From the category archives:


What’s in a Name?

by Dr Davis on October 8, 2014

Another article about academics and fans; this time by a self-identified fan, interrogating her place in fandom and articulating the elitist residue of “high culture” versus “pop culture” beliefs.

Pearson, Roberta. “Bachies, Bardies, Trekkies, and Sherlockians.” Fandom. Eds. Harrington, C., Jonathan Gray, and Cornel Sandvoss. NYU Press. 98-109. 13 January 2013. Web. 8 June 2014.

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0Which labels would people choose to apply to themselves and why? Do the words “fans”/”enthusiasts”/”devotees”/”aficionados”/”cognoscenti”/”connoisseurs” signal different degrees and kinds of engagements with the beloved object? (Pearson 99)

As John Frow argues, “There is no longer a stable hierarchy of value running from ‘low’ to ‘high’ culture, and ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture can no longer be neatly correlated with a hierarchy of social classes” (1995: 1). Frow’s cautionary quotation marks signal contemporary scholars’ uneasiness not only with correlating a hierarchy of value with social class but also with having to designate the steps of that hierarchy by distinct terms such as “high-”, “low-”, and “middle-brow.” (Pearson 99)

remainder of this article interrogates my own fandoms (Pearson 101)

Centrality to identity and social networks handily distinguish my fandoms from my enthusiasms. (Pearson 102)

if there truly is such a thing as a fannish disposition, then there should be many whose multiple fandoms range widely across fields of cultural production and up and down cultural hierarchies (Pearson 102)

Peterson and Kern provide empirical support for Gripsrud’s assertion, arguing that in the United States, there is an historical shift among the higher social categories from highbrow snob (one who does not participate in any lowbrow or middle- brow activity) to “omnivore” (capable of appreciating them all) (1996). (Pearson 103)

britain_william_shakespeare martinThe first and second generations of fan researchers insisted on attributing rationality to fans precisely to counter the popular image of the irrational fan so prevalent in the media (and still, it would seem, prevalent among Sherlockians). The third generation of researchers has insisted on the importance of fannish affect. (Pearson 107)

Expecting dissonances between Bachies and popular culture fandoms, I instead found harmony. Bachies are every bit as emotional as their popular culture counterparts and every bit as bloody minded about their own particular preferences… (Pearson 108)

RMCF (Rhetorical Memory Cosplay Fandom)


Academic as Fan?

by Dr Davis on October 7, 2014

This was a paper apparently written for a graduate class and dealing with the (recently resolving) issue of an academic as fan. As the CFP for my paper specifically requested academics who are members of the community of which they intend to write, I thought it might behoove me to find out what others were saying. A grad paper is a good place to get an introduction to competing ideas/scholarship, as the author needs to deal with the issues in order to write the paper and often it is an introduction to the topic.

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0Winter, Mick. “I am Not a Vampire Slayer—Reflections on the Academic/Fan Relationship.” For a grad class… Fall 2010. Web. 8 June 2014.

Karen Yost in Academia Explores the Final Frontier. She writes “One does not become a fan merely by watching a television show. As any true fan can tell you, fandom has become as much about the friends we make, the ties that we establish, than just about the shows we love.” (Winter 5)

9Worlds dread pirate roberts 2014-6178Tara Brabazon in From Revelation to Revolution. “For a fan, the joy and exhilaration is enough. For those writing on the coat tails of fashion, we need to understand why particular popular cultural forms survive through time and space.” (Winter 6)

Henry Jenkins has stated that an Aca-Fan is a “hybrid creature which is part fan and part academic.” His use of the hyphen, or as others have suggested a slash or arrow, implies a separation, as if Fan and Academic were separate. Even Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were one, or at least inhabited one body. True separation is impossible, so the term itself should be one, without separation: AcaFan. Jenkins has also written “One becomes a ‘fan’ not by being a regular viewer of a particular program but by translating that viewing into some kind of cultural activity, by sharing feelings and thoughts about the program content with friends, by joining a ‘community’ of other fans who share common interests.” (Winter 6)

girl tardis-2077Joli Jensen has suggested use of the word aficionado instead of fan and writes:
“Apparently, the real dividing line between aficionado and fan involves issues of status and class, as they inform vernacular cultural and social theory. Furthermore, the Joyce scholar and the Barry Manilow fan, the antique collector and the beer can collector, the opera buff and the Heavy Metal fan are differentiated not only on the basis of the status of their desired object, but also on the supposed nature of their attachment. The obsession of a fan is deemed emotional (low class, uneducated), and therefore dangerous, while the obsession of the aficionado is rational (high class, educated) and therefore benign, even worthy.”

Jolie. Jensen, “Fandom as Pathology,” in The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media (1992), L. Lewis (Ed.), London: Routledge, p. 21

Matt Hills coined the terms fan-scholar (a fan who does scholarly work) and scholar-fan (a scholar who considers himself a fan). (Winter 6)

With academics be primarily, and very clearly, an academic; with fans, be primarily and very clearly, a fan. Be one with your audience so that they can concentrate on what you say or write, not on their beliefs about your identity. (Winter 7)

RMCF (Rhetorical Memory Cosplay Fandom)


Materiality in Fan Practices

by Dr Davis on October 6, 2014

Woo, Benjamin. “A Pragmatics of Things: Materiality and Constraint in Fan Practices.” Transformative Works and Cultures 16 (2014). Web. 22 September 2014.

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0I was interested in the forms of community-making that constitute these groups and articulate them together… [1.2].

Some of the practices involved are public and spectacular, like cosplaying at an anime convention …[1.3].

Surrounded by particular things, people produce themselves as particular kinds of agents, as people who can do certain kinds of things. [1.4]

As Venkatesh and Meamber (2008, 46–47) summarize, such studies “illustrate how individuals collect past meanings, negotiate future meanings, and assemble present meanings of cultural constructs such as family, religion, gender, age, and tradition through their participation in particular consumption behaviors.” [2.1]

9Worlds 2014 steampunk masks-6222Miller, who explicitly repudiates a semiotic approach (2010, 13) and stresses the mutual constitution of persons and things, at times recreates a picture of material culture as an adjunct of mind, for there seem to be few limits on what things can be made to mean through personal aesthetics (2008). [2.7]

We must account for the ways objects extend our capabilities and constrain our actions. We might think of these as objects’ biases (Innis [1951] 2008) or affordances (Gibson [1979] 1986; Norman 1988). Although objects can be put to surprising uses, they have material qualities prior to their human appropriation [2.8]

what Lisa Gitelman (2004, 203) calls objects’ material meanings—the “nexus of cultural practices, economic structures, and perceptual and semiotic habits that make tangible things meaningful”—are not equivalent to individual, subjective meanings. Rather, they are objective products of the interaction between collective human praxis and the physical world. [2.10]

Steampunkers-2276This [fandom] is obviously a complex process of socialization, but I want to suggest that material goods are part of its scaffolding (Wood, Bruner, and Ross 1976). [3.9]

virtually all practices require equipment-goods. Philosopher Russell Keat (2000) uses this term to describe goods that are consumed in order to accomplish some practice. … These objects equip people to create meaning in their lives by enabling them to participate in social practices. [3.10]

Objects extend our capabilities. In a real, immediate sense, they equip us to be fans: you can’t play in the SCA without a period costume [5.1]

9Worlds 2014 steampunk who-6235In fan cultures, participants orient themselves to some object or set of objects. I don’t mean the mental objects of psychoanalysis here but real, physical things. Objects allow us to carry out fan practices and thereby provide access to social worlds in which we develop skills and competencies, relationships, and perhaps even a sense of identity or belonging. [8.5]

The temporality of circulation and relation between interlocutors produced by each medium is distinct. Or, to flip things around, the same equipment-goods of books and miniature figurines produce very different experiences when put to different uses in fantasy role-playing games and war games because these contexts generate different relations between people (the cooperation among a party of player characters, and head-to-head combat between two opposing armies). The relationship between practice and material culture provides a valuable line of inquiry into the possibilities and limitations of fan activity. [8.6]

culture is constituted within a nexus of social practices. That means fandom is never simply a matter of individual, private psychology—even in the intimate space of the home. It is always already public and intersubjective [8.7]

RMCF (Rhetorical Memory Cosplay Fandom)


Costumed Role-Playing: Cosplay

by Dr Davis on October 5, 2014

Gunnels, Jen. “’A Jedi Like My Father Before Me’: Social Identity and the New York Comic Con.” Transformative Works and Cultures 3 (2009). Web. 8 June 2014.

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0Very few venues exist for adults to play dress-up, with Renaissance festivals, comic and other media conventions, and live-action role-playing games comprising the bulk of these venues. This sort of behavior is expected of people in their formative years—children and teenagers—where they try on and receive feedback about the “range of possible extensions of the self” (Elliot 1986, quoted in Kaiser 1996:162). What might be the reasoning behind the behavior of adults doing so, especially after primary socialization has occurred? Susan B. Kaiser, in her study of clothing, wonders whether role-play dress is important “in terms of providing some means for ‘escaping’ from mundane daily routines, as well as for expression of creativity,” but she concludes that “little is known about fantasy dressing; this is an area with a great deal of potential for contributing to an understanding of creativity and self-expression” (1996:163). Very little has been written on the subject, beyond mentioning that this behavior happens. [1.2]

Adults engage in costumed role-play to explore an identity that may not be practicable in everyday life. … cosplay, as a performed identity, can provide a means of permitting individual agency and social commentary on current and past social stresses. [1.3]

ShD head steampunk blueSome identities can be performed and explored as cosplay. The study of cosplay and its practice specifically within the United States is sparse. Most studies of cosplay are framed within its expression within Japanese popular culture, particularly manga and anime, and its export to the United States and other points West (as can be seen at; other studies discuss cosplay in terms of gender. What has not been examined is its nature as performance and as identity play as found at sites such as conventions. [3.1]

When observing cosplayers, regardless of the universes they represent, some might wonder why they choose to connect with their fandom through performance, as opposed to other manifestations of fan engagement. Two reasons in particular come to the fore: the immediacy of the physical, and applying archetypes/fetishes to aspects of personal identity. [4.1]

Weeping Angel Suanna b+w Shd-2076Donning the costume, or even simply carrying a small prop such as a light saber, allows cosplayers to tap into the character as archetype and the costume piece as fetish: “The fetish is empowering, transgressive of the realm of the everyday and mundane, and transforms the user, thus marking a return in a sense to the original meaning of the fetish” (Wetmore 2007:177). Essentially, both become a totem, or a meaningful emblem or symbol, and “people will act towards totems in such a way based on the meaning they have given the totem.” Meaning will then manifest as social interaction (Garrard 2008:17). [4.2]

aspects of the character are specifically tied to donning the costume. He may not believe that he carries specific aspects of character identity [Obi-Wan] over into everyday life, yet they are available to his identity when in costume. [4.5]

Why do cosplayers choose the characters they do? How do cosplaying communities, like the 501st Legion, work on a larger scale? Are cosplayers at other comic cons portraying Star Wars characters for similar reasons? Why do people choose cosplay over other forms of fan participation—or do they participate in other fan areas as well? If so, to what extent? [5.1]

RMCF (Rhetorical Memory Cosplay Fandom)


Transnational Fan Communities (2): Anime

by Dr Davis on October 3, 2014

Annett, Sandra. Animating Transcultural Communities:?Animation Fandom in North America and East Asia from 1906–2010. Thesis. U of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. 2011. Web. 6 June 2014.

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0He [Azuma Hiroki] calls these elements ?moé elements (42), because they inspire in otaku the complex and difficult-to- define emotion known as ?moé (??). Literally denoting a plant‘s budding or sprouting, moé indicates the intense sensation of mingled protectiveness, empathy, and attraction towards a fictional character or image felt by otaku. Moé elements are the appealing, codified, recurrent aspects of anime characters, plots and settings that evoke such feelings. (Annett 276)

The ahoge element is so integral to the series that women who ?cosplay or dress up as Hetalia characters will take pains to create wigs or extensions including just the right curl. And no wonder: the inclusion of such elements is the inclusion of fans themselves, who can both call a character such as Canada ?moé or say ?I am moé for Canada. (Annett 277)

They—we—were forced to confront some very difficult questions, questions which often trouble me personally as an anime fan and scholar. What do you do when a media work you love provokes behaviours you cannot always condone? (Annett 304)

More generally, how do you remain a ?fan of something that you can see is problematic, yet cannot help finding appealing? (Annett 305)

The point is not that fans should opt out of the media or perpetuate cycles of silencing by calling for bans on texts they find offensive. It is rather that they need to engage with the most problematic elements of texts and of their own readings of them self-consciously. In practice, many online debates still descend into unreflexive recriminations and insults. But such debates also make possible different kinds of re-imaginings across difference. (Annett 307)

Azuma Hiroki, ed. 2007. The ideology of contents: Manga, anime, light novels. [Kontentsu no shis??manga, anime, raito noberu]. Tokyo: Seidosha.

RMCF (Rhetorical Memory Cosplay Fandom)


Research in Rhetoric of Memory, Cosplay, Fandom

by Dr Davis on October 1, 2014

I have been working on a paper for a few months now in answer to a CFP on memory in popular culture.

Upcoming collection on memory in popular culture, under contract with McFarland and Company, seeks proposals for academic essays on the complex role of rhetorical and social memory in science fiction, fantasy, fandom, and online gaming.

Submissions are being solicited that examine cultural memory within the following categories:
• Science Fiction and Fantasy Genre texts
• Fandom activities (including fan fiction and cosplay)
• Online Gaming
• Digital collaboration and media

While the underlying premise of this collection is rhetorically based, interdisciplinary approaches are most desirable. In particular, my goal is to collect perspectives that cover the intersection of contemporary interpretations and explorations of the ancient rhetorical canon of memory, fandom studies, narrative theory, and scholarship into digital media.

I decided that, like my Reading Research in New Media (particularly visual rhetoric), this should also be published on the blog.

I will be posting notes, versions of my abstract, and eventually individual ideas I hope to deal with either in that chapter or in a journal article (after the chapter is in).

This series will be identified with
RMCF (Rhetorical Memory Cosplay Fandom)

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0and an icon created by yereverluvinuncleber at deviantART and Pinterest and the artist, Dean Beedell, on softpedia


Retrospective History of Rhetoric

by Dr Davis on September 30, 2014

The Grammarian teacher rhetoric historyFlorence 1437 WC pdOverall
The students this semester suggested that perhaps instead of starting at the farthest point from modern understanding, it might be more beneficial for the students to read the modern rhetoric chapters first. These are connected to literary theory via Foucault and Derrida and are, therefore, perhaps more accessible.

Next year the modern chapters will be their first readings. In order to ensure an understanding of the text, however, I will also introduce the early theorists who are mentioned in those chapters. Plato, the sophists, Aristotle, Cicero, and perhaps even Quintilian could be introduced with a “known for these things particularly” approach.

In my desire to make the class interesting and hands-on, I have drifted from the focus on history of rhetoric in the activities in class. So I am considering what things would be interesting and prospectively helpful that focus on the history of rhetoric and historical rhetoric.

Greek writing ancient pottery by TkoletsisKeep the introduction and the intro to the sophists. Maybe bring in a few pages from sophistic writing. Or we could look in class at the Paul and sophists article. It is 22 pages long, so maybe instead use it to understand how Galatians is sophistic and then have the class look through Galatians and discuss in terms of sophistic rhetoric.

That would be a really good idea. I think that would work very well and would be interesting and would tie into the Christian aspect and the sophists. –Why didn’t I think of doing that before?

Perhaps also use the Ewing Lecture notes to discuss Ezekiel and rhetoric. Mark Hamilton did folkloric, but it is also clearly connected with rhetorical. Make that rhetorical connection clear and then discuss Ezekiel in those terms. …That might be a different way to approach the rhetoric history. We’re looking at how biblical authors employed it before there was a history of rhetoric. Ezekiel was written before Plato wrote, before the sophists taught.

We can look at Plato’s presentation of the sophists and look at this work for built-in flaws that he created to show their work. We can do that in class if it isn’t too long a work or if we can take pieces of it.

For Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian… Beef up the discussion of how and where we see the appeals. Perhaps look at book covers specifically for the appeals. Maybe even discuss the “turning in a paper” ethos or other points. Why is it important to look like what has gone before? People recognize it and have a place to put it. This is partially ethos. Definitely want to talk about how Cicero applies to writing in the modern classroom. Both Aristotle and Cicero are used in AP courses, so the students need to know those, if they don’t.

typingFirst class
Looking at a way to introduce rhetoric and the history of rhetoric that doesn’t just involve me talking, I looked at multiple PowerPoints and videos. I wanted something that would approach the information from a common or lay perspective, but would focus on rhetoric very specifically.

I think I have found a few videos that would be useful, after the original PowerPoint introduction.

History of Rhetoric in Under 4 Minutes (or Over 3 Minutes) has a good introduction to the historical aspects of rhetoric AND ends with the idea that people think of rhetoric pejoratively.

Then talk about what you know about rhetoric. How do people talk about rhetoric? That will introduce the ideas here. “Oh, that’s a rhetorical question.” Not discussed, but still would work as an answer. (Rhetorical question originally meant that the question itself was intended to persuade you or lead you into a correct answer.)

ancient woman with bookThen use the UClemson video In Defense of Rhetoric.

I really like this. It is well done, interesting, and introduces a lot of modern rhetoricians. Also it’s epistemic rhetoric, which is how I view rhetoric.
It discusses what rhetoric is and how it has been perceived, focusing on epistemic rhetoric.

Set of criteria, rank order the criteria, systematic way = epistemic rhetoric
Epistemic = creates understanding/perception of reality
Rhetoric is a way of knowing.
Facts are monolithic, unchanging. But how you think of them… Rhetorical.
Knowledge is a process.

Josh’s introduction to rhetoric—very fast introduction, but could pause and discuss
Focuses 3.45 minutes on ancient rhetoric. Then 3 minutes on modern. Has questions that he puts on the screen and then writes “Think about it!” Could stop the video at those points and discuss.

How do perceptions of truth, authenticity, and reality affect communication?
How does your authorship, authority, and power affect your rhetoric?

Toulmin model + semiotics can be used to examine visual and digital rhetoric.

Would need to be sure that I mention that this is a history of rhetoric (even though we’ve already seen one) and we are going to use it to talk about some questions that are relevant to all of rhetoric.

Denelson83 WC CC

Denelson83 WC CC

Is introducing the history of rhetoric as an overview multiple times a problem? Or can I do this as they are coming at it from very different angles?

Perhaps when I start to use the videos say that these overlap what I’ve already said and what the videos say, but they offer different discussion points that I think are valid for the course….
Think about it.


Eyewitness to History

by Dr Davis on September 14, 2014

A great site for eyewitness accounts of important (and less important) national and international events is Eyewitness to History.

I would use this for literature courses. I might even use it for rhetoric classes.


The Work of Cognition and Neuroethics in Science Fiction

by Dr Davis on September 5, 2014

The Work of Cognition and Neuroethics in Science Fiction
full name / name of organization:
Center for Cognition and Neuroethics
contact email:
[email protected]
March 20–21, 2015

Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience

Flint, Michigan

cyberman helmet“Soon after the Braincap came into general use, some highly intelligent—and maximally zealous—bureaucrats realized that it had a unique potential as an early-warning system. During the setting-up process, when the new wearer was being mentally “calibrated,” it was possible to detect many forms of psychosis before they hand a chance of becoming dangerous.”

—Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey

“Somewhere on Beta Colony, there is an institution. In one room of that institution, there is a man who spends his days and nights screaming at things only he can see. Things we planted in his mind. They have to keep him in a straitjacket 24 hours a day or he’d claw his own eyes out just to make it stop.”

—Lyta Alexander, Babylon 5 4.17


To the extent that the work of science fiction must develop, order, or structure the space in which its narratives are situated, the ways in which cognition and neuroethics are deployed in these narratives remains unexamined. Unrestrained by time, space, and technology, if the expression of both the failings and ideals of humanity can be interrogated across these narratives, then the degree by which certain narratives occasion neuroethical decisions can equally be explored. What are the right answers as expressed in the genre and what implications thereof are advanced? What is the project of neuroethics in science fiction? What is the ideal expression involving the brain or brain-like systems? What cognitive moves drive science fiction narratives? What is the work of cognition in any particular science fiction narrative? What is the role of reason, reasons, reasoning, and rationality?

The theme should be interpreted broadly. Potential topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

Neuro-evidence as functions of crime detection and justice
Omnipotence, omniscience, and action, or the Problem of Evil and extremely advanced or evolved technologies and species
Dilemmas, Death, and (in)action
Cognition as an articulation of power
Orders and Bias
Identity in/and the Medical Bay
Representation, presence, and absence of the cognitively atypical
Personhood, Personality, and Memory
Neuro-Treatments and Decisions
Neuro-Substance use and abuse
Neuroenhancement and the journey thereto
Neuro-Perfection (and atypicalities, disabilities, GATTACA, etc.)
Neuro-inva/sion/sive (unwarranted or unwelcome)
Neuro-manipulation and consciousness (Data, HAL, and the disembodied)
Neuro-augmentation (Chuck, Neo, Barclay)
Star Trek and The Borg (Picard’s rescue, rehab, and consent, Hugh, disconnecting Seven and consent)
Babylon 5 and the Psy Corps (e.g., mind as weaponry, telepathy as a trait)
Language and cognition
Science fiction and problem solving (how societies reason, justify, and engage ecology, economy, etc., through [imposed?] thought systems)
Genre analysis, tropes, figures, projects, the extent of the theme through {u/dis}topia
Single author interrogations, single series interrogations, comparisons and contrasts
Single ethical theorist applications to single series, comparisons and contrasts

The Center for Cognition and Neuroethics—a joint affiliation between the Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience and the University of Michigan-Flint Philosophy Department—will host this two-day conference. The first day will be dedicated to cognition, and the next, neuroethics (to whatever extent accepted abstracts allow). The talks will be limited to 15 minutes in order to sponsor a space for conversation and further exploration of ideas.


Submissions of abstracts (not to exceed 700 words and to avoid both footnotes and reference lists) are invited for 15-minute talks. Please submit your abstract through the following form, prepared for anonymous review. We welcome proposals for panels and co-presentations. All submissions should be of previously unpublished work.

We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, English, comparative literature, the neurosciences, the pharmaceutical and medical sciences, the social sciences, critical studies (including gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, race studies, and critical legal theory), law, education, linguistics, as well as other relevant disciplines and fields.

Please submit all proposals through the form on the conference website:

Proposal submission deadline: prior to 20 December 2014.

Please send all questions, comments, and concerns to:

Zea Miller / Theory and Cultural Studies at Purdue University / Project Manager at the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics / [email protected]

Vol. 3, Issue 3 of the Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics (JCN) will be based on the proceedings of this March 2015 conference. All papers presented at the The Work of Cognition and Neuroethics in Science Fiction conference will be eligible for inclusion in this special issue of JCN. For additional journal and contact information, see the JCN webpage.

The Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics is a peer-reviewed, open access journal published online, aimed at the cross-fertilization of research in neuroscience and related medical fields with scholarship in normative disciplines that address and analyze the legal, social and ethical implications of institutional policies. JCN is committed to presenting wide-ranging discussions. We are looking to publish works that explore ideas, concepts, theories and their implications across multiple disciplines and professions. The Center for Cognition and Neuroethics promotes both the exploration of the conceptual foundations of the neurosciences and the study of the implications of their advances for society in the legal, political, and ethical realms. The CCN will disseminate this knowledge to as wide an audience as possible through publications, seminars, and other media. We engage in activities across multiple disciplines and professions that allow opportunities for intellectual synergy and increased impact by creating, fostering and supporting research and educational collaborations and communication.


CEA Comp and Rhet

by Dr Davis on September 2, 2014

Composition and Rhetoric at CEA 2015, (11/1/2014, 3/26-28/2015)
full name / name of organization:
College English Association
contact email:
[email protected]
Call for Papers, CEA 2015 | IMAGINATIONS

46th Annual Conference | March 26-28, 2015 | INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, One South Capital Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204, Phone (317)-632-1234; Fax (317) 616-6299

Special Topics: Composition and Rhetoric

The Composition and Rhetoric area asks you to consider how imagination affects composition and rhetoric classrooms. You might consider exploring the different ways that we as teachers use our imagination to re-envision the classroom, change classroom dynamics, or inspire students to use imagination in their own writing. You may also consider the way that imagination works in research – whether your own or your students – and how we as teachers and scholars can use different technology to enhance imaginative composing.

Submission deadline: November 1, 2014 at

The College English Association, a gathering of scholar-teachers in English studies, welcomes proposals for presentations for our 46th annual conference.

Submission: August 15 – November 1, 2014
Please see the submission instructions at

Conference Theme: Imaginations
We live in an age when news travels at lightning speed. This is mostly a good thing. Long before our local evening news sports reporter tells us how many points our favorite player scored in the game, all we have to do is go to our smart phones, click on the sports app of our choice, and then find the link that tells us the scores of the day. We can even watch highlights of the game if want to on our smart phones, thus, momentarily eliminating the need to go home after work to watch the highlights on our televisions screens.

If we are political junkies, we can also go to our smart phones and read about national or global politics or watch live coverage of congressional hearings right in the comfort of our homes. If we are addicted to celebrity culture, we can go to websites dedicated to revealing the good and not so good choices of our favorite stars, oftentimes, soon after a good or bad incident has occurred.

The bad part about news traveling at lightning speed, though, is that it does not give us opportunities to daydream, think quietly, or to sit in silence. The fact that news is just a few clicks away or on television all day denies us chances to use our imaginations these days. Imagining who we are or who we want to be is part of the human experience, but increasingly our human experience is competing with media that wants to do the imagining for us. Since news is so instantaneous, it is almost impossible to escape its tentacles.

For our 2015 meeting, CEA invites papers and panels that will ask all of us to momentarily put away our smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc., so that we can refocus our energies on the wonders of our imaginations to consider the following questions: In what ways can we encourage our institutions, colleagues, students, and even ourselves to find meaning in using our imaginations for self-reflection and creative output? And how can we use those introspective moments, broadly speaking, to help us to become better teachers?

General Call for Papers
In addition to our conference theme, CEA also welcomes proposals for presentations by teachers, scholars, and graduate students in any of the areas English departments typically encompass, including literature, creative writing, composition, pedagogy, technical communication, professional writing, computers and writing, languages, linguistics, digital humanities, and film. We also welcome papers on areas that influence our work as academics, including student demographics, student/instructor accountability and assessment, student advising, academic leadership in departments and programs, and the place of the English department in the university overall. Proposals may interpret the CEA theme broadly, including but not limited to the following areas:

?Academic Administration Leadership
?Accommodating Disability in the English Classroom
?African American Literature
?American Literature: early, 19th?century, 20th & 21st?century
?Blackfriars (American Shakespeare Center)
?Book History and Textual Criticism
?British Literature: Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration & 18th?century, 19th?century, 20th &
?Byron Society of America (BSA)
?Caribbean Literature
?Children’s and Adolescent Literature
?Closing the Loop Through Assessment in Composition and Literature Courses
?Composition and Rhetoric
?Creative Writing: fiction, poetry, non?fiction
?Digital Humanities
?Film and Literature
?Food and the Literary Imagination
?Graphic Novels
?Hispanic, Latino(a), and Chicano(a) Literature
?Irish Literature
?Law and Literature
?Learning Outcomes and Assessment
?Literary Theory
?Literature and the Healing Arts
?Literature Pedagogy
?Metacognition, Active Learning, & Supportive Technology in the Literature or Composition
?Multicultural Literature
?Native American Literature
?Peace Studies
?Popular Culture
?Post-Colonial Literature
?Religion and Literature
?Scottish Literature
?Service Learning in English Courses—Composition and Literature
?Short Story: Criticism
?Teacher Education
?Technical Communication
?The Profession
?Thomas Merton (International Thomas Merton Society)
?Transatlantic Literature
?Trauma and Literature
?Travel and Literature
?True Crime
?War and Literature
?World Literature

Online Submissions
CEA prefers to receive submissions electronically through our conference management database housed at the following web address:

Electronic submissions open 15 August and close on 1 November 2014. Abstracts for proposals should be between 200 and 500 words in length and should include a title.

Submitting electronically involves setting up a user ID, then using that ID to log in – this time to a welcome page which provides a link for submitting proposals to the conference. If you are submitting a panel with multiple participants, please create a user ID for each proposed participant. If you have attended CEA before and are willing to serve as a session chair or respondent for a panel other than your own, please indicate so on your submission.

Important Information for Presenters
? A-V equipment and any form of special accommodation must be requested
at the time of proposal submission.
? CEA can provide DVD players, overhead projectors, data projectors, and CD/cassette
players, but not computers or Internet access.
? To preserve time for discussion, CEA limits all presentations to 15 minutes.
? Notifications of proposal status will be sent around 5 December 2014.
? All presenters must join CEA by 1 January 2015 to appear on the program.
? No person may make more than one presentation at the conference.
? Presenters must make their own presentation; no proxies are allowed.
? CEA welcomes graduate student presenters, but does not accept proposals from
? CEA does not sponsor or fund travel or underwrite participant costs.
? Papers must be presented in English.

From UPenn