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Rhetorical critics have long had a troubled relationship with method, at times viewing it as opening up provocative avenues of inquiry, and at other times as closing off paths toward meaningful engagement with texts. Despite this conflicted history, contemporary rhetorical critics are increasingly applying a diverse range of methods to collect and analyze texts.Text + Field shifts scholarly attention from disputes about the utility of method to constructive articulations of the rhetorical methods being deployed by some of the most innovative scholars in the field today.
A growing number of scholars have looked to complement text-based scholarship by venturing out into the field, where rhetoric is produced, enacted, and consumed. The field-based methods adopted by these scholars involve methods of observation, ethnographic interviews, and performance. They are not intended to displace text-based approaches; rather, they are meant to expand the idea of method by helping rhetorical scholars arrive at new and complementary answers to long-standing disciplinary questions about text, context, audience, judgment, and ethics.
Text + Field is the first volume in rhetoric and communication to directly address the relevance, processes, and implications of using field methods to complement traditional text-based rhetorical scholarship.
Aside from the editors, the contributors are Roberta Chevrette, Kathleen M. de Onís, Danielle Endres, Joshua P. Ewalt, Alina Haliliuc, Aaron Hess, Jamie Landau, Michael Middleton, Tiara R. Na’puti, Jessy J. Ohl, Phaedra C. Pezzullo, Damien Smith Pfister, Samantha Senda-Cook, Lisa Silvestri, and Valerie Thatcher.