New Directions in Rhetoric and Materiality
Edited by Barbara A. Biesecker, Wendy S. Hesford, and Christa Teston


New and forthcoming Titles:

Current conversations about rhetoric signal a new attentiveness to and critical appraisal of material-discursive phenomena. New Directions in Rhetoric and Materiality provides a forum for responding to and extending such conversations. The series is interested in monographs that pair rhetorical theory with an analysis of material conditions and the social-symbolic labor circulating therein. Books should offer a “new direction” for exploring the everyday, material, lived conditions of human, nonhuman, and extra-human life—advancing theories around rhetoric’s relationship to materiality.

Among other topics and subjects, the series is especially interested in transnational and/or global materialist orientations to the following questions:

  • What can rhetorical theory and/or methodologies contribute to contemporary conversations in critical geography or rhetorics of space/place?
  • Who or what has (and/or conditions) agency in material-discursive networks (e.g., fetal tissue, stem cells, deteriorating bridges, melting icecaps, international trade agreements, economic bubbles, to name only a few)?
  • How are we to understand bodies as material-discursive phenomena? How does such an orientation alter our approaches to bioethics, biopolitics, and human rights?
  • What does material rhetoric and/or theories of material-discursivity add to our understanding of pressing social issues (e.g., Islamic military activity; immigration legislation and migration crises; militarization of police in black communities)?

Inquiries should be directed to Tara Cyphers at The Ohio State University Press. Book proposals should follow press guidelines. Download series flyer


Series Editors

Barbara A. Biesecker is professor of rhetoric at the University of Georgia. She was recently the editor-in-chief of the Quarterly Journal of Speech (volumes 100–102), was founding editor of the Forum Series in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and co-edited, with John L. Lucaites, Rhetoric, Materiality, & Politics (2009). Throughout her career, Biesecker has explored the role of rhetoric in social change by working at the intersections of rhetorical theory and criticism and continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminist theory and criticism, and cultural studies—for which she has been the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award (NCA Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division, 2011) and the Douglas Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award (NCA, 2007).

Wendy S. Hesford is professor of English at The Ohio State University and Ohio Eminent Scholar. She has authored two monographs: Framing Identities: Autobiography and the Politics of Pedagogy (Minnesota, 1999), for which she received the W. R. Winterowd book award, and Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms (Duke, 2011), for which she received the RSA book award. She is also co-editor, with Adela Licona and Christa Teston, of Precarious Rhetorics (OSU, 2018) and, with Wendy Kozol, of Just Advocacy: Women’s Human Rights, Transnational Feminisms, and the Politics of Representation (Rutgers, 2005) and Haunting Violations: Feminist Criticism and the Crisis of the “Real” (Illinois, 2001). Her research focuses on modern and contemporary rhetorical theory, writing studies, human rights studies, visual culture, and transnational feminist studies.

Christa Teston is associate professor of English at The Ohio State University. She is the author of Bodies in Flux: Scientific Methods for Negotiating Medical Uncertainty (Chicago, 2017) and co-edited a special issue of Technical Communication Quarterly focused on contemporary research methodologies in technical communication. With Wendy S. Hesford and Adela Licona, she co-edited Precarious Rhetorics, the first volume published in The Ohio State University’s New Directions in Rhetoric and Materiality series. Her research examines uncertainty in technoscientific and biomedical contexts, and offers implications for public policy, democratic deliberation, medical and scientific practice, and evidential design.

Sign up to be notified of new books published in the New Directions in Rhetoric and Materiality Series

* required