A Feminist Legacy: The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude by Suzanne Bordelon

By Suzanne Bordelon

The first book-length research of a pioneering English professor and theorist at Vassar university, A Feminist Legacy:  The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck explores Buck’s contribution to the fields of schooling and rhetoric throughout the innovative period. through contextualizing Buck’s educational and theoretical paintings in the upward thrust of women’s academic associations like Vassar university, the social and political flow towards suffrage, and Buck’s personal egalitarian political and social beliefs, Suzanne Bordelon deals a scholarly and well-informed remedy of Buck’s achievements that elucidates the old and modern effect of her paintings and life.

Bordelon argues that whereas greenback didn't name herself a feminist, she embodied feminist beliefs via tough the total participation of her woman scholars and by means of tough strength imbalances at each educational, social, and political level.

A Feminist Legacy reveals that Vassar collage is an undervalued yet major website within the heritage of women’s argumentation and pedagogy. Drawing on a wealthy number of archival resources, together with formerly unexamined basic fabric, A Feminist Legacy lines the beginnings of feminist theories of argumentation and pedagogy and their lasting legacy in the fields of schooling and rhetoric.

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Extra resources for A Feminist Legacy: The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck (Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms)

Example text

In her brief life, Buck distinguished herself as an advocate for suffrage and democratic reform, a pioneer in progressive education, and an educator and mentor of women during the early development of women’s higher education. In addition, she was a rhetorician who challenged traditional approaches to argument, an administrator who fostered a collaboratively run department, and the founder of the Vassar Workshop and the Poughkeepsie Community Theatre. Like an ever-broadening circle rippling in a pool, Buck’s feminism permeated all aspects of her life.

Buck’s Feminism and her “Social” Perspective As noted, underlying Buck’s efforts in pedagogy, rhetoric, administration, and drama was her “social” view of ethics. During this time, traditional Kantian ethics emphasized “putting aside” the personal and emotional side of experience to achieve objectivity and impartiality. This side of experience, the “subjective” realm, was viewed as opposed to reason (Pappas 81, 83). The ideal, or standard of value, also existed in a noumenal realm, viewed as “purely intelligible” and beyond the world of experience (Stumpf 309).

She also edited an edition of John Ruskin’s Sesame and Lilies and wrote numerous scholarly journal articles, many of which emphasized a democratic ethics and applied insights from progressive education and the new field of psychology to rhetoric and pedagogy. Buck’s Feminism and her “Social” Perspective As noted, underlying Buck’s efforts in pedagogy, rhetoric, administration, and drama was her “social” view of ethics. During this time, traditional Kantian ethics emphasized “putting aside” the personal and emotional side of experience to achieve objectivity and impartiality.

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