Complete Story

BIZZELL, Partricia

Fall 2000, pages 5-17

Feminist Methods of Research in the History of Rhetoric: What Difference Do they make?

Abstract: Feminist research in the history of rhetoric has used traditional humanistic research techniques to recover many women rhetoricians. Nevertheless, such work has been faulted for making tendentious arguments on behalf of some women figures. These criticisms arise in part from failing to understanding that feminist researchers, although employing many traditional methods, do not seek the traditional goal of objective truth. Rather, they work for truths that are relative to the interests of specific communities. Scholars who refuse to accept their findings may be motivated in part by rejection of the emotional allegiances the relevant communities invoke. An exemplary theory, to negotiate these research difficulties can be found in the work of Jacqueline Jones Royster