[UPDATE] Making Meaning: Language, Rhetoric, and the Power of Access - Deadline for Submissions: 7/15/2011

full name / name of organization: 
Language and Rhetorical Studies Group

Date: September 23-24 2011
Location: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Keynote Speaker: Scott Lyons, Associate Professor of American Culture and English Language and Literature, University of Michigan

Contemporary theories of discourse remind us that language functions in a reflexive relationship with social realities. Language in use can either give or deny access to individuals and communities, and to the cultural values and institutions of power that shape the ways meaning is made. As a result, we can use linguistic and rhetorical analyses to uncover, uphold, dismantle, or reshape structures of power. 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 that rhetoric and language play in offering or limiting access to discourses of power, both past and present.

Focus: 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
• Cultural Studies
• Visual/New Media 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 number, and mailing address)
Submit proposals by email attachment to langrhetconference@umich.edu. Send all questions and concerns to the same email address.

Deadlines: Proposals must be submitted by email no later than midnight of Monday, July 15, 2010. We will respond to applicants regarding acceptance no later than August 1.

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 http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu/langrhet/home. We will continue to update materials relating to the conference here, so check back often.