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Invitation to Submit to NC-State’s RSA unConference

Hello CRDM community,

The Rhetoric Society of America chapter at NC State will host Rhetorical Listening: An unConference for Social Justice on Saturday, April 14 from 11:30AM-3:30PM at NC State.

Please see the full call for this event below and fill in the registration form by Friday, March 30th. The event will be an informal and participant-directed opportunity to engage with other scholars, artists, and activists in the area on important and timely discussions about rhetoric and social justice.

We hope many of you will participate, and please let us know if you have any questions!

Mai Xiong & Laura Roberts
RSA Chapter President & Vice-President


Rhetorical Listening: An Unconference for Social Justice

Rhetorical listening as defined by Krista Ratcliffe (2004) is a trope for interpretive invention that “signifies a stance of openness that a person may choose to assume in relations to any person, text, or culture” (p. 17). Jacqueline Jones Royster’s question of how we can turn language into action (p. 17) resonates with this ethic of openness, empathy, and embodiment (Clark, 2015; Hawhee, 2017). As both scholars and citizens in 2018, we wonder what it means to listen rhetorically, what it means to empathize, and how to create coalitions where diverse groups of people can “swing along” with one another (Clark, 2015). What rhetoric brings us together? What rhetoric solidifies us and prompts us to both actively engage in social change and to listen when another rhetoric calls forth social change?

The Rhetoric Society of America chapter at NC State University invites proposals for our second annual “Unconference,” an open exchange for graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty, activists, and others. We seek in-progress, partial, and collaborative works on issues of rhetorical listening, empathy, and social action. We emphasize in this call the real-world implications of the rhetorical work we do and the ways in which it can be a tool for social justice by listening to people’s intersecting identifications with race, gender, sexuality, disability, and other identities. Our unconference will be a site to discuss ways to improve rhetorical listening, as well as an opportunity to workshop and develop projects on this topic. We welcome:

  • Written projects (in-progress academic or creative works that address rhetorical listening)

  • Material projects such as zines, digital projects, fiber work, food, etc.

  • Conversations where you would like to workshop partially-formed ideas with others such as discussion questions, research questions, etc.

  • Proposals for community projects, political actions, or strategic plans

  • Sound projects such as stories, songs, or electronic compositions

  • Art or performance pieces

  • Any other works-in-progress that address issues of rhetorical listening

We are also proud to be joined by our featured invited speaker, Cecelia Shelton, a PhD student at East Carolina University focusing on technical writing and social justice.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 14  from 11:30AM-3:30PM at North Carolina State University’s campus in Raleigh. Please fill out our registration form with your information, a 100-word description of your work in progress, and any material or technological needs you have. We will also be providing lunch during the event, so please provide any dietary restrictions you may have. Our goal is for participant interest to shape how the event is organized, so please complete your registration by March 30th.

We hope you can join us for an exercise in listening that will lead to new formations in the way we approach social justice in our academic, creative, and activist work!

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