CFP – Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions Conference

From Scott R. Stroud (University of Texas at Austin)

Call for Abstracts: American Society for the History of Rhetoric Symposium on “Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions”

May 31-June 1, 2018

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) invites paper proposals to be considered for our 2018 Symposium on “Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions.” The Symposium will be held on May 31-June 1, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, immediately prior to the Rhetoric Society of America Biennial Conference.

To be considered for the Symposium, please submit a one-page, single-spaced abstract to Dr. Scott Stroud ( by September 30, 2017. All submissions should relate to the Symposium theme discussed below, be composed in English, stripped of author identification for peer review, and submitted as either a Word document or a PDF. Authors will be notified about the status of their submissions by the end of the year.

There is no cost to attend the Symposium, although all presenters must be members of ASHR. If you are not currently a member, you will be given an opportunity to join if your paper is accepted. For more information on ASHR, membership, and rates, visit

Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions

Rhetoric, viewed as communicative practice or as a study of communicative or linguistic practices, must be sensitive to the diversity of standpoints, races and genders, and cultural orientations. These matters have a significant practical import. Who is included in the communities or traditions of discourse we create through our persuasive endeavors, and who is excluded? What difference does difference make to our practices of persuasion, or our accounts of the various traditions of rhetoric?

Diversity has inflected the study of rhetoric. In contemporary times, issues of inclusion and multiculturalism represent challenges to how we conceive of and analyze “the” rhetorical tradition. More and more, scholars are seeing diversity not only within the western tradition of rhetoric, but also among a range of global traditions of thinking through and practicing artful communication. How does the diversity of various traditions of rhetoric affect our study of rhetoric going forward?

This Symposium asks scholars to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of diversity within and among various cultural traditions. Some possible topics may be comparative in scope, engaging with differences between culturally-diverse visions of rhetoric and communication. Other approaches may focus on diversity within a given rhetorical tradition, such as Cicero’s Roman appropriation of Greek philosophy or Confucius’s disputes with Daoist approaches to the nature of virtuous speech and action. Yet other topics may circulate around contemporary debates over diversity on the campus or in modern nation states, and what this difference in community composition means for rhetorical practices. Like the theme, the presented papers at this event will showcase a diverse range of approaches to familiar and understudied rhetorical phenomena. Papers can be historical, constructive, or comparative in nature, and can explore the theme of diversity and difference in important figures, in one or more cultures, or within rhetorical practices or events. Diversity and tension in ideas, interests, people, or cultures should be a general thread uniting the presentations at this event.

Reflecting the diversity of approaches to the study of rhetoric, this Symposium will feature three prominent keynote speakers well-known for their work on a range of cultures and rhetorical traditions:

Dr. Molefi Asante (Temple University): African, African-American, and Egyptian Rhetoric

Dr. Xing (Lucy) Lu (DePaul University): Classical and Contemporary Chinese Rhetoric

Dr. Kathleen Lamp (Arizona State University): Roman Rhetoric

Historically speaking, the ASHR Symposium has been a site of rich intellectual work animated by a collaborative ethos. AHSR prides itself on creating an environment in which scholars of all ages and all ranks join together for a sustained inquiry into a given topic. Whether you are a seasoned scholar of rhetoric or a new graduate student, please consider joining us for a stimulating discussion of “Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions.”


Supported by:

University of Texas at Austin, Departments of Communication Studies/Rhetoric and Writing

Northwestern University, School of Communication

University of Minnesota, Departments of Communication/Writing Studies

Taylor and Francis


Does your department support ASHR’s efforts to further diversify the history of rhetoric? Email to join the list of supporters!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.