In recent decades, genre studies has focused attention on how genres mediate social activities within workplace and academic settings. Genre and the Performance of Publics moves beyond institutional settings to explore public contexts that are less hierarchical, broadening the theory of how genres contribute to the interconnected and dynamic performances of public life. Chapters examine how genres develop within publics and how genres tend to mediate performances in public domains, setting up a discussion between public sphere scholarship and rhetorical genre studies. The volume extends the understanding of genres as t only social ways of organizing texts or mediating relationships within institutions but as dynamic performances themselves. By exploring how genres shape the formation of publics, Genre and the Performance of Publicsbrings rhetoric/composition and public sphere studies into dialogue and enhances the understanding of public genre performances in ways that contribute to research on and teaching of public discourse.
Anis Bawarshi is professor and associate chair of the English Department at the University of Washington. He is the author or coauthor of several books and articles on rhetoric and composition studies, rhetorical genre studies and uptake, and writing knowledge transfer. Mary Jo Reiff is professor of English at the University of Kansas. She has authored or coauthored various books and articles on writing knowledge transfer, audience theory, public rhetoric, critical ethnography, and rhetorical genre studies.