Tagged: Rhetoric

Mario Untersteiner PRE/TEXT Call For Papers/Participants

Mario Untersteiner was a prolific Italian classicist (arguably philosopher) who focused on the ancient Greeks, and primarily on the origins of tragedy, the sophistic tradition, and the works of Plato and Aristotle. Even though influential within continental European circles during the mid-20th Century, Untersteiner’s works remain relatively unknown to English-speaking rhetoricians. With the notable exception of his most important and widely cited book, The Sophists (translated by Kathleen Freeman,1954), the bulk of Untersteiner’s essays have yet to be translated into English.

This Call for Papers announces a forthcoming double volume of PRE/TEXT: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory (Victor J. Vitanza, Editor and Publisher) that will focus on the work of Mario Untersteiner. The first volume will consist of a series of translations of previously untranslated works by Untersteiner, and the second volume will consist of critical essays that make use of the new translations.

In addition to the goal of making more of Untersteiner’s work available to a broader English-speaking audience, the first volume will also serve as a collaborative experiment in the process of translation and in the rhetorical act of translation. The work will consist of three major phases. Once contributors to the translation volume have been assembled, the translation team will, through a collaborative process, decide which of Untersteiner’s works should be prioritized for translation and inclusion in the volume. Once works have been selected, translation strategies will be devised and executed, and finally, the translations will be reviewed for accuracy both internally and externally.

The subsequent volume of PRE/TEXT will be comprised of critical essays that make use of the translations to contextualize, comment upon, critique, and explore Untersteiner’s place within and contributions to Western rhetorical theory, inquiry, and specifically his contributions to interpretations of the sophistic tradition. Contributors to this second of our two-part Untersteiner series will have access to the set of new translations prior to their publication.

To participate in the compilation, translation, and publication of the first volume in this two-part series, e-mail Nate Kreuter, P/T, Guest Editor (nathankreuter [at] gmail [dot] com) with a brief statement of your interest in Untersteiner and a frank assessment of your own preparedness to translate from Italian to English. We seek the participation of Italian-speaking rhetoricians and rhetoricians with a theoretical interest in the act of translation, as well as the participation of Italian language experts with an interest in the rhetoric of translation, or specific interest in the ancient Greek rhetorical tradition and/or Untersteiner and his work. Suggestions for which Untersteiner essays to include in the translation volume are also welcome at any time, even from those who may not wish to or be able to participate in the actual translation work.

A formal CFP for the second volume of critical essays will be issued at a later date.


The Rhetoric Society of America just released the CFP for their 2014 conference. For those who don’t already know, RSA holds conferences in alternate years, and holds a summer institute during off years. Right now the cycle is for the conference to take place in even years and the summer institute to take place in odd years.

I have mixed feelings about how large RSA, and its conference in particular, has become, and I’ll probably post on those at a later time. Regardless of my feelings though, it is an important conference, and I would argue the vanguard conference in the field. It is the highest quality, and largest, conference where folks from the English side of rhetorical studies and the Communications side of rhetorical studies converge on the same spot. It’s probably worth attending for that quality alone.

I’ll also say this for the CFP: it’s short, sweet, and not nearly as contrived/cutesy as many conference themes are. Thank you for that, RSA.

What appears below is the official RSA 2014 CFP:

Rhetoric Society of America Conference

“Border Rhetorics”


May 22-26, 2014

Marriot River Center – San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is an ideal city for thinking about borders.  Not only has the city been positioned along different national borders, but it also exists at the interesting intersection of diverse cultures and histories.  “Border Rhetorics” not only invites consideration of these kinds of geographic, political and cultural borders but also invites consideration of a wider range of borders: the borders between identities, between roles, between disciplines, between concepts, etc.  The 2014 conference theme seeks to spur a broad conversation about the borders that unite and divide us, the ways in which these borders are constructed and deconstructed, confirmed and contested.

The theme of “Border Rhetorics” opens a space for numerous inquiries and conversations about the things that constitute our borders – politically, culturally, academically, etc. – as well as the ways in which those borders are constructed, crossed, challenged, circumvented, diminished and redrawn.  The theme also encourages us not only to think about our borders but also to think across them in the hopes of opening spaces for dialogue and disagreement that may in turn alter our sense of these borders. 

Interested parties are invited to submit abstracts for individual papers, proposals for panels, and ideas for special format events (roundtables, debates, etc.).  Panels representing only one institution are strongly discouraged and a slight preference will be shown for panels representing not only different institutions but also different disciplinary fields (e.g., Composition and Communication Studies). Submissions that take advantage of off-site venues are also encouraged. 

Proposals Due July 1, 2013; Notifications September 1, 2013

For more details and to submit your proposal, visit:  http://rhetoricsociety.org/aws/RSA/pt/sp/conferences

Join the official RSA 14 conference Facebook group for networking, news and updates:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/551900858153994/553997331277680/?notif_t=group_activity


Old Tractor, RSA '08

This July I’ll be attending the Penn State Rhetoric and Composition Conference (held every other year, on RSA’s off years).  I hadn’t planned on attending until I saw the CFP, which got me very excited.  This will be my first time attending the PSU conference, but I’ve heard good things about it.  If you’re also attending, and particularly if you’re someone I haven’t seen in a while, please drop me a line and let me know:  nathankreuter [at] gmail [dot] com

I’m also excited because I have family in State College and there is great fly fishing there!

The abstract for my paper follows:

Translation Savvy: Beyond Rhetorical Literacies and Across Languages

The call for papers invites us to think about rhetorics and languages in contact, and across medial forms.  Expanding upon one of Collin Gifford Brooke’s arguments in Lingua Fracta, this paper argues that literacy does not adequately encompass the competencies required to rhetorically navigate new media interfaces, nor to cross language boundaries.  Literacies are singular in languages (literate in English, or in French, or Mandarin), and in technologies or interfaces (literate in Windows, or CSS, or in WordPress).  But we cannot anticipate, with the new contacts between languages, and the proliferation of new media technologies, all of the languages/interfaces that student rhetors will one day need to master, nor in what combinations.  This paper argues that we need to go beyond rhetorical literacies, to a concept that I call rhetorical savvy.  If literacy is the ability to navigate a (as in singular) language or media and its rhetorical contingencies with competency, then savvy is the ability to recognize new, and to teach oneself new, literacies for new rhetorical interfaces, as they develop.   The question is, can we teach this more elusive, more encompassing, but less defined quality of rhetorical savvy?  I believe we can, and in the paper I propose a radical new rhetoric curriculum that seeks to teach rhetorical savvy through a combination of analytical, non-English, and technological instruction.  At the core of such instruction would be a new trivium of rhetoric, new media, and language translation.

Brown Trout

This post is quick and dirty.  I won’t even say how I use these ads in class, as I’m sure anyone with a background in rhetoric or the humanities more generally can think of a thousand uses on their own. These ads are particularly rich, and particularly entertaining. I’ve got more of these, and I’ll post them in the future, but I think this is enough for now.

John Hickenlooper, Colorado:

Vernon Robinson, North Carolina:

Steve Novick, Oregon:

Mike Huckabee, Arkansas:


Preschool Political Ad Spoof:

I’ve posted syllabi and most assignments for my undergraduate and graduate courses for Spring 2011.  All class materials can always be found on the Courses page.

Materials for both sections of the undergraduate course ENGL 102: Writing and Critical Inquiry can be found here: ENGL 102-09 and ENGL 102-13.

Here are the materials for the graduate course ENGL 695: Visual and Digital Rhetorics.

I hope everyone enjoyed the snow days.  I did.  And it sure is a lot easier to deal with snow days in the beginning of the semester than in the middle of it . . .  See you all in class.

As always, if you’re an instructor at another institution and would like to crib something from me, feel free, but please do attribute.  I’m happy to answer questions about my syllabi and materials as well.

Mt Lassen, CA