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Welcome

The 2016 Cultural Rhetorics Conference will take place at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, USA from September 30 to October 2, 2016.

Make sure to visit our CFP page to learn about the exciting variety of ways to participate in this conference. Submissions are open. You can submit and edit your proposals until March 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM .

New to Cultural Rhetorics?

Cultural Rhetorics is an emerging force in the field. Here’s how various scholars have defined it:

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

“Cultural rhetorics is an interdisciplinary field of study, a scholarly practice, and a category for interpreting the world around us. Cultural rhetoricians draw from across disciplinary boundaries because diverse fields of study offer important insights about the relation between culture and knowledge.” – Jennifer Sano-Franchini in “Cultural Rhetorics and the Digital Humanities: Toward Cultural Reflexivity in Digital Making” (2014)

Donnie Sackey

“Through the metaphor of constellations, cultural rhetorics understands rhetoric as specific to a culture. This approach begins with a focus on power and its relation to social location. That is, the discipline begins where one stands as a scholar. And with the knowledge of location, one can practice a place into a space. The idea of cultural rhetorics as genealogies is not a step toward discrediting the use Greco-Roman tradition. Instead, it is a way of practicing based upon relational accountability.” – Donnie Sackey, Interview with Alexandra Hidalgo

Phil Bratta Malea Powell

“It’s especially important to understand that those in the field of cultural rhetorics do not see ‘cultural rhetorics’ as some hidden code for non-Western rhetorical practices; instead, it is an approach that recognizes and honors the cultural specificity of all rhetorical practices/productions.” – Phil Bratta and Malea Powell in “Introduction to the Special Issue: Entering the Cultural Rhetorics Conversations” (Forthcoming)

Andrea Riley-Mukavetz

A cultural rhetorics orientation is to enact a set of respectful and responsible practices to form and sustain relationships with cultural communities and their shared beliefs and practices including texts, materials, and ideas. This orientation rejects the idea that "everything is a text" to be read and instead engages with the material, embodied, and relational aspects of research and scholarly production. Once engages with texts, bodies, materials, ideas or space knowing that these subjects are interconnected to the universe and belong to a cultural community with it's own intellectual tradition and history." Andrea Riley-Mukavetz in "Towards a cultural rhetorics methodology: Making research matter with multi-generational women from the Little Traverse Bay Band"

Will Banks

"To me, cultural rhetorics speak to the material and embodied practices of language and experience that grow out of communal or shared experiences. So much of traditional Western rhetorics have come to us out of an impulse to taxonomize and collate, to force together various culturally distinct practices of communication or knowledge-making into a singular system or tradition. This was Joseph Campbell’s project with the monomyth: erase specificity and claim that everything is ultimately the same. But this only works if you erase the very singularity of practice and experience that makes language and rhetoric interesting and important to actual living peoples. Remembering people and their experiences is to act against the erasure that’s at the center of mono-rhetorical practices." Will Banks, East Carolina University

If you’d like to learn more about cultural rhetorics, please visit our Resources page. We hope to see you this fall!