ERIC Number: EJ1100433
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Reference Count: 12
The Global Turn and the Question of "Speaking From"
Composition Studies, v44 n1 p134-137 Spr 2016
The transnational literacy practices, transnational feminist pedagogies, and other critical frameworks developed thus far have enabled visualization of how the circulation and exchange of texts and artifacts in transnational spaces can alter assumptions about rhetorical argument, audience, and situation. They have helped consideration of how localized, individual stories can be connected to global networks so as to expose, rearticulate, and transform global power relations. Here, Bo Wang makes the observation that turning to the global entails a reflection on the question of "speaking from" (Mignolo), and require that a new set of questions be asked such as: (1) What does it mean to "globalize" a discipline?; (2) How is a globalized view of rhetoric and composition developed?; (3) In whose terms, and in the name of what kinds of knowledge or intellectual authority, are such scholarly practices performed?; and (4) From which epistemic space and location are we speaking? Searching the historical archives of early twentieth-century Chinese intellectuals' translations of Euroamerican feminist discourse for insight and inspiration, Wang's research shows that Chinese intellectuals translated a large number of Euroamerican philosophical, literary, and historical texts on women's rights, putting the translated texts in conversation with their own cultural heritage and lived experience. For instance, Mary Wollstonecraft's "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" and Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House", among numerous Euroamerican texts, were translated into Chinese and recontextualized by the Chinese debates on women's rights. Meanwhile, Confucian notions of humanity, self-cultivation, and womanhood were brought in dialogue with Euroamerican concepts of human rights, individualism, and feminism. This translational work, or "transrhetorical practice," exemplifies the dialectical processes by which concepts, theory, and discourse are translated, recontextualized and reconceived as they move across cultural, geopolitical borders. Thus, transrhetorical practice is a way of border thinking that may lead to new meanings and new ways of naming.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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