Special Issue

Family Rhetoric

Remember when you asked Dad instead of Mom to see Basic Instinct in the theatre when you were twelve? Remember when you learned to wait for planes to fly overhead so that the noise would drown the sound of your creaking window when you were sneaking out? Remember the time your grandma told you that “this place is nice for how you live”? And remember the time your grandpa said, “you’ll understand when you’re older”?

Now, remember when you saw the Keatons, Huxtables, Seavers, Tanners, and Winslows. The Taylors, Bluths, Barones and the Gosselins and Duggars. Remember these families? Remember how they taught you about being moms, dads, brothers, and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents?

For this issue of Harlot, we are calling for rhetorically reflective stories (rhetflections, if you will), analyses, and critiques of family. We want to learn about communication in that pervasively hidden community where you use rhetorical tactics to negotiate spaces, passive aggressive behaviors, and statements that foreclose argument with an audience of relatives. We want to learn about the rhetorical practices of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents; we want to know about the rhetorical moves that make them what they are. In other words, we want to learn about the rhetoric of family.

This Special Issue provides an opportunity for exploring family rhetorics and the ways in which your own experiences or the ones you see around you rhetorically construct family. Areas of interest for this special journal issue include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Family in media representations
•• TV
•• Film
•• Web
•• Portraits
•• The White House

Family in social networking communities
•• Forums
•• Blogs
•• Facebook
•• myspace
•• Twitter

Family and
•• gender
•• race
•• class
•• disability
•• transgressions

Expose your insights traditionally (words coupling with other words like an essay, poem, or short story) or non-traditionally (words coupling with video, pics, sounds or multimedia like a film, a website or a speech).

Submissions due:
January 15th, 2011

Submit at

McCorkle’s Obama Poster Earns Honors

Well, slap us in the face, because we forgot to congratulate Harlot contributor and blogger, Ben McCorkle, on being awarded Computers and Composition‘s Michelle Kendrick Outstanding Digital Production/Scholarship Award for his “The Annotated Obama Poster,” which appeared in Harlot‘s second issue (spring 2009). We’re sooooooo excited to see Ben’s amazing piece receive the recognition that it deserves. (We’re also proud to see Harlot foster such superb work.) Way to represent, Ben!

All this and poetry too

A proud shout-out to beloved Harlot editor, contributor, and all-around tech wizard Kaitlin, for the recent publication of 3 of her poems in PANK Magazine. Read and/or listen here to get a taste of why Kaitlin’s recently been accepted to San Diego State University’s MFA program. Please join us in wishing her good luck as she departs Columbus for sunny California!

But don’t worry, she’s a Harlot for life.

The 2nd Edition: [A]musing Ourselves

In the most recent issue of Harlot, my colleague Paul Muhlhauser and I published a satirical piece critiquing what we learn about genders and work from the November 2009 J.CREW catalog.  Yesterday, we posted a comment on our piece that extends our critique to the most recent issues of the catalog.  I’m copying our comment here for your delectation (and, selfishly, in hopes that some of you may enter the conversation we were hoping to start with our piece).  In case you didn’t know, each piece published on Harlot is “comment-ready”.  Just click on the “Add Comment” link below the piece and make your contribution!  [Caveat: you may have to register with Harlot if you are not yet registered.]

EXTENDING THE CONVERSATION (our comment on How Genders Work: Producing the J.CREW Catalog):

To be fair to J.CREW, they did “follow up” the Real Guys Relate feature with another issue that featured “real” women—women and their jobs. However, the feature is titled Who’s that Girl? rather than Who’s that Woman?. When women work, they are just girls. This sends the message that women’s jobs are really not equal to men’s.

Besides being called “girls,” these women are referred to as “muses” and “muse-worthy” in the introduction to the feature. This means they are sources of inspiration for others. In this context, the women inspire more than the job descriptions offered. What is striking is how these “real” women display behaviors consistent with women in How Genders Work. Though women are named and their jobs are listed, “girls” continue to be posed like the models in the magazine rather than the men who are aware of their positions and surroundings. Women’s posturing is still flirty as their toes are pointed inward, and they often look off to the side unaware of their surroundings and out of context. In addition, as if to counteract the effect women with jobs would have on a reader by unsettling a stereotype, J.CREW profiles the men who work at the British journal Monocle. These men become even more real as they are positioned in contexts of offices, city streets, and studios. The lesson we learn from this issue is that real men do real work—they exist in a real world, in context. Real women, on the other hand, may have real jobs but their work is to [a]muse.

To make matters worse, the issue following Who’s that Girl? once again features “real” men as workers and women models as flirtatious and air-headed. There are no “real” women in this issue. The theme for the issue is nature (as in landscaping, farming, and gardening). The instructions show us that women are incompetent and disengaged with regards to nature. Nature, for them, is an accessory. One model, for instance, looks as if she doesn’t know how to pot a plant. She holds it as if waiting for someone to help her. Another holds flowers—doesn’t do anything with them. Flowers are part of her “look.”

Men, in contrast, work with nature; they are competent and engaged. Rather than presented as an accessory, nature is presented as part of work and their livelihoods. In this feature, we return to the studio to learn about “The Naturals.” These “real” men are landscape designers, landscape photographers, agricultural directors, goat farmers, and agricultural farmers.

As these catalogs demonstrate, J.CREW has not changed their representation strategies. Though J.CREW attempted to represent “real” women, they failed. Our instructions still produce the J.CREW catalog. A second edition of our textbook would have a section for girls, muses, and jobs.

Contribute to the conversation!

The more, the merrier!

We are delighted to announce another new contributor to the Harlot blog: Heather Lee Branstetter, whose “Why the Duke Lacrosee Scandal Mattered–Three Perspecitives” demonstrates an all-too-rare kind of rhetorical listening, has also come on board. Born and raised in a rural mining town out West, Heather has a libertarian streak, doesn’t care much for social norms and, luckily, enjoys the taste of her own feet. Enjoy!

We hope you’re having fun with Issue 4 — drop us a line or comment and let us know what’s working (or not) for you. And we’re already looking forward to your submissions for the fall issue…

New Journals on the Net

Rhetoric-centric journals are popping up all over the web these days.  Take note of the newcomers:

The Journal of Undergraduate Multimedia Projects (JUMP) “is an electronic journal dedicated to 1) providing an outlet for the excellent and exceedingly rhetorical digital/multimedia projects occurring in undergraduate courses around the globe, and 2) providing a pedagogical resource for teachers working with (or wanting to work with) ‘new media.’  The journal is designed to be not only a repository for quality multimedia scholarship—bringing together some of the most rhetorically creative and rhetorically impactful works produced/composed by our undergraduates—but also, unlike its digital brethren (i.e., mega repositories like YouTube), it seeks to also offer a critical perspective” (from “about The Jump“).

Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society “is a peer-reviewed, blind-refereed, online journal dedicated to exploring contemporary social, cultural, political and economic issues through a rhetorical lens. In addition to examining these subjects as found in written, oral and visual texts, we wish to provide a forum for calls to action in academia, education and national policy.  Seeking to address current or presently unfolding issues, we publish short articles of no more than 2,000 words, the length of a conference paper” (from “about Present Tense“).

Check out their CFP here.

Relevant Rhetoric: A New Journal of Rhetorical Studies “is a refereed online journal created to publish pieces of academic rhetorical criticism that are of value not only to academic scholars and historians interested in persuasion, but also to the educated lay-public. The journal seeks to further our understanding of and conversation about modern persuasive practices with the largest possible audience” (from their “about” page).  “The emphasis of Relevant Rhetoric: A New Journal of Rhetorical Studies is on the context of discovery rather than the context of justification. This means that the writing and editorial conventions practiced by most academic journals is modified so that the focus of each article is on the author’s findings, conclusions, interpretations, or suggestions, rather than previous literature and research methods” (from their submissions page).

Education’s “Openness”

David Wiley of Brigham Young University gave a talk at TEDxNYED which discussed “Open Education and the Future.” The slides themselves are below, but I think it would benefit you more by reading Wiley’s post of this presentation at his site.

What, of course, peaks this little harlot’s interest is Wiley’s concluding comments where he says:

Education has to some degree lost its way; forgotten its identity. We’ve allowed ourselves and our institutions to be led away from our core value of openness – away from generosity, sharing, and giving, and toward selfishness, concealment, and withholding. To the degree that we have deserted openness, learning has suffered.

You see where I’m headed with this, right? While Wiley’s comments are more strictly geared toward the eduction system and the students within it, I think this can easily be expanded to include everyone. And if it does include everyone, then Harlot is a response to that. Maybe other people are also catching on to our own concerns. Maybe we all want to be a little more accessible and open. People are changing and maybe Harlot’s one example of how we’re changing with it?

via ProfHacker

(And, yes, for the record, it was difficult for me not to make a Mega Man/ Dr. Wiley reference.)

Easy Access to Harlot’s Blog on Facebook

However debatable Facebook’s new layout is, it does allow you to access Harlot‘s Facebook blog app with great ease from your Facebook account. This, I believe, is worth noting for you dear compatriots of Harlot and Facebook.

First is first. If you haven’t already accessed and approved the app from your account, you can do so by clicking this url: http://apps.facebook.com/harlotblog/

The second step is to bookmark the application. This is how you do that:

1. Go to “Account” and click “Application Settings.”

2. Find “Harlot Blog” and click “Edit Settings.” (If you haven’t used the Harlot app in over a month, then you’ll have to change the top right drop down menu from “Recently Used” to Authorized” and find the “Harlot Blog” in that list.)

3. Choose “Bookmark” from the pop-up menu.

4. Click the box to check “Bookmark Harlot Blog.”

Yay! It’s bookmarked! Let’s return home.

Lastly, you know that column on the left of your home screen? The one with your profile picture, news feed, etc:

To see your bookmarks, click the “More” at the bottom of that list. This will show you the “Harlot Blog” app.

From now on, you’ll just have to click on that link to take you to Harlot‘s latest blog posts right from Facebook! Of course, we love it when you stop by the site or use your favorite feed reader too. Don’t be a stranger now, ya hear?