NCA 2023

ASHR Panels

ASHR is pleased to sponsor the following panels and papers at NCA 2023. Make sure to add these to your conference schedule!

Finding Countermemories and Countertemporalities in Institutional and Noncommemorative Sites of Memory*
Thu, 11/16: 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM EST
Gaylord National | Chesapeake F – Convention Center, Ballroom Level

*Cosponsored with Public Address Division

Chair: Jessy J. Ohl, University of Alabama

Respondent: Patricia G. Davis, Northwestern University


“Diffractive Re-membrance of The Radium Girls,” Savannah Greer Downing, University of Georgia

“Erasing and Reconstructing a Native Memory: A Material Critique of the Southern Border Wall,” Ariel E. Seay-Howard, North Carolina State University, and Scott Mitchell, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

“Where Legends Are Made: A Critical Rhetorical Analysis of The University of Alabama’s The Paul W. Bryant Museum’s ‘Breaking Barriers’ Exhibit,” Kevin Thompson, University of Alabama

Conspiracy Rhetoric and the Limits of Incitement*
Fri, 11/17: 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM EST
Gaylord National | Potomac 1 – Convention Center, Ballroom Level

*Cosponsored with Critical and Cultural Studies Division, NCA-Forum, Public Address Division, and Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division

This panel addresses the genre of “incitement,” aiming to respond to how conspiracy theories evade legal prescriptions on free speech or are enabled by emerging legislation that defends fascistic rhetoric. By “incitement” we mean speech that provokes a violent response from its audiences and publics. We also affirm that conspiratorial rhetorics are also closely related to structures and psychologies of white supremacy, mass shooting events, and metaphors of weaponization.

Chair: Atilla Hallsby, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


Jenny Rice, University of Kentucky
Catherine Chaput, Fordham University
Jack Bratich, Rutgers University
Joshua Gunn, University of Texas, Austin
Johanna Hartelius, University of Texas, Austin
Michael Lechuga, University of New Mexico
Calum Lister Matheson, University of Pittsburgh
Anjali Vats, University of Pittsburgh

Discussing Freedom in Rhetorical History and Memory
Fri, 11/17: 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM EST
Gaylord National | National Harbor 8 – Convention Center, 2nd Floor

This session brings together four papers studying rhetorical history and memory. All these papers are related to our theme: freedom. Ranging from the freedom of life in cosmic harmony, freedom of public and civic engagement, the pleasure of freedom in speech, and the “freedom” of (preserving) places, presenters discuss the rhetoric of freedom across time and cultures.

Chair: R. J. Lambert, Medical University of South Carolina

Respondent: Adam Cody, Virginia Military Institute


“Cosmic Harmony for Theorizing Rhetoric: Bridging Rhetorical Practices From Marcus Aurelius and Zhuangzi,” James Bezotte, University of Texas at Austin

“Making a Messy Civic Space: Moving Beyond the Agora,” Jonathan S. Carter, Georgia Southwestern State University, and Jamie Downing, Georgia College & State University

“Rhetorical Constructions of a Nation’s Built Environment through the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966,” Ashley Rife, St. Lawrence University

“Vice Signaling in the Name of Freedom in Prodicus’ ‘Heracles at the Crossroads,'” Barney R. Young, University of Pittsburgh

American Society for the History of Rhetoric Professional Development Seminar
Fri, 11/17: 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM EST
Gaylord National | National Harbor 8 – Convention Center, 2nd Floor

This seminar offers information, resources, and suggestions on professional development for graduate students and junior scholars. Presenters will share their experiences and insights on building robust careers and engage in discussions with participants.

Chair: Jordan Thomas Loveridge, Mount St. Mary’s University


Martin Camper, Loyola University Maryland
Allison M. Prasch, University of Wisconsin-Madison

American Society for the History of Rhetoric Business Meeting
Sat, 11/18: 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM EST
Gaylord National | National Harbor 8 – Convention Center, 2nd Floor

In this meeting, ASHR steering committee will summarize the works in the past year and present future plans. We will also award top paper and top student paper.

The American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) offers rhetoricians multiple points of entry and enthusiasm. It is fitting that the word “society” should lead this welcome, since rhetoricians understand better than most the importance of gathering with others for a common purpose; moreover, being a rhetorician today (as in plenty of other days) can be a dispiriting business, and sociality helps. The common purpose this particular society sustains is the study of rhetoric as a historically situated cultural practice. Accordingly, ASHR’s programming—from panels organized for its annual NCA unit, to papers given at its biennial symposia, to articles published in its journal—promotes discussion about strains and domains of rhetoric in all historical periods, cultural contexts, and theoretical guises.


Alessandra Beasley Von Burg, Wake Forest University
Jordan Thomas Loveridge, Mount St. Mary’s University
James Garner, Augusta University
Philip Choong, University of San Francisco
Allison M. Prasch, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Cory Geraths, Eureka College
Ned O’Gorman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Junyi Lv, University of Southern California
Elliott Cook, Wake Forest University

The Past as Future: Freeing Public Address through Rhetorical History*
Sat, 11/18: 9:30 AM – 10:45 EST
Gaylord National | Chesapeake F – Convention Center, Ballroom Level

*Cosponsored with Public Address Division

The call for submissions to NCA’s Public Address Division for the 2023 convention asks, “How can the rhetorical study of public address complicate its long history and advance a rich conversation that theorizes and assesses the full range of public discourse, “freeing” it from the operationalization of rhetoric in narrow and exclusionary ways?” Moreover, “with its long history of attention to a narrow sense of discourse, one that was mired in whiteness and privilege, how can the field and the discipline more broadly disrupt assumptions that the only discourses worthy of critical attention are those emanating from whiteness, white masculinity, coloniality, and other endemic forms of violence?”

We argue that rhetorical history offers a significant means by which to investigate these questions. Rhetorical history, as Jason Edward Black contends, “commands cultural expansion, . . . with responsible aplomb, reflexive genuineness, and unbridled collaboration dedicated to justice – not merely diversities and pluralities of topic, approach, and politic,” with attention to its “transformative power.” Rhetorical history also embraces a wide variety of discourses, from digital rhetoric to archival methods, from the rhetoric of science to transnationalism and decoloniality, from public memory to the dynamics of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identities, and sexualities. We embrace Amanda Gorman’s eloquent articulation: “Will we forget, erase, censor, distort the experience as we live it, so that it cannot be fully remembered? Or will we ask, carry, keep, share, listen, truth-tell, so it need not be fully relived?” The choice resonates, as “there is nothing so agonizing, or so dangerous, as a memory unexpressed, unexplored, unexplained & unexploded. Grief is the grenade that always goes off.” An authentically future-driven sense of rhetorical history provides a means of freeing the study of public address from those exclusionary assumptions.

In this panel, participants will offer brief position statements addressing the panel’s theme, followed by a response from Eric King Watts and audience discussion. Sara Baugh examines the resistive poetry of Julia de Burgos as decolonial possibility. Wallace S. Golding assesses land, reparations, and the futures of rhetorical history. Kristen Hoerl confronts and reframes the contradictions of Sixties protest rhetoric. José G. Izaguirre III explores the advantages of revisionist rhetorical histories. Charles Morris III considers the means by which public address is demarcated, focusing particularly on the evolution of queer rhetorical scholarship in recent scholarship. Shawn J. Parry-Giles investigates the recovery of marginalized voices by examining the entangled web of power and protest. Stephen M. Underhill argues that hero worship in rhetorical history can proscribe critical examinations of context and text.

Chair: Kathleen J. Turner, Davidson College

Co-Chair: Jason Edward Black, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Sara Johanna Baugh-Harris, Davidson College
Wallace Golding, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kristen E. Hoerl, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
José G. Izaguirre, University of Texas, Austin
Charles E. Morris III, Syracuse University
Shawn J. Parry-Giles, University of Maryland
Stephen Underhill, Marshall University

Respondent: Eric King Watts, Wake Forest University

Freeing Rhetoric from Injustice
Sat, 11/18: 9:30 AM – 10:45 EST
Gaylord National | Chesapeake F – Convention Center, Ballroom Level

The papers in this session investigate the rhetoric of justice. From anti-caste rhetoric, press representations of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt, presidential rhetoric of Andrew Johnson, to renaming a ski resort associated with the racist history, presenters critically examine rhetorical practices of (in)justice in relation to race, gender, and class.

Chair: Jennifer A. Zenovich, California State University East Bay

Respondent: Darrian Robert Carroll, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


“Anti-Caste Rhetoric of Mahatma Jotiba Phule,” Vishal Thakare

“Palisades Tahoe: Celebrating the 1960 Winter Olympics Memories and Freeing Washoe Tribe from Injustice,” Edwin S. Lee, University of Alabama

“The (Dis)Union Forever: Andrew Johnson, Reconciliation, and The Limits of Unity Rhetoric,” Brandon M. Johnson, Pennsylvania State University

“‘Princess Alice, the Premiere American Girl’: Press Constraints of Alice Roosevelt’s Identity and New Womanhood,” Cassandra Hightower, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tracing Freedom in the Archives
Sat, 11/18: 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM EST
Gaylord National | Chesapeake F – Convention Center, Ballroom Level

How can archival research enable, expand, and constrain our knowledge of rhetorical struggles for freedom? This panel brings together four presenters to examine different dimensions of freedom within understudied rhetorical histories. United by a desire to explore how we might understand race, gender, advocacy, and resistance differently by focusing on lesser-known figures, each paper on the panel considers a unique case study–and a different story–made possible through archival research

Chair: Pamela VanHaitsma, Pennsylvania State University

Respondent: Anita J. Mixon, Wayne State University


“Freedom in Motion: Following the Archival Trail of the University of the Philippines Debate Team,” Carly S. Woods, University of Maryland

“Freedom to Judge: Hospitable Historiography and the Story of the First All-Woman State Supreme Court,” Margaret Police, University of Texas at Austin

“Typing for Thurgood Marshall: Archival Traces and the Multigenerational Legacy of Black Freedom,” Angela G. Ray, Northwestern University

“Women’s Place in the Black Church: Mary Cook Parrish’s Womanist Rhetoric in the Nineteenth Century,” Alisa Hardy, University of Maryland

Responding to The World is Our Stage: The U.S. Presidency Goes Global*
Sat, 11/18: 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM EST
Gaylord National | Chesapeake F – Convention Center, Ballroom Level

*Cosponsored with Public Address Division

Crowds swarm when U.S. presidents travel abroad. The presidential body, moving between secured locations, communicates as much to audiences as their speech. In the new book The World is Our Stage, Allison M. Prasch considers how presidential appearances overseas broadcast US superiority during the Cold War. This panel features four renowned scholars of the U.S. presidency in conversation with Prasch’s work, directing our attention to how it may refashion understandings of rhetoric, politics, and foreign policy.

Chair: Heather Ashley Hayes, University of Alabama


Denise M. Bostdorff, College of Wooster
John M. Murphy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Shawn J. Parry-Giles, University of Maryland
Mary E. Stuckey, Pennsylvania State University

Respondent: Allison M. Prasch, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Freedom of Irony: Contemplation and Communication
Sun, 11/19: 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM EST
Gaylord National | National Harbor 8 – Convention Center, 2nd Floor

This panel celebrates the emancipating value of classical irony: how it integrates patience, imagination, and understanding to foster thoughtful communication. Presenters trace different ways that irony rhetorically engages the heads and hearts of audiences in the present day.

Chair: Eric Grabowsky, Dickinson State University


“Irony as a Hermeneutic and Rhetorical Resource when Encountering Bureaucracy,” Justin Bonanno, Ave Maria University

“The Liberating Irony of Contemplative Horror Storytelling: A Rhetorical Examination,” Gavin F. Hurley, Ave Maria University

“The Value of Communicating-Nothing: Kierkegaard, Socrates, and Irony,” Matthew S. Lindia, Duquesne University

Call for Papers

Submission Deadline Dates:  Mon, 1/9 2023 12:00 AM EST – Thu, 3/30 2023 3:00 AM EST EDT

Important Dates:

  • Monday, January 9, 2023 – submissions open
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023 @ 11:59PM (PST) – deadline for submissions

The American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) invites submissions for the 109th NCA Annual Convention, “Freedom,” held November 16-19, 2023 in National Harbor, MD. Submissions will open on January 9, 2023 on the NCA Convention Central. All Submissions must be uploaded by Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 11:59 PM (PST).

ASHR’s mission is to promote the study of the theory and practice of rhetoric across periods, languages, and cultural contexts. Conceiving of the history of rhetoric in expansive, pluralistic terms, ASHR promotes conversation and scholarship that treats any aspect, facet, and tradition of the history of rhetoric, drawn from formal or informal archives, and informed by a diversity of theoretical and methodological traditions. 

Although ASHR welcomes any submission that fits our general mission, we are particularly interested in scholarship that engages with the convention’s theme “Freedom” in historical contexts and/or related to the history and historiography of rhetoric. Specifically, submissions might engage in (but not limited to) the following lines of inquiry:

  1. Meanings of freedom and associated concepts such as liberty, liberation, emancipation, revolution, and independence;
  2. The relationship between social movements and differing conceptions of freedom; 
  3. Theoretical interrogation and/or cases of rhetorical practices that challenges the assumptions of how individuals and communities can be free; the tangible and intangible methods of achieving freedom; and “freedom to” vs. “freedom from;”
  4. Insights relevant to the history, events, and communities in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area (e.g. Revolutionary War, Civil Rights movement, the City Beautiful Movement, and various historical and cultural museums and memorials).


1) Individual Papers: ASHR asks for complete papers of no more than 8,000 words (including references). Please remove all author-identifying information from the paper and include a 

abstract of no more than 250 words. Submissions should ensure to include title, abstract, keywords, and author information in the appropriate sections of the electronic submission form. If all authors are students, please select “Student Paper” in the submission form to be considered for the ASHR Top Student Paper award. Annual awards will be presented at the ASHR Business Meeting and featured on the ASHR website.

2) Paper Sessions: ASHR invites cohesive proposals for paper sessions. The proposal should include (1) a session title, (2) a 200-300 word thematic description and overall rationale for the panel, (3) a paper title and 250-word description for each paper, (4) a designated chair, (5) respondent (optional), and (6) participant contact information. Please do not submit full papers with paper session proposals. 

3) Panel Discussions: While ASHR generally prefers papers and paper sessions, we will also review proposals on timely, well-grounded, and focused topics particularly suitable for discussion format. Panel discussion proposals should include: (1) a panel title, (2) a 200-300 word thematic description, (3) a 200-300 word rationale justifying the session topic and requirement for a discussion format, (4) designated chair, and (5) participant contact information.


All submitters are encouraged to review the Professional Standards for Convention Participants prior to submission. Helpful resources, including live and recorded step-by-step instructions on how to submit, are available in NCA’s Convention Resources Library. (Convention Resource Library | National Communication Association)

By way of general reminders:

  • For all submission types, A/V requests should be made at time of submission.
  • Paper session proposals should include individuals representing multiple institutions and no single person should operate in more than one role (i.e., chair, respondent, or presenter).
  • Submitting a proposal is a commitment to register for and attend the 2023 NCA convention. 
  • Prior to submitting a proposal that includes other presenters in any capacity, secure their permission to include them and confirm their commitment that they will register for, attend, and present at the convention upon acceptance of the program.
  • ASHR will only consider proposals that are original work that has not been presented at another conference and is not under consideration for another conference. Submitted material should not be published or accepted for publication at the time of submission.
  • A paper or panel proposal may not be submitted to more than one NCA interest group or affiliated organization.
  • Please ensure that respondents can access full presentations at their request.
  • ASHR is known for strong mentorship and an inclusive, warm community. We hope to continue this legacy during the 2023 NCA conference. To that end, ASHR will take harassment, intimidation, or any other breach of ethical conduct seriously.

MORE INFORMATION: Please visit ASHR’s website ( for information about the Society, upcoming events, the journal (Journal for the History of Rhetoric), resources, and more.

ASHR NCA Unit Planner 2023

Junyi Lv

University of Southern California

Elliott Cook

Wake Forest University