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[Commlist] CfP Rhetoric as Strategic Thinking

Thu Sep 03 15:50:45 GMT 2020

Call for Papers
8thRhetoric in SocietyConference
EberhardKarlsUniversity,26–28 May 2021
Tübingen, Germany
Organized by the Rhetoric Society of Europe in collaboration with the
Institutefor General Rhetoric and the Institute for Media Studies at Tübingen University <>
We are very happy to announce that proposals are now invited for panels, papers,roundtables,and other forms of presentation to be delivered atRhetoric in Society 8, which is the biannual conference organized by the Rhetoric Society of Europe. The conferenceis scheduled totake place from May 26thto 28th2021 at EberhardKarlsUniversity in Tübingen, Germany. The incalculable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic obliges us to remain precautious. As the safety of our conference participants is of highest concern, we ought to point out that in an event of the pandemic extending into thelate springof 2021, the conference will be postponed. However, we remain optimistic and encourage you to submit your papers and panels and are looking forward to welcoming you in Tübingen.
Weinviteproposals for:

  * Papers or panels which speak directly to the conference theme
    (explained below);
  * Papers or panels which address general issues related to the theory,
    analysis & practice of rhetoric insociety;
  * Other kinds ofpresentationssuch as roundtables, world cafésor debates.

Rhetoricas StrategicThinking
With its focus on ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic thinking,’ theRhetoric in Society 8conference discusses the ways we define rhetoric as a specific form of communication, argumentation, persuasion,ormediation. Strategic thinking as a complex cognitive activity involves the mental representation of a goal as well as an understanding of theways and means to achieve this goalthroughcommunicative action. Rhetors are expected toimaginea number ofpossible scenarios before deciding on a specific strategy and even to adjust this strategy during a campaign or even during a single speech. As Quintilian famously put it in hisInstitutiooratoria(II, 13, 2, transl. Butler): “If the whole of rhetoric could be thus embodied in one compact code, it would be an easy task of little compass: but most rules are liable to be altered by the nature of thecase, circumstances time and place, and by hard necessity itself.Consequently,the all-important gift for an orator is a wise adaptability since he is called upon to meet the most varied emergencies.” The bellicose metaphor of the commander (strategos) isoften used in ancient rhetorical theories to conceive of the orator’s ability to adjust a strategic plan to specific circumstances or specific audiences. Like the commander, Quintilian’s oratorhas tofind answers “in the circumstances of the case.” (Institutiooratoria, II, 13, 5, transl. Butler) The conference endeavors to discuss rhetoricasstrategic thinking in order to both define and question a key characteristic of rhetorical communication. It does so by exploring different concepts from differentdisciplinary backgrounds, such as argumentation, strategic maneuvering, imagination and mental simulation,rhetorical agency, situational rhetoric, literature and linguistics, political theory, communication and media studies, organizationalrhetoric/communication, public relations, philosophy of language and many more. We would also like to discuss the blurring boundaries between rhetoric and other forms of strategic communication such as manipulation, propaganda, or populism, to assess the strategies applied by human and non-human actors in scripted or artificial media environments, and to explore the conditions responsible for the success or failure of rhetorical strategies and tactics in societies that are increasingly coping with polarization, radicalization and deception.
General papers
We also invite proposals for papers and panels more generally concerned with the theory, practice or analysis of rhetoric. This may include, for example, historical scholarship, theoretical analysis and contemporary cultural or political critique; work grounded in political theory, philosophy, languages and linguistics, argumentation, literary studies, communication studies, composition, media studies, psychology, sociology, history, cultural studies and more. Papers might be comparative, national or international in focus, concerned withparticular orators, ideologies or movements and focus on spoken, written or audio-visual communication.
Alternative presentations
We welcome proposals for forms of presentation other than panels and papers. This mightinclude:roundtables addressing key rhetorical themes, works or phenomena; debates between contending positions; other, novel and effective ways of communicating research findings, claims and arguments.

How to submit a proposal
Please submit your paper proposals (bySeptember30th2020toris8 /at/ Conference organizers: Prof. Dr. Olaf Kramer, Prof. Dr. Dietmar Till, Dr. Anne Ulrich (Institute for General Rhetoric; Institute for Media Studies, University of Tuebingen, Germany)
We will inform you about our decisionDecember 1st2020.
Please do not submit more than two proposals. Panelproposals should not comprise more than four individual papers.
Individual Paper Proposals
All individual paper proposals must be written in English and submitted to the Committee with the following information:

  * Title
  * Author name

  * Email address
  * Affiliation
  * Abstract (300 words maximum)

Session Proposals
Session Organizers should submit session proposals written in English to the Committee with the following information:

  * Session title
  * Session abstract of 300 words maximum
  * List of participants including chair, presenters and discussants (if
    applicable), their email addresses, and the names of the
    institutions that they are associated with

  * The related paper abstracts (300 words maximum/ paper)

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