With growing anxiety about American identity fueling debates about the nation’s borders, ethnicities, and languages, Crossing Borders, Drawing Boundaries provides a timely and important rhetorical exploration of divisionary bounds that divide an Us from a Them. The concept of “border” calls for attention, and the authors in this collection respond by describing it, challenging it, confounding it, and, at times, erasing it.
Motivating us to see anew the many lines that unite, divide, and define us, the essays in this volume highlight how discourse at borders and boundaries can create or thwart conditions for establishing identity and admitting difference. Each chapter analyzes how public discourse at the site of physical or metaphorical borders presents or confounds these conditions and, consequently, effective participation—a key criterion for a modern democracy. The settings are various, encompassing vast public spaces such as cities and areas within them; the rhetorical spaces of history books, museum displays, activist events, and media outlets; and the intimate settings of community and classroom conversations.
Crossing Borders, Drawing Boundaries shows how rich communication can be when diverse cultures intersect and create new opportunities for human connection, even while different populations, cultures, age groups, and political parties adopt irreconcilable positions. It will be of interest to scholars in rhetoric and literacy studies and students in rhetorical analysis and public discourse.
Contributors include Andrea Alden, Cori Brewster, Robert Brooke, Randolph Cauthen, Jennifer Clifton, Barbara Couture, Vanessa Cozza, Anita C. Hernández, Roberta J. Herter, Judy Holiday, Elenore Long, José A. Montelongo, Karen P. Peirce, Jonathan P. Rossing, Susan A. Schiller, Christopher Schroeder, Tricia C. Serviss, Mónica Torres, Kathryn Valentine, Victor Villanueva, and Patti Wojahn.