This micro historical case study introduces US progressive-era feminist swimming pedagogy as a “bodily art.” It showcases the interplay between culture, rhetoric, feminism and pedagogy during a boom time in the city of Detroit when female athletes competed in the city’s open waters and discourse about women’s swimming was circulating nationally. It suggests that historical cultural constructs can be models for future culture building.

Author Biography

Liz Rohan is a Professor of Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. With Gesa Kirsch she is the editor of Beyond the Archives: Research as Lived Process (Southern Illinois Press, 2008). Her research that reflects her ongoing interests in pedagogy, feminist research methods and America's progressive era have appeared in journals such as Rhetoric Review, Composition Studies, Pedagogy, JAEPL, Reflections, Composition Forum, Peitho and also in several book chapters.