Department of Women's and Gender Studies University of Missouri Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Rebecca DingoRebecca Dingo

Associate Professor, WGST and English
Director of Undergraduate Studies
education: PhD, The Ohio State University
phone: 573-884-6254

On leave, Fall 2013-Spring 2014

Rebecca Dingo is an associate professor in Women's Studies and English. She is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Women's and Gender Studies. Her research and teaching addresses 20th century rhetorical theory, transnational feminist theory, disability studies, documentary film, and public policy.

Her monograph, Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing (University of Pittsburgh Press 2012) brings a transnational feminist lens to rhetorical studies by examining the networked policy and programmatic rhetorics that circulate among global institutions in the late-twentieth century. She analyzes a set of topoi (mainstream, fitness, and empowerment) across a diverse set of international gender policies and development initiatives that emerged at the end of the 20th century, alongside a global rise in neoliberalism. She argues that although each topoi appear to have a universal definition, their meanings shift as they circulate across various geopolitical contexts and within different policies. The goal of her book is three-fold:

  1. to demonstrate a new method of feminist rhetorical analysis that pays attention to how rhetorics travel and thus move rhetorical scholarship towards a better understanding of the uneven impact of globalization on women;
  2. to query the classical static rhetorical situation by tracing the aforementioned central terms in order to show how, as they travel, their meanings shift and change depending upon the contexts in which they are used; and
  3. to draw scholars attention to the processes through which gendered rhetorics travel and change as a means of understanding how traditionally "rational" or "objective" texts are deeply influenced by gendered ideological scripts.

As each chapter shows, while topoi have the guise of stability, underneath the surface there is actually a network of constantly shifting meanings informed by history, economic agendas, and geopolitical power relationships. Ultimately, when rhetoricians consider how contemporary globalization and its counterpart neoliberalism has affected the ways policy makers write particular policy arguments, they will see how colonial history, economics, gendered, sexed, and racialized stereotypes, and geopolitical power networks work within policy documents.

She is also co-editor with J. Blake Scott of a book called Megarhetorics of Globalized Development (University of Pittsburgh Press fall 2011) which extends both the global turn in the humanities and the cultural turn in transnational studies by featuring essays that merge rhetorical theory with various strands of critical globalization theory to analyze the mobilization, operation, and effects of development rhetoric. The book focuses on recent and ongoing development projects and discourses that serve as a framework for exploring the larger relationship between rhetoric and globalization studies more generally. The collection's rhetorical focus enables it to unpack how patterns of persuasion work with extra-rhetorical forces to inflect both global structural flows and their more specific translocal manifestations.

Her work has appeared in College English, Wagadu: Journal of Transnational Feminist Studies, The Journal of Women's History, and Concerns. Rebecca's more recent work examines the pedagogical circulation of the following texts: the book Half the Sky: Turning Women's Oppression into Opportunity (by so-called humanitarian journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn); micro-lending programs such as CARE and KIVA; and the films Born into Brothels (by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski), Mardi Gras: Made in China (by David Redmon), and Beyond Belief by Beth Murphy. She is interested (following scholars like J.K. Gibson-Graham) in looking for pedagogical openings where these texts might compel audiences to notice and act upon transglobal power relationships.

Selected Publications

  • Rebecca Dingo. Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing. University of Pittsburgh Press 2012.
  • Rebecca Dingo & J. Blake Scott (eds). The Megarhetorics of Globalized Development. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.
  • Rebecca Dingo. "Linking Transnational Logics: A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis of Public Policy Networks." College English, 70.5 (May 2008) 482-497.
  • Rebecca Dingo. "Making the Unfit, fit: The Rhetoric of Mainstreaming in the World Bank's commitment to Gender Equality and Disability Rights." Wagadu: Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies, 4 (Summer 2007): 93-107.
  • Rebecca Dingo. "Securing the Nation: Neoliberalism's U.S. Family Values in a Transnational Gendered Economy." Journal of Women's History 16.3 (Autumn 2004): 173-186.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • Imagining Gender in a Global Context
  • Feminist Rhetorical Theories
  • Graduate Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition (Rhetoric+Transnationalism)
  • Women's and Gender Studies Capstone
  • English Capstone
  • Documentary Film (with an emphasis on transnational documentaries)
  • Graduate Seminar in Feminist Theory


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