Published in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Volume 49, Issue 5, November 1, 2019, pages 470-494.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/02773945.2019.1668048.
Living in California seems to require interaction with the state’s twenty-one historic Spanish missions, either by visiting them as a tourist, driving by a mission in one’s neighborhood, or learning about them as a schoolchild. While the missions ostensibly celebrate California’s history, many promote an anachronistic and dishonest re-telling of history that elides the devastating impact of the missions on Native communities (both historically and today). The missions operate as largely uncontested tourist attractions that promote self-serving collective memories about California’s founding narrative. Rhetorical analysis, I argue, can lead to a more honest engagement with the “hard truths” of their pasts, thus enabling a decolonizing paradigm (Lonetree). Toward this end, this essay focuses on the missions’ role in shaping public memory in California by comparing the rhetorical choices made at two locations: Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and La Purisima Mission State Park.
English Language and Literature
© 2019 Taylor & Francis
Number of Pages
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Rhetoric Society Quarterly on November 12, 2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02773945.2019.1668048.
Available for download on Saturday, May 01, 2021