CFP on Rhetoric

by Dr Davis on August 18, 2016

Reading and Writing in the Twenty-First-Century Literary Studies Classroom: Theory and Practice

deadline for submissions:
February 3, 2017
full name / name of organization:
University of Queensland
contact email:
[email protected]
Reading and Writing in the Twenty-First-Century Literary Studies Classroom: Theory and Practice

The University of Queensland

Brisbane, Australia

6-8 July 2017

Deadline for submissions: 3 February 2017

Contact for general queries: Judith Seaboyer [email protected]

Confirmed speakers:

Dr David Aldridge, Oxford Brookes University

Dr Tully Barnett, Flinders University

Professor Helen Sword, University of Auckland

Please send 250-word proposals for papers, panels, or workshops by 3 February 2017 to [email protected] with the subject line Reading and Writing cfp.

This broad-ranging conference will assume good reading and its concomitant good writing to be essential both to the mastery of disciplinary content and to the transformative potential of an education in literary studies. To that end we seek papers that consider reading and writing from a range of perspectives, practical and theoretical. What are the challenges, difficulties, and pleasures for students and teachers? What strategies and techniques encourage timely compliance with course reading requirements and foster critically engaged, well-argued responses? What critical theories model critique in the twenty-first-century classroom, and what might be, as Rita Felski has recently asked, the limits of that critique? Reading that is active and thus potentially critical, ethical, creative, hospitable, transformative—and pleasurable—may be intrinsic to disciplinary knowledge, but how do we help students acquire the skills needed to de-code complex texts and respond to them?

And what effects are twenty-first-century technologies/modes of knowledge production and dissemination having on how as well as what students do and don’t read? What are the intersections and tensions between digital and traditional ways of reading and writing? Does constant hyperlinking, as Naomi Baron, Nicholas Carr and others have suggested, undermine the brain’s capacity to focus in order to process long-form text? How might we foster what neuroscientist and literacy researcher Maryanne Wolf has termed bi-literacy, the capacity to shift between, and indeed to distinguish between, two kinds of activities: the efficient reading-for-information that involves scanning, clicking, linking and the “slow and meditative possession of a book” literary scholar and essayist Sven Birkerts has termed “deep reading”? What platforms do your students use for reading and writing? In what ways is technology changing student drafting, reviewing, and response to feedback?

Finally, what texts and what kinds of texts and what theories of reading and writing are core in an increasingly marketised university in which non-vocational degrees are increasingly marginalised? And how might an education that fosters an imaginative, thoughtful, hospitable, adaptable citizenry, give students an edge in a job market in crisis?

Some starting points:

How do we empower our students to write “with passion, with skill, with courage, and with style”? (Helen Sword, Stylish Academic Writing)
How do we test the invisible activity that is reading?
What kinds of assessment best develop reading and/or writing skills? Tests or writing or a blend of both?
What texts and what genres do we choose to teach, and why?
Do we encourage our students to be surface or symptomatic readers? Is what Paul Ricoeur termed a “hermeneutics of suspicion” “a mandatory injunction [or] a possibility among other possibilities”? (Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick).
How much are we influenced by outside forces? How are programs shaped by shrinking budgets combined with the massification of tertiary education? And what influence do debates such as the one over trigger warnings have on how and what we teach, and on student learning?
Can literature, or literary criticism, effect change? What work can texts perform? For example, can literature, as Martha Nussbaum insists, “[cultivate] powers of imagination that are essential to citizenship”? Or is this a consolatory fiction, as Suzanne Keen suggests?
How do we evaluate reading? What assumptions about taste cultures, cultural competences, and the ethics of engagement with texts are embedded in the ways we model, teach, and assess student reading?
What are the affordances of technologies? How are they changing the way students read and write? How do we help students to makes sense of and benefit most from a range of platforms for both activities?
As workloads and the ratio of students to instructors increase, can technology encourage better student reading and writing?
How might we foster bi-literacy?
What might be the repercussions, pedagogical and financial, of online education, including MOOCs, for reading and writing in literary studies?
Do long-form reading and/or writing remain important skills?
What are the effects of shifts from solitary to online social reading?
What cognitive differences occur when reading and writing take place on digital rather than traditional platforms?
Is there a link between complex critical reading skills and better writing?
Full-time enrolment by part-time students: How might we inspire students to immerse themselves in reading and writing about their discipline in the face of day-to-day time constraints, genuine and perceived, and the awareness that it’s possible to scrape a passing grade while having read very little?
Can good reading and writing skills give our students an edge on the job market? And how do we, and our students, sell those critical skills?

From UPenn


CFP: Rhetoric

by Dr Davis on July 21, 2016

From UPenn

CFP: The Profession

deadline for submissions:
July 6, 2019
full name / name of organization:
contact email:
[email protected]

CFP: The Profession

Intermezzo, a digital longform publication – – seeks submissions that deal with rhetoric and rhetoric and composition as a profession.

Profession, the MLA’s dedicated publication to issues regarding professionalization in Modern Languages and Literatures, has long served the field regarding discussion of professional issues. While Profession has published work on rhetoric and rhetoric and composition, the focus of the journal is not dedicated to these areas. And while rhetoric and rhetoric and composition journals publish articles on professional matters, no publication is dedicated to the profession in a focused manner. Rhetoric and rhetoric and composition journals do not have the space to devote to only professional discussions. Intermezzo is interested in providing a dedicated space for such discussions. Submissions can be co-authored or co-edited but should include multiple voices. While there is no obligation to produce more than one collection, we hope this will become an annual series.

Intermezzo seeks 20-40,000 word volumes that explore professional issues relevant to rhetoric and rhetoric and composition: hiring, tenure, writing as a writing professional, bureaucracy, budgetary issues, general education pressures, marginalization, becoming a department or independent program, developing majors and minors, being department or program heads, policy debates, rhetoric and rhetoric and composition’s place in the Humanities curriculum, and other related topics. Submissions can include video, image visualizations, graphics, or other non-print forms of expression.

We are particularly interested in essays from a variety of professional backgrounds: professors, administrators, lecturers, and adjuncts. We are also interested in essays which take advantage of organizational strategies print publications might not publish.

All essays published with Intermezzo undergo peer review. Intermezzo is committed to providing an outlet for essays too long for journal publication, but too short for monograph publication. Essays are published as open source, are registered with the Library of Congress, and receive ISBN numbers. They may include multimedia as well.

Intermezzo is meant to be a venue where writers can produce scholarly work in unique ways, outside of institutional or disciplinary expectation, and it takes advantage of digital media as a platform for both content and distribution of timely topics.

Intermezzo accepts longform essays on a rolling submission basis, with no deadlines.

Please submit submissions, abstracts, or queries to

Jeff Rice
Series Editor
[email protected]


Knowledge and Wisdom

by Dr Davis on April 21, 2016

Donald Vance, indep. Scholar
“When Knowledge and Wisdom Collide”

if you missed the session this morning with Dominic and Sarah and Joe… had to rework my paper as a result…

3 fundamental rules of robotics
1-cannot injure humans
2-must obey humans
3-must protect self

One man’s magic is another man’s engineering. Asimov
Supernatural is a null word. Heinlein
We are born into time only to live out of it… Dean Koontz, Saint Odd, 2015

Sf about tech
But tech brings its own problems.
Extension of our personal connections, people more isolated, not more connected.
Hawking and Musk alarm on …

Where is wisdom? Applied knowledge.
Tech = applied knowledge
Is there an equivalent advance of wisdom?

Where is wisdom? Applied knowledge.
Tech = applied knowledge
Is there an equivalent advance of wisdom?

Slavery gone.
Racism being eliminated.
Status of women improved.
Can’t agree that killing babies is wrong. Medical journal says babies = fetus. Let parents kill deformed babies.

Semitic language specialist. Specialty is Wisdom lit.

Asimov and Heinlein failed.
Knowledge has its dangers, but retreat?

Hard science is listening today.

Job argues with his 3 friends. He demands to argue with God. “what you know, I know” … “I cannot wait to argue with El” … “all of you are quacks”

SF fails to understand the spirituality of our culture.
Johns Hopkins has had spiritual experience. Everyone has had. (Vance says)
Either hold in abeyance or incorporate it into belief.

In sf wise = advanced engineering
Sf lacks understanding of wisdom.
Mechanical reading of Proverbs would imply that wisdom is the goal.
Ignorant and untrained start off Proverbs. Will become old, if you live. To overcome lack of training, must make intentional training. By choices either end up a wise person or a fool. Proverbs goal = to make you a wise person

Wisdom lit of ancient near east = to make you wise

But Proverbs undermines that idea.
New element…

Song of Songs… book where wisdom, knowledge, and understanding never said. But in wisdom literature? Why?

Sf knows about God, but doesn’t know God.
Interesting to read sf where people know God.

Notes from ORU 2015


Progressive Theology: Highest Frontier

by Dr Davis on April 15, 2016

Andrew Lang, ORU
A Door into Progressive Theology: Creative and Destructive Expressions of Faith in Joan Slonczewski’s The Highest Frontier

Slonczewski =
Evolutionary biologist, Quaker, feminist, hard science fiction author

2-time Campbell Award Winner
A Door Into Ocean 1987
Advanced race on water world. Moon around alien planet. Genetically engineered planet and themselves, so all female.
The Highest Frontier 2012
I reviewed and she prompted me with questions.

What it’s really about?
On her blog:
“argues the cold equations:
No energy source on Earth, even wind or solar, will save our planet. In the long run, no power source is sustainable…
Democracy as we know it is finished… We’ll be tossing a coin—perhaps the only thing left a coin is good for. … we send our children to die. … planet that’s dying is their future. …“The Cold Equations,” with a twist—spaceship Earth is in the hands of [a] girl.”

She challenged us to reverse the roles… a female pilot and a male stowaway.

Not much talk about religion aspects.
That is the question she asked me to look at when she asked me to review it.
The religion is very stereotypic.
Centrist: politically conservative, literalists… First Firmament Church
p. 16 “Your last day on Earth, before heading up to college at the firmament.” Firmament, the Centrist word for hollow…”
“A Church with its spire pointed down… Leviticus 18:23” p. 52 (which means not to have sex with a beast. “It is confusion.”)

“science deniers are appropriating more—they are starting to deny physics as well as biology.”

A door into author’s faith?
Sees herself for force for religious good.

Jenny talks to Father Clare. How can you stand to be a Christian? I can’t not be a Christian. (author fits in with scientists, until they realize she is a Christian)
But look at all people do in the name of Christ….Leading our planet to death.
“that’s what most preaching is… WE preserve the word of God by scribbling prayers over something infinitely more valuable. It’s up to you to find the original. P. 205-206

Notes from ORU 2015


Dustbowl Redux: Ecotheological Reading

by Dr Davis on April 13, 2016

Jeffrey Lamp, ORU
The Dustbowl Redux: An Ecotheological Reading of “Interstellar”

2014 film Interstellar
epic adventure, focuses on mission to save humanity from ecological disaster by traveling through a wormhole to find a new world for humanity
plausibility of film, father-daughter, and other discussions

ecological crisis
compare movie to Bible descriptions of Israel’s land abuse

what the movie portrays is a lesson not learned
read ecotheologically, it’s a prophetic call
what constitutes home for human beings?
What does it mean to dwell in a different place? Relationship of humanity to Earth.

What might be seen in film for biblical/theological?

Events leading to the exile is a complex story that spans several centuries.
Usual explanations of Babylonian exile, most common, is failing to heed and fighting the Babylonians.

Read ecotheologically… prophetic parabolic warning

Early in the film, Cooper and Donald, Cooper “human beings aren’t supposed to be caretakers, but explorers”
Taken to a space station when he returns. As he sits on the porch of the replica, he says this isn’t how humans were meant to live.

Notes from PCA 2016


Motion in Poetry

by Dr Davis on April 11, 2016

Notes from poetry session of TCEA 2016

Yon Hui Bell, San Antonio College
“Cross Pollination” and Other Poems

did specifically write for this conference
the many faces/experiences of migration = theme
dominant issue in global and American politics

epigraphs introduce…
Where are you from? Question so frequent…

Hallie Raymond, Tarleton State U
“A Modern-Day Storybook Knight”

collection of poetry/prose/poetic prose
transition from childhood thinking about ideals and living them out

Belema Ibama, Texas Southern U
“Rooted” and Other Poems

orig from Nigeria, West Africa
visa office to now

He wore a hat when he came to America.
Sick smile from behind the glass window

Houston—the sweet that is not good for the teeth

What inspired you to write poems?
Belema Ibama: My journey, so write. Unique, but universal. Go back into the mind of myself as the child. Finally understanding and write it down before I forget.

Question: Write often on this subject?
BI: Yes.
Tend to write about foreigners’ experience in the US.
Experience of immigrant and foreigner.

Yon Hui Bell: When wrote specifically for conference, very interested in this issue because it has to do with identity. Raised by white, Republican, Trump supporters… The idea is that we are all migrants. As an adopted child, I feel like an immigrant.
Some way to understand we all are immigrants. Who is other? Shouldn’t exist.

Question: Taking on personas that were not you?
YHB: myself, lived in El Salvador… don’t speak Korean, Japanese, Chinese…
Hard for people to understand.
He experiences anti-immigration. Second part in second stanza. Not a brown invasion but a white invasion. All migrants. Interesting for him to have family gatherings with my family.
Stereotypes and divisions and prejudices.

Question: White woman born in US… doesn’t apply to me?
Always felt like new people.
First poem for this conference.
Others transitions and people coming and going from your life.

Hallie: writing happens at periods of transition, when I have something to say that needs to be said…

Question: Identity and googling…
Our identity immigrating to online. What might that bring up as well?
Before the internet, we had identity from family, social groups, community.
How has that played a part in your identity?

YHB: okay relationship with tech
Benefits to it
Social media and social justice on the internet, being able to capture and transmit instances of injustice so that everyone knows about
Went viral
Forgotten and moved on
Not quite sure… global identity sense but can oversaturate you till you have no identity.
Flickering in the spaces. Nothing substantial.
People’s connection to earth.

Question: title is rooted, but poem not rooted, unrooted

BI: When I came back to Texas, ages 9-16 in Texas, then finished high school and degree in Nigeria. Houston is hotter than Nigeria.
Aspects… so many things about Houston that remind me of Nigeria. That hot feeling.

Identity—fortunate to know because I am full African.
I know my identity. The original part of them.
It’s a good thing.

Find their origins. Helpful. Gives closure.

Particular audience you were considering? What audience were you thinking?
Hallie: Didn’t enter my head. Didn’t know where I could ever share any of this.
Just thoughts that come into my head and I have to give voice to them somehow.
Don’t know who needs to hear them.


Listening = Feminist Rhetoric

by Dr Davis on April 10, 2016

Kassia Waggoneer, TCU
“Reclaiming Listening as a Feminist Rhetoric in the Composition Classroom”

why interested
what is it
how incorporate?

Bell hooks Talking Back “No longer is it merely the absence of speaking voices but the absence of hearing ears.”
It’s not always silence. Sometimes it is about not listening.

Gendered listening
Example from television shows, cartoonists, movies…
Men are either unwilling or incapable to listen.

Social linguist Deborah Tannen says they see talking as competition.
Gender and Discourse Men “conversations are negotiations in which people try to achieve and maintain the upper hand if they can” (25)
Women “conversations are negotiations for closeness…” (25)

Tannen—Men who are good listeners fall outside norm.

GuyLand author says men who listen are marginalized and listening is seen as feminizing.

Having empathy and patience plays a significant role in conversation.

According to Tannen, idealized way to listen is silence. Silence =/= not listening.
Non-verbal cues can show listening is participatory.

Patience with speaker allows her to finish her thought.

According to Tannen, interruptions = hostile act, intellectual bullying
BUT I think the manner of interrupting makes a difference. If interrupting for clarity or development, this encourages the speaker.

Dialogic Retention



Reflection Papers

Notes from CCTE 2016 Rhetoric 4


FYC and 2YC

by Dr Davis on April 8, 2016

Jessica Menkin Kontelis, TCU
“Creativity in the Margins: Deconstructing Assembly Line Approaches to FYC and 2ndYC”

What can Discussions about Inspiration in Creative Writing Texts Teach Us About Invention?—changed name

20 creative writing textbooks “Faculty and Life” from Barnes & Noble…
state of Texas

presence of theoretical work from what is typically aligned with psychology
creativity studies

Wanted to know more of what that meant
What is creativity or inspiration?

Sudden pop of epiphany doesn’t happen reliably and usually happens when people have spent years in a discipline.

Inspiration = inspirare to breathe into, breathing purpose into a thing (composition)

2 prerequisites:
1. internalized knowledge of the systems to which we wish to contribute
2. interests and desires unique to our experientially formed perspectives

focus on second component
desires of writer that are unique
process of invention that is …

importance of triggering the interest of the writer in the topic
Many beginning writers don’t know what they are interested in.
Creative writing texts offer opportunity for triggering student interest.

Students look for topics their audiences will be interested in. But if you have an interest, you can arouse interest in the audience.
Now audience won’t sustain interest always, not forever. We’ll get sick of hearing about it. BUT if you are interested, you will know what is most interesting about the topic because you’ll see new and fascinating which you (as a fan) didn’t know. Most likely the audience won’t know those things either.

The writer is not the driver of invention but the point of articulation.
Hmm. What would that mean? Various forces in the environment combine in ways to engage others.

Considering author interest turns attention to specific rhetorical situations.

Notes from CCTE 2016: Rhetoric 4


Beyond Rhetorical Arts

by Dr Davis on April 7, 2016

Moving Beyond the Rhetorical Arts: Refiguring Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

Christopher Foreé, TCU
“Reading in the Public Sphere: Reimaging the Content and Context of Comp Classrooms”

Habermas described public sphere as public space where private discuss in public…

Rhetorical public spheres as described by Gerard Houser…
Active members forming around issues.
Rhetorical public spheres digital and physical spaces. Students participating in and reading these spheres.

What and how students read has resurgence?
Pedagogy January 2016 looks at reading and transfer

Corillo (in Pedagogy)
Mindful reading.
Students create mindful reading—thinking about how they are reading.
Create mindful readers, rather than mindful reading.
Examine ideas.
Teach HOW to read in order to make reading visible.

Invisibleness of reading in classroom.
Reading as a tool to differentiate between composition and literature

Nancy Atwell
Simplest and most powerful innovation = giving choice and option

Assigning readings…
Reading difficult texts = cohesion
Coherence = connect the reading networks of information outside the text

Reading and Writing for Student Literacy
Critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed to fend off and be able to understand inundation of public sphere rhetoric

Reading as a way of making meaning.

My experience is that students can come up with arguments in the news. Real world examples.
They avoid superficial. Discuss HOW they are being used and how they are effective.

Expand the aims “Expanding the Aims of Pedagogic… Writing Letters to the Editor”
… situational binary of privileging “real world” over classroom space

public shares civic literacy
nuanced form of civic participation

shift reading to the public sphere
don’t look at academic writing only
Look at other kinds of writing.
Read the public sphere.

What could I have the students do to encourage looking at public reading without allowing them to use those as sources?

Restore idea of public intellectual.
What do students read and how do they read it?

Notes from CCTE 2016: Rhetoric 4


Long-term Subbing in FYC

by Dr Davis on April 5, 2016

Sara Hillin, Lamar U
“Seeking Rapport: Emotion and Work of Long-Term Substituting in FYC”

for student discourse, require sincere and appropriate academic level

safe space for students: risk-taking, playing with language

What about when an instructor has to pick up classes?
Happens more often than expected.

Labor and learning issues…
Ft prof teaching 5 = 5 instructors
Consequences of not transitioning…

FYC students being asked to write in genres don’t understand (Melanie Kill)

Invite emotion –Laura Micciche’s work
Real-world human perspective who subbed during last 2 years

Ramifications of word “substitute” or “subbing”
Students will use that word.
That’s terrible. Think of what subs are viewed as.

Some of the subs had taken over more than FYC. Wider range of responses.

Subs—less surprised by self-examination

1. what subbed? FYC, lit, etc
2. when took over?
One exam with essay response, had to handle grade complaints, but hadn’t graded the paper.
3. first substitute?
One “by far not the first substitute”… fourth… further complicated by students attending a library workshop, which added another instructor (by student perspective)

Almost everyone transitioned to their own syllabus.

Why should this issue be on interest?

Can’t compare sub course with day-1 classes.
Writing is risky.

Emotion as a mitigating factor.
How well we acknowledge our own and students’ emotions makes a difference.

Pathos as a rhetorical technique is essential.

Lots of references to Bonding with student/not having developed bond
Second sub to take over “poor stepchildren”
Orphans being shuffled around.
Not a reflection of them by any means.
Humor useful. Jr level Creative Writing… pop instructor left… “Well, I’m not so-and-so and I never will be; you are stuck with me.”
Break the tension with humor.
Humor can be an aid to learning: book on pedagogical benefits

Essentially, arguing that emotion can be used actively as a category in investigating FYC situations.
“emotion determines how we orient ourselves to the world”

Take emotion seriously. What can we do to make sub situations better?

Notes from CCTE 2016: Rhetoric 4