“Yall Call it Technical and Professional Communications, We Call it #ForTheCulture: The Use of Amplification Rhetorics in Black Communities and their Implications for Technical and Professional Communication Studies”
Amplification Rhetorics are discursive and communicative practices, both written/textual and embodied/performative, typically performed/used by individuals that self-identify as Black and center the lived experiences and epistemologies of Black people and other historically marginalized groups. AR are characterized by three tenets: (a) the reclamation of agency (ownership of embodied rhetorical practices), (b) the accentuation and acknowledgement of narratives (validated lived experiences), and (c) the inclusion of marginalized epistemologies (that add to new ways of learning). My dissertation project follows the call for a more inclusive and diverse TPC field. Women scholars such as Natasha Jones (2016), Erin Frost (2016), Rebecca Walton (2013), and others, have published and moved forward within the field to become more inclusive in term of scholarship, diversity of practitioners, and epistemologies. One way I suggest we do this, is that we take the time to look to historically marginalized communities to understand how they are enacting TPC practices. More specifically in this project, at TrapKaraoke and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. And in doing so, we should in fact amplify these practices, and instead of dismissing them as specialty areas, understand they too are a part of the field of TPC. I have developed a theoretical framework, Amplification Rhetorics, in which I identify the rhetorical practices, both written and performative in Black communities to highlight the TPC knowledge that is already present and that we as a field can learn from.