ABSTRACT

In this essay, I explore the ways that doing rhetoric in situ can reveal sets of decolonizing practices within interdisciplinary rhetorical studies. I discuss the idea of rhetoric in situ and its possibility for establishing sets of decolonizing practices in rhetorical studies drawing from fieldwork methods found in disciplines including anthropology. I advance a call for a more literal interpretation of in situ as one way of demonstrating the ways that historians and critics of rhetoric contribute to the conceptual world of publics to co-create imagined rhetorical possibilities with displaced persons. By way of demonstrating the methodological approach I’m advancing in this essay, I turn to a set of discourses born from my own fieldwork, completed on the northern border of Jordan in 2014, amidst the Syrian refugee crisis. In analyzing discourse from two refugee families living in the Mafraq Governorate of Jordan after escaping the violence of the Syrian conflict, I offer the concept of the “nomad citizen” as one way to expand understandings of citizenship in rhetorical studies to be more responsive to crises of transnational migration born out of colonialism.

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