Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies

Essays in Honor of Sharon Crowley

edited by Andrea Alden, Kendall Gerdes, Judy Holiday, and Ryan Skinnell

Paperback Price $36.95
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“When they sculpt Sharon Crowley’s likeness into the Mount Rushmore of Writing Studies, the chapters in this superb collection will be worthy of reciting at the opening ceremony. A fitting tribute and important reading for theorists in rhetoric and composition.”
—Peter Khost, Stony Brook University

“A compelling model and a useful tool for a critical and inclusive Writing Studies. . . . This book shakes things up; it disrupts white privilege. It is also a survival manual for hope.”
Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie


Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies collects original scholarship that takes up and extends the practices of inventive theorizing that characterize Sharon Crowley’s body of work. Including sixteen chapters by established and emerging scholars and an interview with Crowley, the book shows that doing theory is a contingent and continual rhetorical process that is indispensable for understanding situations and their potential significance—and for discovering the available means of persuasion.

For Crowley, theory is a basic building block of rhetoric “produced by and within specific times and locations as a means of opening other ways of believing or acting.” Doing theory, in this sense, is the practice of surveying the common sense of the community (doxa) and discovering the available means of persuasion (invention). The ultimate goal of doing theory is not to prescribe certain actions but to ascertain what options exist for rhetors to see the world differently, to discover new possibilities for thought and action, and thereby to effect change in the world.

The scholarship collected in Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies takes Crowley’s notion of theory as an invitation to develop new avenues for believing and acting. By reinventing the understanding of theory and its role in the field, this collection makes an important contribution to scholarship in rhetorical studies and writing studies. It will be valuable to scholars, teachers, and students interested in diverse theoretical directions in rhetoric and writing studies as well as in race, gender, and disability theories, religious rhetorics, digital rhetoric, and the history of rhetoric.

Publication supported in part by the Texas Tech University Humanities Center.


Contributors: Jason Barrett-Fox, Geoffrey Clegg, Kirsti Cole, Joshua Daniel-Wariya, Diane Davis, Rebecca Disrud, Bre Garrett, Catherine C. Gouge, Debra Hawhee, Matthew Heard, Joshua C. Hilst, David G. Holmes, Bruce Horner, William B. Lalicker, Jennifer Lin LeMesurier, James C. McDonald, Timothy Oleksiak, Dawn Penich-Thacker, J. Blake Scott, Victor J. Vitanza, Susan Wyche

Andrea Alden is assistant professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University, where she teaches undergraduate writing. She is the author of Disorder in the Court: Morality, Myth, and the Insanity Defense and has published chapters on community-university partnerships, online “Pro-Ana” communities, and writing centers.

Kendall Gerdes is assistant professor of technical communication and rhetoric in the Department of English at Texas Tech University, where she directs the Media Lab. Her writing has been published in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and Kairos.

Judy Holiday is associate professor of rhetoric and writing at the University of La Verne. She is coeditor of What We Wish We’d Known: Negotiating Graduate School, has contributed book chapters to several edited volumes, and has published in Rhetoric Review and Composition Forum.

Ryan Skinnell is associate professor of rhetoric and writing at San José State University. He has written or edited six books, including Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies: Essays in Honor of Sharon Crowley, Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition’s Institutional Fortunes and Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us about Donald J. Trump. He has published multiple essays in journals and edited collections, and in 2021 he was named “Rhetorician of the Year” by the Young Rhetoricians’ Conference.

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  • Paperback Price: $36.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60732-891-9
  • Ebook Price: $30.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $15.50
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-893-3
  • Publication Month: October
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Pages: 326
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Andrea Alden, Kendall Gerdes, Judy Holiday, and Ryan Skinnell
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-891-9
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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