Remembering Women Differently
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Before the full and honest tale of humanity can be told, it will be necessary to uncover the hidden roles of women in it and recover their voices from the forces that have diminished their contributions or even at times deliberately eclipsed them. The past half-century has seen women rise to claim their equal portion of recognition, and Remembering Women Differently addresses not only some of those neglected—it examines why they were deliberately erased from history.

The contributors in this collection study the contributions of fourteen nearly forgotten women from around the globe working in fields that range from art to philosophy, from teaching to social welfare, from science to the military, and how and why those individuals became either marginalized or discounted in a mostly patriarchal world. These sterling contributors, scholars from a variety of disciplines—rhetoricians, historians, compositionists, and literary critics—employ feminist research methods in examining women's work, rhetorical agency, and the construction of female reputation. By recovering these voices and remembering the women whose contributions have made our civilization better and more whole, this work seeks to ensure that women's voices are never silenced again.

Introduction: Re-Collection as Feminist Rhetorical Practice, by Letizia GuglielmoSocial Network as a Powerful Force for Change: Women in the History of Medicine and Computing, by Gesa E. Kirsch and Patricia FancherFrom Erasure to Restoration: Rosalind Franklin and the Discovery of the DNA Structure, by Alice Johnston MyattTaming Cerberus: Against Racism, Sexism, and Oppression in Colonial and Postcolonial Nigeria, by Maria MartinAfterlives of Anna Komnene: Moments in the History of the History of Byzantium, by Ellen QuandahlNot Simply "Freeing the Men to Fight": Rewriting the Reductive History of U.S. Military Women's Achievements on and off the Battlefield, by Mariana Grohowski and Alexis HartThe Audubon-Martin Collaboration: An Exploration of Rhetorical Foreground and Background, by Henrietta Nickels Shirk"Please cherish my own ideals and dreams about the School of Expression": The Erasure of Anna Baright Curry, by Suzanne BordelonRemembering Women: Florence Smalley Babbitt and the Victorian Family Photograph Album, by Kristie S. Fleckenstein"I have always been significant to myself": Alice James's Pragmatic Activism, by Hephzibah Roskelly and Kate RonaldDefying Stereotypes: An Indian Woman Freedom Fighter, by Gail M. PresbeyThe Rhetorical Reputation of Forgotten Feminist Lois Waisbrooker, by Wendy HaydenNot So Easily Dismissed: The Intellectual Influences and Rhetorical Voice of Dorothy Day—"Servant of God", by Laurie A. Britt-SmithActivist, Pacifist, Mother, Feminist, Wife: Private Interventions and the Public Memory of Crystal Eastman, by Amy AronsonTurning Trends: Lockwood's and Emerson's Rhetoric Textbooks at the American Fin de Siecle, by Nancy MyersAfterword, by Lynée Lewis Gaillet



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Date de parution 23 mai 2019
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EAN13 9781611179804
Langue English
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Remembering Women Differently
Remembering Women Differently
Refiguring Rhetorical Work
Edited by
Lyn e Lewis Gaillet Helen Gaillet Bailey
2019 University of South Carolina
Published by the University of South Carolina Press
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data can be found at .
ISBN 978-1-61117-979-8 (cloth)
ISBN 978-1-61117-980-4 (ebook)
Front cover illustration: Photograph of Crystal Eastman and Amos Pinchot, 1915, with Eastman replaced with background painted by Maria Martin, detail, plate 395, Birds of America , John James Audubon Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Rest assured, dear friend, that many noteworthy and great sciences and arts have been discovered through the understanding and subtlety of women, both in cognitive speculation, demonstrated in writing, and in the arts, manifested in manual works of labor. I will give you plenty of examples.
Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies , 1405
Introduction: Re-Collection as Feminist Rhetorical Practice
Part One: New Theoretical Frameworks
Social Network as a Powerful Force for Change: Women in the History of Medicine and Computing
From Erasure to Restoration: Rosalind Franklin and the Discovery of the DNA Structure
Taming Cerberus: Against Racism, Sexism, and Oppression in Colonial and Postcolonial Nigeria
Afterlives of Anna Komnene: Moments in the History of the History of Byzantium
Part Two: Erased Collaborators
Not Simply Freeing the Men to Fight : Rewriting the Reductive History of U.S. Military Women s Achievements on and off the Battlefield
The Audubon-Martin Collaboration: An Exploration of Rhetorical Foreground and Background
Please cherish my own ideals and dreams about the School of Expression : The Erasure of Anna Baright Curry
Part Three: Overlooked Rhetors and Texts
Remembering Women: Florence Smalley Babbitt and the Victorian Family Photograph Album
I have always been significant to myself : Alice James s Pragmatic Activism
Defying Stereotypes: An Indian Woman Freedom Fighter
Part Four: Disrupted Public Memory
The Rhetorical Reputation of Forgotten Feminist Lois Waisbrooker
Not So Easily Dismissed: The Intellectual Influences and Rhetorical Voice of Dorothy Day- Servant of God
Activist, Pacifist, Mother, Feminist, Wife: Private Interventions and the Public Memory of Crystal Eastman
Turning Trends: Lockwood s and Emerson s Rhetoric Textbooks at the American Fin de Si cle
This collection began in Savannah, Georgia, when we attended the 2013 Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference and over a bowl of she-crab soup began discussing local artifacts and archives. During our stay in Savannah, Helen had become fascinated with the story of Florence Martus, The Waving Girl, the subject of endearing local stories, public memorials, and touristy souvenirs. Local legend tells us that Martus-who lived on nearby Elba Island with her brother, the Cockspur Island lighthouse keeper-became the unofficial greeter for all ships arriving to the port of Savannah between 1887 and 1931 and that not one ship was missed by Martus, who would wave her handkerchief (or at night a lantern) to welcome sailors home. Martus has been cast as a young lover, awaiting for forty-four years the return of her sailor, although Martus herself never commented on the merits of this story. However, she did become a beacon of hope for all sailors who returned to the port, and she is memorialized in poetry (Edward T. Brennan, Poet Laureate, Hibernian Society of Savannah) and in the famous statue of her located on River Street in Savannah (designed by Felix De Weldon, best known for his Iwo Jima monument in Arlington, Virginia). Martus even had a ship named after her, the SS Florence Martus , a Liberty ship built in Savannah in 1943 (Mayle).
As Helen was sightseeing and shopping for Waving Girl memorabilia, she discovered that some locals informally referred to the statue as a monument to the city s first prostitute. Martus was most likely a lonely woman, living a sequestered life with her brother on the lighthouse island. This misrepresentation of Martus s life struck a feminist nerve, and we began comparing this local rumor (despite enduring public memorials to Martus) to that of Mary Magdalene, the much-maligned subject of Lyn e s research at the time. We wondered how many other women had been misrepresented, recast, or just forgotten in ways that obfuscate their legitimate actions and motivations. We issued a call for papers to find out, hoping that we would receive a variety of proposals, not only tales of women publicly recast as prostitutes in order to diminish or dismiss their accomplishments.
Our call yielded scores of submissions, all fascinating in myriad ways and collectively complicating how women s work had been erased from or (re)cast in public memory. While we wanted to accept many more narratives than you will find included here, we accepted investigations of historical women based on archival data, omitting submissions that examined living figures or purely biographical profiles. The result is a wide-ranging collection of essays that reveal erasures and omissions of women s accomplishments, remappings and recastings of female rhetorical action, and new theories for examining women s work. Since the conception of the project in 2013, this collection has become even more timely and important given the recent presidential campaign and election, the threatened legislation against women, and subsequent rhetorical activism that has led tens of thousands of women across the planet to literally take to the streets to make their opinions and objections known. We look forward to other collections and volumes that address contemporary female reputation and activist work.
Once we decided upon the scope of this collection, we struggled mightily to come up with an organizational structure. We considered subdivisions based on chronology, categories of work, race, education, and even religion but settled on the following four categories because they all focus on the concept of remembering differently. Building on essays in Michelle Ballif s collection Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric and David Carroll s injunction to never forget that in all memory there is the Forgotten -to which we are obliged as much as, if not more than, to the remembered past (qtd. in Ballif 3), some contributors engage traditional recovery and revisionist methodologies to revisit existing reputations in some cases and in other instances to reclaim voices and contributions. Other contributors adopt the rhetorical practice of remembering and the rhetorical process of gendering, as described by Jess Enoch in Releasing Hold: Feminist Historiography without the Tradition, also published in Ballif s collection.
Yes, the essays collected in Remembering Women Differently recover gendered voices, but, more importantly, they challenge traditional conversations, not merely inserting women into existing understandings of the rhetorical tradition. For many of the subjects under investigation in this volume, their entrance into a public sphere was either sponsored by or in opposition to men. In many instances, the women s success (or silencing) has been measured by patriarchal standards, and in still other cases women s actions fall completely outside the purview of a rhetorical tradition. Enoch tells us that one way to build upon traditional recovery methodologies is to shift attention to the rhetorical work of recovery writ large, investigating the rhetorical work that goes into remembering women and, consequently, examining how women s memories are composed, leveraged, forgotten, and erased in various contexts and situations (62). The contributors to this collection present narrative accounts of overlooked figures and highlight the significance of each woman s contributions to her respective field. On the basis of archival investigation, scholars from a variety of humanities disciplines-rhetoricians, historians, educators, compositionists, and literary critics-employ feminist research methods to examine women s work, rhetorical agency, and construction and memory of female reputation.
The resulting subheadings within the table of contents correspond to Enoch s list of ways women s memories have been forgotten, but readers could easily shift the arrangement of essays, depending on the focus of their research or pedagogical goals-you will find in the afterword suggested alternative tables of contents. Letizia Guglielmo s brilliant introduction to this collection fully introduces and couches within recent scholarship the categories we adopt in arranging the essays of this work.
Many of our contributors in this volume cite Royster and Kirsch s enormously influential Feminist Rhetorical Practices . Building on this monumental work and on the recent surge in efforts to find novel ways to examine and map women s accomplishments and rhetorical agency, contributors in the first section of this collection, New Theoretical Frameworks, suggest new methodologies for reexamining the work of women and offer case studies as illustrations. The first essay in this section, Gesa Kirsch and Patricia Fancher s Social Network as a Powerful Force for Change: Women in the History of Medicine and Computing, further explores Kirsch and Royster s social circulation analytical framework for examining women s professional lives. Kirsch and Fancher investigate two communities of women working in male-dominated fields: American female physicians and the women scientists of Bletchley Park. Examining a wide array of textual and material artifacts and records, Kirsch and Fancher demonstrate ways in which the concept of social circulation can help us understand the accomplishments of women not only as historical figures but also as important contributors to developments in their respective disciplines. Likewise, Alice Johnston Myatt addresses the accomplishment of perhaps the most well-known professional figure in this collection. In From Erasure to Restoration: Rosalind Franklin and the Discovery of the DNA Structure, Myatt delineates steps researchers can take to reclaim women from erasure and ensure their rightful places in disciplinary histories. Myatt uses the case of the scientist Rosalind Franklin to illustrate this theoretical approach and demonstrates how in the process of reclaiming Franklin s specific work in mapping the structure of DNA, researchers also restored Franklin s status as a first-rate researcher and scientist in broader areas of molecular biology and crystallography.
In Taming Cerberus: Against Racism, Sexism, and Oppression in Colonial and Postcolonial Nigeria, Maria Martin offers an analysis of how twentieth-century Nigerian women s autonomy and collective activism working against colonial racism, sexism, and oppression have been silenced. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti organized thousands of women to protest colonial rule under the auspices of the Nigerian Women s Union; however, the work of this group has been ignored and erased in narratives of African nationalism on two fronts, both through internal narratives that create a politically elite, male-centered view of African nationalism and by Western historians and researchers adopting a Western lens to view the African women s movement. Martin offers a model for theorizing African women s feminist agency in this essay, demonstrating ways to make room for historical women to speak for themselves through extant archival materials. Rounding out this section and drawing on cultural memory scholarship, Ellen Quandahl in Afterlives of Anna Komnene: Moments in the History of the History of Byzantium examines how the reputation of Komnene (1083-c.1153 C.E .) has been constructed by three notable scholars: Naomi Mitchison, Georgina Buckler, and Julia Kristeva. Quandahl s close reading of these accounts of Komnene reveal three distinct Annas resulting from disparate rhetorical views of cultural Byzantium. Quandahl suggests that in the process of reclaiming Komnene, these reconstructive works, viewed collectively, may instead diminish the accomplishments of the figure they intended to illuminate. Quandahl s framework for viewing ancient female figures through competing histories and narratives offers a cautionary tale and reveals the impossibility of fully reclaiming or representing historical women s accomplishments.
The next section of Remembering Women Differently , Erased Collaborators, explores the ways in which women s work and contributions have been forgotten or silenced when they collaborated with men. While collaboration is a hallmark of feminist rhetorical action, historically women s novel contributions in female-male partnerships have often been unacknowledged or viewed as ancillary or supportive of men, who are given credit for the work. For example, Alexis Hart and Mariana Grohowski in Not Simply Freeing the Men to Fight : Rewriting the Reductive History of U.S. Military Women s Achievements on and off the Battlefield offer historical examples of the inequality twentieth-century military women endured, concluding that although social, political, and economic power structures have changed, twenty-first-century female soldiers still face inequalities and discrimination. Examining archival materials, including physical memorials to military women s achievements, interviews with military women, and Web 2.0 spaces that have emerged in recent years, Hart and Grohowski demonstrate the ways in which archival retrieval and preservation of military women s narratives can stem the tide of misogynistic patterns of diminishing these women s significance and accomplishments.
Henrietta Nickels Shirk in The Audubon-Martin Collaboration: An Exploration of Rhetorical Foreground and Background brings to light the artistry of Maria Martin (1796-1863), illustrator of background habitats and foliage for Audubon s famous portraits of birds. Martin was written out of history and not given credit for her collaborations with Audubon, as was typical of the time period. Shirk provides a critical framework focused on domestic, personal, and artistic spheres for examining Martin s contributions to nineteenth-century art and speculates why her work has been erased within the patriarchal American society of the period. Using Mary Daly s Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism as a starting place, Shirk begins the recovery process of Maria Martin s artistic contributions to ornithology and natural habitats. Similarly, Anna Baright Curry s professional contributions to speech education and elocution in collaboration with her husband are forgotten. In Please cherish my own ideals and dreams about the School of Expression : The Erasure of Anna Baright Curry, Suzanne Bordelon examines challenges to construction of female ethos in the work of Curry, who founded the School of Expression (now Curry College) in 1879. Curry directed the school with her husband, who subsequently received credit for her accomplishments. Furthermore, she was denied legal rights to the school following his death. Bordelon not only illuminates Curry s role in establishing and directing the school but also examines the significance of the curriculum she designed for training female clergy. This dual investigation addresses broader questions of gender, erasure, historiography, and elocution pedagogy.
In Overlooked Rhetors and Texts, the third section of this work, contributors offer us a glimpse into works and figures that haven t been included in traditional histories of women s work because the genre or category of work wasn t valued or seen as significant at the time, because the woman s work was overshadowed by that of her famous male counterpart, or because her accomplishments didn t fit the prescribed definition of women s work. Kristie S. Fleckenstein in Remembering Women: Florence Smalley Babbitt and the Victorian Family Photograph Album examines memory work performed by women as image-smiths, not wordsmiths. These visual domestic acts permeate the boundary between the private and the public, highlighting the complexities of remembering. Fleckenstein views the genre of the everyday family photograph album as an invitation to remember and as a collective memory bank. She argues that the photograph album and scrapbooks of Babbitt (1847-1929) and other remembering women, who worked across class, race, and geographical lines, illustrate two insights into women s rhetorical history: women as highly skilled practitioners of visual rhetoric and as accomplished archivists.
Moving from the realm of the everyday to that of the famous, Hephzibah Roskelly and Kate Ronald in I Have Always Been Significant to Myself : Alice James s Pragmatic Activism examine the diary of Alice James (1848-1892) to redefine her role in history. James was the daughter of the renowned religious philosopher Henry James and the sister of William James and Henry James, towering figures in American thought and letters in the nineteenth century. In the diary, James talks about her work with rural women in correspondence courses and her attempts to foster discussion groups and partnerships with other women. But it is the diary itself that suggests how brilliant women lived in a world that regularly refused to recognize them. Finally, Ronald and Roskelly argue that Alice James helps redefine what counts as experience, the constant preoccupation in Henry s fiction and William s psychology. In the last essay of this section, Defying Stereotypes: An Indian Woman Freedom Fighter, Gail M. Presbey recounts her meeting in 2005 with the female Indian activist and protester Rukshmani Bhatia (born in 1928). In this extensive interview, Presbey brings to light the accomplishments of Bhatia, the little-known armed guard for the freedom movement in India, and engages in gender analysis of the seven independent female freedom fighters listed among the forty-four fighters included in governmental record. Unlike the rest of Gandhi s female followers-who are typically portrayed as unfailingly devoted and unquestioning-Bhatia engaged in independent thought and public boycotts, was arrested and defied her parents, and threw bombs and fought for her country s liberation. Ultimately, she took counsel from men but refused to follow orders. While other Indian female freedom fighters have been recognized in recent years, Bhatia has not. Presbey begins the process in this interview and subsequent analysis.
In the final section of the collection, Disrupted Public Memory, contributors remind us of women who were significant and recognized during their time, but whose memories have been distorted or diminished during the intervening years for a variety of reasons. Wendy Hayden in The Rhetorical Reputation of Forgotten Feminist Lois Waisbrooker traces the career and reputation of the nineteenth-century anarchist, spiritualist, and feminist Lois Waisbrooker, who identified as a fallen woman and crafted a reputation as the antithesis of the respectable woman through her prolific writings on suffrage, temperance, and sexuality. Hayden s analysis reveals the benefits of such a reputation to Waisbrooker s career during her lifetime but demonstrates how those very strengths led to Waisbrooker s erasure from feminist history and complicated issues of agency and public memory for women working outside the mainstream women s rights movement. Similarly, Laurie A. Britt-Smith in Not So Easily Dismissed: The Intellectual Influences and Rhetorical Voice of Dorothy Day- Servant of God recovers Dorothy Day s authorial importance by examining how her understanding of social justice developed, thus revealing the extraordinary scope of Day s experiences and the philosophical, literary, and political influences that inform the intricacies of her rhetorical style and writing. Day faces a double bind; she is silenced by the prospect of sainthood and shunned by an academic community that has often glossed over her work as being too religious in nature to warrant serious study. Her writing, which connects seemingly disparate voices, presents a vision of social justice that continues to be relevant in discussions of social reform.
In Activist, Pacifist, Mother, Feminist, Wife: Private Interventions and the Public Memory of Crystal Eastman, Amy Aronson explains that more than a hundred years ago Crystal Eastman was a conspicuous progressive reformer in the United States. A century later she is virtually unknown, nearly lost to American memory despite an institutional legacy in the most epochal social movements of the modern era-labor, feminism, civil rights, free speech, peace. Using newly discovered biographical materials, Aronson suggests that Eastman s reputation was significantly undercut by the personal choices she made and the gendered circumstances of her private life-no matter how powerfully she tried to overcome that perception. In fact, a sequence of private and interpersonal interventions came at the most pivotal junctures in Eastman s professional life, one after the other eroding her institutional authority and momentum and, ultimately, the public recognition she yearned for and deserved. In the last essay of Remembering Women Differently , Nancy Myers in Turning Trends: Lockwood s and Emerson s Rhetoric Textbooks at the American Fin de Si cle explores the contributions of two nineteenth-century female writers of high school textbooks. These women influenced both publishing and educational practices in America, and Myers contends that the longevity of their texts situates them as competitive in a male-dominated publishing field, positions their rhetorics at the forefront of pedagogical trends for more than twenty-five years, and privileges student engagement pedagogy over the rote learning typically found in male-authored texts. The content and approach in each edition of the textbook represent the changing pedagogical orientations across that time period. Myers speculates that Lockwood and Emerson s accomplishments and their texts were forgotten following their deaths because of enduring conceptions of the genre: textbooks were not appreciated or lauded, were dismissed as pedagogical rather than scholarly treatises, and were associated primarily with assessment-a set of circumstances that hasn t changed much in subsequent centuries.
Remembering Women Differently: Refiguring Rhetorical Work is well timed given current interests in feminist and historical research methodologies, increased access to archival materials, and expanding notions of what constitutes rhetorical action and venue. Along with recent collections like Kathleen J. Ryan, Nancy Myers, and Rebecca Jones s Rethinking Ethos: A Feminist Ecological Approach to Rhetoric and Bruce McComiskey s Microhistories of Composition , contributors to the present volume suggest new frameworks for and case studies illustrating how we might remember differently. Readers will find in the brief afterword to this volume a discussion of ways in which readers might reorder the essays given varying research interests, speculation about future scholarship building on these collected essays, and a discussion of pedagogical implications for remembering differently. We hope this collection will appeal to experienced and novice researchers alike, those interested in rhetoric and composition, history and cultural studies, gender issues and historical women s lives, and research methodologies.
Works Cited
Ballif, Michelle, editor. Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric . Southern Illinois UP, 2013.
Enoch, Jess. Releasing Hold: Feminist Historiography without the Tradition. Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric , edited by Michelle Ballif, Southern Illinois UP, 2013, pp. 58-73.
Mayle, Mary Carr. Waving Girl Coming out of Shadows. Savannah Morning News , January 22, 2016, .
McComiskey, Bruce, editor. Microhistories of Composition . Utah State UP, 2016.
Royster, Jacqueline Jones, and Gesa E. Kirsch. Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies . Southern Illinois UP, 2012.
Ryan, Kathleen J., Nancy Myers, and Rebecca Jones, editors. Rethinking Ethos: A Feminist Ecological Approach to Rhetoric . Southern Illinois UP, 2016.
No work stands alone, but in particular an edited collection serves as a monument to the act of collaboration. We wish to thank Jim Denton and Linda Fogle (who quickly emerged as a kindred spirit ) at the University of South Carolina Press for seeing promise in this work in its early form and also the outside reviewers for making thoughtful and detailed suggestions for fleshing out our initial conceptions of the project. Letizia Guglielmo, a long-time collaborator and friend, who sponsors our work and lives in so many ways, not only provided an exceptional introduction to the collection but also helped us to think through the structure and organization of the project. Her fingerprints are on every aspect of the final product, from title to afterword, and her work is the touchstone for byproducts of the project as well, including two panels on feminisms and rhetorics that emerged from the collection and a resulting graduate course in feminist rhetorical theory. We thank Nathan Wagner, editorial assistant extraordinaire, for keeping us organized and on task and for his lightning fast and unflappable responses to our queries; and Sarah Bramblett for the index
An edited collection doesn t exist without contributors. This particular cohort of authors runs the gamut of academic researchers, from emerging scholars (some of whom were graduate students when this project began and now work as assistant professors in their disciplines) to acclaimed scholars at the height of their careers. We cherish the opportunity to work with scholars at these various stages and the friendships that began or strengthened along the way. As a mother/daughter editing team, we thank our husbands (dad and son-in-law) for their patience with our enthusiasm for the project and the hours it consumed. Helen and Stephen got married during the process of this collection; the wedding was another collaborative project for the whole clan! We also thank our immediate family members (especially Charlotte) and our closest friends for listening to us wax on about both subject matter and our stories of mother/daughter editing processes.
Finally, we are grateful for each other. Helen was born during the College, Composition, and Communication Conference (CCCC) during the exact hour Lyn e, a graduate student, was scheduled to deliver her first presentation at that meeting. Since then, Helen has spent nearly every birthday at one CCCC meeting or another, sitting in the back of countless sessions and hanging out with all Lyn e s fabulous students and academic friends over the decades. Helen s life has been intertwined with Lyn e s academic pursuits literally since the day she was born. What a lovely, fruitful journey (thus far) between mother and daughter this project represents.
Re-Collection as Feminist Rhetorical Practice
The act of remembering calls upon the work of feminist historiographers and rhetoricians who have worked to recover women s histories and their work as part of recorded history and public memory. The feminist rhetoricians Jessica Enoch and Jordynn Jack have reminded us that pedagogically, remembering usually means that teachers bring recovered women s rhetorics into the classroom, prompting students to come to know women as rhetorical agents by analyzing the rhetorical strategies they used to make their voices heard (518). According to Enoch and Jack, this approach offers a version of remembering with two distinct parts: it includes women rhetors within the revised and expanded rhetorical tradition and expands what counts as rhetorical practice (518). This process of expanding who is remembered and, in turn, creating subsequent opportunities for recovering or remembering other women is one significant way that remembering has served the goals of feminist rhetoricians and historiographers both within and outside classroom spaces.
Engaging the possibilities that envision the rhetorical practice of remembering as a complex and compelling site for feminist historiographic exploration (Enoch and Jack 535), authors in this collection expand the definition and practice of remembering in ways that certainly write women into the histories that have excluded them; yet, beyond these acts of recovery, essay authors also introduce new versions of women s narratives previously written into historic and public record-a recasting or remembering differently-and they bring to light or refocus the lens on women s stories that may have existed in the shadows of another s more convenient, accepted, or publicly sanctioned narrative. Related to the term remembering, recollecting suggests an act of recalling or of calling to mind with clear roots in classical rhetoric. Yet more fitting for the goals of this collection and the content of the essays that follow, I suggest a repurposing of the term as re-collecting , a feminist rhetorical act of gathering or assembling again what has been scattered. This process of recollecting, with connections to public memory and remembrance, highlights the agency of both the re-collector and the subject whose story is recovered or retold. Within the individual essays that follow, authors engage in re-collecting the details of the women s stories profiled-some for the first time and some collected in new, illuminating ways-and, together, in an act of macro-level re-collection, these narratives offer theories and additional sites for ongoing recovery and analysis.
In this introduction, I offer a definition of re-collection grounded in scholarship on memory studies, feminist rhetoric, and classical rhetorical theory, and I illustrate the ways in which this collection both engages in and moves beyond feminist intervention by exploring broader question[s] of public memory and reputation (Enoch and Jack 534). Providing re-collection as a frame for this feminist rhetorical act, I argue for a plurality of remembering illustrated within the essays of this collection that suggest the nuanced ways in which women s stories are written out of or written differently within public memory and what it can look like to recover or retell them in very different ways. The process of re-collecting women s narratives theorized and performed by this collection s contributors expands how and where we engage remembering as a feminist rhetorical act.
Memory, Recollection, and Re-Collecting
As a canon of classical rhetoric, memory as a rhetorical device finds some of its earliest roots in the work of Plato and Aristotle, characterized by both as fallible and unreliable. The rhetoric and communication scholar Kendall Phillips clarified that for Plato, this distrust lies not with the possibility of forgetting but with the likelihood of mis remembering and with a broader concern for our capacity for false beliefs (210). This disruption of the presumed binary relationship between remembering and forgetting suggests that memory requires a much more nuanced and multifaceted exploration. Continuing his analysis of Plato s work, Phillips distinguished forgetting from other-judging or misremembering: While forgetting is conceived as a kind of occlusion or even erasure, the process of other-judging, or here misremembering, constitutes an active process of making claims about the past that are in error (212). And here, while I would argue that erasure is, in fact, also an active process, a topic I return to in a later section of this essay, Plato s placement of misremembering on a continuum between remembering and forgetting is particularly significant in understanding a plurality of the term remembering and its role in feminist historiography.
As a reaction to their distrust of memory, first Plato and then Aristotle, in much more formalized terms, introduced recollection . For Plato, unlike remembering, recollection is an active process that involves sorting through a collection of information, a search. To illustrate this distinction, Plato offered a somewhat lengthy metaphor of the bird and aviary, which Phillips summarized in his text (212), yet it is this primary distinction of an active search that I find most significant with regard to recollection. For Plato, recollection is more reliable than memory alone precisely because of this active and deliberative process. To be clear, memory does play a role in Plato s recollection: it serves as the starting point or impetus for the search. Aristotle took up and formalized this distinction between memory and recollection, what Phillips described as a hierarchy, noting, It is this concern for reasserting the potential for human (read: rational) agency to control the appearance of memories that leads Aristotle to distinguish memory from recollection, as recollection becomes a disciplined structure for containing and directing the unbidden and potentially disruptive effects of memories (214). In other words, the deliberative process of recollection affords control over seemingly uncontrolled or undisciplined memories. Furthermore, Phillips explained, The instrumentality of recollection then lies within individuals who through their own agency engage in the process of tracing the sequence of events backward to the memory sought (215). This process then seemingly becomes more reliable and familiar through repetition, increasing the individual s agency in shaping and directing memories.
Aristotle s approach to recollection becomes particularly significant to a study of public memories of women with its intersection of individual agency and repetition. Previous work in memory studies affirmed memory s public nature, that memory exists in the world rather than in a person s head (Zelizer 232), and Aristotle s disciplined structure for containing and directing memory (Phillips 214) suggests a potential for instantiating and reifying public memories, a process, I would argue, that certainly is still fallible given its direction by individual human interest. As a canon of ancient rhetoric, memory involved repetition to train the mind, and similarly, public memory also can be trained through repetition to believe a specific version of a history or of a life. Calling on the work on Bradford Vivian, Phillips explained that public memories and rituals are similarly repeated in order to formalize cultural truths and to shape public remembrance : In these repetitions we find not only an insistence that events, people or places be remembered but that they be remembered in the same way; in a repetition that serves to craft the same culture over and over again (218).
Recognizing the human agency that exists in Plato s and Aristotle s version of recollection and Phillips s public remembrance, I invoke recollection as a frame for the essays that follow in order to highlight each author s agency in deliberately creating a memory of the woman profiled. However, I aim to repurpose the term as re-collecting both to highlight the active process of searching through a collection of information to (re)make those memories, to remember differently, and to acknowledge the ways in which re-collecting is also an active process of disrupting seemingly stable, disciplined memories of women s lives and of cultural truths. As a feminist rhetorical act, re-collecting creates opportunities to expand the process of recovering women s work by also looking for opportunities to disrupt or destabilize established memories created by prior acts of recollection and public remembrance. Furthermore, processes of re-collecting within this text also demonstrate how acts of recollection often lead to women being forgotten or misremembered .
Remembering, Memory, and Reputation
Previous work in women s rhetoric and women s history indicates that how women are remembered-their public memory or lack thereof-is connected to the social realities and the contexts in which they were living and often influenced by a specific cultural moment or development leading to their recovery. It is clear that remembering becomes implicated in a range of other activities having as much to do with identity formation, power and authority, cultural norms, and social interaction as with the simple act of recall (Zelizer 214). Beyond writing women into history, historiographers and rhetoricians also have called upon other scholars to theorize the often limiting ways in which women have been remembered or recovered. Writing in the 1970s, for example, Gerda Lerner argued, The literature concerning the role of women in American history is topically narrow, predominantly descriptive, and generally devoid of interpretation ( New Approaches 349). She suggested a fresh approach to this recovery work and offered various directions by which to approach the narratives of women s lived experiences, including moving past women s rights movements as predominant sites of inquiry and, instead, investigating women s varied economic and social roles despite the prevailing belief that women were expected to occupy a single proper place ( New Approaches 354). Responding to Lerner s call for more critical work, scholars have continued to address much of what was missing from women s history at the time, yet there remains more work to be done. One more recent call to which this collection responds called on scholars to interrogate the strategies of forgetting and modes of remembering differently that have erased or downplayed women s rhetorical presence in public memory and to investigate the constraints groups have faced and the negotiations they have made to commemorate women in the public sphere (Enoch and Jack 535).
In Placing Women in History: A 1975 Perspective, Lerner framed her overview of early forays into women s history as a field of study with questions: Who are the women missing from history? Who oppressed women and how were they oppressed (357-58)? Similarly, this collection is framed by questions intended to explore how and to what extent women are remembered as part of public history and to what extent they are forgotten:
1. Why was this figure left out of existing historical narratives?
2. What has been the status of her reputation or our knowledge of her?
3. What are the challenges to understanding her ethos and rhetorical agency?
4. What did the figure do (or not) to contribute to her existing reputation or absence in existing narratives?
We know that prevailing value systems play an important role in shaping history and public memory and may often determine who is remembered and when. Lerner claimed that society s attitudes toward women and toward gender role indoctrination can be usefully analyzed as manifestations of a shifting value system and of tensions within patriarchal society ( Placing Women 359). Within these patriarchal societies, we also recognize that women s lives were constrained in a variety of ways that both limited their rhetorical agency and determined their reputations. If, then, memories are created through the act of recollection and may become, in turn, part of public memory, a figure s reputation may become fixed by the historical record produced within that very same patriarchal society. By virtue of gender, race, or class, marginalized groups may find a collective reputation similarly determined by acts of remembering. Pondering the moral and political merits of collective forgetting [as] a compelling topic of rhetorical inquiry, Bradford Vivian explained, the premise that discursive or symbolic representations of the past are inherently selective, fragmentary, and protean is commonplace to memory scholarship, whether inside or outside rhetorical circles (90). Vivian, here, was generally complicating the binary relationship between memory and forgetting, positing the notion that forgetting need not amount to amnesia, erasure, or loss of memory-that it may, as an available trope of public deliberation, constitute a principled and judicious response to the past (91). Although I am not suggesting that the omission of the women s narratives included in this collection constituted a principled and judicious response, Vivian s comments do prompt us to consider the nuances of remembering that are central to this collection.
To be sure, we can call up numerous instances of women and their work deliberately and purposefully destroyed, buried, silenced, erased, Sor Juana de la Cruz offering but one example. In a recent issue of Peitho , Amy Gerald explored the public memory (or lack thereof) of the feminist rhetoricians and abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimk in Charleston, South Carolina. Sharing the exigency for her work, Gerald explained that there had been almost no public acknowledgment of the Grimk s in their home town, a city famous for historical tourism (100). She continued, The public opposition they faced during their lifetimes was followed over time by an erasure from Charleston public memory, remarkable in its completeness (100). The constraints of what was considered proper activity for and the limited spheres available to the daughters of a Southern slave-holding plantation owner (and judge on the South Carolina Supreme Court) certainly shaped the Grimk s reputation both during their lifetimes and in the many years following their civic work. Yet, Gerald s piece offered readers an opportunity to read the Grimk s omission in two ways: as deliberate erasure, for which she provided a great deal of evidence, and as the result of the city s choice to remember its own history differently. Participating in the historical tourism that she described, Gerald discovered the constructed narrative of Charleston [as] a colonial city (114), which she described as an attempt to get past and to whitewash the city s significant role in American slavery (115). Gerarld argued that the suppression of connections between the Grimk sisters and the South was at one time purposeful on an institutional level, not merely an accident of history (101), a claim that can inform the act of remembering and of recovering women s histories as contributors to this collection do. Yet the act of remembering differently and, in turn, of erasing by omission provides space for a very different kind of recollection. In the sections that follow, I draw from the narratives within this collection to posit how and why women are remembered differently or obscured from public history. It is important to remember here as well, however, that even my reading and categorizing of the women s narratives involves a kind of remembering that can be fruitfully disrupted and re-collected.
Constraints on Memory and Reputation
Scholarship in feminist rhetoric and recovery, as earlier sections of this essay suggest, reminds us that women s voices, their work, and their histories have often been obscured or excluded from the historical record. Scholars in rhetoric and women s studies also demonstrate that feminist interventions, foregrounding issues of gender, race, sexuality, and class, may help to uncover these exclusions and silences and to expand our notions of how and when women contribute to public discourse. In the feminist tradition of consciousness raising, personal narratives have been powerful catalysts in prompting political action and fostering social change, reminding us that the personal is, in fact, political, and as a significant part of that process, personal narratives offer opportunities to gain agency while intervening in essentialist descriptions of women s experiences (Guglielmo and Wallace Stewart 20). At various points throughout history, women have written from and about the realities of their lived experiences to talk back against misogyny and the cultural norms that constrain their agency.
Through collective practices of interruption, women also have created spaces for women s stories and for other women s voices. Looking at the work of proto-feminists during the early modern period in Europe, for example, we find women who blended their stories with the stories of other women s lives to expose the realities of patriarchy; who created space for other women s voices by serving as patrons for their writing; and who argued for the education of all women regardless of class, often repurposing or retelling cultural narratives to make their arguments (see Cereta; Fonte; Tarabotti). For many of these women, their goals were not simply rhetorical but activist as they worked to improve the lives of women and to make a connection between misogynistic cultural assumptions and concrete social abuses (Cox 14). Despite the critical mass of women who were writing and publishing their work in Europe between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, that work virtually disappeared until it was recovered by feminist scholars and activists who continued and reinvigorated this work previously silenced through a cycle of backlash. Within the essays of this collection, we witness a similar move toward inclusion and connection by each of the authors; yet, beyond simply adding these narratives to women s histories, the authors provide a multidisciplinary exploration of recollection that theorizes why and how women are forgotten or remembered differently. However, even in suggesting the reasons for erasure or remembering differently, it is important to note that the essays within this collection themselves construct a version or a specific re-collecting of the individual women s lives-a theorizing and performing of re-collecting simultaneously.
Alice Myatt s essay on Rosalind Franklin serves as a useful case study of this dual purpose. Within the essay, Myatt explains how Franklin s work on DNA was dismissed by male colleagues who took credit for her work and how her reputation was then restored within scientific history by rhetoricians who recollected the details of her life and professional work. In her own act of recollecting, however, Myatt further demonstrates the role of remembering differently by highlighting other areas of Franklin s work for which she is not remembered: Her work with coal and the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses are [ sic ] seldom mentioned in histories of her, though some of her work still provides foundational scholarship for scientists entering those fields (this volume). In addition to this act of re-collecting, Myatt theorizes for readers the process of restoration through Franklin s narrative, one that can shape future acts of feminist recovery.
Through her essay on Anna Komnene, Ellen Quandahl demonstrates how multiple versions of recollecting Komnene s public memory become part of writing a history of Byzantium inevitably shaped by the individual authors present concerns (this volume). These acts of remembering differently, of three women s ways of writing [Komnene] into memory, she explains, aler[t] us to the impossibility of fully re-collecting and representing women s reputations (this volume). This volume then, offers both possibilities for re-collecting women s reputations and invitations to add complexity to those public memories through ongoing recollection.
Negotiating Ethos and Agency
As a facet of classical rhetoric, discussions of ethos traditionally [have] not included a space for women whose sex is visibly marked on their bodies (Ratcliffe 93) and whose sex alone often determined their reputations. In the face of thousands of years of misogyny, grounded in intellectual, medical, legal, religious, and social systems, silencing of women s voices has been rooted in dominant perceptions that women were inferior to men. Aristotle s dualities exemplified the Greek tradition that men embody judgment, courage, stamina and women irrationality, cowardice, and weakness ; women were subordinate to men-fathers, brothers, and husbands-and, later, Roman law ensured that women played no public role (King and Rabil vii-xi). Ratcliffe reminds us, As scholars too numerous to name have claimed, Aristotle s brilliantly conceived systematic art of rhetoric has greatly influenced Western culture. Yet Aristotle s rhetoric also poses potential pitfalls for women and feminists and, hence, suggests many possible starting points for revisionist theories (92). Women in the nineteenth century, as many of this collection s contributors illustrate, like women rhetors before them, were forced to make creative arguments in order to advocate for themselves and for their right to speak, particularly when they were confronted by unwelcoming or outwardly hostile audiences.
Recent work on ethos by Kathleen J. Ryan, Nancy Myers, and Rebecca Jones suggests that many women rhetors find that there is not comfortable ethos to employ if they want to shift the dominant discourse on a particular topic (2). Furthermore, they explain, everyday definitions of ethos tend to assume the composing subject is a solitary individual crafting his or her character to firm up reputation and persuasive power (5), yet we know that women often have not been solitarily in control of their perceived or constructed reputations given social and gender norms and recollections of their lives and work. This collection s contributors reveal that as they worked to establish a professional ethos, many of the women profiled found that men still played a significant role in reinforcing or damaging that ethos no matter the creative, deliberate appeals women made. Moreover, Nedra Reynolds acknowledges the importance of location, of one s place or perceived location in the world and argues that female knowers adapt to their marginalized positions in a male-dominated culture by seeing differently-and learning different things (325, 330). She acknowledges, as other feminist have, the value of moving away from the center to find different perspectives (326, 331).
Demonstrating this move toward the margins in their essay, Gesa Kirsch and Patricia Fancher explore the concepts of social circulation and of collective ethos through case studies of a group of turn-of-the-twentieth-century American women physicians and a group of mid-twentieth-century British women who worked at Bletchley Park as mathematicians, computer operators, and code breakers, both groups working in male-dominated spaces for which women were often deemed unsuitable (this volume). Examining evidence of collective activism within the margins of archival material, Kirsch and Fancher uncover the important role of professional networks as a powerful force for change, allowing women to educate, mentor, and support one another, to exchange knowledge and resources, and to establish their professional identity, authority, and ethos (this volume). With a theoretical lens for future acts of memory and recovery, [the authors] argue that the notion of social circulation can enrich the way we understand the accomplishments of professional women not only as historical figures in their own right but as actors in larger social circles whose ideas and actions shaped developments in the medical profession and in computer science that circulated across time, locations, and generations (this volume).
In claiming the right to speak, women have throughout history faced severe consequences for speaking publicly and for occupying spaces traditionally reserved for men. Gerald s work on Angelina and Sarah Grimk illustrates how these perceived violations of gender and social norms led to the women s reputations being fixed and their public memory limited or erased. According to Vicki Tollar Collins(Burton), when women s lives are formed and women s voices are managed and silenced by the ways a production authority uses their discourse and the forms and forums in which it is published, who is speaking and who controls the materiality of the message matters very much-culturally, rhetorically, and ethically (146). The violence of silencing women s experiences is also evident in how and whether those experiences have been named. Women s contributions in male-dominated fields often have been minimized or unrecorded, particularly with regard to how they have been portrayed within traditional texts and widely circulated media. In the case of women in the military, as demonstrated in Hart and Grohowski s essay, the force of the dominant narrative has led to a view of women s military service as ancillary or helping and frequently to women not naming themselves and their experiences as veterans. The act of re-collecting women s stories that Hart and Grohowski engage in, then, is not only one of recovering and of acknowledging women s contributions within military history but also one of securing their compensation, benefits, honors, and status as veterans.
Scholarship exploring digital and social media literacies within the past two decades highlights participatory possibilities of these environments, particularly the opportunities for collaboration and community-building and the potential to offer marginalized groups a forum in which to discover their own voice, to reinterpret and reconstruct their experience, and to make meaning that reflects their own cultural and intellectual contributions (Selfe 127), while also cautioning users against utopian ideals for universally egalitarian spaces. Daniell and Guglielmo explain, Within digital and social media, women now have greater opportunities not only to control the context of their messages but also to distribute and access them. With increased opportunities to reach audiences of women, women s appeals to ethos have shifted. In digital spaces, they do not ask permission to include themselves in the conversation or justify their right to speak (100). As evidence of this shift, Hart and Grohowski demonstrate how online social networks have begun to remedy historical limitations and omissions by affording a platform for female military personnel to share their stories with one another and with the public more broadly in an effort to alter the power patterns in the U.S. Armed Forces. Through the use of digital and social media, women as production authorities now have greater control over whether and how they are remembered, and, as Hart and Grohowski illustrate, digital archives and Web 2.0 spaces have benefited military women s ethos by providing them with platforms and audiences with whom to share their stories and thereby re-writing themselves into public memory (this volume). As a significant rhetorical strategy, naming by others with the authority to name or naming by the women themselves determines how and whether they are remembered, and Hart and Grohowski s essay offers readers an opportunity to seek out other digital spaces where this naming and re-collecting are taking place.
The women s narratives presented in this collection also make clear, however, that the construction of ethos is never uncomplicated and that women s marginalization often has occurred at the hands of other women and marginalized groups. While communities of women might offer more welcoming, supportive audiences, the women profiled in this volume often were marginalized even by those women who were perceived to work on their behalf, as illustrated in the next section of this introduction.
Intersectionality and Marginalization
Referring to Virginia Woolf s A Room of One s Own and its central argument, Adrienne Rich described [her] own luck being born white and middle-class into a house full of books, with a father who encouraged [her] to read and write (Rich 272). Rich s acknowledgment of privilege and, throughout the rest of the text, of exclusion even within movements for liberation offers a significant and common criticism of U.S. women s rights movements and still another opportunity to consider how women s stories are remembered and remembered differently. Further developing this critique in its 1977 statement, the Combahee River Collective (CRC) addressed the racism of white feminists in the women s movement-the racism that forced many black women to reject feminism altogether (Ritchie and Ronald 291) and an articulationof intersectionality that major systems of oppression are interlocking (CRC 292).
Within this volume, contributors point to a variety of marginalizations even within liberation movements presumed to be inclusive. In her essay on Rukshmani Bhatia, a participant in India s freedom movement, Gail M. Presbey shares Bhatia s narrative as a disruption of the male-centric public memory of the movement. Presbey s recollecting of Bhatia s story not only expands the history of who walked with Gandhi but also complicates the idea that all of Gandhi s followers blindly obeyed his doctrine of nonviolence. Bhatia did not. As a young woman, she not only took up arms, a practice which in and of itself violated social convention, but also engaged in violence as part of the movement. Presbey argues, In contrast to this posture of blind obedience, Bhatia showed she was a thinking person, accepting or rejecting guidance according to whether or not she saw merit in it (this volume), and readers are led to consider how these individual choices contributed to the silencing of Bhatia s narrative and how they now add to a re-visioning of India s freedom movement. Moreover, within her essay, Maria Martin notes, Histories of African nationalism tend to focus on men s roles and therefore typically lack the new perspectives and theoretical developments that an analysis of women s activisms would yield (this volume). Identifying multiple levels of oppression and exclusion, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the subject of the essay, carefully worked against racism and classism as part of her activism, ever aware of her own privilege and of the ways in which common conceptions of Western (that is, U.S.) feminism failed to acknowledge the realities of women s lives within her community.
In her essay on Lois Waisbrooker, Wendy Hayden asks us to consider the complicated issues of agency and reputation for communities of women outside mainstream women s rights movements and for those without the education and class-status of many suffragists (this volume). Waisbrooker s narrative illustrates the challenges nonelite women faced in becoming accepted participants-and therefore members of historic records-in mainstream women s movements. Reminding readers that systems of oppression are multiple and overlapping, Waisbrooker s profile feels particularly contemporary as she connects social issues (birth control, in this case) to economic class. Hayden argues, Waisbrooker challenges our conceptions of ethos and agency for nineteenth-century women in several ways because [her] reputation was partially imposed by others and partially constructed by her, and she used her status as a fallen woman . to engage with topics other, more respectable women avoided (this volume). Particularly noteworthy in Waisbrooker s narrative is the collaborative, communal construction of ethos and agency that Hayden articulates, providing readers with a theoretical lens for future recollecting of women s histories. Waisbrooker s story, similar to that of other women throughout the text, affirms that women are still responsible for managing their own reputations despite the varying realities of women s individual lives.
For women presumed to have access and agency because of class status and participation in social movements, performance of simultaneously appropriate femininity and activism also shapes the ways in which they are remembered as part of those movements. There is danger, as Amy Aronson and other contributors to this volume suggest, in making the decision to live a woman s life on her own terms. Crystal Eastman s narrative speaks to the inherent hierarchies within women s movements and Eastman s perceived inability to reconcile private life with public activism in a way that leaders of the movement believed essential. Aronson s essay investigates why Eastman is not remembered despite her wide-ranging, long-term international activist work and demonstrates how women are still limited by proscriptive gender roles: Her story emphasizes anew the critical interplay between private life and public stature and between gender ideology and female reputation, dynamics that still, more than a century after Eastman mounted the chariot, more readily disrupt women s advancement in the directions they have wanted and endeavored to go (this volume).
Furthermore, the individual narratives also remind readers that there are no single narratives of privilege and poverty, access and restriction to public life. For Alice James, economic and cultural privilege limited her access to the world (Ronald and Roskelly, this volume). And still, she acknowledges her class and privilege, recogni[zing] that she must listen to others-especially those others who often go unheard-to know any truth (Ronald and Roskelly, this volume). As a memorable example of the feminist intervention and re-collection present throughout this collection, James herself appears to enact an ethic of hope and care in her own work just as Ronald and Roskelly do the same in their re-collecting of her story.
Enacting an Ethic of Hope and Care
In a 2015 article in Rhetoric Review , Charlotte Hogg raised questions about research subjects who are valued and who are overlooked within feminist research (392). Presentism, she argued, contributes to the broader tendency in our scholarship to focus on feminist women (even when we are the one labeling them as such) and disregard certain women who don t fit into our feminist frameworks (395). Like Hogg, contributors to this volume help to disrupt assumptions about whose voices do and do not deserve attention and to prompt feminist rhetoricians and researchers to rethink the ways in which women s experiences have been given voice and have been silenced by men and also by other women. In the first essay of Feminist Rhetorical Practices , Gesa Kirsh explained: I have had a long-standing interest in and concern for including women s voice, vision, and experiences in our work, for allowing them to be heard-in their manifold expressions, well beyond the museum pieces they so easily become when we impose our values, views, and judgments upon them, speaking only for or about them, not with them (Royster and Kirsch 4). The essays in this collection also acknowledge women s responsibilities to other women contemporaries, to future women, and to broader women s movements, and in doing so they create space for other women s voices and promote social circulation (Royster and Kirsch 23-24), specifically what Kirsch and Fancher take up as a lens for analysis in their essay. Throughout this collection there exists a multilevel social circulation both within the work of the individual women profiled and also in the act of re-collecting these stories within each essay. Essay authors remind us that simply telling the story or remembering the women is not enough; often the way that story is told matters, too.
Writing about the life of Alice James, Kate Ronald and Hephzibah Roskelly prompt readers not only to rethink the texts examined as the site of feminist rhetorical practices (a published diary as well as family letters and autobiographies of other family members) but also to consider how James s story has been shaped-or recollected-by other writers, even though the story is a diary written by Alice herself. Publishing the diary, Ronald and Roskelly explain, Anna Robeson Burr did more than edit and introduce: she removed all the newspaper clippings, omitted whole days, changed words, sentences and punctuation (this volume). Writing to those researching feminist rhetorical practices, Royster and Kirsch ask their readers to look and listen carefully and caringly, contemplate [their] perceptions, and speculate about the promise, potential, and realities of these rhetors lives and work (147), and what we see in this volume is contributors applying this ethic of hope and care as a framework for analyzing women s stories already told.
In the case of Dorothy Day, as Laurie Britt-Smith illustrates, her history is in danger of being rewritten and voice silenced by the prospect of sainthood, and she is also shunned by an academic community that has often glossed over her work as being too religious in nature to warrant serious study (this volume). This double bind that Britt-Smith identifies is an illustration of remembering differently, of recollecting the details of Day s life in different ways with different purposes for different audiences and in response to particular exigencies. Day s own writing suggests an awareness of this power in remembering and its role in securing a reputation: The lives of saints are too often written as though they were not in this world. We have seldom been given the saints as they really were, as they affected the lives of their times. We get them generally only in their own writings. But instead of that strong meat, we are too generally given the pap of hagiographical writing (qtd. in Britt-Smith, this volume). Yet, like the recollections of saints lives she describes, for Day, Britt-Smith argues, All incidents of conflict and confrontation are forgotten, and her intellectual contributions are made small as she is presented as yet another example of the fallen woman trope-the whore who through divine intervention became a Madonna (this volume). Instead, Britt-Smith works to re-collect the details of Day s life with an expanded version of her social justice activism and feminist rhetorical practice.
Re-collecting Rhetorical Practices and Texts
Beyond who is left out historically and what version of her life is preserved, the essay authors ask us to consider what is left out: which rhetorical acts are valued, investigated, and remembered and which are not and, as a result, which women continue to be silenced. Arguing for the ways in which Victorian women performed rhetorical roles in their everyday lives, Kristie S. Fleckenstein, in her essay on Florence Smalley Babbitt, explains: Through their responsibility for the family photograph album, Florence and other women of her generation operated as visual power brokers. Moreover, Fleckenstein identifies Babbitt as a remembering woman : an adroit practitioner of vernacular visual rhetoric aimed at creating and memorializing a particular familial ethos while practicing her everyday art of persuasion in the parlor, a site positioned on the cusp between the public and the private (this volume). Engaged in a process of macro-level remembering-a rhetorical remembering of a woman responsible for the rhetorical remembering of her family s genealogy-Fleckenstein creates space for identifying Victorian women as rhetorical agents and for considering the role that the visual plays in memory work (this volume). This re-visioning of photograph albums and of the parlor, more broadly, contributes in a meaningful way to previous studies that shifted and expanded the site of feminist rhetorical practices to include cookbooks and diaries, among other texts (Collings Eves; Harrison).
Furthermore, Myers s essay in this volume illustrates that how and when more traditional genres such as textbooks are valued as sites of scholarly inquiry also contribute to the exclusion or misremembering of women s rhetorical work. Analyzing the reputations of the teacher-scholars Sara Elizabeth Husted Lockwood and Mary Alice Emerson, Myers articulates for readers the lasting impact of Lockwood s text (and her later collaboration with Emerson on future editions) as a rhetoric for a high school audience despite the fact that rhetorics in the nineteenth century were written only by men and primarily for use in college and university curricula. Importantly, Myers explores how the two women built reputations in their lifetimes through the textbook even thought those reputations remain relatively unknown today, and she attributes this silencing of public memory and reputation to three historical views of textbooks: their ongoing role in assessment, the positioning of scholarship on women textbook writers, and the stigmas attached to textbooks in academe. Particularly significant are the text s pedagogical and rhetorical interventions, emphasizing student engagement in literacy development rather than replicating the content-focus and rote-learning of the male-authored textbooks (Myers, this volume) and its largely feminist pedagogy, which promoted collaboration, individual choice, and agency for teachers and students while acknowledging local constraints that could be accommodated by the text s flexibility.
Costs of Collaboration
A hallmark of women s rhetorical practices and of women s activism more broadly, collaboration exists at both a micro- and a macro-level throughout this collection: the individual essays narrate stories of women who work with and on behalf of other women and, collectively, present a multivocal narrative of women re-collected and remembered. As a collaborative discursive practice, Daniell and Guglielmo claim, and as a part of discourse about women s rights or social justice in particular, the first-person plural pronoun seems to be a mark of women s rhetoric-to claim sisterhood, to express grievances that not only are private but shared, to set themselves apart from men (93). Despite the importance of a collective we, us , and our in women s attempts to create space for other women s voices, professional and activist collaboration with men, as contributors to this volume illustrate, was often detrimental to a historical record and memory of women s contributions, leading in some cases to complete erasure. Suzanne Bordelon in her essay on Anna Baright Curry narrates the story of a woman who, like many of the other women profiled in this collection, faced challenges constructing an acceptable ethos given her presumed failure to fit a very narrow role as wife and mother. The founder of the School of Expression and Elocution, whose name was later changed to the School of Expression by her husband and collaborator, Baright Curry, receives no credit for this work or for the publications on which she was a significant collaborator as much has been largely negated or attributed to her husband (Bordelon, this volume). Bordelon s re-collecting of Baright Curry s reputation includes both writing her into the history of schools of elocution and re-collecting the work of the school as rhetorical, address[ing] broader scholarly questions related to gender, erasure, historiography, and the pedagogy of elocution/expression and its unacknowledged cultural and rhetorical effects (Bordelon, this volume). Baright Curry s story, as Bordelon claims, suggests the need to investigate the work of other women whose efforts have been erased, particularly those who worked in collaboration with men (this volume).
These narratives of collaboration, in demonstrating how women are constrained by, work to fulfill, and often deliberately violate the roles created for and expected of them, also suggest ways to rethink how we characterize collaboration and what models of collaboration are typical of feminist rhetorical work. Henrietta Nickels Shirk s essay on Maria Martin, who collaborated with the French-American ornithologist and painter John James Audubon, further demonstrates how often women s work is essentially written out of history and examines why Martin s art has been ignored (this volume). Significantly, the essay offers readers a way to understand this collaboration by using Mary Daly s rhetorical background and foreground as a lens for analyzing the paintings and, in turn, Martin s life: Rhetorical background and foreground in the Martin-Audubon collaboration are not separate from and in conflict with each other but find their full meaning in a relationship of mutual dependency (this volume). Shirk s essay highlights the significance of nineteenth-century values in understanding this collaboration and provides readers with new ways to theorize collaboration more broadly in recollecting women s narratives.
Together, this collection s essays call on readers to consider the deliberate and consequential ways in which women have been obscured from and remembered differently within public memory and the cultural and social norms-always evolving-that often constrain and shape women s reputations and memories. Beyond recovering the individual narratives of activists, of women in science and the military, of women speaking and composing, and of women artists and philosophers, essay authors call on feminist and rhetorical scholars to continue reimagining the ways in which our own scholarly and activist practices may contribute to the further silencing and misremembering of women s voices. And in demonstrating acts of recovering, recasting, and refocusing, the women s stories captured here also suggest significant sites for future research while theorizing acts of re-collecting.
Works Cited
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Part One
New Theoretical Frameworks
Peter said to Mary, Sister, we know that the Savior loved you more than all other women. Tell us the words of the Savior that you remember, the things which you know that we don t because we haven t heard them. Mary responded, I will teach you about what is hidden from you. And she began to speak these words to them.
Mary Madgalene, The Gospel of Mary (Nag Hammadi Library)
Social Networks as a Powerful Force for Change
Women in the History of Medicine and Computing
In this essay, we employ the analytical concept of social circulation as proposed by Royster and Kirsch to explore the life and work of professional communities of women in male-dominated careers. We focus on two case studies: a group of turn-of-the-twentieth-century American women physicians and a group of mid-twentieth-century British women who worked at Bletchley Park as mathematicians, computer operators, and code breakers. These two distinct groups of women, we contend, help illuminate the different ways in which we can trace the social circulation of knowledge, resources, and everyday practices that shaped women s lives and professional identities. We argue that the notion of social circulation can enrich the way we understand the accomplishments of professional women not only as historical figures in their own right but as actors in larger social circles whose ideas and actions shaped developments in the medical profession and in computer science that circulated across time, locations, and generations. We draw on a range of different archival materials, including textual evidence, such as the Woman s Medical Journal , medical records, correspondence and memoirs, and material records such as work schedules, clothing choices, and oral histories.
Drawing on Royster and Kirsch s definition of social circulation, we pay particular attention to the evolutionary and revolutionary aspects of women s professional networks as these allow us to trace the formation of professional identities in relation to work, location, and community: The notion of social circulation invokes connections among past, present, and future in the sense that the overlapping social circles in which women travel, live, and work are carried on or modified from one generation to the next and give rise to changed rhetorical practices. Here, then, we are talking about evolutionary relationships-not just revolutionary ones-and more mediated legacies of thought and action (Kirsch and Royster 660). These two case studies are especially rich, we suggest, because the differences between the communities highlights the usefulness of social circulation as an analytic frame: one community is dispersed and we trace the community through texts , while the other community is local and we trace the community through everyday practices . The early women physicians represent an internationally dispersed community that often communicated via correspondence, print journals, or other text-based artifacts. In contrast, the women of Bletchley Park offer a glimpse of a local community where shared everyday practices evolved within a discrete time and place. Through these differing communities, we illustrate how social circulation can be used as an analytic concept for historical recovery that foregrounds community-based activism as well as the actions of individual women.
While the social circulation of knowledge, resources, and ideas operates differently in these two communities, our analysis traces the evolution of these women s professional identities, their progress and setbacks in two distinctly male-dominated fields.
We also emphasize that social circulation is an analytical concept that encourages ecological approaches to rhetoric. Kathleen J. Ryan, Nancy Myers, and Rebecca Jones define an ecological approach to ethos as negotiated and renegotiated, embodied and communal, co-constructed and thoroughly implicated in shifting power dynamics (11). For both of these communities, the ethos of the women is never individual but always collective, shared, performed, and shifting depending on shifting cultural and political power dynamics.
As we trace women s professional identities and social networks, we are particularly interested in two key questions: How did these women collaborate, mentor one another, and share resources, knowledge, and everyday practices? What was the role of social and professional networks in allowing women to enter the workplace, navigate the public sphere, and advocate social change? These questions signal a shift in how we think about women in male-dominated professions and their accomplishments-not as exceptional cases or individuals with extraordinary determination, energy, and persistence, although many did possess these qualities, but as a closely knit group of women who shared knowledge, resources, and everyday practices, and, in the process, forged professional identities and created social networks. Kirsch has researched the Women s Medical Journal ( WMJ ) for several years and published aspects of her research in the edited collection Rhetoric, Writing, and Circulation . Fancher studied gender and technical communication at Bletchley Park in her dissertation and is now developing that research to focus on communities of women at Bletchley Park. In this article, we leverage our knowledge of these two communities of women, using social circulation as an analytic frame that foregrounds the evolutionary nature of progress.
Social Circulation in the Woman s Medical Journal
To illustrate the evolution of professional networks among early women physicians, we turn to the WMJ , a publication that offers insights into the first successful cohort of women in medicine, the first small bubble in the profession. 1 Founded in 1893, the WMJ grew rapidly in size, readership, contributors, and advertisements and reveals traces of the burgeoning network of early, predominantly white, women physicians at the turn of the twentieth century. The WMJ offers insights into how women educated and mentored one another; shared resources, knowledge, and advice; and used professional networks to collaborate across geographical regions and generations. Kirsch argues that a number of features in the WMJ actively supported the exchange of knowledge and the creation of women s professional identities. These included a growing miscellany section that featured medical women s achievements, setbacks, and travels and news about medical schools and training; a series of editorials aimed at dispelling gender stereotypes, prejudices, and obstacles that women in the profession were likely to encounter; and a series of biographical portraits of successful women physicians. The journal also published medical news in an international context as many women physicians were forced to travel abroad if they wanted to receive advanced medical training (Abram; Bonner; Furst; More). Further, the WMJ encouraged women physicians to participate in professional venues, such as medical conferences, medical associations, and research publications, and it actively modeled how women physicians could become effective rhetoricians. While progressive in many respects, the WMJ served a predominantly white readership and neglected to document, support, and promote the achievements of women of color, with only an occasional editorial addressing the struggles faced by women of color (for example, Vandervall). 2 The miscellany section is particularly significant but easily overlooked, Kirsch contends, precisely because it is located in the margins. While other journals of that era published many announcements, none highlighted items of particular interest or concern to women, nor did they feature editorials meant to educate, support, and encourage women physicians. They also did not illustrate the use of rhetorical strategies for defending or justifying women s career choices, gender roles, morality, and intelligence.
Mapping Success and Struggle in an International Context
By reading the Miscellany section with attention to patterns of social circulation-rather than as a conglomeration of random notices-we can identify circles of social engagement, noticing the growing presence of women in medicine and their evolving professional identities and tracing movement across time and space. 3 We can begin to map women s movements across medical schools, teaching hospitals, and internship opportunities along with movement across regions, states, and foreign countries. Women physicians would announce relocation of offices, professional advancements, new positions, and plans for travel-often abroad-to seek out professional development opportunities because advanced medical training could be limited (for example, Bonner). We begin to understand how early women physicians, especially those who contributed to the WMJ , saw themselves as actors in a historical moment, sharing information in an international context. A close reading of the miscellany items further reveals that progress was not as steady, linear, and forward moving as one might imagine. Instead, many notices showcase both success and struggle, reporting progress made in some venues and setbacks experienced in others.
To illustrate, we turn to one example of the Miscellany section, page 292 in the November 1896 WMJ issue (Volume 5.11). Here, we find five entries that reveal the rich contours of social circulation.
Excerpt from Woman s Medical Journal November 1896. Photograph retrieved from Hathi Digital Trust .
Dr. Maud J. Frye, of Buffalo, has been appointed to the staff of the Erie County (N.Y.) Hospital. Dr. Frye is in charge of the children s department.
Dr. Elisha lngalls and Dr. Mary Leonard have opened a free dispensary for women and children under the auspices of the W.C.T.U. at the Noon Rest. Portland, Ore.
Winifred Dawson, M.D., has been appointed examiner in midwifery to the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland). The appointment of a lady examiner does not seem to have met with the approval of the medical students.
Miss [?]. I. de Steiger, a medical woman of London, was recently appointed third medical officer to the Essex County Lunatic Asylum, Brentwood. In order to make the appointment of a woman to this office regular it was necessary to alter the rules. England is coming on despite the fact that her two leading universities still refuse to confer degrees upon women.
It is stated in The Hospital that the gentle Sultan of Turkey has forbidden women physicians to attend upon his subjects, and that Dr. Grace Kimball, who had established herself with success in Turkey and worked there for fourteen years, has now returned to London.
Reading these entries for patterns of social circulation, we begin to see that many women physicians saw themselves as historical actors and global citizens as they reported news about their achievements, struggles, travels, and advanced training. We also see the journal editor s work behind the scenes, compiling miscellany notes from many sources that highlight the opportunities and challenges awaiting white women physicians. The first entry highlights Dr. Frye s success and location; she had been put in charge of the children s department at the Erie County Hospital. The second entry describes a collaborative venture led by Drs. Ingalls and Leonard: the opening of a free dispensary for women and children, not only an important venue for patients of little or no means but also a venue that allowed women physicians to train, mentor, and offer internships to women medical students (Chen). The third entry describes success within the context of an ongoing struggle; it offers an international context and provides a cautionary tale of resistance. While Dr. Dawson was able to pursue a professional opportunity in Ireland with her appointment as an examiner of midwifery, she was met with resistance from medical students (the majority of whom, we would assume, were male). This notice serves both to record progress for medical women and to highlight continuing challenges, pointing to the evolution of medical women s professional communities.
The fourth entry is equally cautious in tone and international in scope: it announces the appointment of a woman physician as medical officer in Essex County, England-a step forward-but offers cautions about the challenges involved; the rules needed to be changed for such an appointment. Here, we see how women s entry into the medical profession challenged the status quo. Further, this entry provides a cautionary tale; it reminds readers that two leading universities still did not grant medical degrees to women. In the fifth entry, we learn about a setback -not an incremental progress or challenge to the status quo but a defeat for women in medicine in an international setting. Dr. Grace Kimball, a British woman physician who had run a successful practice for more than a decade in Turkey, was denied access to her patients because of her gender by the Sultan of Turkey. As a consequence, she was forced to close her practice and return to London.
As this sample page from the WMJ in November 1896 illustrates, we find struggle on every page. The WMJ provided a rich source of news, information, resources, encouragement, and cautions, an important task because the terrain for women in medicine was uneven, unpredictable, and hazardous-abroad and at home. The journal seems to have served as a guide for weary travelers in the world of medicine. Women physicians were making strides in some settings, some cities, and some countries, only to face challenges, resistance, or setbacks in other institutions, locations, or contexts. The WMJ provided an important service for its readers, offering a tool for sharing resources, information, and cautionary tales and subsequently creating an international professional community. Yet we notice once again the absence of women of color, especially African American women, in the pages of the WMJ journal.
Challenging Gender Norms and Celebrating Women s Achievements
Women physicians in the late nineteenth century had to overcome many prejudices as they entered the medical profession, such as being considered physically, emotionally, and mentally unfit for the medical profession. Often, women s characters were impugned as a medical education was said to compromise feminine virtues-modesty, piety, and morality. The editors of the WMJ knew these challenges intimately and were determined to publish material that would challenge stereotypes, showcase successful women, and offer advice on how to justify changing gender roles. Thus, we can deduce that another rhetorical function of the many miscellany items published in the WMJ was to challenge gender norms and expectations not only with regard to women in the medical profession but also with regard to women in the culture at large. This would explain why some of the miscellany announcements included many firsts for women, achievements regardless of profession, and why the journal listed individual women who displayed qualities often attributed to men, such as a courage, strength, tenacity, and bravery. To illustrate we turn to these examples published in the 1899 volume:
Dr. Julia Holmes Smith was installed as dean of National Medical College, of Chicago, on September 13 [1899]. This is the first instance in a coeducational medical college in the United States, which a woman has been elected dean of the faculty . (Volume 8, 1899, p. 427, emphasis added)
Miss Ella McCarthy, of Vincennes, Ind., has the distinction of being the first woman lawyer in her home city. She was admitted to the bar on September 26. (Volume 8, 1899, p. 426, emphasis added)
Mrs. A. Immogene Paul, superintendent of street cleaning for the down town district of Chicago, was highly commended by the city press for the manner in which she handled her crews of men and disposed of the great amount of debris in the streets during the recent fall festival. (Volume 8, 1899, p. 382, emphasis added)
A Proper Recognition for the heroism of Miss Frances Troop, who at the risk of her own life saved that of her patient during the late New York horror, the burning of the Windsor Hotel, has been recognized by the trustees of St. Luke s Hospital in a resolution expressing their gratification that a former pupil had so bravely stood at her post of duty. All honor indeed to this brave woman . (Volume 8, 1899, p. 160, emphasis added)
The cumulative effect of publishing long lists of women s accomplishments, promotions, leadership roles, and character traits served to illustrate-by example and by magnitude-that gender norms could readily be challenged and that women were just as capable of professional, moral, and intellectual accomplishments as their male counterparts, regardless of class, creed, or profession. To emphasize these points further, the WMJ regularly published editorials that offered advice to women physicians, rehearsed rebuttals to challenges they might face, and dispelled prejudices they might encounter. A focus on social circulation, we want to suggest, allows us to see the larger contours of women s evolving professional identities. It moves us away from a focus on individual achievement-a singular figure who overcomes obstacles against all odds-and toward a sense of community, collaboration, and collective ethos, what Ryan, Myers, and Jones describe as an ecological approach to ethos. We are able to trace how social and professional networks enabled members to create and transmit knowledge, share resources, and challenge gender norms. Using social circulation as an analytic framework, we are able to see a community coming together and working for change.
Tracing Textual Evidence of a Professional Network
We can further trace the power of professional networks by turning to medical articles published in the WMJ . For example, in an article published in 1894 by Dr. Mary Delano Fletcher, a California physician whose report was titled A Case of Infantile Scorbutus (an infant disorder caused by nutritional deficit), we can observe how the author invoked her professional network to establish her own authority as well as to showcase the expertise of her colleagues, thereby reinforcing medical women s professional identities. Reading for rhetorical strategies (rather than medical information), we can identify evidence that illuminates how professional networks worked in everyday practice. In this article, Dr. Fletcher highlighted the importance of her professional network when she wrote, to satisfy myself [of the diagnosis], I requested further consultation. Being told to select whom I would I telephoned for Dr. Buckel and Dr. Shuey, who responded at once. These ladies were most kind in their interest in what was, to me, a unique case, and while satisfied with my treatment of the case, suggested my giving minute doses of oromatic sulphuric acid (139).
Here, Dr. Fletcher identified by name the two women physicians with whom she consulted: Dr. Buckel and Dr. Shuey. Further, Dr. Fletcher noted that she found her colleagues advice particularly helpful, a rhetorical move that confirmed their professional authority and identity. This passage functions rhetorically in a number of ways: it establishes the medical knowledge and expertise of Dr. Fletcher s colleagues: being told to select whom [she] would, Dr. Fletcher turned to these two women. The passage also establishes her colleague s professional ethos: they responded at once, and the ladies were most kind in their interest in the case. Further, it establishes these women s medical and scientific knowledge without undermining Dr. Fletcher s diagnosis and treatment plan: while satisfied with my treatment of the case, [they] suggested giving minute doses of oromatic sulphuric acid. Dr. Buckel s and Dr. Shuey s treatment recommendation is represented as supplemental, not essential. The fact that this article was published in the Woman s Medical Journal , a journal with a national and international circulation, further amplifies the importance of professional networks. Dr. Fletcher s writing highlights how consultation and exchange of medical knowledge worked in her professional circle, thereby solidifying her colleagues professional ethos and credentials among the readers of the WMJ .
Dr. Fletcher s article provides significant evidence of the power of professional networks and the social circulation of medical treatment plans among this particular group of early California women physicians. Kirsch has identified further evidence of this particular professional circle in the autobiography of Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter. Dr. Ritter and Dr. Fletcher were classmates at Cooper Medical College (now Stanford School of Medicine) and the only two women in the medical class of 1886. These two women became lifelong friends and collaborators, and together with Dr. C. Annette Buckel and Dr. Sarah Shuey they formed an informal network of women physicians who practiced medicine in the San Francisco Bay area. In her memoir, More Than Gold in California , Dr. Ritter wrote: Thus we four women physicians were near enough to work together when necessary, and relieve each other when one took a vacation (194). These women consulted with one another when they encountered difficult medical cases and covered each other s duties during vacations, illnesses, or other absences from their practices.
When we examine textual traces-in the margins of archival materials-we begin to understand how knowledge, resources, and ideas circulated in different regions of the country, across different generations of women physicians, and in particular historical, cultural, and international contexts. What becomes evident is the important role of professional networks as a powerful force for change, allowing women to educate, mentor, and support one another, to exchange knowledge and resources, and to establish their professional identity, authority, and ethos.
We now turn to another professional network-that of women mathematicians, computer operators, and cryptographers. Once again, we attend to traces in the margins of archival materials, but, instead of examining textual traces, we examine the everyday practices that shaped women s professional identities, specifically work habits and forms of dress.
Social Circulation at Bletchley Park
During World War II, Bletchley Park was the base of England s information warfare, including intercepting, deciphering, and encoding messages. Although the accomplishments of men like Alan Turing and Max Newman have received the most attention, the community at BP was predominantly composed of women. By 1943 women outnumbered men four to one. In total, between six thousand and eight thousand women worked at Bletchley Park at different times from 1938 to 1945 (Mason).
Bletchley Park recruited, trained, and employed women to contribute British information warfare. Initially, these women were exclusively recruited from among the upper classes of British society. The daughters and wives of generals, government officials, and aristocrats were thought to be the most fit for this secretive work. For the most part, these women were computers, which was a common job title for a person, typically a woman, who did computing and calculating work before much of this work was done by digital computers. As more men went to the battlefield and BP expanded, women were increasingly recruited to work as specialists in translation, cryptography, and mathematics. Later, BP recruited women from many branches of military service, especially the Women s Royal Naval Service (WRNS). BP paid these women one-third of what they paid men for doing the same work. Still, working at Bletchley Park was a desirable position for women. Even at one-third pay, the women s salaries were considerably higher than those in any other branch of military service and higher than those for most of the civilian work available to them (Dunlop 121).
From the official postwar report on medium and low grade labour at Bletchley Park, the male managers patronizingly reported, It is astonishing what young women could be trained to do (Dunlop 111). However, the women did not recall their work with the same element of surprise. Rather, these women were eager to participate in the war effort in some substantial way (Dunlop 117-18). Many of the women sought work at Bletchley Park because they were told that this work was of vital importance. Other women pursued this opportunity because they were already trained as mathematicians or translators. Women studying math would very quickly meet barriers to work: they were excluded from advanced graduate training at universities. But World War II opened up opportunities for specialized work. Ann Mitchell is one woman for whom Bletchley Park opened up work that she had previously been denied. Mitchell was one of only five women studying mathematics at Oxford in 1940. Before finishing her undergraduate education, Mitchell began working at BP programming instructions for the Bombe, an electric code-breaking machine developed by Alan Turing and his team. It was really her dream job (Dunlop 115-17). Amid this social change and global turmoil, upper-class British women were given access to specialized, professional training and work that they had previously been denied.
Recently, researchers have begun to recover the histories of women working at Bletchley Park through several published biographies featuring the life experiences of individual, exceptional women (see Smith; Russell-Jones and Russell-Jones). Joan Clarke has received the most attention, in part because of a special fascination with her brief engagement to Alan Turing, which was featured in the 2014 movie The Imitation Game . Previous recovery efforts had unveiled the unique contributions of a few exceptional women, but more research is needed to understand the Bletchley Girls as a large, diverse community of professional women. In 2015, Tessa Dunlop s Bletchley Girls began to create an historical account women at BP. Drawing on interviews with twelve living veterans of BP, Dunlop painted a rich and diverse portrait of these women s lives before, after, and during World War II. Importantly, Dunlop s book is the only text in which a group of Bletchley Girls, now in their nineties, recall their lives and work at BP.
From these histories, we have begun to recollect and recover stories of women s work and lives at Bletchley Park. However, there are still many questions left to address: How did these women work together to support, encourage, and mentor one another as they developed professional identities? To what extent did their work at Bletchley Park shape their identities, authority, attitudes, and values, both personally and professionally? To address these questions, we trace the evolution of everyday practices and their effect on the professional identities of women at Bletchley Park. Drawing on interviews published in Dunlop s book as well as archival research, Fancher argues that we can better understand this community and its effects upon evolving gender roles when we attend to social circulation of everyday practices within this community. Doing so allows us to reframe Bletchley Park as a key site for British women looking to develop professional identities and to create a community that fostered progressive gender norms.
Importantly, social circulation becomes visible primarily in evolving everyday practices, including day-to-day decisions around dressing, commuting, and working in the unusual environment of Bletchley Park. The importance of these everyday practices reverberates in the archival materials and through women s memories decades later. However, in order to identify everyday practices, our archival research methods must once again shift to the margins: we pay attention not only to women s work at Bletchley Park but also to their everyday practices-what they wore, how they traveled, and how they built friendships. With this shift in focus, Fancher identifies women sharing knowledge, articulating values, and creating professional identities. Again, critical imagination helps us to build connections between the everyday practices of women s lives and the consequences of these practices.
Evolving Community
The concept of social circulation offers an important framework for historical recovery, in part because, with the shift from a person to a community, we see that communities are far from stable. Communities and actors are adjacent, overlapping, and evolving. Before Bletchley Park, these well-to-do white women were most often restricted to the social circles of their fathers, their husbands, and their local community. Shortly before the start of World War II, many of these women were debutants entering public spheres while being presented as in the market for a husband. Their primary social role was as an eligible wife. However, with the social shifts of World War II, women were actively recruited from among the aristocracy, the professional classes, the military services, and the universities to work at Bletchley Park.
In this environment, women were no longer under the watchful eye of their parents or other adult supervisors. They lived in apartments of their own or in cramped dorms with other women. Although many of the women remember the challenges of their living and working conditions, Rozanne Colcherster (n e Medhurst) recalled, you see, everything is terribly exciting when you are young and away from home (Dunlop 163). These women met and worked closely with a relatively diverse group of women and men with expert knowledge and from different social circles and economic classes, though this was an exclusively white working environment. Gwen Watkins (n e Davies) recalled that her mother was horrified and worried about me a lot, but for Watkins the experience was an introduction to a world of professional expertise: We were meeting people all the time and there were lectures about things you never knew anything about: the history of the Royal Air Force, Nazi philosophy and theories about what was going on in Germany. It was a complete revival (Dunlop 81). As they moved in and out of these social circles with greater freedom and relatively little oversight from authority figures, women were exposed to new ideas and identities. Importantly, they learned to make names for themselves on the basis of their work and separate from their families. When we focus on the everyday practices-work schedules and clothing choices, in particular-of women of Bletchley Park, we begin to see how this evolving community shaped the women s identities personally and professionally.
Everyday Practices Circulate through Work
Because so few documents on the lives of these women exist, we pay particular attention to what was shared, common, and moving within this community. One of the most important shared experiences was that of the demanding work schedule at Bletchley Park. The work needed to go on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for several years. At BP, the confidential nature of the work prevented women from talking about what they were doing, even with other members of Bletchley Park. However, this community did circulate the everyday practices of adjusting to working fifty to seventy hours a week. The women of BP recalled the demanding work schedule, some with more relish than others. To keep up with demand, the women worked in shifts around the clock. One anonymous member of WRNS (Women s Royal Naval Service) recalled, The scene that I remember most of all is a night watch, working on the Bombes in Hut 11, walking in the dark along the tennis court wire in the middle of the night, to the Mansion there was a mixture of Codebreakers, Wrens, anyone who worked there, and you had coffee and sat anywhere. Everyone read The Times. You talked to anyone, high or low, but no-one knew what anyone else was doing. After about half an hour you walked back to the hell-hole, the Bombe Hut, where there was noise, smell, no air and poor lighting, to complete your eight hour watch (Mason). The women were out of their homes and traveling at all hours of the night for the first time in their lives. The women at Bletchley Park laid to rest any stereotypes about female fragility. Ann Mitchell remembered, If there was known to be something important you were harried. You could feel under a lot of pressure. I personally work better under pressure (Dunlop 116). They speak proudly of their discretion, diligence, and commitment.
From these interviews, we can also see the significance of this work for the women: they shifted from private care work into public spaces with specialized and top-secret work. And with this shift in work, the women s professional identities also evolved. They saw themselves a crucial aspect of the war effort and contributors to cutting-edge technologies. Joanna Chorley recalled the moment when she first saw the Colossus, the world s first programmable, electric, digital computer: I met the Colossus just after I had signed the Official Secrets Act. I saw this astonishing machine the size of a room. It was ticking away, and the tapes were going around and all the valves, and I thought, what an amazing machine . Like magic and science combined I did love the beast (Dunlop 125-27). In this narrative, Chorley, a young woman, fell in love at first sight with a massive computer. Entering Bletchley Park created shifts in values and priorities by introducing women to work that would become their passions and specialties. What is more, the women began to see themselves as specialists, skilled workers, and even heroes who were making meaningful and active contributions to the British war effort. Through the shared experience of the demanding work schedule, these women performed and circulated an identity of a Bletchley Park girl as a hardworking, serious, committed professional.
Wardrobe Choices and Professional Identities
A second way that this community cultivated professional identities was through clothing choices. What one wears may seem somewhat trivial, but that is precisely the point. Professional identities didn t circulate in any published, textual form. However, through day-to-day experiences such as deciding what to wear, professional identities circulated as embodied practices. Their choices in clothing embodied shifting values.
Many of these women entered BP through some form of military service, which required military uniforms. Kathleen Godfrey, of the Women s Royal Air Force (WRAF), recalled the social importance of her uniform: [My father] had never seen me in uniform before and I suppose that must have been quite a surprise. What are you doing with yourself, Kathleen? he asked. I can t possibly tell you, Father. It s a secret, I answered. He was of course delighted (Dunlop 82). This feeling of shock at seeing his daughter out of her fine dresses and in her uniform was a point of pride. Godfrey entered BP as a teenager; her work and her uniform were part of her growing up. We can also see the significance of clothing in this account from Dunlop: Rozanne [Colchester] had a bicycle and controversial pair of slacks, which she wore to pedal through the snow.

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