Symposium on Applied Rhetoric

2019 Call for Proposals

Utah Valley Convention Center

Provo, Utah

May 24-25, 2019

Proposal deadline: February 28, 2019 Extended to Friday, March 15!

To submit a proposal, visit

During our first symposium in June 2018, the Applied Rhetoric Collaborative described a primary purpose of applied rhetoric as “being a force for good in the world.” At this second symposium, we seek an interdisciplinary group of scholars who practice, teach, and study applied rhetoric to examine how this mission is enacted in our personal and professional lives. We invite scholars of rhetoric and professional/business/technical communication to join us to continue a conversation that defines applied rhetoric and examines how rhetoricians of all types can work in public spaces.

The second Symposium on Applied Rhetoric focuses on actions, practices, structures, ideas, tools, pedagogies, and theories of rhetoric in our personal and professional lives. How do those of us in universities (one type of community) collaborate with people in other communities to use, create, and dispute rhetoric? How do practitioners use rhetoric to guide their organizations and interact with clients or constituents? How does the public use rhetoric to make change in their communities?

We seek presentations about the practice, pedagogy, and research of applied rhetoric. Theory from all corners of the rhetorical world is welcome: critical, digital, feminist, material, medical, multimodal, queer, scientific, spatial, textual, visual, and more. The Applied Rhetoric Collaborative is a living example of Bakhtin’s idea of heteroglossia: a diversity of voices, perspectives, and interests. The thread that unites us is a theoretical frame on rhetoric and an interest in applying it to contemporary problems and projects.

We encourage presentations of all types, but ARC is specifically interested in:

  • Actions: Reporting on activities that use rhetoric to be a force for good in the world. Explaining what you did, how you did it, and how others could follow your lead.
  • Practices: Reporting on a document or product from an action out in the world. Explaining a document/product in its context, explaining what it is, how it came to be, and how it can be used/modified by others for similar work.
  • Ideas: Sharing an in-progress work. Celebrating in-process research on applied rhetoric, both on action and documents/products.
  • Structures: Explaining how to go about a type of project for someone who might be interested in doing so themselves
  • Pedagogies: Explaining a pedagogical project related to public-facing rhetorical action.
  • Theory: Traditional research talks/panels on civic, public, and local rhetorical issues or projects.

Pre-Symposium Digital Presentations

In addition to the traditional presentations at the symposium, we are hosting a pre-symposium in which three panelists present their work in an online video-conference forum. These presentations, fully a part of the conference and included in the program, will allow an extension of the applied rhetoric community throughout the year. It will also serve the goal of limiting the number of concurrent sessions, so that the audiences for each individual panel session are as large as possible from members of the applied rhetoric community. The pre-symposium will be held on March 28, 2019, at 5:00 EST.

Symposium Schedule

Friday morning: Individual presentations in concurrent panels. All aspects of applied rhetoric are welcome in these individual presentations. The topics need not be specific to “civic, public, local.”

Friday afternoon: Plenary sessions where all attendees will attend individual presentations about the topics of “civic, public, local.”

Saturday morning: Large group discussion to brainstorm applied rhetoric opportunities, network for potential applied rhetoric collaborations, and discuss ongoing goals for the organization in this emerging interdisciplinary field.

Saturday afternoon: Plenary sessions where all attendees will attend individual presentations about the topics of “civic, public, local.”

The outcome of the symposium will be a deeper network of rhetoricians dedicated to the practice of applied rhetoric and further development of the Applied Rhetoric Collaborative organization.