The Coalition of Women Scholars

in the History of Rhetoric and Composition

About the Coalition

The Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition began in a series of discussion and brainstorming sessions attended by Winifred Horner, Jan Swearingen, Nan Johnson, Marjorie Curry Woods, and Kathleen Welch in 1988 and 1989. These five women rhetoricians and feminists met during assemblies of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, The Speech and Communication Association, and the Rhetoric Society of America. At these meetings, participants talked about how isolated work on women in rhetoric was, and how very difficult such work was to carry out. These early conversations produced a draft of a constitution, and led to a larger meeting of interested women scholars during the 1990 CCCC.

The constitution articulates the goals for the Coalition: to foster and encourage scholarship, research, and interest in the history of rhetoric and composition; to encourage exploration of women's roles in the stories we tell about rhetoric and composition; and to build and sustain a network of scholars who share these interests. In addition, the Coalition hopes to provide one new way of entry into the profession and into CCCC by offering sessions devoted to mentoring and to helping new members learn how best to carry out scholarship and research that focus on women's discursive practices and on women's roles in the histories of rhetoric and composition.

The group met formally for the first time during the 1993 Conference on College Composition and Communication meeting in San Diego and has met every subsequent year, on Wednesday evening before the formal opening of the Conference.

The Coalition’s Newsletter

In the winter of 1996, the Coalition sponsored its first Newsletter, edited by Susan Jarratt (Miami University) and Kay Halasek (Ohio State University). A second issue of the Newsletter is due out during Autumn 1997.

The Newsletter includes book reviews, news of upcoming conferences and recently published books of interest, articles, and a special Epideictic Corner which announces items regarding publications, dissertation defenses, awards, and honors in a celebratory mode. If you would like to have your own work considered for publication in the Newsletter, please send contributions in any of these categories to either of the co-editors, at


About the 1998 Coalition Meeting

This year, the Coalition will meet on Wednesday, April 1, 1998 from 5:30 to 7:45 during the CCCC meeting in Chicago. This year's theme will be "Reweaving the Professional Ties that Bind: Teaching, Writing, and Research" and its first hour will feature presentations by Jennifer Bay (University of Texas at Arlington), Linda Stingily (Ohio State University), Charlotte Hogg (University of Nebraska), Malea Powell (Miami University), Arnetha Ball (University of Michigan), Anita Helle (Oregon State University), Shannon Wilson (Miami University), and Ann Berthoff (University of Massachusetts, Boston).

Following these presentations, participants will break into small mentoring groups, led by Duku Anokye, Win Horner, Kathleen Welch, Lisa Ede, Joy Ritchie, Shirley Logan, Kris Ratcliffe, Marie Secor, Joyce Middleton, Susan Jarrett, Theresa Enos, C. Jan Swearingen, Maria Gonzalez, Amy Shuman, Jacqueline Jones Royster, and Andrea Lunsford. These small workshops will focus on important issues facing women in the profession, from grant writing and publishing to job hunting and tenuring. Everyone come!!

How to Join the Coalition

To become a member of the Coalition and to receive the Newsletter, send your name, address, institutional affiliation, email address and a check made out to The Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition ($10.00 for faculty; $5.00 for students) to:

 C. Jan Swearingen

Department of English, Box 19035

The University of Texas at Arlington

Arlington, TX 76109