Legitimization of Mormon Feminist Rhetors studies how marginalized groups use rhetorical strategies to craft legitimacy for themselves. Kinney uses archival research to parse the rhetorical devices employed by Mormon feminist women. The author assumes a pan-historical methodology by examining four unique examples of notable Mormon feminist rhetors that stretch across the 191-year history of this religion: Emmeline B. Wells (1828–1921), Fawn Brodie (1915–1981), Sonia Johnson (1936–present), and Kate Kelly (1980–present). Backed by intensive analysis, the author finds that Mormon feminist women take up the ancient rhetorical canons as a heuristic to cultivate a position of authority for themselves: Wells employs arrangement patterns, Brodie engages with memory, Johnson draws upon invention practices, and Kelly applies delivery strategies. Scholars and students of communication, rhetoric, religion, and women’s studies will find this book particularly interesting.
Tiffany D. Kinney is assistant professor of English in the Languages, Literature, and Mass Communication Department at Colorado Mesa University.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Archiving the Apocrypha: Feminism, Legitimacy, Religion
Chapter 2: Continuum of Legitimacy
Chapter 3: Literacy through Arrangement and Social Circulation: E.B. Wells
Chapter 4: Rhetorically Distilling the Memory of a Saint: Fawn McKay Brodie
Chapter 5: A System Splitting Dream: Sonia Johnson and Radical Feminist Invention
Chapter 6: Delivering Legitimacy: Kate Kelly and the Founding of Ordain Women
Chapter 7: Conclusion: Implications for Marginalized Groups Working towards Legitimacy
Appendix: Supplemental Reading
"Dr. Tiffany Kinney's study offers a clear and instructive account of the outstanding archival work she did to bring Utah's Mormon feminists into the spotlight. She attends closely and with nuance to the complex contextual factors that made it difficult for Utah women in the 19th and 20th centuries to advocate for women's rights in big, explicit ways and in ways far more subtle. Her research will be of special interest to scholars of feminist rhetoric, rhetorical historians, and public address researchers."
"Legitimization of Mormon Feminist Rhetors introduces four pioneering women in the Mormon Church and their rhetorical efforts to gain greater authority for women in their faith community. Drawing on an array of genres spanning almost two hundred years, Kinney astutely expands notions of feminism and our understanding of how marginalized groups seek legitimacy within powerful institutions."