RSA 2018 Preconference CFP

ARSTM Preconference on Rhetorics of Resilience

RSA Biennial Meeting in Minneapolis, MN
Preconference date: Thursday, May 31, 2018
Submission deadline: Friday, August 18, 2017 at 11:50pm ET

Rhetoric is a resilient art. Its stability and mutability across centuries attest to its dynamism as a domain of knowledge production and engaged practice. Across technoscientific disciplines, resilience has become a key trope for describing the practices of (bio)security, sustainability, human health, child development, infrastructure, technological systems, and other common sites of study in rhetorics of science, technology, and medicine (RSTM). Often resilience is understood as an ability to cope, to recover quickly, and to reduce vulnerability by bouncing back and returning to a desired stable state (Holling, 2001; Walker and Salt, 2012). Yet rhetorical scholars have elaborated on resilience as a dynamic discourse that can disrupt or stabilize cosmopolitan nationalism and neoliberal capitalism (Bean, Keranen, and Durfy, 2011); as a path for growth in changing circumstances dependent upon emergent community responses (McGreavy, 2016); and as an attribute of infrastructure and technological systems that can serve as useful guides for deliberation (Johnson and Johnson, 2016). These rhetorical approaches to resilience capture the elasticity between change/stability and security/vulnerability dialectics that have yet to be fully addressed by RSTM scholars so well positioned to do so.

For the 2018 ARSTM Preconference at Rhetoric Society of America (RSA), we invite papers and panels that engage and extend our rhetorical understanding of resilience across topical, theoretical, methodological, and pragmatic lines of inquiry such as:

  • What is resilient about rhetoric and what is rhetorical about resilience discourses and practices?
  • How does resilience function inside technoscientific disciplines and/or among scientifically inflected political formations?
  • How does resilience function as a mode of power? In what ways do calls to “be resilient” inflict violence on some communities and not others?
  • Which rhetorical methodologies are resilient across communities of disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and/or public engagement scholarship?
  • How might RSTM scholars theorize and practice resilient rhetorical methodologies?
  • How might rhetoric and resilience open reflective pathways for community engagements with science, technology, and medicine?
  • Where and how can rhetoric productively invent and intervene in discourses and practices of resilience? How, through rhetoric, might we do resilience differently?

We invite projects and panel discussions that aim to engage and enhance rhetorical understandings of resilience within and across technoscientific domains. Submissions may be in the form of individual abstracts or panel proposals of three or four. Each abstract should detail in 300 words or less (not including references) how the project will contribute to an understanding of rhetoric and resilience in science, technology, and medicine. Panel proposals should also include a 100-word rationale for the panel along with the individual abstracts. Please do not include any identifying information in the abstracts.

Submissions should be sent as an attachment to and by 11:59pm ET on August 18th, 2017. Please use “ARSTM RSA Preconference Submission” as your email subject, and provide a list of presenters along with preferred contact information in the email. Any questions about this CFP and the ARSTM preconference at RSA may be addressed to and