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Fall 2003, pages 43-64

Forging and Firing Thunderbolts: Collaboration and Women's Rhetoric

Abstract: An intricate network of collaborative relationships surrounded and supported nineteenth-century American women's public discourse. Antebellum women worked closely with families, friends, and hired help to create and deliver rhetoric, negotiate conflicting private and public obligations, accommodate gender norms, and construct "feminine" ethos. However, despite collaboration's central importance to women's rhetoric, scholars currently lack a model that accounts fully for its many forms and multiple functions. This article introduces a new model of collaboration capable of explaining how and why this cooperative method offers marginalized groups their most effective means to the public forum in resistant surroundings.

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