Making Meaning: Language and Rhetoric in Real World Spaces, University of Mighigan, September 25-26, 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Language and Rhetorical Studies Interdisciplinary Workshop, University of Michigan

Call for Proposals
The meanings and uses of rhetoric have changed greatly since Aristotle described it as "the available means of persuasion." Some have considered it relevant and valuable to all topics and disciplines, while others see such universal application as superficial, dismissing it as mere rhetoric. And while some would dismiss the power of words, we know language is fundamentally linked to identity and language choices have real-world implications. This conference encourages us to think about the ways that language and rhetoric function in a complex political and social world. It is a space for graduate and professional students from various disciplines to question, analyze, and theorize the roles of rhetoric and language in past and present spaces.

We hope that the conference papers will address ways in which language and rhetorical analyses can shed light on a wide range of public and pedagogical discourses. Papers can fall in (but are not limited to) the following categories:

• Social justice and action projects
• Classroom based discourse and text analyses
• Corpus-based text analyses
• Sociolinguistic studies
• Visual rhetorical analyses
• Rhetorical analyses of public discourses (e.g., political, environmental, ecological)
• Theoretical interrogations grounded in particular sites/times

Presentation Guidelines
Please remember that this is an interdisciplinary conference, and so you should design your presentations to be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience (including reviewers).

All paper proposals should be drafted to suit 75-minute panel discussions. We will organize panels of three to four presenters, and so each presenter will have only 15-20 minutes to present in order to allow time for introductions and questions and responses. We are also accepting proposals for panels of three or four speakers.

Proposal Guidelines
Proposals must include the following:
1. Title
2. An abstract no longer than 250 words
3. Contact information on a separate page: Paper title, author's name, email, phone contact, and mailing address.

Submit proposals by email attachment to Send all questions and concerns to the same email address.

• Proposals must be submitted by email no later than midnight of Monday, June 26, 2009.
• We will respond to applicants regarding acceptance no later than July 15.

About Us
The Language and Rhetorical Studies Workshop at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, focuses on the intersection of language and rhetoric. We aim to capture the interest and attention of those within disciplines that typically have been associated with rhetoric and language, such as Linguistics, English Language and Literature, and English Education. We also seek to attract participants that work with a more expansive definition of rhetoric, discussing the ways that persuasion, argument, audience, and other familiar rhetorical fundamentals permeate our lives.

To find out more about the Language and Rhetorical Studies Workshop please visit our website at We will continue to update materials relating to the conference here, so check back often.