Sources of Non-Western Rhetorical Traditions

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Editors--Hui Wu and Tarez Graban
contact email: 



Sources of Non-Western Rhetorical Traditions

Editors: Hui Wu and Tarez Samra Graban 

General Description

We invite chapter proposals for an anthology that will present critical commentaries and translated primary source texts from non-Western rhetorical traditions and practices—a global counterpart to Bizzell and Herzberg, eds., The Rhetorical Tradition. To their credit, Bizzell and Herzberg recognized the impossibility of defining the rhetorical tradition once and for all, acknowledging that it has overlapping meanings and multiple definitions (Rhetorical, 1), and we offer this volume in response to the need for more diverse primary sources. In this project, “non-Western” refers to “non-Euro-American,” and thus we intend to include rhetorics of Asia, Africa, the Near East, the Middle East, and the early Americas. We envision a critical edition not only for scholarly research and reference but also for teaching global rhetorics, rhetorical conventions, and communication at both undergraduate and graduate levels.


Several compilations of secondary scholarship on non-Western/global rhetorics have built the foundation for this proposed anthology. Most notably are Lipson and Binkley, eds. Ancient Non-Greek Rhetorics and Rhetoric Before and Beyond the Greeks; Borrowman, ed. Rhetoric in the Rest of the West; and Baca and Villanueva, eds., Rhetorics of the Americas. We see that these studies have grown from a need to extend cross-cultural rhetorical inquiry into previously understudied regions and traditions, in an effort both to expand our extant rhetorical terminology and to realize more indigenous rhetorical traditions. These compilations, alongside several special issues of College English, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and College Composition and Communication, solidify a major trend in our field: the need to broaden our horizons by undertaking more in-depth studies of non-Western rhetorical cultures.

To that end, our anthology presents translated primary sources of non-Western rhetorical cultures alongside scholarly studies. Ideally, we would offer as many representations of non-Western rhetorical traditions as we can. Yet, recognizing potential criticism of reductionism or scopism, we do not aim to represent “all or whole traditions”; rather, we aim to give readers an opportunity to ponder critical questions about methods for comparative studies of rhetoric and communication. We understand “non-Western” as a frame of thought guiding research, rather than a subject area or a mode of analysis. Thus, we are seeking new ways to theorize and represent global rhetorical study. Ultimately, we aim to build the ethnological, communicative, and cultural foundations for a terminological approach to understanding rhetoric in cross-cultural contexts. 

Chapter Design  

The chapters of this anthology will be organized according to non-Euro-American regions and cultures, highlighting a variety in what Mao might call the “locus of logic and relations” that constitutes a rhetorical culture (“Thinking” 453). The purpose of each chapter is to afford readers a taste of indigenous rhetorical theories and vocabularies represented by teachings of rhetoric, treatises on rhetoric, and exemplary speeches. Thus, we seek contributions from bilingual scholars in rhetoric who can provide a prefatory critical introduction, commentaries, and translated primary sources (particularly those that are underrepresented in current rhetoric studies), and possibly a glossary of rhetorical terms that are germane to the culture of the primary source. Chapter contributors are welcome to include images and illustrations in lieu of translated texts, if the rhetorical tradition is conduct based. We especially encourage collaborations between Anglophone and bilingual scholars in rhetoric.

We have identified the following criteria and ask that contributors use it to guide their selection of primary sources:

  •  Regions/cultures: we look primarily for sources of Asian, African, Near Eastern, Middle Eastern, and Early American traditions and practices.
  • Historical periods: we will consider any historical period in a specific region/culture.

  • Modes/genres: we will consider most modes/genres, but are particularly interested in essays on communication/persuasion, speaking, and writing; lectures on writing, speaking, or communicative behaviors; sample chapters of a canon/treatise/book on writing or speaking; rhetorical figures and their speeches or writings; or visual representations of rhetorical/communicative behaviors.  

The final organization of the anthology will ultimately be determined by the final selection of contributed texts.

 Initial Interest and Proposal

Potential contributors should send an initial e-mail to and tgraban@fsu.eduby November 15, 2016, in which they express an interest in and experience with a particular region or culture; describe the primary source(s) they intend to translate or contribute; and offer a short biographical sketch.

We will then ask for more solidified 50-word biographies, 500-word proposals, and up to 500-word sample translations to be sent as file attachments by January 15, 2017. Microsoft Word files are preferred for the proposal and autobiography; Word or rich text file types are preferred for the translation. 

  • 50-word author/translator biographies should include institutional affiliation and relevant accomplishments. 

  • 500-word proposals should indicate the parameters of the primary source (i.e., region/culture, historical period, and mode/genre); the reason(s) for selecting and translating this primary source; an estimate of total pages in the proposed chapter (including notes and references); and a brief glossary of indigenous terms underlying the tradition selected. (A brief bibliography of sources will be helpful, though it is not required at this stage.) 

  • 500-word sample translations should reflect the germane qualities or characteristic of the rhetorical region or culture, and should indicate whether this is a new or existing translation.

 In the body of your e-mail, please also include contact information for all authors/translators implicated in the proposal. 

Notification of acceptance will be provided by March 1, 2017, with completed submissions due on or around October 1, 2017.  Full chapter submission guidelines will be forthcoming with notification of acceptance. 

In the meantime, please direct any questions to the editors, Hui Wu ( and Tarez Samra Graban (