There are numerous ways we could have closed the reading portion of this course this semester, but I am so glad that we went with Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy. It not only brings us full circle from starting with the endoftheworld podcast discussion of electoral politics, it also emphasizes the importance of appreciating the small acts and actions towards liberation: the everyday acts. To start our discussion I would like to share a screenshot of an Instagram repost from the author.
This image is a repost of a pictorial interpretation of an image of dandelions as natural brilliance, with a woman of color blowing out dandelion’s seeds, showering a gathering of people planting and watering other wild flowers, together. There is also an image of the roots growing under them, which calls up the oak trees metaphor Brown also brings up in her work. I was struck by the explanation of how oak trees’ roots protect them from the storms, thinking specifically of storms that my people survived recently.
Interestingly, there is mention of this particular storm–hurricane María, in a recent video from The Intercept, where AOC explains (and imagines via illustrations from Molly Crabapple) the future after passing the Green New Deal.
Perhaps these examples can help us reflect on the emphasis of this course, of going Beyond Electoral Politics, and engaging Public Advocacy in Everyday Life. How do they illuminate the objectives of this course?
- Identify and describe different rhetorical approaches, specifically focusing on the use of (multi)modality towards public advocacy in a wide range of efforts.
- Recognize the ethical and pragmatic dimensions involved in such efforts.
- Critically consider the rhetorical situations within which everyday public advocacy occurs, and their relation to different composition processes.
In pairs, consider each bullet point above and reflect on the examples I’ve provided, as well as the readings assigned. How will you apply these insights to your own work?
- Produce supplemental material for an existing organization.
The rest of the time will be spent talking through the progress of your work.