University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

The Modern Rhetoric Project: Graduate Symposium in Interdisciplinary Rhetorical Studies Thursday, May 27, 2010

The centerpiece of the Graduate Symposium in Interdisciplinary Rhetorical Studies will be the participation of four distinguished visiting scholars. These scholars will be noted for their interdisciplinary work in rhetoric and chosen by graduate students in Writing Studies, Communication Studies and UMD English. These visiting scholars will engage in productive dialogue with rhetoric faculty from Minnesota and with graduate students interested in rhetoric from the three participating graduate programs.


Thursday, May 27th

Institute for Advanced Study, Nolte Center

9:15 Welcome by David Beard
9:30 Presentations by Carol Berkenkotter and Joshua Gunn (presentation withheldd)

10:00 Q&A with Carol Berkenkotter and Joshua Gunn (Introductions by Meg Kunde and response by Chris Scruton)

10:30 Presentations by Erin Rand and Maegan Parker Brooks

11:00 Q&A with Erin Rand and Maegan Parker Brooks (Introductions by Jes Hodgson, UMD; response by Kaitlyn Patia, UMTC)

11:30 Presentations by Steve Mailloux and John Logie (presentation withheld)

12:00 Q&A with Steve Mailloux and John Logie (Introductions by Daisy Wallace, UMD; response by Max Philbrook, UMD)

12:30 Lunch

1:30 Roundtable Discussion with Faculty (UMTC, UMD and Guests) on Interdisciplinary Work in Rhetoric
2:15 Welcome to the Center for Writing with Kirsten Jamsen

Afternoon sessions in the Center for Writing, Nicholson Hall:

2:30 Breakout Small-Group Discussion Sessions of 6-10 students per pairing

10 Nicholson: Carol Berkenkotter and Erin Rand
(moderated by Alex Hayden, UMTC)
12 Nicholson: Steve Mailloux and David Gore
(moderated by Matthew Bost, UMTC)
201 Nicholson: John Logie and Maegan Parker Brooks
(moderated by Kim Thomas-Pollei)
325 Nicholson: Joshua Gunn and Mirko Hall
(moderated by Heather Hayes, UMTC)

3:50 Return to Nolte for evaluation forms and synthetic discussion.

HOTEL INFO: Guests may want to consider staying at the University Inn Minnesota, a ten minute walk from the Symposium and a ten minute bus ride from RSA. Visit and ask for the “UM rhetoric event rate.”


Guests include:

Carol Berkenkotter (Writing Studies, University of Minnesota) received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. She studies writing in the biosciences and in medicine, specifically psychiatry. She has written two books, one, Genre Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication : Cognition – Culture – Power (1994), on scientific rhetoric as practiced by academic scientists publishing journal articles. The second book, Patient Tales : Case Histories and the Uses of Narrative in Psychiatry (2008), is on the history of psychiatry as seen through psychiatric texts, specifically institutional case records and psychiatric case histories appearing in medical journals from 1750-2002.

Maegan Parker Brooks (Department of Communication Studies, University of Puget Sound), who specializes in the rhetoric of social change, with particular emphases on the roles gender, race, class, and sexuality play in amplifying/silencing voices in the public sphere. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Speech and Women’s Studies in Communication, as well as the Encyclopedia of African American Public Culture.

Joshua Gunn (Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas-Austin) has pursued research mainly in two, overlapping projects: (1) the investigation of psychoanalysis (generally, not simply Lacanian) in relation to persuasion; and (2) the analysis of theological forms in popular and unpopular culture (inclusive of music). His most recent book is Modern Occult Rhetoric: Mass Media and the Drama of the Twentieth Century.

John Logie is a professor of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He has recently pubished Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion, a book on the role of rhetoric in the debates over peer-to-peer technologies (e.g. Napster, Grokster). He writes on the Internet and intellectual property laws and the conflicts that arise with changes in communicative technologies. His next project will examine the rhetorical strategies at the heart of five recent amendments to U.S. copyright law. It is titled, “Copyright Control: A Tragedy in Five Acts.”

Steve Mailloux (Rhetoric, Loyola Marymount University) is, among other works, the editor of Rhetoric, Sophistry, Pragmatism (1995) and the author of Interpretive Conventions: The Reader in the Study of American Fiction (1982), Rhetorical Power (1989), Reception Histories: Rhetoric, Pragmatism, and American Cultural Politics(1998), and Disciplinary Identities: Rhetorical Paths of English, Speech, and Composition (2006).

Erin J. Rand (Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, LBGT Studies, Syracuse University) whose research focuses on resistance and rhetorical agency in activist and social
movement discourses. She is particularly interested in recent forms of queer, feminist, and global justice activism, and is currently engaged in projects that theorize collectivity and rhetorical violence in relation to activist practices.

Graduate attendees:

Jeremy Adolphson, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee is interested primarily in the various ways music can impact, shape, influence and/or strengthen ideological beliefs, community formation, and national identity. Other topics of interest include the rhetoric of religious hate groups and the rhetoric surrounding the Culture Wars.

Matthew Bost is a PhD student in Communications Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. He has written on the overlap between Congressional rhetoric and the rhetoric of psychiatry in the formation of US drug policy. He is currently interested in the constitutive rhetoric of radical social movements, the relationship between constitutive rhetoric and political style, and the intersection between rhetorical theory and continental philosophy (in particular poststructuralism and psychoanalysis).

Diana Bowen, University of Texas

Tyler Buckley, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Kevin Casper, Louisiana State University, wrote an MA thesis titled, “And Ba Ba Booey to Y’all: The Howard Stern Show and the Art of Defamiliarization.” His current research interests include modern rhetorical theory, humor theory, and stand-up comedy.

Joe Erickson is a PhD student in rhetoric and composition at Bowling Green State University, where he currently teaches first year writing. His research interests include digital writing theory, practice, and pedagogy, activity theory, and disciplinary identity construction.

Erica Fischer is a PhD student in rhetoric at the University of South Carolina. Her current research focuses on examining the uses of and possibilities for the absurd and paradox in argument and communication. More generally, Erica’s interests include rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric and contemporary art, and experimental forms of persuasion.

Lindsey Harness, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Alexander Hayden is a MA candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. His research interests include rhetorics of participatory democracy as well as the rhetorical processes of war and enemyship.

Heather Hayes is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She received her MA in Rhetorical Studies from Texas State University, where her MA thesis, “Critical Views of the Communication Studies Classroom: An Exploration of the Spaces and Power Dynamics of Introductory Communication Texts” was nominated for the National Communication Association Masters Division’s Thesis of the Year Award. Her critical research focuses on how discourse and rhetorical spaces inscribe, reflect, and reinscribe norms of power and identity.

Jes Hodgson recently completed her MA in English at the University of Minnesota Duluth and will be working as an adjunct writing instructor and tutor in Columbia, Missouri this coming fall. Her past projects include research on comic book adaptations of Jane Eyre, the authorizing discourses of Pulitzer prize winning biographies of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and its polemic of Nineteenth-Century neurological practices.

Meg Kunde is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota. She received her MA in Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota and her thesis was entitled “Not a Third Party, but Me!: An Evaluation of Minnesota Independence Party Gubernatorial Candidate Peter Hutchinson’s Failed Attempt to use Ethos and Logos to Connect with Voters.” Her research interests include presidential public address, political campaigns and movements, and religious rhetoric. Her dissertation research is on religion, the presidency, and covenantal relationships.

Eden Leone is a graduate student in the department of Rhetroic at Bowling Green State University.

Tiara Naputi is a PhD student in the Communication Studies Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Her current research interests include the rhetoric of social movements, globalization rhetoric, resource struggles, self-determination, and indigenous issues in Latin American and U.S. territorial contexts.

Timothy Oleksiak is a PhD student in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His current interests center on the relationship between democratic agency and writing instruction with a particular emphasis on the ways in which visual/digital, oral, and written communication contribute to community formation.

Kaitlyn Patia is a graduate student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her current research involves understanding the role contingency plays in mediating the relationship between rhetoric and democracy, conceptualizing democratic style, theories of rhetorical violence, and rhetorics of war and peace.

Maxwell Philbrook is a PhD student in the English Department at Missouri University, Columbia, where he holds the Winifred Bryn Horner Fellowship in Rhetoric and Composition. He studies how audience plays a role in both the composition classroom and in public discourse, particularly in crossover musical genres.

Susan Ryan is a graduate student in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include political discourse, revolutionary movements, human rights, deviance rhetoric, and transitional justice.

Chris Scruton recently completed his PhD in Rhetoric and Scientific & Technical Communication at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His research focuses on the ways in which images and visual narratives have shaped claims and structured arguments in medieval and early modern historical and scientific texts. His other interests include the history of communication technology, visual rhetoric praxis and pedagogy, and narrative criticism.

Daisy Wallace is an MA Student in the English Program at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Her main focus is 19th century Transatlantic literature, especially that of Jane Austen, Frank Norris, and George Sand. She recently wrote about the rhetorical choices of Sutton E. Griggs in his novel Imperium in Imperio, and will be presenting a paper at the 2010 Film and History Conference in Milwaukee, WI about representations of masculinity in the 1940 MGM film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and their possible impact on audience. She is most interested in how redefinitions of ideological concepts change a societal structure.

Participating faculty include:

David Beard is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota – Duluth in the Department of Writing Studies and the Graduate Faculty in English, and is also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Literacy and Rhetorical Studies (UMTC).

Pat Gehrke Pat J. Gehrke is an associate professor in the Program in Speech Communication & Rhetoric and the Department of English at the University of South Carolina. His work focuses on the history of rhetoric and communication in the United States and the role of ethics and politics in rhetorical theory. He brought these two interests together in his latest book, The Ethics and Politics of Speech (Southern Illinois University Press 2009). His current research studies contemporary American practices of democracy and the relationship between democratic politics and rhetorical capital through field observations of American publics.

David Gore is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Richard Graff is a professor of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Mirko Hall is an assistant professor of German Studies and teaches all levels of German language, literature and culture. He also teaches Modern Standard Arabic. His research interests revolve around 18th and 20th century German literature, philosophy and music. Mirko has recently published on music and philosophy in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and Eighteenth-Century Studies. In January 2009, he taught an advanced seminar on the iPod as a technology of the Self at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. Mirko is currently working on Listening in the State of Emergency, a book that explores the nexus of listening subjectivity and critical theory in modernity. Originally from the Twin Cities, he received his BA with highest honors, MA and PhD in German Studies from the University of Minnesota. As a Fulbright Fellow, he also studied philosophy and musicology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Kirsten Jamsen is the director of the Center for Writing at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

John M. Spartz is an Assistant Professor of Professional Writing and Linguistics in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is also an Affiliate Member of the UMD Graduate Faculty in English. Much of his current work is centered around applying (socio)linguistic methodologies to issues in writing pedagogy. Further, he is conducting research on the import of rhetorical education and acumen for nascent entrepreneurs, as well as the types (genres) of documents that entrepreneurs must routinely produce and skills they employ to fund, start, maintain, and grow their ventures.

Arthur Walzer is a professor in the department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Host assignments for the Visiting Scholars:

Erin Rand: Jon Hoffman, UMTC

Joshua Gunn: Heather Hayes, UMTC

Steve Mailloux: Mary Jo Wiatrak Uhlenkott, UMTC

Maegan Parker-Brooks: Kaitlyn Patia, UMTC

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