When a Woman Owns the Farm: A Case for Diachronic and Synchronic Rhetorical Agency

Rachel Wolford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores rhetorical agency and the case study of a woman farmland owner in Iowa, who was unprepared to inherit her farm and its management responsibilities because her now-deceased family members had prohibited her from participating in the farming discourse during the preceding decades. Drawing on postmodern theories of rhetorical agency, I argue that agency is multiple, shifting in form within particular contexts, according to a person’s identity, knowledge and experience, and access to discourse. I develop a model of synchronic and diachronic rhetorical agency, positing that agency comes into focus at specific temporal (synchronic) moments in one’s life when action through language can potentially occur, and as a more enduring form (diachronic), developed over time as an emergent characteristic through one’s resilience and experience as an interlocutor within discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30
JournalEnculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016

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