Writing Women’s Capacities in Cape Town’s Urban Gardens: Gendered Survival Practices and Transnational Feminist Literacies

  • Rachel C. Riedner
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


In the previous chapter, I talked about a contingent rhetorical effort to write uncertain fragments and textual silences to see what approach could provide meaning. In the context of a violent, moving archive of human-interest stories, I undertook a rhetorical and political effort to look for ghosts in compromised, melodramatic texts. In previous chapters, I have focused on bits of discourse that can point to an event, a person, a social figure, or a textual sign that suggests that something is happening that is excessively represented. I have used materialist, rhetorical analysis to point to bits and pieces of discourse that have flown under the radar as part of normal, everyday life as a means of disrupting neoliberal values. This rhetorical effort involves attending to “what is missing but overwhelmingly present” outside of the affective narratives that seek to orient our lives toward neoliberal values (Gordon 1997, 112). I have argued that such rhetorical efforts point to the work of value differentiation—when a person, a social figure, or a textual sign disappears from representation because it does not produce affective value that can be circulated to shore up consensus for neoliberalism. Those who are outside of affective value are abandoned to violence, decay, and death. In chapters two and three, I argued that analyzing fragments of discourse that exceed affective value can open up literacies of neoliberal value production.


Feminist Politics Literacy Practice African National Congress Urban Garden Survival Economy 
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Copyright information

© Rachel C. Riedner 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel C. Riedner
    • 1
  1. 1.George Washington UniversityUSA

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