University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Organized in the 2007-2008 academic year around the theme of Crossing Boundaries, the Reconfiguring Rhetorical Studies collaborative focused on modern rhetorical theory in 2009 to 2010 while in 2010 and 2011 attention shifted to questions of visual rhetoric.

The original purpose of the collaborative was to foster collaboration between Communication and Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus as well as other colleges. Over the academic year 2007-2008, the Reconfiguring Rhetorical Studies collaborative hosted ten scholars at the UM-Duluth campus beginning with the Crossing Boundaries Colloquium on October 4, 2007.

The Modern Rhetoric Project engaged complicated questions of interdisciplinary work in rhetoric across the disciplinary boundaries of English, Speech, and Composition. The group has continued producing peer-reviewed and published research resulting from their meetings, including collaboratively developed single-author pieces, a Forum for the Quarterly Journal of Speech, and a proposed anthology on ―rhetoric and modernities.‖ The collaborative has opened doors to intercampus and interdepartmental collaboration through their recognition as an Interdiscipinary Graduate Group by the University of Minnesota‘s Graduate School Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives and through October‘s Colloquium on Modern Rhetoric and May‘s Graduate Symposium in Interdisciplinary Rhetorical Studies.


For the Visual Rhetoric Project, scholars within the Communication Program (itself an interdisciplinary faculty comprising communication studies, writing studies, and literary studies faculty) at the Crookston campus were able to collaborate with scholars of other disciplines at the campus as well as with scholars and artists from throughout the region and nation. That collaboration quickly grew to an exemplary model for intercampus and regional collaboration. The Visual Persuasion and Interdisciplinarity Conference took place on the UM-Crookston campus on October 14, 2010. Scholars, students, and artists from UMC, the region, and beyond presented at this conference. There were large crowds throughout the day, with overflow standing required when the 150 chairs were occupied, with a total attendance tabulated by door counts at more than 450 throughout the day.

Conveners: David Beard and Kenneth Marunowski  (Writing Studies, UMN Duluth) and David Gore, Michael Pfau , Elizabeth Nelson, and Mark Huglen (Communication, UMN Crookston).