ASHR 2018 Symposium

“Diversity & Rhetorical Traditions”
May 31–June 1, 2018
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Final Program PDF

Duluth Room, Hilton Minneapolis


Thursday, May 31

8:00 am
Coffee & Welcome Remarks

Scott R. Stroud, ASHR President

8:15–9:30 am
Session I: Recovering Diversity and Race in our Histories of Rhetoric

Chair: Paul Stob, Vanderbilt University

“Recuperating and Reinscribing Frederick Douglass as a Rhetorical Theorist: Understanding His Rhetorical Performance in Narrative
D’Angelo Bridges, Pennsylvania State University

“Transpolarities of Consciousness: Eugene Debs, W. E. B. Dubois, and World War I”
Andrew Leslie, Davidson College
Margaret Zulick, Wake Forest University

“Legal Rhetoric and Dètourning Competency in Early 20th Century American Indian Activism”
Margaret Franz, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“A Framework for Examining Non-Western Discursive Practices and Extracting Rhetorical Insights from the Turkish Rhetorical Tradition”
Elif Guler, Longwood University
Iklim Goksel, Independent Scholar

9:30–10:30 am
Session II: Diversity and Rhetorical Practice in European Traditions

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

“Rhetorical Imitation and Civic Diversity”
Robert E. Terrill, Indiana University

“Rhetorical Education in Prisons: Diversifying Advocacy, Agency, and the Archive”
Bjørn Stillion Southard, University of Georgia

“Between Saints and Druids: A Study of Monastic and Native Rhetorical Traditions in Pre-Carolingian Ireland”
Brian James Stone, Cal Poly Pomona

10:30–10:45 am

10:45–12:00 pm
Keynote 1

“Contestation of Rhetoric within the Chinese Tradition: An Overview of Confucian Moralistic Rhetoric, Daoist Transcendental Rhetoric, and Mohist Utilitarian Rhetoric”
Xing Lu, DePaul University
Introduced by LuMing Mao, Miami University of Ohio

12:00–1:30 pm

1:30–2:30 pm
Session III: Diversity and the Rhetorical Echoes of Africa

Chair: Kundai Chirindo, Lewis & Clark College

“The Midnight Speech: Independence, Liminality, and Postcolonial Address from India to Ghana, and Beyond”
Erik Johnson, St. Lawrence University

“On the Differences between Maatian Communicative Solidarity and Socratic Dialogue”
Melba Velez Ortiz, Grand Valley State University

“Constituting Postcolonial Identities: Kwame Nkrumah’s ‘Operation Psychology’ as a Continuum of Influence”
Keon Pettiway, Eastern Michigan University

2:30–3:45 pm
Plenary Session: Diversifying the History of Rhetoric

Chair: Scott R. Stroud, University of Texas at Austin

LuMing Mao, Miami University of Ohio
Janet M. Atwill, University of Tennessee
Kundai Chirindo, Lewis & Clark College
Xing Lu, DePaul University
Omedi Ochieng, Denison University

3:45–4:00 pm

4:00–5:15 pm
Session IV: Desire, Space, and Place in Rhetorical Histories

Chair: Allison M. Prasch, Colorado State University

“The Rhetorical Erotics of Audre Lorde”
Beth Innocenti & Matthew Kay, University of Kansas

“Hu Shi on the Ideological Protection of ‘Defenseless Democracies’”
Rya Butterfield, Nicholls State University

“‘Carving out Space’ in the Rhetorical Tradition”
Selena J. Palomino, Colorado State University

“Difference and Identity in Aelius Aristides’ ‘Regarding Sarapis’”
Janet M. Atwill and Josie Portz, University of Tennessee

5:30–8 pm
RSA Reception and Special Panel on Immigration, Religion, Diversity, and Politics

Starting at approximately 5:30 pm, our rhetoric colleagues at the University of Minnesota will host a reception at the Weisman Art Museum. There, we will enjoy some refreshments and fantastic art in a building designed by Frank Gehry.

Around 7:00 pm, we will walk next door to the Great Hall in the Cauffman Memorial Union for a special panel on issues of immigration, religion, diversity, and Minnesota state politics.

Friday, June 1

8:00–8:45 am
Session V: Rhetoric and Poetics in Ancient India

Chair: Omedi Ochieng, Denison University

“The Impulse to Rhetoric: Rhetorical and Deliberative Practices in India that Expand Our Understanding of the Relation between Rhetoric and Democracy”
Keith Lloyd, Kent State University Stark

“The Wayward Nymph and the Ties that Bind: Poetics of Persuasion in a Late Rig Vedic Dialogue Hymn as viewed through the Lenses of Alaṃkāraśāstra and Bandhu”
Elizabeth Thornton, University of California, Los Angeles

8:45–9:50 am
Keynote 2

“Building Praise: Augustan Rome, Epideictic, and the Public Good”
Kathleen Lamp, Arizona State University
Introduced by Michele Kennerly, Pennsylvania State University


Symposium Organizer:

  • Scott Stroud, University of Texas at Austin

Program Committee:

  • Ira Allen, Northern Arizona University
  • Devika Chawla, Ohio University
  • Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo
  • Jeremy Engels, Pennsylvania State University
  • Brandon Inabinet, Furman University
  • Richard Graff, University of Minnesota
  • Michele Kennerly, Pennsylvania State University
  • Kassie Lamp, Arizona State University
  • Arabella Lyon, SUNY Buffalo
  • LuMing Mao, Miami University of Ohio
  • Allison Prasch, Colorado State University
  • Paul Stob, Vanderbilt University
  • Alessandra Von Burg, Wake Forest University
  • Bo Wang, California State University Fresno

Special thanks to institutional supporters of the 2018 ASHR Symposium:

  • University of Texas at Austin, Departments of Communication Studies/Rhetoric and Writing
  • Pennsylvania State University, Department of Communication Art & Sciences
  • Northwestern University, School of Communication
  • University of Minnesota, Departments of Communication/Writing Studies
  • Syracuse University, Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies
  • Vanderbilt University, Department of Communication Studies
  • Taylor and Francis


The American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) invites papers to be considered for our 2018 Symposium on “Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions.” The Symposium will be held on May 31-June 1, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, immediately prior to the Rhetoric Society of America Biennial Conference.

To be considered for the Symposium, please submit a one-page, single-spaced abstract to Dr. Scott Stroud ( by September 30, 2017. All submissions should relate to the Symposium theme discussed below, be composed in English, stripped of author identification for peer review, and submitted as either a Word document or a PDF. Authors will be notified about the status of their submissions by the end of the year.

There is no cost to attend the Symposium, although all presenters must be members of ASHR. If you are not currently a member, you will be given an opportunity to join if your paper is accepted. For more information on ASHR, membership, and rates, visit

Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions

Rhetoric, viewed as communicative practice or as a study of communicative practices, must be sensitive to the diversity of standpoints, races and genders, and cultural orientations. These matters have a significant practical import. Who is included in the communities or traditions of discourse we create through our persuasive endeavors, and who is excluded? What difference does difference make to our practices of persuasion, or our accounts of the various traditions of rhetoric?

Diversity has inflected the study of rhetoric. In contemporary times, issues of inclusion and multiculturalism represent challenges to how we conceive of and analyze “the” rhetorical tradition. More and more, scholars are seeing diversity not only within the western tradition of rhetoric, but also among a range of global traditions of thinking through and practicing artful communication. How does the diversity of various traditions of rhetoric affect our study of rhetoric going forward?

This Symposium asks scholars to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of diversity within and among various rhetorical traditions. Some possible topics may be comparative in scope, engaging with differences between culturally-diverse visions of rhetoric. Other approaches may focus on diversity within a given rhetorical tradition, such as Cicero’s Roman appropriation of Greek philosophy or Confucius’s disputes with Daoist approaches to the nature of virtuous speech and action. Yet other topics may circulate around contemporary debates over diversity on the campus or in modern nation states, and what this difference in community composition means for rhetorical practices. Like the theme, the presented papers at this event will showcase a diverse range of approaches to familiar and understudied rhetorical phenomena. Papers can be historical, constructive, or comparative in nature, and can explore the theme of diversity and difference in important figures, in one or more cultures, or within rhetorical practices or events. Diversity and tension in ideas, interests, people, or cultures should be a general thread uniting the presentations at this event.

Featured Speakers

Reflecting the diversity of approaches to the study of rhetoric, this Symposium will feature prominent keynote speakers well-known for their work on a range of cultures and rhetorical traditions:

Historically speaking, the ASHR Symposium has been a site of rich intellectual work animated by a collaborative ethos. AHSR prides itself on creating an environment in which scholars of all ages and all ranks join together for a sustained inquiry into a given topic. Whether you are a seasoned scholar of rhetoric or a new graduate student, please consider joining us for a stimulating discussion of “Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions.”

PDF of announcement

To browse past ASHR Symposia, click here