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ECA 2017 - Call for Papers - Rhetoric & Public Address Interest Group

Call for Submissions

Rhetoric & Public Address Interest Group
*in special collaboration with
American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) 

2017 Eastern Communication Association 108th Annual Convention
Boston, MA
The Omni Parker House
March 29 - April 2, 2017

Submission Deadline: October 15, 2016

“Freedom To … Freedom From”

No city in the United States is associated more with the tensions inherent in the concept of <freedom> than Boston, the site of our 2017 convention.

Although the “Freedom Trail” that passes only twenty feet from the door of our convention hotel tells a story that Boston – and the United States – seeks simple <freedom>, its two endpoints show that <freedom> is no simple thing.

The Massachusetts State House on the southern end negotiates daily the tension between governmental regulation and individual liberties. The USS Constitution on the northern end embodies the nation’s historical desire for freedom from foreign aggression through its freedom to use military force. The Boston Common was used as a grazing ground, where there was freedom from livestock fees, but also freedom to enact the tragedy of the commons. Boston was home to the first Liberty Tree, an elm near Boston Common that was a site where everyday people sought freedom from the Stamp Act in 1765 and where British soldiers enacted their freedom to make this tree an object of ridicule and a site of punishment. Samuel Adams preached revolutionary freedom from British taxes, even while his cousin John Adams argued that even British soldiers have the freedom to demand a fair trial. Boston’s Justice William Cushing ruled in 1781, that “all men are born free and equal” to demand that Bostonians of African descent be released from slavery, even as slaveholders and legislators sustained laws that that allowed the freedom to hold slaves until the end of the Civil War. Throughout the Civil War, the first Red Scare of the 1920s, the busing and desegregation struggles of the 1970s and 80s, and to today in dozens of other examples, Boston has been a place where <freedom> has been a contested ground.

Our presence in Boston invites us to consider how the tensions in <freedom> are also present in our discipline.

What does communication give us the <freedom> to do? What does it give us <freedom> from? What are the uses and abuses of free communication? When have others used their freedom to communicate to prevent freedom from other forces? And, when have we used the freedom to communicate to gain freedom from these forces?

The Rhetoric and Public Address Interest Group invites submissions for the 108th Annual ECA Convention. We invite competitive papers, thematic panels, roundtables, workshops, performances, debates, community programs, and other innovative programs.

The Rhetoric & Public Address Interest Group conceives its mission as the scholarly study of rhetorical artifacts, modes, theories, and practitioners from a host of cultures and traditions, and their profound implications for public life in local, national, and transnational contexts. We celebrate a rich tradition of studying classic speeches and speakers, while also encompassing an expanded view of the nature of rhetorical inquiry into visual, material, and performative media and the recovery of often historically marginalized voices and movements. Through a diversity of lenses, Interest Group members examine particularly the tensions between “text” and “context” as they touch upon perennially important debates around history, power, ideology, ethics, and social change.

The theme gives us the opportunity to engage in conversations about rhetoric with a wider audience of rhetorical scholars. The Rhetoric & Public Address Interest Group is pleased to announce that it will be co-sponsoring at least two panels with the distinguished American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) Interest Group. We are excited to combine our energies and produce important scholarship on the nature of <freedom> through reflections on the past, present, and future of rhetoric. While papers, panels, and other creative programming proposals (round table discussions, debates, workshop sessions, and symposia) that explore these themes are welcome, we also encourage a wide range of submissions related to the historical, critical, and theoretical exploration of rhetoric in its many iterations.

Submissions to the Rhetoric & Public Address Interest Group must be sent via e-mail, with attachment(s), to the 2017 Program Planner, Michael Stutz, at

Submissions to the Rhetoric & Public Address Interest Group to be co-sponsored with ASHR must be sent via e-mail, with attachment(s), to the 2017 Program Planner, Michael Stutz,, as well as the ASHR 2017 Planner, Michelle Gibbons,

All submissions should include the text "ECA 2017 Submission" in the subject line of the email. In the text of the email, please also indicate if the submission (competitive paper or program/panel) should be considered for A) one of the joint session panels with the American Society for the History of Rhetoric or B) a Spotlight Session.

Please also include any specific requests for technology in the text of the email submission. Note that reasonable requests for technology support will not be met unless they are received by the Program Planner at the time of the paper or program/panel submission. Please see ECA’s technology policy:

Submission of Completed Papers

Individual submissions of complete papers should include the following elements:

  1. A detachable title page with the title of the paper and the author’s affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, and email **
  1. The word “Debut” marked on all papers written by authors who have not presented previously at a regional or national convention.
  1. A one-page abstract on the second page.
  1. A statement of professional responsibility on the second page.

** If the paper has multiple authors, please indicate who will be presenting at the convention.

Submission of Program/Panel Proposals

Submission of program/panel proposals should include the following elements:

  1. A thematic title for the program.
  1. Names of the chair and respondents (if any). Chairs should not also be designated as respondents.
  1. Names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and institutional affiliations of all of all participants.
  1. Titles and abstracts for each paper or presentation.
  1. A program copy (no more than a 75-word description) as it should appear in the final program.
  1. A detailed rationale for the program/panel.
  1. A statement of professional

Statement of Professional Responsibility

The following statement MUST be included with every submission of a paper or panel in order for it to be eligible for review. If it is not attached with a submitted document, the chair is responsible for obtaining a completed copy of this form prior to the paper/panel being officially programmed for presentation at the convention.

In submitting the attached paper or proposal, I/We recognize that this submission is considered a professional responsibility. I/We agree to present this panel or paper if it is accepted and programmed. I/We further recognize that all who attend and present at ECA’s annual meeting must register and pay required fees.

Please contact the R&PA Interest Group Program Planner, Michael Stutz,, or the ASHR Interest Group Planner, Michelle Gibbons,, with any further questions.


Michael Stutz, R&PA Chair
Michelle Gibbons, ASHR Chair


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