Call for Proposals

Transforming Rhetoric: Discovery and Change

Keynote Speaker:
Maureen Daly Goggin, Arizona State University
"The Legacy of Richard Young:
Embodying and Theorizing Rhetoric as Discovery and Change"

October 22-23, 2010
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico


In the groundbreaking text Rhetoric: Discovery and Change, noted for its work in “recovering” rhetoric and its role in the academy and beyond, Young, Becker, and Pike urged us to be “discoverers of new truths as well as preservers and transmitters of the old.” Forty years after its publication, this text has continued to find readers and applications across the globe and across disciplines in a range of new venues.

The conference theme on transformation challenges us to explore rhetoric and literacy through discussions of discovery, preservation, communication, cooperation, community, and change. In what ways do the studies, theories, and practices of rhetoric and literacy help us to create new knowledge, bridge our diverse experiences, or draw from the “old” in sites expected and unexpected? What are we learning, and how do we and others apply what we learn? Given the call of Young, Becker, and Pike to connect literacy with social change, what transformations have we experienced, resisted, or championed in our field(s)? What impacts are we seeing as we move forward--and transform--through fields that are themselves transforming?

We invite paper and panel proposals that explore topics suggested by these questions.

The Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference was created to allow scholars to come together and exchange current research in rhetoric and literacy studies in an intimate and informal setting. In keeping with the spirit of a small gathering, the conference will be held in a professional but relaxed atmosphere. Its goal is to address theoretical and pedagogical issues through a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. Each year, the conference focuses on a particular theme. While we especially welcome proposals that address the theme for each particular year, we may also consider proposals that deal with other relevant topics and issues.

Of particular interest are presentations that encourage audience participation and discussion, and contribute closely to the conference theme and to questions concerning aspects of the following:

Border rhetorics
New literacies
Critical pedagogy
Activist rhetoric
New media
Service learning
Cross-cultural rhetorics
Community literacy
Rhetoric of race
Digital, visual, and material rhetorics
Rhetoric and agency
The academy and civic engagement
Politics of writing instruction

Please submit:

Please note that the Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference has a
NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS policy--only 1 submission per person.
Proposals must be postmarked by Friday, May 21, 2010. Please send to:

Patti Wojahn
New Mexico State University
Department of English
MSC 3E Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003

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