M. Amanda Moulder

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in English, Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, University of Texas at Austin, August 2010Graduate Portfolio in Indigenous Studies, University of Texas at Austin, August 2010M.A. in English, Concentration in American literature, University of Texas at Austin, May 2005B.A. in English and American studies, Goucher College, Baltimore, MD, May 2000

My research is at the intersection of nonwestern rhetorical history, cross-cultural communication, and writing pedagogy.  Specifically, I look at the ways in which past composition and rhetoric pedagogies, especially those employed in nonwestern communities, have affected and can inform contemporary classroom practices. My historical scholarship looks at traditionally excluded rhetorical and literacy traditions on their own cultural and political terms, and examines the types of rhetoric and literacy that result when distinct cultural traditions interact on uneven ground (where one group has greater political power than the other). My current book project-in-progress, “They ought to mind what a woman says”: Early Cherokee Women’s Rhetorical Traditions and Rhetorical Education, builds on recent scholarship in nonwestern rhetorics and uses the tools of literacy studies to recover Cherokee women’s voices and theorize how they contribute to a Cherokee rhetorical tradition.

My scholarship demonstrates that eighteenth-century Cherokee rhetorical education gave rise to the speaking strategies—references to motherhood and matrilineal clan adoption, allusions to Cherokee land rights, and collaborative public speech-making—that Cherokee women used to deter colonizers’ attempts to limit women’s authority. For example, when the 1787 Cherokee leader Katteuha reminded Benjamin Franklin that “woman Does not pull Children out of Trees or Stumps nor out of old Logs, but out of our Bodies, so that [he] ought to mind what a woman says” (Hazard 182), she was boldly confronting well-mannered, colonialist misogyny with references to the necessity of childbirth. She authorized her letter this way because she came from a rhetorical tradition that had space and respect for women’s political participation and collective movements. Therefore, when she confronted someone who minimized her power, she spoke with confidence and rooted her words in the traditions that gave her authority. I encourage my students to write with this kind of authority. Like the Cherokee women I study, students are most successful when they marshal the resources of their cultural backgrounds to find persuasive strategies when they write and speak. Doing so enables them to communicate about issues that concern them to people who need to hear them.

Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts

“Cherokee Practice, Missionary Intentions: Literacy Learning Among Early Nineteenth-Century

Cherokee Women.” College Composition and Communication. Special issue on ethnic and indigenous rhetorics. (September 2011)

Book Chapters

“By Women, You Were Brought Forth into this World”: Cherokee Women’s Oratorical Education in the Late Eighteenth Century” Rhetoric, History, and Women's Oratorical Education: American Women Learn to Speak, Routledge (March 2013).


“Double-Weaving Double Voicednesss: Cherokee Women’s 1831 Opposition to a Double Removal.”

Book Reviews

“Review: The Salt Companion to Diane Glancy.” Studies in American Indian Literatures (Spring 2011)

“Review: American Indian Nonfiction: An Anthology of Writings, 1760s-1930s.” Studies in American Indian Literatures (Spring 2009)

“A Tribal Leader's Commitment to Self-Representation and Cultural Persistence: Joseph Nicolar’s The

Life and Traditions of the Red Man.”  H-AMINDIAN H-Net Book Review. (March 2008)

“Louise Erdrich’s Four Souls.” E3W Review of Books, Vol. 5 (Spring 2005)

Panelist (with David Gold, Jane Donawerth, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Lisa K. Suter, Suzanne Bordelon, Emily Cope, and Liz Wright), “Crossing Borders in Women’s Oratorical Education: Mapping Out Emerging Research Opportunities for Feminist Historiography.” Rhetoric Society of America (San Antonio, TX) May 2014.

Workshop Participant, “Shifting the Paradigm: Towards a Translingual Rhetoric of Writing.” Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute Workshop. University of Kansas at Lawrence (Lawrence, KS) June 2013

Presenter, “Are They Really Nontraditional Rhetors?: Cherokee Women and the Public Work of Treaty-Making.” Conference on  College Composition and Communication (Las Vegas, NV) March 2013

Panelist (with Sophie Bell), “What Does 'The Personal is Political' Mean in a Writing Classroom?: Searching for a Qualitative Methodology.” Qualitative Research Network Forum, Conference on College Composition and Communication (Las Vegas, NV) March 2013

Invited Presenter and Panelist, “Citizenship and Belonging: Envisioning the SSAWW Conference.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Plenary Panel, (Denver, CO) October 2012 

Presenter, “Double-Woven Identification Rhetorics: Cherokee Women’s 1831 Opposition to Double Removal.” Rhetoric Society of America 2012 (Philadelphia, PA) May 2012

Presenter, “’Let your women hear our words’: Listening for Cherokee Women’s Rhetoric through Interdisciplinary  Feminist Inquiry.” Feminisms and Rhetorics 2011 (Mankato, MN) October 2011

Workshop Participant, “The Local Public Sphere: Deliberation and Community.” Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute Workshop. University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, CO) June 2011

Presenter, “‘[T]hey ought to mind what a woman says’: Eighteenth-Century Cherokee Women’s Critical Literacies as a Challenge to the Exclusionary Public Sphere.” Conference on College Composition and Communication (Atlanta, GA) April 2011

Presenter, “’I hope you will be very much pleased to see my writing’: Literacy Learning and Indigenous Self- Determination Among Early Nineteenth-Century Cherokee Women.” Rhetoric Society of America (Minneapolis, MN) May 2010

Presenter, “Lock Up Your Daughters: Gender and Writing at the Brainerd Mission School.” Conference on College  Composition and Communication, (Louisville, KY) March 2010

Presenter, “Performing in Print: Early Cherokee Women’s Petitions and Identification.” Native American Literature Symposium (Albuquerque, NM) March 2010

Presenter, “Rhetorical Agency, Authenticity, and Cherokee Women’s Writing.” International Society for the History of Rhetoric (Montreal, QC) July 2009 

Presenter, “The Political Consequences of Narrative:  Rhetorical Agency in Cherokee Women’s Writing.” Conference on College Composition and Communication (San Francisco, CA) March 2009

Presenter, “Cherokee Women and the History of Rhetoric.” American Indian Studies Roundtable: The Local and the

Global.” Seventh Annual Sequels Symposium, Ethnic and Third World Literatures Interest Group (Austin, TX) April 2008

Presenter, “Measuring Assimilation: The Cherokee Phoenix, Cherokee Women, and the Indian Removal Debates.” Native American Literature Symposium, Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort (Mt. Pleasant, MI) Spring 2007