• 2017 Conference

    Submissions for this conference are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted! We will be in touch with you shortly, and we will have more information about the conference in mid-August.

    CALL FOR PROPOSALS | Graduate Student Conference

    Making Meaning: Discourses from the Margins

    An Interdisciplinary Conference Hosted by LangRhet, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 20-21, 2017. For a PDF version of the CFP, please click here.

    Featured Speakers:

    Sami Schalk, Assistant Professor, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Amy Vidali, Associate Professor of English, University of Colorado Denver

    The Language and Rhetorical Studies group at the University of Michigan invites you to join us for a conference devoted to exploring discourses from the margins. Inspired by hybrid and intersectional work in disability, queer, and feminist studies, our call invites participants whose work likewise questions subjectivities, boundaries, and embodiments. We are especially interested in scholarship or activism that investigates both acknowledged and unacknowledged voices at the margins. What do language and rhetoric, or fields within them, look like as they travel through discourse communities? What experiences, bodies, and voices are absent, or sidelined, in our thinking? How do discourses of the margins interact with the mainstream? How could or should they? With these questions in mind, this conference will function as a space for graduate and professional students from across the disciplines to question, analyze, and theorize discourses at and within the margins in various forms, functions, and purposes.


    In addressing marginalized discourses, proposals should consider questions about the role that language, rhetoric, or literacy plays in these spaces. Papers could fall into (but are not limited to) the following categories:

      • Disability rhetorics
      • Queer studies
      • Feminist studies
      • Activist rhetorics
      • Critical race theory
      • Intersectional identities/intersectionality
      • Rhetorical studies
      • Sociolinguistics
      • Language ideology
      • Literacy studies
      • Composition theory
      • Critical and practical pedagogies
      • Critical research methods

    Presentation Guidelines

    This is an interdisciplinary conference, so please design your presentations to be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience. We are interested in creating panels that allow space for discussion and audience interaction beyond the confines of the traditional Q/A.  

      • Presenters will have 12-15 minutes of a 75-minute session.
      • Panels should leave at least 15 minutes for questions, responses, or activities.
      • Proposals for panels of three or more speakers are welcome.

    Please note, this conference is a space to present research that is in various states of development: from nascent ideas you’re just starting to engage, to more developed research that you want to share. In either case, please design your presentations with audience interaction in mind. This might include planning for discussion through shared questions, short reflective writing prompts, small group analysis, or other thought experiments in addition to your talk.

    Proposal Guidelines

    All proposals must be submitted in PDF or Word format. Please label files: LastFirst_Title_LangRhet17

    Individual Proposal

    Proposals must include the following:

      • Title
      • Abstract (no longer than 250 words)
      • Contact information (author’s name, university affiliation, and email address)

    Panel Proposal (750 words max)

    Proposals must include the following:

      • Title
      • Intro to Panel
      • Individual Abstracts
      • Contact information (authors’ names, university affiliations, and email addresses)

    Note: Our reviewers will come from a range of disciplines, so please avoid or explain field-specific terminology. The most successful submissions will give reviewers a clear sense of what will be shared during the actual presentation and how that material relates to the focus of the conference.

    Submission Guidelines

    Submit proposals by email attachment to langrhetcon17@umich.edu. Questions and concerns may also be sent to this address.

    Proposals must be submitted by email no later than Wednesday, July 26th at 11:59 pm. We will respond to applicants regarding acceptance no later than August 4th.

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