Buchanan, Lindal. Regendering Delivery: The Fifth Canon and Antebellum Women Rhetors. Southern Illinois University Press, 2005.
Buchanan calls scholars to action to contribute research into the rhetorical constraints of marginalized groups. In the article, Buchanan specifically calls for scholars to look beyond what has traditionally counted as evidence in scholarly inquiry. Buchanan herself contributes a unique scholarship to ongoing feminist research on regendering the rhetorical tradition. She explores the intersection of maternity and delivery, the fifth part of the rhetorical canon. In her call for additional research in this area, she calls our attention to scholars who have done similar work. For example, Carol Mattingly examined women’s fashion in Appropriate(Ing) Dress: Womens Rhetorical Style in Nineteenth-Century America. and Nan Johnson examined parlor rhetorics in Gender and Rhetorical Space in American Life, 1866-1910. What I find particularly striking about Buchanan’s research is that she takes Cicero’s five canons of rhetoric, specifically the ‘Delivery’ tenant, and reframes what delivery means. She interprets delivery both literally and figuratively by providing examples of how women rhetors were appraised for their delivery (sexualized) and also how in response, women emphasized their maternal role (as mother/wives/sisters). “Maternal difficulty”, which is the line of reasoning in which it is believed that women cannot perform certain duties (Judge, Legislator, Commander) because of their role as a mother and ties to their children, then arose. And while Buchanan isn’t specifically calling for contributions to “maternal difficulty” research, rather she is asking rhetors to open their minds on non-traditional materials to study, this “maternal difficulty” is still very much in play today and there are many ways in which new scholars can contribute to this growing body of research.
is defined as “difficulty,” a line of reasoning holding that since ‘”some women at some times could not conveniently perform the duties of Judge, Legislator, [or] military commander, because of the duties of the nursery…then women should at all time ” then arose.
ery . .. [then]
ongoing feminist efforts to regender the rhetorical canons, in particular, by exploring how the fifth canon of delivery changes once the assumed male at the center of the rhetorical tradition is replaced by a woman who is both a mother and a speaker