Jane Greer is a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She is the editor of Girls and Literacy in America: Historical Perspectives to the Present, and coeditor of Pedagogies of Public Memory: Teaching Writing at Museums, Archives, and Memorials and The Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies.
Across a range of industrial, domestic, and agricultural sites, Greer shows how repetitive discursive performances served as rhetorical tools as women workers sought to rescript power relations in their workplaces and to resist narratives about their laboring lives. The case studies reveal noteworthy patterns in how these women’s words helped to construct the complex web of class relations in which they were enmeshed. Rather than a teleological narrative of economic empowerment over the course of a century, Unorganized Women speaks to the enduring obstacles low- and no-wage women face, their creativity and resilience in the face of adversity, and the challenges that impede the creation of meaningful coalitions. By focusing on repetitive rhetorical labor, this book affords a point of entry for analyzing the discursive productions of a range of women workers and for constructing a richer history of women’s rhetoric in the United States.