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Networking local-global advocacy: A rhetorical historiography of the international women's tribune centre (1972-1986)

Sarah Lynn Jones, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Recent technological developments and patterns of globalization frame the networking of people and ideas as central to contemporary theorizing. I argue that the transnational landscape can be fruitfully investigated by tracing rhetorics as they are translated across the globe over time prior to digitality. Toward that end, I attend to local-global rhetorics from 1972-1986 and the emergence of a transnational advocacy network, the International Women's Tribune Centre (IWTC). I begin with the 1972 United Nations declaration that 1975 would be International Women's Year (IWY). To understand a transnational network of rhetorics, I establish four emergent lines of argumentation, or topoi, spanning 1972-1975: the Challenge of Structure; the Centrality of the Nation-State; Nefarious Racism, Colonialism and Apartheid; and, Women and Peace. During this time, activists called for an open Tribune to run in tandem with the UN's invitation-only conference. Thus, the IWTC's first formal organizational ancestor was a conference planning committee. Rhetors translated these arguments during the International Women's Year conferences in Mexico City in 1975. Here, the organization shifted from conference planning committee to conference facilitator. After the IWY conferences, the conference facilitator became a transnational advocacy network. I analyze the IWTC's flagship publication The Tribune, a collaborative newsletter. In the years following the end of the first UN Decade for Women, rhetors continued to target issues related to the decade, so my analysis extends from 1975 to 1986. The Tribune provides insight into both organizational change and a transnational network of rhetorics. This research supports two primary claims. First, the transnational public sphere and its arguments were networked before the contemporary technological infrastructure of the internet. Second, transnational advocacy networks emerge through intersecting local-global rhetorics.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Communication|Organizational behavior

Recommended Citation

Jones, Sarah Lynn, "Networking local-global advocacy: A rhetorical historiography of the international women's tribune centre (1972-1986)" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3667006.