ASHR at NCA 2020

Call for Papers

The American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) invites submissions in the form of individual papers, paper sessions, and panel discussions for the 106th NCA Annual Convention, “Communication at the Crossroads,” November 19-22, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NCA Convention Central will open for conference submissions on January 13, 2020. Submissions MUST be uploaded to the site by 11:59 pm, Pacific Time, on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

The purpose of ASHR is to promote the study of the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods, languages, and cultural contexts.

Although we welcome any submission that fits our general mission, we will be especially interested at this conference in:

a) Concepts of motion, agency, circulation, and flow that help diverse identities and ideas converge in particular topoi and places.

b) Directions of the field, emphasizing existing intersections that catalyze contemporary scholarship out of old traditions of theory and practice.

c) Paths that lead us out of our former selves (as scholars or as a field) and toward new horizons of understanding.

d) Rhetorical insights informed by Indiana, perhaps the works of Kurt Vonnegut, the State Conventions of Colored Citizens, Albion Fellows Bacon, and speeches of Eugene Debs.

Submission Formats:

1) Individual Papers: We will consider complete papers of no more than 8,000 words (including references). Please remove all author identifying information from the paper and include a description of no more than 250 words. If all authors are student, please select student paper in the submission form to be considered for the ASHR Top Student Paper award. It will be presented with fanfare at the ASHR Business Meeting and featured on the ASHR website, alongside our dissertation award.

2) Paper Sessions: We also invite cohesive proposals for paper sessions. The proposal should include a session title, a 200-300 word thematic description and overall rationale for the panel, a paper title and 250-word description for each paper, a designated chair, respondent, and 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 a panel title, a thematic description of 200-300 words, a rationale that both justifies the topic and why a discussion format is required, a designated chair, and participant contact information.

For all submission types, AV requests should be made at time of submission. Sessions should include individuals representing multiple institutions, and a single person should not serve more than one role (i.e., chair, respondent, or presenter).

Practical and Ethical Reminders: 

NCA offers wonderful resources for preparing your submission ( If you submit work, you are making a firm commitment to register for and attend the Convention. Please only submit work that has not been presented elsewhere and is not under consideration for presentation at another conference or for publication. Submit to only one NCA unit, and be sure that you can produce your full presentation to respondents promptly at their request. Our interest group is known for strong mentorship and an inclusive, warm community. We will take harrassment, intimidation, or any other breech of ethical conduct especially seriously, through NCA’s stated policies.

More Information:

Please visit ASHR’s website for further information about the society including upcoming events, the journal (Advances in the History of Rhetoric, becoming Journal for the History of Rhetoric in 2020!), resources, and more:

Brandon Inabinet, Furman University
ASHR Interest Group Planner 2020