Wednesday, April 12, 2006

CFP: Rhetorics of Social Formation

Received this through the CFP mailing list.

Rhetorics of Social Formation

University of Redlands, Redlands, CA
19 - 20 January 2007

The Centre for Rhetorics & Hermeneutics and the New Testament Rhetoric Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity is pleased to announce Rhetorics of Social Formation, the sixth in a series of highly successful international conferences exploring rhetorical theory in the context of pressing public issues.

This conference will examine the role of rhetoric in creating, elaborating, and sustaining social formation and small group communication - how is group identity formed? How must it change in order to meet new and unforeseen contexts? How does it social formation break down? How are new group identities formed from out of old? How are conflicting identities of members of multiple, if casual, group identities negotiated? What can we learn from groups whose success is seen by their growth and longetivity?

The organizers start with the premise that much of group identity and the devices that support that identity, including belief systems and ideologies, are derived from rhetorical constructs and represent the convergence of arguments meant to describe and explain realities as experienced by the group.

We invite papers that either illustrate or challenge that premise, using theoretical models and/or analytical methods, etc., from the disciplinary perspective of the presenter. All disciplines are welcome, including biblical studies, anthropology, ethnology, rhetoric, culture criticism, public sphere, and other social sciences and the humanities. We have traditionally provided a unique space for dialogue and cross-, inter- and transdisciplinary exchange.

We welcome papers examining the phenomenon of group and social formation from any area and any part of the world. Additionally, we welcome papers that deal with the formation of the gospel tradition and the emergence of diverse early Jesus and Christian communities. Proposals should be no more than 500 words long, and must include identification of institutional affiliation of the applicant, or, in the case of independent scholars, a brief resume.

In the past we have had presenters from Australia, Botswana, Canada, Columbia, France, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the USA. As in the past, we strongly encourage foreign scholars to continue to submit proposals.

Each presenter must submit their paper several weeks in advance. The programmatic assumption of our dialogues is that every participant has read the submitted works prior to arriving on site. Each presenter is given 10 minutes to offer a summary of your paper, and we then dedicate 45-50 minutes of unmoderated, roundtable discussion regarding the implications and contributions of your work. In this way, we are unique in both the care with which we approach your work and the ways in which your work is brought into conversation with others.

Proposals are due to the organizers by 1 May 2006 (though the date is not firm). For more information, please go to

Sounds interesting--and they're looking for scholars from outside the U.S....

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