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The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics

ISSN: 2472-7318


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Christina V. Cedillo, University of Houston-Clear Lake

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This issue was composed, edited, and published within the traditional territories of the Akokisa/Orcoquisa and Karankawa peoples.


To be oriented is also to be oriented toward certain objects, those that help us find our way. These are the objects we recognize, such that when we face them, we know which way we are facing. They gather on the ground and also create a ground on which we can gather. Yet objects gather quite differently, creating different grounds. What difference does it make what we are oriented toward?

—Sara Ahmed, “Orientations: Towards a Queer Phenomenology” (2006, p. 543)


Welcome to Issue 2.2 of the Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics. In this issue, you’ll find a collection of essays and reviews that speak to the rich complexity of everyday life and our diverse engagements with the objects and spaces that we engage with in making said life. However, as the authors of the included works demonstrate, just because some elements seem commonplace is no reason to dismiss their edifying dimensions. Social media and other digital texts prove potent communicators of our communal values and biases (Vetter et al.; Hutchinson), but they can also inform our teaching praxes in new and meaningful ways (Shepherd). New pedagogical approaches to teaching (with) multimodality are always needed (Martin).

Modes on which we typically rely for information and entertainment influence how we construct our realities, teaching us to interpret spaces, places, and even other people, whether aurally or through audiovisual means (Wetherbee; Harley; McIntyre). Music confounds the separability of canons, merging invention and memory so that its effects can be translated into other media (Peres). Conversations provide pedagogical models, based in theories of and in the flesh (see Moraga and Anzaldúa) and real world praxes (Gonzales and Zobel).

Furthermore, rhetorical connections between culture, history, and modes like the visual and material compose the tropes through which we make sense of the world. These modes, media, and frameworks help those of us from marginalized communities to contend with histories of violence and oppression and their current manifestations. The crucial connections also illustrate and substantiate acts of survivance (see Stromberg, 2006; King, Gubele, and Anderson, 2015) that counter forms of erasure demanded by colonization, colonialism and coloniality (Whitebear; Garcia).

Even the ordinary objects that inhabit and make up what might be termed by many “unremarkable locations” exercise great power over our notions of identity and agency. How comestibles are labeled and stocked may determine if and how we strive for consubstantiality with others (Roncero-Bellido). Often ignored except under unexpected or messy circum-stances, the walls of a home can invite children to strive for self-determination and prompt adults to ponder ideas of liminality (Lunsford).

On behalf of the insightful, thought-provoking writers featured in this issue, I want to convey our shared appreciation. Thank you for reading and for joining us in this multifaceted look at rhetoric in/and everyday media.



Ahmed, Sara. (2006). Orientations: Towards a queer phenomenology. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies12(4), 543-574.

King, L., Gubele, R., & Anderson, J. R. (Eds.). (2015). Survivance, sovereignty, and story: Teaching American Indian rhetorics. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

Moraga, C., & Anzaldúa, G. (Eds.). (2015). This bridge called my back: Writings by radical women of color. (4th ed.) Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Stromberg, E. (Ed.). (2006). American Indian rhetorics of survivance: Word medicine, word magic. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.