Rebecca Dingo’s Book Sparks Conversation and Earns Recognition

Rebecca Dingo, associate professor of English and women’s and gender studies
Kristi Galloway
News Source: 
College of Arts & Science

Rebecca Dingo, an associate professor of English and women’s and gender studies, loves discussing transnational feminism and using her background in rhetorical studies to examine many types of rhetoric. Her role as a leader in the field has been affirmed because she just received the W. Ross Winterowd Award for her book, Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing.

In her interdisciplinary book, Dingo brings a transnational feminist lens to rhetorical studies by examining international gender policies and development initiatives from organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. Dingo analyzed three main topics found within the policies: gender mainstreaming, fitness, and empowerment. She argues that although each topic appears to have a universal definition, their meanings shift as they circulate across various geopolitical contexts and within different policies. 

“Typical rhetorical studies books often assume that the author is speaking to a particular audience from a specific nation,” says Dingo. “My book demonstrates that in our global society, we can’t assume that our audience is only one particular group of people—it is actually much broader, which has implications for policy and initiatives because they must be translated and understood in many cultural contexts.”

The award is one of only three rhetoric and composition book awards given each year. JAC, a journal of rhetoric, culture, and politics, facilitates the award. It is named after W. Ross Winterowd, a respected professor and scholar from the University of Southern California. The award is presented annually for the most outstanding recent book on composition theory.

Dingo is honored to receive the award and thankful that her book is sparking valuable conversations among her peers. She says, “I am proud that the field of rhetorical studies is thinking more complexly about women and gender, and particularly about issues around the globe.”

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