About us

IRW Organizing Commitee


James Proszek is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University (USA) who studies comparative, intercultural, and visual rhetoric, with a special focus on the intersections of rhetoric and pedagogy. His current research focuses on non-traditional representations of citizenship and modes of digital discourses.


Ida Andersen is a PhD candidate at the University of Bergen, Norway, who studies political rhetoric, with a special focus on vernacular rhetoric and rhetorical citizenship. Her current research focuses on the deliberative and epideictic rhetoric in online debates about immigration.


Moran Pollack is a PhD candidate in the School of Communication at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. Her doctoral research seeks to examine the process and characteristics of identity establishment, in a computer mediated environment, through image construction analysis on dating sites, social networks and virtual games. 


Brent Lucia is a PhD candidate in the Composition and TESOL program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania . His research investigates posthumanism and rhetorical ontology, developing pedagogical approaches that promote rhetorical awareness within the composition classroom. He is currently a lecturer for the English Department at William Paterson University. 


Justina Amakali is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Department of Language and Literature Studies, University of Namibia. Her current research focuses on parliamentary rhetoric in the Namibian National Assembly.


Matthew Houdek is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa in the United States. His doctoral research on «common sense racism» theorizes the unconscious cultural processes that normalize uncritical and often unsympathetic public responses to racialized violence, and which thereby perpetuate racial structures of power and foment white innocence, indifference, and complicity.  

    Department of Education Studies Members


    Kris Rutten is working as a professor at the Department of Educational Studies at Ghent University. Rutten obtained his PhD with a dissertation on the rhetorical and narrative turn in education. His main research interests are (new) rhetoric, cultural studies, literacy studies, educational theory and arts-based research. Rutten is the President of the Rhetoric Society of Europe (RSE) and a Board member of the International Association for Cultural Studies (ACS). 



    Helena Calleeuw is currently working as an assistant within the Department of Educational Studies at Ghent University. As a Master in social work, her main interests lie in the societal and educational functions of culture and the arts, and her PhD-research will focus on the changing role of traditional cultural institutions within our current globalized, multicultural and media-saturated society.



    Laura van Beveren joined the Culture and Education Departement at Ghent University as a BOF research fellow. She graduated as a Master in Social Work with the thesis “Social commitment in contemporary art: a rhetorical analysis of The New Forest by Wunderbaum”. In her PhD-research “Critical reflection in the social and behavioral sciences: a rhetorical approach.” she will study how new rhetoric – and more specifically key concepts from the work of rhetoric Kenneth Burke – can function as a theoretical and methodological framework for educating reflective scientist-practitioners.


    Karin Hannes is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.



    Free De Backer is Professor of Educational Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. 


    Scientific committee

    Prof. dr. Kris Rutten (Universiteit Gent)              Prof. dr. Ann Buysse (Universiteit Gent

    Prof. dr. Griet Roets (Universiteit Gent)              Prof. dr. Karin Hannes (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

    Prof. dr. Free De Backer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)           Prof. dr. Lisa Corrigan (University of Arkansas)

    Prof. dr. Debra Hawhee (Pennsylvania State University)              Prof. dr. Jiyeon Kang (University of Iowa)

    Prof. dr. Mats Rosengren (Uppsala University)         Prof. dr. Darrel Wanzer-Serrano (University of Iowa)

    Prof. dr. Dilip Gaonkar (Northwestern University)          Prof. dr. Sean Molloy (William Paterson University)

    Prof. dr. María Alejandra Vitale (University of Buenos Aires)