Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods

  • rhetorical theory, rhetoric and composition, social media, autoethnography, ethical framework, positionality, research methods, antiracism, technology, Epistemology, media, Social Justice, Gender, Culture, Race

By Alexandria L. Lockett, Iris D. Ruiz, James Chase Sanchez, and Christopher Carter
Copy edited by Meg Vezzu. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverRace, Rhetoric, and Research Methods explores multiple antiracist, decolonial forms of study that are relevant to 21st-century knowledge production about language, communication, technology, and culture. The book presents a rare collaboration among scholars representing different racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and ranks within the field of Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies (RCWS). In each chapter, the authors examine the significance of their individual experiences with race and racism across contexts. Their research engages the politics of embodiment, institutional critique, multimodal rhetoric, materiality, and public digital literacies. The book merges impassioned storytelling with unflinching analysis, offering a multi-voiced argument that spotlights the field's troubled history with theorizing about race and epistemology. Although the authors directly address aspiring and current RCWS professionals, they model how a comprehensive consideration of race adds legitimacy and integrity to any subject of study. This co-authored work charts uncommon paths forward, demonstrating reflexive engagement with legacies that are personal and transnational, as well as with technologies that are both dehumanizing and liberating.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter


Chapter 1. Introduction—Antiracism as an Ethical Framework for Researching Race and Racism

Chapter 2. Critiquing the Critical: The Politics of Race and Coloniality in Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies (RCWS) Research Traditions, Iris D. Ruiz

Interchapter Dialogue for Chapter 2

Chapter 3. Towards Reconciliation: Composing Racial Literacy with Autoethnography, James Chase Sanchez

Interchapter Dialogue for Chapter 3

Chapter 4. Taser Trouble: Race, Visuality, and the Mediation of Police Brutality in Public Discourse, Christopher Carter

Interchapter Dialogue for Chapter 4

Chapter 5. What is Black Twitter? A Rhetorical Criticism of Race, Dis/information, and Social Media, Alexandria Lockett

Interchapter Dialogue for Chapter 5


Appendix A. A Brief List of Key Terms and Concepts for Engaging Antiracism as a Research Methodology

Appendix B. YouTube Playlist for Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods

About the Authors


Related Resources

YouTube playlist for Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods

A note from the authors: This playlist is comprised of multimedia materials we have referenced in this book. We created this comprehensive YouTube Playlist to provide another way to access our work. Instructors, for example, may find it to be a useful addition to their teaching of the text. Other readers may find it convenient not to have to chase dead links, and others may find it easier to consume some of our references via video.

About the Authors

Alexandria L. Lockett is Assistant Professor of English at Spelman College. She is one of the co-editors of the book Learning from the Lived Experiences of Graduate Student Writers (Utah State University Press). She also publishes about the technological politics of race, surveillance, and access in articles that have appeared in Composition Studies, Enculturation, and Praxis, as well as chapters featured in Wikipedia@20: An Incomplete Revolution (MIT Press), Humans at Work in the Digital Age (Routledge), Out in the Center (Utah State University Press), and Black Perspectives on Writing Program Administration: From the Margins to the Center (SWR Press). As a first-generation college student, she is deeply concerned about knowledge equity. For as long as she has been teaching college writing, she has integrated Wikipedia editing and centered marginalized writers in the curriculum. She is committed to building and expanding institutional cultures that practice digital humanities, antiracism, womanism, and critical digital literacy. An extended biography is available via her portfolio at www.alexandrialockett.com.

Iris D. Ruiz is Continuing Lecturer for Merritt Writing Program and Lecturer in Ethnic Studies at California State University, Stanislaus. Her current publications are her monograph, Reclaiming Composition for Chicano/as and other Ethnic Minorities: A Critical History and Pedagogy, winner of the honorable mention CCCC Outstanding Book Award, and Decolonizing Rhetoric and Composition Studies: New Latinx Keywords for Theory and Pedagogy, which she co-edited in addition to contributing a chapter on the keyword "Race." Her work on race and writing program administration (WPA) was published as an article in the WPA: Writing Program Administration. Her current research focuses upon Chicanx history, decolonial theory, methods, intersectional and cross-generational trauma, and the politics of critical imperial scholarship and citation practices. Her work is also featured in the NCTE/CCCC Latinx Caucus history book with Parlor Press, Viva Nuestra Caucus, and in the Series for Writing and Rhetoric co-edited collection, Rhetorics Elsewhere and Otherwise. She aims to continue to work toward transformative and antiracist leadership, scholarship and pedagogical practice.

James Chase Sanchez is Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Middlebury College in Vermont. His research interests are in cultural and racial rhetorics, public memory, and methodology, and his research has appeared in College Composition and Communication, Pedagogy, Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric, Present Tense, and WPA: Writing Program Administration. Sanchez has a single-authored monograph, titled Salt of the Earth: Rhetoric, Preservation, and White Supremacy, that will be published with NCTE in 2021. He also produced a documentary about racism in his hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, in 2017. The film, Man on Fire, won numerous awards, including an International Documentary Association award in 2017, and premiered on PBS in 2018 as a part of Independent Lens. He is currently in production of his second documentary, In Loco Parentis, that investigates the history of sexual abuse and rape at New England boarding schools.

Christopher Carter is Professor of English and Divisional Dean of Humanities at the University of Cincinnati. He teaches courses in writing theory, activist rhetoric, and visual culture. His books include Rhetoric and Resistance in the Corporate Academy (Hampton Press, 2008), Rhetorical Exposures: Confrontation and Contradiction in US Social Documentary Photography (University of Alabama Press, 2015), Metafilm: Materialist Rhetoric and Reflexive Cinema (Ohio State University Press, 2018), and The Corruption of Ethos in Fortress America: Billionaires, Bureaucrats, and Body Slams (Lexington Books, 2020). Metafilm was nominated for the Rhetoric Society of America Book Award in 2019. His essays have appeared in Works and Days, JAC, College English, and Rhetoric Review, and he has written chapters for Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers as well as Narrative Acts: Rhetoric, Race and Identity, Knowledge. He is a White critic committed to critical Whiteness studies, and since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, his work has consistently featured antiracist analyses of social space, popular imagery, and their overlap.

Publication Information: Lockett, Alexandria L., Iris D. Ruiz, James Chase Sanchez, & Christopher Carter. (2021). Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado. https://doi.org/10.37514/PER-B.2021.1206

Web Publication Date: April 19, 2021
Print Publication Date: December 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64215-120-6 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-121-3 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-188-6 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2021.1206

Contact Information:
Alexandria L. Lockett: alexandrialockett@gmail.com
Iris D. Ruiz: ruizirisd@gmail.com
James Chase Sanchez: jcsanchez@middlebury.edu
Christopher Carter: cartec7@ucmail.uc.edu


Madeline Crozier's Review in Composition Forum Fall 2022

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editors: Rich Rice, Texas Tech University; Heather MacNeill Falconer, Curry College; and J. Michael Rifenburg, University of North Georgia

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It is also available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2021 Alexandria L. Lockett, Iris D. Ruiz, James Chase Sanchez, and Christopher Carter. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 268 pages, with notes, illustrations, bibliographies, and index. This book is available in print from University Press of Colorado as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.