Decolonizing Community Writing with Community Listening: Story, Transrhetorical Resistance, and Indigenous Cultural Literacy Activism

Rachel C. Jackson, Dorothy M. Whitehorse DeLaune


This article foregrounds stories told by Kiowa Elder Dorothy Whitehorse DeLaune in order to distinguish "community listening" from "rhetorical listening" and decolonize community writing. Dorothy's stories demonstrate "transrhetoricity" as rhetorical practices that move across time and space to activate relationships between peoples and places through collaborative meaning making. Story moves historic legacies into the present despite suppression enacted by settler colonialism, and story yields adaptive meanings and cultural renewal. When communities listen across difference, stories enact resistance by building a larger community of storytellers, defying divisive settler colonialist inscriptions, and reinscribing Indigenous peoples and their epistemologies across the landscapes they historically inhabit.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.