Workshop: 2020


“Interdisciplinarity of/in Rhetoric: Theory and Practice in Rhetorics”

El Colegio de San Luis (College of San Luis; COLSAN) in San Luis Potosí, Mexico

July 8-10, 2020


Call for papers

As we prepare for the 3rd Biennial International Rhetoric Workshop, we warmly invite international PhD students and emerging scholars to come together and consider the myriad ways that our contemporary and established traditions of rhetorical theory and criticism inform global flows of meaning-making.

The IRW is an international workshop that creates space for emerging and early-career rhetorical scholars and critics to participate in an informal setting that facilitates engaging discussion, developing scholarship, and bridging communities. The workshop is structured as a 3-day intensive retreat, which includes keynote speakers, roundtable sessions, and working Pods. This intimate program format of IRW promotes sustained community and conversation not often possible at conventional conferences.

The first organizing committee held its inaugural IRW in 2016 in Uppsala, Sweden. Motivated by the enormous success of the 2016 gathering, IRW organizers followed up in 2018 with a meeting in Ghent, Belgium. For 2020, we have conscientiously chosen to hold the 2020 workshop in San Luis Potosí, Mexico at El Colegio de San Luis, in order to gather academics, scholars, and activists who are thinking about language and communication as we stay critical of its limits and consequences. In alignment with this purpose, the working languages in 2020 will be English and Spanish with the aid of translation software and technology.

Proposals that broadly speak to the conference theme are encouraged but certainly not required. We encourage a wide range of topics and approaches, as we believe that this can and will enhance the discussion and workshop experience. In all, we invite you to participate in the 3rd IRW and look forward to reading the many exciting proposals that we hope this theme will inspire.

Suggested topics

  1. Interdisciplinarity 
  2. Rhetorical theory  
  3. Transnational rhetoric
  4. Rhetorical history
  5. International rhetorics
  6. Rhetorics of translation
  • How can rhetorical studies contribute to the theoretical, critical, and conceptual practice of rhetoric in different communities? What are potential outcomes?
  • What rhetorical practices and processes confront, complicate, or help to sustain democratic cultures within an increasingly globalized world?
  • What nascent identity-positions emerge from transnational flows of bodies, beliefs, and communication practices as they move across borders and boundaries?
  • How does rhetoric’s transnational intellectual history cross borders?
  • How can the work of translation contribute to the study of rhetoric across national borders?
  • How are ideas of race, ethnicity, and gender rhetorically deployed as a political means to securing hegemonic conditions or undermining democratic processes?  
  • How do colonial legacies influence or complicate rhetorical conceptions of global citizenship and the idea of a global community? How does language supremacy structure our everyday lives directly and indirectly?
  • How do LGBTQ activists’ rhetorical practices centered on queer worldmaking circulates or is contested in an increasingly globalized world?

Submission is closed. Participants will soon receive the details via email. 

Keynote Faculty

Cristina D. Ramírez

Cristina D. Ramírez is associate professor in the English Department at the University of Arizona and teaches in the program of Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (RCTE). She is currently the director of the RCTE doctoral program, where she closely works with graduate students in conducting archival research, critical analysis and recovery of historical documents, theories of translation, and feminist historiography. Her own research focuses on border rhetorics, feminist rhetorical theory, historiography, archival research, and rhetorical theories of document recovery. Her first book, Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875-1942 (2015, University of Arizona Press) won the Winifred Bryan Horner National Outstanding book prize from the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition (CFSHRC). She also serves as national secretary of CFSHRC (2016-present).
She has published articles in College English, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Latinx Rhetoric & Writing Studies. Her second book, edited with Jessica Enoch, Mestiza Rhetorics: An Anthology of Mexicana Activism in the Spanish Language Press, 1880-1922 (2019, SIUP) is the first bilingual anthology of primary texts in rhetoric and composition. For her third book project, Recovering Barrio Rhetorics: Remembering the Border Writer, Ramona González, she received the Social Behavior Sciences Research Fellow award (2017). During that time, she digitized 750+ pages of primary documents, which she donated to and have been accepted to the UT Latin American Benson Collection. She has traveled extensively throughout México studying in various nondigitized archives.
On her down time, Cristina likes to garden, swim, hike and travel.

Robert Westerfelhaus

 Robert Westerfelhaus is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston.

His research and teaching focus upon American popular culture from a communication studies perspective, with an emphasis upon rhetorical analyses. He is the past president of the Carolinas Communication Association and former editor of their annual.  In 2009-2010, he taught as a Fulbright fellow at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland.

He has published articles in Critical Studies in Media CommunicationCommunication QuarterlyFeminist Media Studies, Southern Communication JournalRes RhetoricaText and Performance Quarterly, the Western Journal of Communication, as well as other journals. He has also published book chapters and encyclopedia entries on subjects ranging from the history and cultural significance of costumed superheroes to lying as defined by the medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas. Current research interests include examining the popularity of post-apocalyptic narratives in books, films, television series and other popular culture texts; and, critiquing depictions of female superheroes in DC and Marvel films. 

Robert has eclectic interests and tastes. He likes visiting art museums, archeological sites, and places of historical interest. His musical preferences range from German classical composers to Chicago blues.  And, he is voracious reader who always has a book with him (classical and contemporary history, novels, plays, poetry, philosophy, theology).

Igor Ž. Žagar


Prof. dr. Igor Žagar Žnidaršič studied philosophy, sociology, and linguistics in Ljubljana, Paris, and Antwerp. He received his doctoral degree in Sociology of Culture from the University of Ljubljana. He is Professor of Rhetoric and Argumentation (University of Primorska) and Senior Research Fellow (Head of the Centre for Discourse Studies) at the Educational Research Institute (ERI), Ljubljana, Slovenia. Prof. Žagar is also the director of ERI and a member of the National Council for Higher Education. He has lectured in Belgium, United States, Italy, China, Taiwan, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Romania, Poland, and France, and is a member of editorial and advisory boards of several international scientific journals and book series.

Prof. Žagar is especially interested in education, pragmatics (speech act theory, (critical) discourse analysis), philosophy of language, argumentation, and rhetoric.

He is the (co)author and (co)editor of fifteen books, and more than a hundred articles; his complete bibliography comprises over 600 units.

Barbara Biesecker

Barbara A. Biesecker is Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia.  In addition to Addressing Postmodernity:  Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Changeand Rhetoric, Materiality, & Politics (co-edited with John Lucaites), she continues to publish theoretical and critical essays that ask after the role of rhetoric in the making and unmaking of worlds.  Most recently, she served as guest editor of the 2018 special issue of Philosophy & Rhetoric on “Post-Truth” in which her essay “Towards An Archaeogenealogy of Post-Truth” served as an introduction, and her essay “From General History to Philosophy:  Black Lives Matter, Late Neoliberal Molecular Biopolitics, and Rhetoric” appeared in the 50thanniversary issue ofPhilosophy & Rhetoric.  Professor Biesecker is the recipient of multiple awards, including the National Communication Association’s Douglas Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, the Francine Merritt Award, and the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division’s Outstanding Mentor Award and Distinguished Scholar Award.  She served as editor-in-chief of the Quarterly Journal of Speech from 2013-2016, and continues to serve on multiple editorial boards.  Currently Professor Biesecker also is co-editing a book series, New Directions in Rhetoric and Materialityfrom The Ohio State University Press.

Maria Załęska

Dr. Maria Załęska obtained her MA summa cum laude in Italian Philology, graduating from the Department of Italian Studies, University of Warsaw (1991). She defended her PhD in 2001 and published the habilitation thesis (Retorica della linguistica. Scienza, struttura, scrittura [“Rhetoric of linguistics. Science, structure, writing literacy”]) in 2014. All her academic career has been connected with the University of Warsaw, Department of Italian Studies, where she was appointed Associated Professor. In 2015 she was awarded by Rector of University of Warsaw for contributing to the University’s excellence.

Dr. Załęska is a member of the Executive Board of the Rhetoric Society of Europe and the president of the Rhetoric Society of Poland. Since 2017 she is the Head for Doctoral Studies at Faculty of Modern Languages at the University of Warsaw.

Specific foci of her research are rhetoric in the transmission of knowledge; rhetorical literacy; professional and expert communication; persuasion and self-persuasion; ideologies and critical discourse; creativity and teaching; humor and rhetoric. In the recent projects she held the workshops on rhetoric within the Festival of Abstract Thinking (Warsaw, 2018) and the project on teaching rhetoric through films interpretation in the Polish Society of Rhetoric with the Association “Dziki Bez”, since 2019.

Faculty Mentors

Dana Cloud

Dana Cloud is an independent scholar lecturing part time at California State University, Long Beach. requently published in communication journalis, she was formerly appointed as full professor and graduate director at Syracuse University (2015-19) and the University of Texas, Austin (1993-2015).


Linh Hua, Ph.D.

Linh is faculty in Rhetorical Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her teaching and research are in the areas of affect, citation, and Black and women of color epistemologies, with special interest in faculty development and the scholarship of teaching and learning. In her spare time, she enjoys taking road trips with her son, watching historical dramas, and eating. Her favorite cuisines are currently Vietnamese and Ethiopian.

Ana Vlah

Ana is a speech coach at Croatian radiotelevision after obtaining a master’s degree in Education in Rhetoric and Croatian Language and Literature from the University in Zagreb. At the Faculty of Kinesiology in Zagreb she teaches course on public speaking. For her PhD thesis at Utrecht University, she is investigating the link between rhetoric and critical thinking. Her interests are rhetorical education, practical argumentation and the media.

José Luis Quintero Ramírez

José is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University (USA). His research seeks to explore the language that emerges in popular culture to describe our relationship to networked social formations and technologies, teasing out the ordinary affects that serve to justify a world economic order that benefits the West. Currently deep in the intersection of affect, media aesthetics, and British cultural studies, he also enjoys writing about music, technology, and television.

Marta Rzepecka, Ph.D.

Marta is teaching at the University of Rzeszów, Poland. She obtained her PhD with a dissertation on President Richard Nixon’s Cold War rhetoric. Her research interests are the American presidency and the rhetoric of a foreign policy crisis.

Ewa Modrzejewska, Ph.D.

Ewa is Assistant-Professor in the Rhetoric and Media Department, University of Warsaw; Member of the Board of Polish Rhetoric Society; she serves as a co-editor in the academic journal “Res Rhetorica”. Her research focuses on the rhetoric of/in media, argumentation and media literacy. Recently she focuses on effective data visualizations in terms of rhetoric. The mother of three kids, in her spare time she sings and takes part in Adventure Races.

Kacper Andrychowski

Kacper is a Philosophy graduate and a PhD candidate in Classical Philology at the University of Warsaw. His doctoral thesis concerns ideological criticism methods, especially 1980 Michael Calvin McGee’s ideographs as a useful approach of reading and analyzing classical texts (Herodotus, Thucydides and Livy). In his research Andrychowski is focused on propaganda and the creation of mass public in antiquity.