Call for Proposals
Theme: Matter and Mattering
Donnie Johnson Sackey, Wayne State University
Garrett Avila-Nichols, Bridgewater State University
November 2-3, 2018
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
In histories traditional and nontraditional, rhetoric has long been concerned with the process of mattering: how can words come to matter? What makes arguments, images, performances, or emotions have a force in the world? How can the claims of an affronted party be realized? How do identities, values, and dreams materialize? In the digital age, these questions do not dissolve but multiply: how do digital causes and communities shape the course of the world in new, networked ways? How do digital movements come into “concrete” being on the streets?
In recent years, resonating with many indigenous and nonwestern discourses, rhetorical and literacy studies have taken up the question of mattering more literally. Scholars draw on diverse sources and methods to explore how material realities unfold not only through human words and ideas, but also through affect, emotion, sensation, bodies, performance, animality, environments, land, things, and more. This intimate embrace of matter and mattering has surely deepened our understanding of rhetoric and rhetorical mechanisms of change. But what can those intimacies do? What, for instance, do they indicate about how rhetoric and literacy connect to justice and power; oppression and discrimination; ethics and care? How can close attention to material life reveal rhetorical options and participate in making better rhetorical futures? What insight can it offer on what matters?1
We invite proposals that call upon rhetorical and literacy studies to examine varied political, ethical, environmental, and creative approaches to what matters. Proposals may explore why it is important to pay attention to mattering in any of the arenas of rhetoric and literacy, such as:
Social and environmental justice movements and rhetorics
Rhetorics of “nationalism,” “heritage,” immigration, and race
Digital activism and social media justice campaigns
Rhetorics of identity, difference, and (non)belonging
Indigenous and nonwestern knowledges and rhetorics
Community and local literacies
Rhetorics of health and medicine
Writing practices, especially as they manifest in public arenas and extend from classroom to civic settings
We are particularly interested in work that moves across academic and civic boundaries, as well as research that draws on underrecognized sources, indigenous knowledges, and nonwestern perspectives. In addition to standard conference papers, we welcome creative and experimental formats.
• A cover page that includes the title, speaker/s, address/es, email/s, and phone number/s, along with a brief 25-50 word description of your presentation. Please note any A/V needs.
• A one-page abstract identifying the format of the presentation as:
(a) a 20-minute paper
(b) a 75-minute panel limited to 3 speakers, including time for discussion (c) a 75-minute roundtable (focused discussion/performance encouraging audience participation)
(d) an experimental or creative piece with description of format, duration, etc.
Proposals must be postmarked or sent via email by March 2, 2018 to email@example.com
Questions may be directed to Dr. Kellie Sharp-Hoskins via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our website: http://www.public.asu.edu/~petergo/wsrl/wsrl.html