Winter 2002, pages 99-108Telling Evidence: Rethinking What Counts in Rhetoric
Abstract: After the thousands of years in which a masculine canon of rhetoric has been constructed, feminist scholars have recently worked to create a more inclusive tradition. While problems and concerns have arisen with regard to this change, my work with nineteenth-century primary texts has convinced me that more time to explore extant texts can alleviate many of the apprehensions associated with this new research. Further time to recover, evaluate, and make meaning from additional information will allow for a more complete picture of women's rhetorical history. In addition, a greater breadth of knowledge will allow us not only to add figures to a more inclusive tradition, but to redefine what counts as evidence in evaluating rhetoric and rhetoricians. In this way we may create a more complete, honest, and interesting picture of the rhetorical tradition.