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Rhetoricity

Rhetoricity is a quasi-academic podcast that draws on rhetoric, theory, weird sound effects, and the insights of a lot of other people. It's something that's a little strange and, with luck, a little interesting. The podcast's description will evolve along with it. Most episodes feature interviews with rhetorically oriented rhetoric and writing scholars.

The podcast is a project of Eric Detweiler, an assistant professor in the Department of English at Middle Tennessee State University. If you are interested in more information, you can get in touch by using the contact information included on his website or sending a direct message to @RhetCast on Twitter.

Transcripts are available for some episodes. Use the "Pdf: Transcript" button at the bottom of individual episode posts to access the corresponding transcript. If you would like a transcript of an episode that doesn't appear to have one, feel free to get in touch.

Rhetoricity has received support from a grant from the Humanities Media Project.

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Aug 21, 2018

This is the second episode in a late-summer series: the Dissertation Dialogues. These episodes feature conversations between PhD candidates from Indiana University and some of their dissertation mentors. For more context, check out Vol. 1.

This particular episode features Jennifer Juszkiewicz and Dana Anderson. Jennifer Juszkiewicz is a PhD candidate at IU who studies composition theory and rhetorics of space and place. Her dissertation focuses on simultaneously digital and material locations where writing happens. She'll be defending that dissertation in the coming academic year, during which she'll also be joining the faculty at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana, to serve as writing center director and assistant writing program coordinator.

Dana Anderson is an associate professor at IU and also serves as Director of Composition. He received his PhD from Penn State, published his book Identity's Strategy: Rhetorical Selves in Conversion in 2007, and coedited the 2013 collection Burke in the Archives: Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies with Jessica Enoch. His coauthored article "Screaming on a Ride to Nowhere: What Roller Coasters Teach Us About Being Human" was recently published in the journal Entertainment Values.

Among other things, Juszkiewicz and Anderson discuss the role of the rhetorical tradition in contemporary rhetoric and writing instruction, strategies for training new writing instructors, and the continuing relevance of Maurice Charland's 1987 article "Constitutive Rhetoric: The Case of the peuple quebecois."

Ryan Juszkiewicz contributed extensive editorial work to this episode. The episode features clips from the following:

Aug 7, 2018

This is the first in a series of special late-summer episodes of Rhetoricity. At the 2017 Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute, some graduate students at Indiana University helped coordinate and conduct interviews with scholars who attended that institute. Those students also pitched another idea: a series of conversations between PhD candidates and their dissertation advisors. This episode features the first of those conversations. My hope is that these episodes, which are more akin to dialogues than interviews, will not only give listeners a sense of the interlocutors' research interests, but provide a window into the advisee-advisor relationship. To that end, I encouraged participants to take some time to discuss academic mentorship.

This episode features a conversation between Caddie Alford and Scot Barnett. Scot Barnett is an associate professor in the Department of English at IU. He's the author of the book Rhetorical Realism: Rhetoric, Ethics, and the Ontology of Things and coeditor of the collection Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things. Caddie Alford, who was a PhD candidate at the time this episode was recorded, has since accepted a position as an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the author of "Creating with the 'Universe of the Undiscussed': Hashtags, Doxa, and Choric Invention" and has an article in a forthcoming special issue of Rhetoric Review on the topic of virtue ethics.

In their conversation, Alford and Barnett discuss their interests in rhetoric and embodiment, the ways digital technologies speak to and shift longstanding rhetorical concepts, and how they approach the advisor-advisee relationship.

This episode includes clips from the following:

May 30, 2018

This episode features two interviewees: Dr. Jonathan Alexander and Dr. Jackie Rhodes. Rhodes and Alexander are not only prolific writers and media makers, but prolific collaborators. Together, they’ve edited The Routledge Handbook of Digital Writing and Rhetoric as well as Sexual Rhetorics: Methods, Publics, Identities. In this episode, we discuss two of their other collaborative projects: On Multimodality: New Media in Composition Studies and Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self. Techne won the 2015 Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship. 

Beyond their co-creations, Jonathan Alexander is the Chancellor’s Professor of English and Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. He’s also the current editor of the journal College Composition and Communication and the author of the critical memoir Creep: A Life, A Theory, An Apology, which is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and being turned into a podcast.

Jackie Rhodes is a professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University and the incoming editor of the journal Rhetoric Society Quarterly. She’s also currently working on a documentary called Once a Fury, which is about a 1970s lesbian separatist group called the Furies.

The following interview was recorded at the 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication in a defunct alcove that was once full of pay phones. In addition to Techne and On Multimodality, Drs. Rhodes and Alexander discuss the creepiness of academic disciplines, why it’s important to understand the history of media forms, and the personal, narrative, and scholarly possibilities of digital publications.

This episode includes clips from Techne and Tony Zhou's "How to Structure a Video Essay" as well as various sound effects from freesound.org.

May 7, 2018

This episode of Rhetoricity is a collaboration with Rhetorics Change/Rhetoric's Change, the digital proceedings collection from the 2016 Rhetoric Society of America conference. You can download a free copy of this open-access collection via Intermezzo or Parlor Press.

In 2014, Verso Books published Radio Benjamin, which contained English translations of radio plays that critical theorist Walter Benjamin helped write and produce in the 1920s and '30s. I was fascinated with these plays as a sort of precursor to the audio projects scholars and theorists are producing today. So at RSA 2016, rather than give a traditional academic presentation, I staged and recorded a live performance of one of the pieces in Radio Benjamin. Titled "Lichtenberg: A Cross-Section," the play is about an eighteenth-century physicist and satirist named Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.

This episode is also included as part of a chapter in Rhetorics Change/Rhetoric's Change, along with an essay in which I discuss Benjamin's radio plays and the possibilities of audio scholarship. The collection also includes a set of soundscapes that I edited, so there's plenty to interest the sonically inclined scholars. So check it out!

This episode contains clips from the following:

All clips are used under the fair use provisions of US copyright law.

Mar 13, 2018

In this episode, which was recorded at the 2017 Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute, guest interviewer Jennifer Juszkiewicz speaks with Michigan State University's Bill Hart-Davidson. They discuss the relationship between technical communication and rhetoric, the challenges of revision and the related work of Eli Review, and what the ancient Greek practice of agon has to do with riding a bike. Special thanks to Ryan Juszkiewicz, who manned the audio controls and took the lead on mixing and editing this interview.

Dr. Hart-Davidson is a professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. He studies computational rhetoric, technical communication, and user experience, and was at RSA Summer Institute to help lead a workshop called Computational Rhetoric: Exploring Possibilities, Limits & Applications. Along with many other projects, he coedited the collection Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities and helps run Eli Review. Hart-Davidson’s scholarship has also appeared in journals like Technical Communication, enculturation, the Journal of Writing Research, and Computers and Composition.

Jennifer Juszkiewicz is a PhD candidate in the Composition, Literacy, and Culture program at Indiana University. She specializes in writing program administration and composition studies as well as spatial, computational, and collaborative rhetorics. She’s been published in enculturation and has a forthcoming co-authored chapter in a collection called Rhetorical Machines. Her dissertation is entitled "Writing Spaces of Writing."

This episode includes a clip from "Queen - Bicycle Race 8 bit."

Jan 24, 2018

This episode is the first in a series recorded at the 2017 Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. The interviews featured in these episodes were conducted by graduate students who are part of Indiana University's Rhetoric Society of America student chapter. First up is an interview with John Muckelbauer conducted by Caddie Alford.

John Muckelbauer is Associate Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, where he has taught for thirteen years. He’s the author of the book The Future of Invention: Rhetoric, Postmodernism, and the Problem of Change. His writing has also appeared in journals like Philosophy & Rhetoric and enculturation, and he contributed a chapter entitled “Implicit Paradigms of Rhetoric: Aristotelian, Cultural, and Heliotropic” to the collection Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things. His current book project engages with style from a Nietzschean angle.

Caddie Alford is a PhD candidate at Indiana University. She is completing her dissertation, which recuperates the concept of doxa for rethinking invention, argumentation, and emergent rhetorics in terms of social media platforms. She has a forthcoming article in an upcoming special issue of Rhetoric Review that is focused on virtue ethics. She has also published on hashtag activism and choric invention in enculturation.

In this interview, they discuss invention, plants, posthumanism, the limits of rhetorical theory, and the possibility of new rhetorical paradigms.

This episode features a clip from the song "Plants" by Borrtex.

Jan 4, 2018

This episode features an interview with Dr. Steven Alvarez, an assistant professor in the English Department at St. John's University. The interview was recorded at the 2017 Modern Language Association Convention, where Alvarez gave a presentation entitled "Taco Literacies: Translingual Foodways Writing in the Bluegrass." He has also published on the topic in the journal Composition Forum. If you're interested in learning more about his research and teaching on taco literacy, you can check out this website, this Instagram hashtag, and this recent Remezcla article.

In addition to studying the relationships between food and literacy, Dr. Alvarez is the author of Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies, Community Literacies en Confianza: Learning from Bilingual After-School Programs, and The Codex Mojaodicus.

In our conversation, we discuss Alvarez's books, the connections between research on foodways and research on literacy, and the relationship between food and emotion.

This episode features a clip from the song "Street Food" by Satellite 4.

Jun 3, 2017

This episode of Rhetoricity brings you something a little different. It's not an interview with one person, but a roundtable discussion featuring five members of the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative (DRC): Naomi Silver, Jenae Cohn, Brandy Dieterle, Paula Miller, and Adrienne Raw. Dr. Silver is the associate director of the University of Michigan's Sweetland Center for Writing, which supports the DRC. The rest of the roundtable participants were DRC graduate fellows at the time of this conversation.

At the 2016 Computers and Writing Conference in Rochester, New York, where this episode was recorded, the DRC won the Computers and Composition Michelle Kendrick Outstanding Digital Production/Scholarship Award. I sat down to talk with these five members about the work of the collaborative, including the way it's shaped their view of rhetoric and digital rhetoric, as well as what the DRC's approach to cross-institutional collaboration makes possible.

This episode features clips from "Recycle System" by STEREORESONANCE and freesound.org.

May 25, 2017

This episode features an episode with Donnie Johnson Sackey, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Wayne State University.

Dr. Sackey is a senior researcher with Detroit Integrated Vision for Environmental Research through Science and Engagement (D•VERSE), an affiliated researcher in Michigan State University’s Writing, Information, and Digital Experience (WIDE) Research Center, and an executive board member of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition. His research centers on environmental public policy deliberation, environmental justice, and environmental cultural history. His work has appeared in the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Computers and Composition, and the collection Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things. Along with Dr. Alex Hidalgo, he co-edited issue 5.2 of Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric and Society, a special issue entitled "Race, Rhetoric, and the State."

In addition, Sackey is currently a co-investigator on a grant funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to perform risk communication work around the lead and legionella contamination crisis in the municipal water system in Flint, Michigan. In the following interview, we talk at length about his work with that grant project and on Present Tense.

This episode includes clips from and references to the following:

 

May 18, 2017

This episode features an interview with Laurie Gries. Dr. Gries is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she has a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and the Program of Writing and Rhetoric.

Laurie Gries researches visual rhetoric, circulation studies, research methodologies, new materialism, and the digital humanities. She's the author of the book Still Life With Rhetoric: A New Materialist Approach for Visual Rhetorics, which won the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s 2016 Advancement of Knowledge Award and 2016 Research Impact Award. Her work has also appeared in the journals Computers and Composition, Rhetoric Review, and Composition Studies. Most recently, her article “Visualizing Obama Hope” was published in Kairos.
 
In this interview, Gries discusses the limits and possibilities of new materialism, the importance of method and methodology in rhetorical studies, and her work developing PikTrack, a software that would allow researchers to track online images and create data visualizations of such images’ trajectories. We also talk about monkeys, chimpanzees, and the difficulty of defining the word “rhetoric.”

This episode includes clips from the following:

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