In Women and Rhetoric between the Wars, editors Ann George, M. Elizabeth Weiser, and Janet Zepernick have gathered together insightful essays from major scholars on women whose practices and theories helped shape the field of modern rhetoric. Examining the period between World War I and World War II, this volume sheds light on the forgotten rhetorical work done by the women of that time. It also goes beyond recovery to develop new methodologies for future research in the field.
Collected within are analyses of familiar figures such as Jane Addams, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, and Bessie Smith, as well as explorations of less well known, yet nevertheless influential, women such as Zitkala-Ša, Jovita González, and Florence Sabin. Contributors evaluate the forces in the civic, entertainment, and academic scenes that influenced the rhetorical praxis of these women. Each essay presents examples of women’s rhetoric that move us away from the “waves” model toward a more accurate understanding of women’s multiple, diverse rhetorical interventions in public discourse. The collection thus creates a new understanding of historiography, the rise of modern rhetorical theory, and the role of women professionals after suffrage. From celebrities to scientists, suffragettes to academics, the dynamic women of this volume speak eloquently to the field of rhetoric studies today.