Damien Smith Pfister, Samantha Senda-Cook, Lisa Silvestri, and Valerie Thatcher.

Text + Field productively emphasizes the praxis of methodology, augmenting and amplifying the innovative possibilities available to students and scholars researching the rhetoric of everyday life. The collection advocates methods that are ethically responsive as well as intellectually insightful, looking to embodied approaches such as interviewing, critical ethnography, participant-observation, and personal narrative.”

—Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University