CFP: Words Matter: Politics, Rhetoric, and Social Justice the 15th Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference hosted by the English Department at Indiana University Bloomington

Words Matter: Politics, Rhetoric, and Social Justice*

*Indiana University Bloomington*

*March 24-25, 2017*

We are issuing a Call for Proposals for scholarly and creative submissions
for the 15th Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference entitled
“Words Matter: Politics, Rhetoric, and Social Justice,” hosted by the
English Department at Indiana University Bloomington, March 24-25, 2017.

This conference aims to interrogate politics, rhetoric, and social justice
in moments of national and international upheaval. We aim to address these
terms individually, but also their entanglements across historical moments
and geographical locations.

What are the modern and pre-modern histories of these terms? How do
literary and visual texts engage questions of politics, rhetoric, and
social justice? What are the physical and material manifestations of these
concepts? How do genre, discipline, and methodology impact the
representation and study of these topics? What roles do both written and
spoken words have in politics? Who/what has a voice and who/what is
silenced socially and politically? How is rhetoric informed by politics,
and what are the implications of their entanglements? What do we mean by
“social justice” and how has this term been shaped historically? How do
digital and virtual cultures intersect with social justice, and how have
those cultures changed our perceptions of political movement and rhetorical

We invite submissions from all disciplines addressing, but not limited to,
the following topics:

•    Black Lives Matter, critical race studies, (anti-)colonial and
postcolonial literature

•    materialisms, phenomenology, object oriented ontology

•    testimony, witnessing, civic duty

•    anatomy, bodies of texts (corpora), the blazoned body

•    language(s), translations, textuality, signification,
vernacular/discourse studies

•    advertising, memes, slander, mudslinging, rumors, gossip, virality,
trolling, verbal abuse

•    articulations of remembrance, monuments, postmemory han, therapy
writing, memoirs, trauma study

•    tattoos, body art, graffiti, banners

•    protest literature, pamphlets, broadsides, community activism,
grassroots politics

•    reproductive rights, gender and sexuality studies

•    legality, legislation, legal personhood, “the letter of the law,”

•    writing as activism, digital activism, Twitter, journalism,
letter-writing campaigns, epistolary cultures

•    communication studies, composition studies, pedagogy

•    lyrics, music/sound studies, poetry

•    global citizens, peace studies, area studies, nationhood

•    vocality, muteness, silence, censorship, animal advocacy, post-humanism

•    storytelling, myths, typology, “a people’s history”

•    close/distant readings, scales of reading, big data, text mining

•    structuralism, poetics, aesthetics, formalism, figurative language

•    sacred words, religion, naming

We invite proposals for individual scholarly papers, creative works, and
panels organized by topic. Please submit (both as an attachment and in the
body of the email) an abstract of no more than 250 words along with the
following personal details: name, institutional affiliation, degree level,
email, and phone number.

Submission Deadline: *December 16, 2016* (email to

This conference is generously supported by the Department of English,
Department of Anthropology, Department of African American and African
Diaspora Studies, and Cultural Studies Program.

About Steve Mentz 1264 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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