Archive for calls, August 2020

[Previous message][Back to index]

[Commlist] Fwd: [TheIECA] CFP for 2020 ARSTM@NCA Virtual Preconference on Social Justice

Sat Aug 29 09:36:08 GMT 2020

from Lauren E. Cagle, (lauren.cagle /at/

I'm truly excited to share this year's ARSTM@NCA (Association for Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine @ National Communication Association) preconference CFP with you. It's a strange, long year, and I am already missing the energy and imagination and insights I usually get from convening with y'all at various conferences.

In lieu of a traditional preconference, we are holding a virtual half-day preconference with a mix of traditional and non-traditional elements. Please check out the CFP <>, read my blog post <> for some more context on it, and email me with any and all questions. (Full CFP below to save you the click-through!)

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer for conference proposals (reviewers will each get 3-4 individual paper/presentation abstracts of no more than 300 words), please fill out this ARSTM@NCA 2020 reviewer form <>.


      ARSTM@NCA 2020 Virtual Preconference on Social Justice

/Abstract submission deadline:/ Thursday, September 4, 2020 at 11:59pm ET*
*/Decision notification:/ Wednesday, September 30, 2020*
*/Papers/presentations due for upload:/ Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 11:59 ET*
*/Preconference date:/ 12:00-6:30pm ET, Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Association for Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ARSTM) will host its annual preconference prior to the National Communication Association conference. We will meet online via a video conferencing platform on November 18, 2020, the day before the106th Annual Convention of National Communication Association <>.

The preconference will be a half-day virtual gathering of RSTM scholars presenting about, reflecting on, and planning actions related to the theme of social justice. All sessions will be live-captioned by professional CART captioners.

      /What is the virtual ARSTM@NCA 2020 preconference about?/

For this ARSTM@NCA 2020 preconference, we invite you to consider how the rhetorical and social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine (STM) intersect with (in)justices of all kinds. Rhetoricians are well positioned to consider how STM discourses might enable or preclude just social processes and outcomes. The inextricable social and material threads of STM’s many onto-epistemological systems have real consequences for real people. And rhetoric offers multiple tools for making sense of these consequences and striving to bend these systems towards justice.

Social justice, as concept, study, and practice, resists reduction. Natasha Jones, Kristen Moore, and Rebecca Walton describe social justice as “the bridge from diversity to inclusion” (2016, p. 219). It is the messy, complex, and constant work of “redressing inequities and acknowledging harm” in service of dismantling systems of oppression (Jones et al., 2016, p. 219). The ongoing nature of social justice work is reflected in the fact that this is a repeat theme from the 2014 ARSTM@RSA preconference <>, which took up social justice as a key concern in and of science.

As rhetoricians of STM, we can use our expertise to address the particular ways rhetoric, science, technology, and medicine are intertwined with (in)justice and people’s experiences of injustice. Rhetoricians have shown injustice’s ubiquitous entanglement with RSTM topics, from disease (see, e.g., Raquel Robvais’s work on Sickle Cell Anemia) to metaphor (see, e.g., Leah Ceccarelli’s work on the frontier metaphor in science) to medical theories (see, e.g., John Lynch’s work on genetics and race) to technological interpellations of minoritized people (see, e.g., Chris Gilliard’s work on surveillance and racial profiling). These examples illustrate how rhetoricians can theorize, circulate, and act on ideas about rhetoric and justice in order to make sense of the scientific, technological, and medical strands undergirding historical and contemporary systems of oppression.

And not only /can/ we do this work. We /should/ do this work. As the ARSTM leadership wrote in our June 8, 2020, “Statement on Anti-Black Racism and the Murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and Others” <>:

As rhetoricians of science, technology, and medicine, it is our ethical responsibility to acknowledge and reckon with the injustices central to the topics we study. And it is our responsibility to critique and resist the use of science, technology, and medicine as tools for the oppression of Black, Brown, and Indigenous People. We can and should use the rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine to call out and address institutional racism and to amplify and support those who are already doing that work, from #BlackInSTEM advocates to anti-surveillance community groups to reproductive justice activists and beyond.

In service of this ethical responsibility, we envision the ARSTM@NCA 2020 preconference as a place to tease out, share, and deliberate on the connections to social justice that unquestionably exist in all our work. We also envision the preconference as an opportunity to reflect on how we can acknowledge harms and redress inequities in our professional communities.

For the 2020 ARSTM@NCA Preconference, we invite individual papers that address or embody the following questions:

  * What does “social justice” mean in the context of your research
    questions, research sites, methodologies, and teaching of RSTM? What
    frameworks for justice can and/or do you bring to your RSTM work?
  * How have science, technology, and medicine contributed to
    injustices, both historical and contemporary? How has science,
    technology, and medicine been used in the pursuit of justice, both
    historically and today?
  * How can engaged RSTM contribute to social justice efforts? How can
    RSTM amplify the work of practitioners and activists?
  * How do our professional RSTM spaces and practices contribute to
    (in)justice? What social justice actions should institutional
    leaders and privileged members of the field in particular take to
    acknowledge harms and redress inequities?

      /How will the virtual ARSTM@NCA 2020 preconference work?/

The preconference will have some traditional elements, such as keynote speakers, prepared papers and/or presentations, Q&A with paper and/or presentation authors, and networking opportunities. However, to make this work in a virtual format, we’ll be approaching these traditional elements in a somewhat non-traditional fashion. Here’s the process:

 1. *Applicants submit abstracts.*
    Interested authors are invited to submit individual
    paper/presentation abstracts for anonymous peer review.

 2. *Accepted authors upload a full paper and/or video recording of a
    presentation. **
    *Authors with accepted abstracts will submit a 1000-1500 word paper
    and/or 5-10 minute video-recorded presentation to a secure cloud
    platform 2 weeks prior to the preconference.

 3. *Attendees read/view papers/presentations in advance.*
    Attendees will have 2 weeks to read and watch uploaded papers and
    presentations prior to the preconference.

 4. *Attendees and authors join the live preconference for a keynote
    panel followed by Q&A sessions with paper/presentation authors.*
    On the day of the preconference, we will begin with a traditional
    keynote panel with accomplished speakers and audience Q&A. Following
    that, we will have a series of paper discussion sessions in which a
    session chair briefly introduces 3-4 papers and then the remaining
    synchronous meeting time is dedicated to Q&A with the audience.
    Attendees will be able to come and go as needed based on their

      /How do I submit a proposal to give a paper/presentation at the
      ARSTM@NCA 2020 preconference?/

In an individual abstract of 300 words or fewer, detail how your paper and/or presentation will further our understanding of social justice in relation to rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine as a research site and/or as a professional space. Individual abstracts may have multiple authors. Because of this year’s abbreviated virtual format, we are not inviting panel proposals.

Send your abstract as an attachment without any identifying information to (lauren.cagle /at/ by September 4, 2020. Please use “ARSTM Preconference Submission” as your email subject, and provide your preferred contact information and the contact information for any co-authors in the email body. Any questions about this CFP and the ARSTM@NCA 2020 preconference may be addressed to (lauren.cagle /at/ <mailto:(lauren.cagle /at/>.

For more details about the preconference, please be sure to subscribe to the ARSTM listserv <>, where we'll share a series of blog posts with announcements about keynote speakers, membership costs, and other details over the coming weeks.

This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/

[Previous message][Back to index]