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Rhetorical Fieldwork

Research team of graduate students at the Step It Up Rally in Salt Lake City. 

rhet fieldwork image.jpg

Although I have engaged in the intersections of rhetorical criticism and ethnographic participant observation since graduate school, I began work on a dedicated line of theoretical and methodological research devoted to a meta-level understanding of the “participatory turn” in rhetorical scholarship. By participatory turn, I am referring to the increasing trend in rhetorical criticism to combine rhetorical and qualitative forms of inquiry as a way to access and analyze unconventional, embodied, and emplaced rhetorical texts. This line of inquiry is a collaboration with Professor Samantha Senda-Cook (Creighton University), Professor Michael Middleton (University of Utah), and Professor Aaron Hess (Arizona State University). In “Articulating Rhetorical Field Methods” (Western Journal of Communication), which won the 2012 B. Aubrey Fisher Award from the Western States Communication Association, Middleton, Senda-Cook, and I first laid out an argument for “rhetorical field methods” as an invitation for a more programmatic discussion of how rhetorical critics employ qualitative methods. This essay advanced rhetorical field methods as an approach to research drawing from lineages in critical rhetoric, ethnography, and performance. Since publishing “Articulating Rhetorical Field Methods,” we expanded our collaboration to include Professor Aaron Hess and co-wrote Participatory Critical Rhetoric: Theoretical and Methodological Foundations for Studying Rhetoric In Situ (Lexington Press, 2015). Building from rhetorical field methods and Professor Hess’ work on critical rhetorical ethnography, this book offers Participatory Critical Rhetoric as an approach to rhetorical inquiry that expands the project of critical rhetoric, furthers understanding of emplaced and embodied vernacular rhetoric, and contributes to ongoing theoretical and methodological conversations in rhetorical studies more broadly, such as the role of text/context, material rhetoric, emplaced rhetoric, and the role of the critic. This book won the National Communication Association Critical & Cultural Studies Division’s Outstanding Book of the Year Award in 2016. After completing the book, I served as the lead editor for a special issue on Rhetorical Fieldwork  Cultural Studies⬄Critical Methodologies. This special issue moves beyond the common discussion of what ethnography, performance, and qualitative inquiry can bring to rhetoric, and instead promotes rhetorical fieldwork as a contribution to the broader community of qualitative inquiry scholars. Most recently, we have edited an anthology of key readings in Rhetorical Fieldwork

Click the title for a pdf of the work. 

Selected Publications


Danielle Endres, Aaron Hess, Samantha Senda-Cook, & Michael Middleton, Eds., “In Situ Rhetoric: Intersections between Qualitative Inquiry, Fieldwork, and Rhetoric,” [special issue] Cultural Studies ⬄ Critical Methodologies 16, no. 6 (2016): 511-580.

Danielle Endres, Brian Cozen, Megan O’Byrne, Andrea Feldpausch-Parker & Tarla Rai Peterson, “Putting the U in Carbon Capture and Storage: Rhetorical Boundary Negotiation within the CCS/CCUS Scientific Community,” Journal of Applied Communication Research, 44, no. 4 (2016): 362-380.


Michael Middleton, Samantha Senda-Cook, Aaron Hess, & Danielle Endres, “Contemplating the Participatory Turn in Rhetorical Criticism,” Cultural Studies ⬄ Critical Methodologies, 16, no. 6 (2016): 571-580.

Samantha Senda-Cook, Michael K. Middleton, & Danielle Endres, “Interrogating the Field,” in Text + Field: Innovations in Rhetorical Method, eds., Sara L. McKinnon, Robert Asen, Karma R. Chavez, &, Robert Glenn Howard, University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2016, 22-39. (Invited)

Michael Middleton, Aaron Hess, Danielle Endres, & Samantha Senda-Cook [equal authorship], Participatory Critical Rhetoric: Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of Studying Rhetoric In Situ. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2015.

George F. McHendry, Jr., Michael K. Middleton, Danielle Endres, Samantha Senda-Cook, & Megan O’Byrne “Rhetorical Critic(ism)’s Body: Affect & Fieldwork on a Plane of Immanence” Southern Communication Journal 79, no. 4 (2014): 293-310.

Danielle Endres, “Environmental Oral History” [praxis article] Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture 5, no. 4 (2011): 485-498.

Danielle Endres & Samantha Senda-Cook, “Location Matters: The Rhetoric of Place in Protest,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 97, no. 3 (2011): 257-282.

Michael K. Middleton, Samantha Senda-Cook, & Danielle Endres, “Articulating Rhetorical Field Methods,” Western Journal of Communication 75, no. 4 (2011): 386-406.

Danielle Endres, Leah Sprain, and Tarla Rai Peterson, eds., Social Movement for Climate Change: Local Action for Global Change. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2009.

Project Director, Nuclear Technology in the American West Oral History Project, in collaboration with the University of Utah American West Center and the J. Willard Marriott Library, webpage:

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