Legitimization of Mormon Feminist Rhetors

Legitimization of Mormon Feminist Rhetors

A Pan-Historical Analysis

Tiffany D. Kinney


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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:

Tiffany D. Kinney is assistant professor of English in the Languages, Literature, and Mass Communication Department at Colorado Mesa University.