Disidentification and Documentation: LGBTQ Records as Emergent, Entangled Rhetoric

A screenshot of my article in Rhetoric Review.

Rick Wysocki

In 2020, my article “Disidentification and Documentation: LGBTQ Records as Emergent, Entangled Rhetoric” was published by Rhetoric Review, a leading academic peer-reviewed journal in the field of rhetoric studies. This article, which drew on my dissertation research, demonstrates my interest in documentation practices and their effects on activism. In this piece, I use theories of rhetoric and communication as well as media studies scholarship, exploring the creation of an LGTBTQ archive.

Like much of academic scholarship, the article sits behind a paywall. Nonetheless, I’ve included a link to the piece. Additionally, you can read the abstract below.

Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07350198.2020.1727101


This article engages archival and oral history research to explore the documentation practices of Gays and Lesbians United for Equality (GLUE), a lesbian and gay organization active in Louisville during the 1980s and 1990s, and their effects on the production of an LGBTQ archive by local activist David Williams. I demonstrate one way of considering the rhetoricity of archives by attending to the situated rhetorical production of materials that comprise them, exploring the relationships between GLUE’s motivated production of organizational documents and the material made available to Williams’s archive. Organizationally, GLUE could not directly engage in explicitly political activity, leading to rhetorical decisions about what to include in organizational documents. These rhetorical performances, as circulated in GLUE’s documents, reflect complicated rhetorical strategies of what Jose Estéban Muñoz calls disidentification with politics.