"Inventing Queer(er) Spacetimes: From Rhetorical Eavesdropping to Rhetorical Foreplay"

In this essay, I propose that the field of queer rhetorics seriously consider feminist scholar Krista Ratcliffe’s (2005) tactic of eavesdropping, reorient eavesdropping following Sara Ahmed’s (2006) call for a queer phenomenology, and consider the critical power of rhetorical foreplay. Therefore, I offer a reparative reading that affirms Ratcliffe’s theory while pushing us to invent queerer, dirtier, and more transgressive tactics that engage eavesdropping’s radical queer potentiality. Ratcliffe presents eavesdropping as an ethical tactic that “chooses to stand outside…in an uncomfortable spot…on the border of knowing and not knowing…granting others the inside position…listening to learn” (p. 105). Eavesdropping is a tactic deployed to engage in cross-cultural communication without disregarding another’s agency. And while these goals are important for rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies, queer rhetorics would benefit from reorienting Ratcliffe’s goals and inventing tactics that theorize queer/sexual embodied practices.

*An earlier draft of this research was awarded the 2017 Gloria Anzaldúa Rhetorician Award by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).

**This research has been accepted for publication in Jackie Rhodes' (editor) upcoming special issue on Queer Rhetorics: Dirtysexy for the journal Pre/Text.

"Grades as a Technology of Surveillance"

This project seeks to question the ethics of grading, big data, and the teaching of writing by examining the discursive and material ways in which grades are technologies of surveillance. The general thesis of the essay argues that grades are an imperfect system of communication that has been corrupted into a technology of surveillance to serve the neoliberal university, which values competition, individualism, and financial gains above the critical education of its students.

*This research will be published in Estee Beck & Les Hutchinson's (editors) collection Writing in a Digital Age: Surveillance, Privacy, and Writing Infrastructures.

Gavin P. Johnson 
Department of English, The Ohio State University 
Mailing: 421 Denney Hall, 164 Annie & John Glenn Ave. Columbus OH, 43210 
Webpages: | 
Email: johnson (dot) 5997 at osu (dot) edu | 
Networking: | | Twitter: @gavyJ