2010 Southwest English Graduate Symposium
Elenore Long, visiting scholar, is enjoying her second year at Arizona State University. She brings with her a commitment to one of the most pressing questions in contemporary public life: how to deal with the volatile presence of diversity when people from different social, cultural, and economic positions attempt to deliberate issues of shared concern. In the early 1990s this public issue was taken up at Pittsburgh’s Community Literacy Center (CLC) where Elenore served first as a research assistant and post-doctoral fellow and later as its director and board president. Since its founding in 1989, the CLC has served as the primary research-and-development laboratory for what has become one of the most significant new areas of scholarship in rhetoric and composition in the last several decades: community-literacy studies as an approach to researching, theorizing, and supporting contemporary public life. Elenore’s work with the CLC has enabled her to continue writing with urban residents, to use writing to cross borders and boundaries, and to investigate the complex ways we “negotiate courses of rhetorical action in the face of competing – often conflicting – theories, goals, institutional expectations, traditions, values, and habits of mind.”
The volatile—and vibrant—presence of intercultural difference fueled Learning to Rival: A Literate Practice for Intercultural Inquiry (2000), co-authored with Linda Flower and Lorraine Higgins. Learning to Rival argued for community-based research as a rigorous and relevant approach to rhetorical scholarship. Recently, Long, Flower and Higgins published the leading article—a fifteen-year retrospective—for the inaugural issue of Community Literacy Journal. Her new book, Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics proposes the local public framework as a tool for studying, theorizing, and participating in those inventive rhetorical sites where everyday people “go public.” Elenore is particularly excited to be among Rhetoric and Composition faculty at ASU because, she says, this collection of scholars is uniquely poised to imagine its future as the field of rhetoric and composition responds to some of the most daunting challenges of our day: access, justice, and building sustainable futures.
Title of talk: Challenging Market-driven Arguments on Aid to Africa: Provocations from a Gambian-American Beauty Pageant
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