Campus Units

Agronomy, Education, School of, Research Institute for Studies in Education, Political Science, Statistics

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Field Rhetoric: Ethnography, Ecology, and Engagement in the Places of Persuasion

First Page


Last Page



Early in this century, scholars across the humanities, social sciences, and biophysical sciences sought ways to bring citizens and scientists together to make better science, technology, and environmental policy. Critics such as Harry Collins and Robert Evans articulate a theory of experience-based expertise to better manage citizen participation in science and technology policy. Latour calls for a materialist project that moves away from critique and brings people and things together to compose a better world in the face of impending ecocide. Herbert Simons calls for a “reconstructive rhetoric” that moves beyond critique toward a rhetorical practice of judgment and collective action.1 Meanwhile, in science studies, planning, medicine, and sustainable development, participatory risk assessment and technology development that brings diverse people together to develop policy are well-established practices.2


This chapter is published as Herndl, Carl G., Sarah Beth Hopton, Lauren Cutlip, Rick Cruse, Elena Yu Polush, and Mack C. Shelley, “What’s a Farm? The Languages of Space and Place.” In Candice Rai and Caroline Gottschalk Druschke (eds.) Field Rhetoric: Ethnography, Ecology, and Engagement in the Places of Persuasion. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press (2018): 61-94. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

University of Alabama Press



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