CFP: [Rhetoric-Composition] CCCC 2009 Panel Addressing New Perspectives on Composition as Emergence

full name / name of organization: 
Kristen Seas
contact email:

For a panel tentatively titled -
"Waves within Webs: Practicing and Teaching Composition in a Complex World"

Many of the concepts sustaining the discipline of rhetoric and composition
are founded on humanist assumptions of autonomy, rational production, and
linear reception. Yet two recent special issues of JAC, in 2000 and 2004,
have called for new perspectives on composition that consider posthumanist
and complexity theories as more effective means of accounting for how we
are embedded in larger networks of information or what Jenny Edbauer calls
“rhetorical ecologies.” Such theoretical arguments raise critical questions
about the production of texts in which the agency of the writer is
recognized as distributed and composition itself is seen as a process of

This panel is interested in furthering this conversation and exploring this
potential next “wave” in theory. Thus, we are seeking papers that take up
different perspectives on composition following the implications of
posthumanist and/or complexity theories of emergence. Papers would address
specific concepts or practices (cultural or pedagogical) through this lens.
Currently our panel has a presentation establishing the theoretical lens by
re-examining rhetorical agency through these theories, as well as a
presentation on one example of how such agency changes our notion of kairos
as practiced in visual media. We would welcome another cultural example or
even a pedagogical approach to these same questions.

Please email submissions by May 1st to Kristen Seas (

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Received on Sat Apr 19 2008 - 13:55:58 EDT

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