deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Jim Ridolfo
contact email: 

Call for proposals

We invite contributions for #rhetops. Informed by recent scholarship on rhetoric and the military (Edwards and Hart 2010Marcellino 2015) and a three year effort on Twitter by the editors to curate examples of #rhetops, this edited collection seeks contributions exploring the relationship of rhetorical strategies in the context of war, social unrest, protest movements, and especially asymmetrical conflicts. This collection begins with the underlying premise that digital rhetoric is, for better and worse, a component of increasing importance in conflicts between state and non-state actors. As digital rhetoric has allowed us to see already existent patterns and tactics of delivery, circulation, remix, and appropriation, digital rhetoric also expands the significance and scope of rhetoric to war and asymmetrical conflict. This collection invites contributors from rhetorical studies, media studies, military studies, communications, visual studies, and related fields to investigate how rhetoric and digital technologies are being used in war and armed conflicts.

This edited collection will consist of an editors’ introduction and three sections. The first section will explore the history and theory of rhetoric and its relationship to war and asymmetrical conflict. The second section will focus on documenting, framing, and analyzing recent examples of digital rhetoric and conflict. The third section will consist of practitioner stories. We are especially interested in manuscripts that explore one or several of the following questions:


  • How has rhetoric influenced violence both in conventional state conflict and between asymmetric actors?
  • What moments of historical and technological change have informed how rhetoric is leveraged as a tool in military conflicts?
  • Where and through what kind of objects, texts, and traditions has rhetoric intersected with military conflict? How has our understanding of rhetoric changed as a result?
  • How, where, and why do psychological operations, military information support operations (MISO), human terrain systems, and/or infowars connect with and diverge from rhetorical studies? 


  • How do new technologies of digital delivery change what tools and tactics are available in particular military conflict situations?
  • What are some specific case examples where the military deployment of digital rhetoric is evolving in relationship to areas such as surveillance, social media, algorithms, sock puppet networks, propaganda dissemination, and visual rhetoric?
  • What are concrete examples of the economics of digital rhetoric in military conflicts?
  • How does contemporary military training intersect or overlap with rhetorical education in specific curriculum and institutions?


For part three, we seek practitioner stories of varying length from individuals that have experience with digital rhetoric and military conflict. We are especially interested in accounts that might serve as cases for further analysis, as well as situations that problematize conventional understanding of conflict and/or rhetoric.


Deadline for 500-750 word chapter proposals: December 1, 2016
(Notification by February 1, 2017)
Date for full manuscripts: October, 2017
(Responses to full manuscripts by December, 2017)


Inquiries and questions are welcome. Please send 500-750 word chapter proposals by December 1, 2016 to:
Jim Ridolfo –  University of Kentucky – ridolfo@gmail.com
William Hart-Davidson – Michigan State University – hartdav2@msu.edu