In Reclaiming the Rural: Essays on Literacy, Rhetoric,and Pedagogy, editors Kim Donehower, Charlotte Hogg,
and Eileen E. Schell bring together a diverse collection of essays that consider literacy, rhetoric, and pedagogy in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The essays move beyond the typical arguments for preserving, abandoning, or modernizing by analyzing how rural communities sustain themselves through literate action. The contributors explore the rhetorics of water disputes in the western United States, the histories and influences of religious rhetorics
in Mexico, agricultural and rural literacy curricula, the literacies of organizations such as 4-H and Academia de la Nueva Raza, and neoliberal rhetorics.
Central to these examinations are the rural populations themselves, which include indigenous peoples in the rural United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as those of European or other backgrounds. The strength of the anthology lies in its multiple perspectives, various research sites, and the range of methodologies employed, including rhetorical analyses of economies and environments, media, and public spaces; classroom-based research; historical analysis and archival work; and qualitative research. The researchers engage the duality between the practices of everyday life in rural communities and the practices of reflecting on and making meaning.
Reclaiming the Rural reflects the continually changing, nuanced, context-dependent realities of rural life while acknowledging the complex histories, power struggles, and governmental actions that have affected and continue to affect the lives of rural citizens. This thought-provoking collection demonstrates the value in reclaiming the rural for scholarly and pedagogical analysis.