For each month during 2012, Public Address Division chair Angela Ray has invited a current member(s) of the division to respond to a short list of questions about an artifact relevant to his/her current research. The questions ask the scholars to reflect on how they contextualize and theorize the artifact, and how they might use the artifact in a class. A PDF of the first Vibrant Voices issue is available below. At the end of the year, all twelve of the Voices “conversations” will be available on the PAD Web site, offering a snapshot of division scholarship in 2012 and a resource for teachers and students.
In this issue, Public Address Division members Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray discuss their study of an eight-page letter by Eliza Bancroft Davis (1791–1872) of Worcester, Massachusetts, written to her husband, John Davis, a U.S. Senator, on 18 June 1840. The original letter is in Box 1 (“Family Correspondence”), Folder 7 (“1840”), in the John Davis Papers at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Zborays’ transcription of the letter appears below as Appendix 1, and a facsimile of the original letter accompanies this conversation on the Public Address Division’s Web site. The transcription and facsimile of the original appear by courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society.
In this issue, Public Address Division member Jiyeon Kang discusses her study of South Korea’s candlelight vigils, which began as an Internet-born protest against the deaths of two thirteen-year-old South Korean girls accidentally struck by a U.S. military vehicle in 2002. Initiated by South Korean youths born after the 1980s, who were also the demonstrations’ primary participants, the candlelight vigils became a repertoire for protest, as seen in the recurring vigils of 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010.
A Conversation with Kathryn M. Olson
In this issue, Public Address Division member Kathryn M. Olson discusses her study of two presidential press conferences: Democrat Bill Clinton’s 9 November 1994 response to midterm elections that gave Republicans both houses of Congress and Republican George W. Bush’s 4 December 2007 response to a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) challenging his theory that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.
In this issue, Public Address Division member Paul Stob discusses his study of a speech given by the American philosopher and psychologist William James at the unveiling of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston on 31 May 1897. The speech can be found in numerous locations, but the commemorative volume of the unveiling ceremony reprints not only James’s speech but also briefer remarks by other speakers.
A Conversation with E. Johanna Hartelius
In this issue, Public Address Division member E. Johanna Hartelius discusses her ongoing study of a set of approximately 170 New York Times articles published between September 2001 and August 2011, each containing at least five occurrences of the term “Arab” or “Muslim” or “Middle East” and at least five occurrences of the word “immigrant.” She pays particular attention to articles discussing immigration in the United States. Articles pertaining to non-U.S. content (e.g., the Muhammad cartoon controversy in Denmark, the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and the Norwegian massacre in July 2011) are used for comparative reference but are considered beyond the scope of the inquiry.
A Conversation with Leroy G. Dorsey
In this issue, Public Address Division member Leroy G. Dorsey discusses his study of “The Woman and the Home,” a speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt to the National Congress of Mothers on 13 March 1905 in Washington, D.C. It is available in The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, National Edition, vol. 16, American Problems (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1926), 164–71. It is also available online.
A Conversation with Michelle Murray Yang
In this issue, Public Address Division member Michelle Murray Yang discusses her study of a speech given by Soong May-ling (1898–2003), the First Lady of China, at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California, on 4 April 1943. Married to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who was then the head of the Nationalist government in China and the leading Allied commander in the Eastern war zone, Soong toured the United States in 1943 to raise money for United China Relief. She spoke before diverse audiences during the tour, including Wellesley College students, members of the U.S. House and Senate, and Hollywood starlets.
A Conversation with Thomas R. Dunn
In this issue, Public Address Division member Thomas R. Dunn discusses his study of the Alexander Wood Memorial, a statue of a “Gay Pioneer” who settled in Toronto, in Upper Canada, in 1797. The statue was designed by Del Newbigging and was built with funds from local businesses and the City of Toronto. Erected in 2005, the memorial is located on the corner of Church and Alexander Streets in Toronto’s Church-Wellesley neighborhood, home of Toronto’s largest GLBTQ community.
A Conversation with Robin E. Jensen
In this issue, Public Address Division member Robin E. Jensen discusses her study of a 1918 speech, written and delivered by Dr. Rachelle Slobodinsky Yarros and subsequently published in the journal Social Hygiene. Yarros was a Russian immigrant and the first woman admitted to the Boston College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as a long-time doctor-in-residence at Jane Addams’s Hull House. She advocated for (and provided) public sex education that targeted not only white men but also women and minorities. Yarros’s 1918 speech offers important clues about how she attempted to convince American Social Hygiene Association members not only to fund public sex education programs aimed at overlooked populations but also to join in such teaching efforts.
A Conversation with Greg Dickinson
In this issue, Public Address Division member Greg Dickinson discusses his coauthored study of the Whitney Gallery of Western Art (WGWA) and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (BBHC) in Cody, Wyoming. The WGWA is one of five museums that constitute the BBHC. The BBHC is a nationally and internationally recognized center for the representation and study of the U.S. West. The center traces its origins to the founding of the Buffalo Bill Historical Society in 1917, the year of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s death. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s monumental sculpture Buffalo Bill—The Scout (1929) was the founding artifact in what became the Whitney Gallery of Western Art.
A Conversation with Josue David Cisneros
In this issue, Public Address Division member Josue David Cisneros discusses his study of a speech given by Reies López Tijerina, the founder and leader of La Alianza Federal de Mercedes (Federal Alliance of Land Grants). The Alianza was founded in 1963 to advocate for poor, dispossessed, and rural New Mexicans, many of whom had claim to Spanish and Mexican land grants that dated before the Mexican American War. From the Alianza’s founding to its dissolution in the early 1970s, the group agitated for the return of land and cultural rights to Chican@s through a multimedia rhetorical campaign involving public speeches, newspapers, local radio programs, public letters to government officials, marches, protests, confrontational activities, and even violence. The speech under consideration here, known as “The Land Grant Question,” was delivered on 26 November 1967 at the University of Colorado at Denver during a national speaking tour by Tijerina.
A Conversation with Charles E. Morris III
In this issue, Public Address Division member Charles E. Morris III discusses his study of Abraham Lincoln’s queer rhetorical pedagogy. He engages a constellation of Lincoln artifacts that might be deployed in K–12 classrooms as queer rhetorical education: narrative fragments of Lincoln’s life, such as his bed sharing with Joshua Speed and David Derickson, his friendship with Elmer Ellsworth and his grief over Ellsworth’s death, and his admiration for Walt Whitman’s poetry; fragments of Lincoln’s texts, such as the “Chronicles of Reuben,” the letters to Joshua Speed, a condolence letter to the parents of Elmer Ellsworth, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and the Second Inaugural; and texts about Lincoln, including Maira Kalman’s children’s book Looking at Lincoln (2012).