Thursday, July 31, 2008

CFP: "Rhetoric and the Study of Public Memory," NCA Pre-Conference Seminar, San Diego, November 20, 2008.

Conveners: Kendall R. Phillips (Syracuse University) and G. Mitchell Reyes (Lewis & Clark College). Rationale: The study of public memory has achieved remarkable prominence in the humanities over the past few decades. Not surprisingly, rhetoricians have been heavily involved in this trend and our journals are filled with articles engaging the rhetoric involved in public acts of remembrance. The preconference is designed to provide a space for rhetoricians engaged in questions of public memory to consider the broader relationships between rhetoric and public memory and to consider the role of rhetorical studies in the larger growth of public memory studies. With this goal in mind, the preconference format will integrate three sets of concerns: 1) the theoretical relationship between rhetoric and public memory; 2) the contribution rhetorical criticisms can make to the study of public memory; and 3) the ways that rhetorical studies can be positioned within the broader community of public memory studies. In order to facilitate this conversation, scholars interested in public memory should submit a short position paper (no more than 2 pages single spaced) addressing one of these broad issues: 1) Theoretical Relationships: The rhetorical tradition is replete with references to memory and collective remembrance and contemporary theories of rhetoric continue to develop that connection. Scholars interested in the intersections between theories of rhetoric from classical to contemporary and public memory should submit papers that expand, explore, question, or challenge contemporary thought. 2) Critical Interventions: Case studies constitute much of the work on the rhetoric of public memory. Scholars interested in analyzing the rhetorical dimensions of public memory within a specific context should submit papers offering short but instructive readings that explore the rhetoric of remembrance or the ways that critical case studies expand our understanding of public memory. 3) Disciplinary Issues: In spite of the important work on public memory within rhetorical studies, many of the most prominent public memory scholars are operating within other disciplinary frameworks. Papers under this section should address the relationship between rhetorical approaches and other disciplinary approaches and consider the avenues that rhetoricians might pursue in making rhetoric a more prominent part of the interdisciplinary conversation on public memory. Please send your two page position papers to G. Mitchell Reyes at by September 1, 2008. Please include the issue you are addressing, your current position, and your contact information in your submission.

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