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Inventing Place

Inventing Place

Writing Lone Star Rhetorics

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Edited by Casey Boyle and Jenny Rice


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
35 illustrations


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About the Book

Bringing together methods and scholars from rhetoric and related disciplines, essays in Inventing Place: Writing Lone Star Rhetorics blend personal and scholarly accounts of Texas sites, examining place as an embodied poiesis, an understanding and composition formed through the collaboration of a body with a particular space.
Divided into five sections corresponding to Texas regions, essays consider aesthetics, buildings, environment, food and alcohol, private and public memory, and race and class. Among the topics covered by contributors are the Imagine Austin urban planning initiative; the terroir of Texas barbecue; the racist past of Grand Saline, Texas; Denton, Texas, and authenticity as rhetorical; negative views of Texas and how the state (or any place) is subject to reinvention; social, historical, and economic networks of place and their relationship to the food we eat; and Texas gun culture and working-class character.


Casey Boyle is an assistant professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where he researches and teaches digital rhetoric and media theory.
Jenny Rice is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and the author of Distant Publics: Development Rhetoric and the Subject of Crisis.


This compelling collection of evocative essays locates not a rhetoric of place but one cultivated by and as place. Moving among such diverse topics as memory, bureaucracy, authenticity, ethnography, and aesthetics, this book’s central premise and payoff is the inventional possibilities for rhetoric to be found in diverse attunements to place.”— Nathaniel A. Rivers, coeditor of Thinking with Bruno Latour in Rhetoric and Composition

“Like the editors, I grew up in Texas, which like any topos has its affordances and limits. I can’t imagine growing up in any other place at any other time, while at the same time I can barely imagine I ever lived there. Inventing Place captures the deep ambivalence in that disjunction, both a love and a disbelief. Deeply personal and insightfully scholarly, these essays compellingly reveal the becoming-undone of being there.”—Byron Hawk, author of A Counter-History of Composition
“Inventing Place is a much-needed rhetorical exploration into the ways that places are invented anew through reflections on body-place relations. With a strong reliance on poiesis—a method for writing with a place that emerges from the event of being there—this collection offers a unique and timely intervention into how place is studied and written about in rhetoric and composition and in writing studies.”—Laurie E. Gries, author of Still Life with Rhetoric: A New Materialist Approach for Visual Rhetorics