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ECA 2013 - Kenneth Burke Interest Group Reminders


I look forward to seeing you all in Pittsburgh at ECA in the next few days. As the conference approaches, I want to draw your attention to the very strong set of offerings organized by the Kenneth Burke Interest Group this year. Please feel yourself invited to attend all of our sessions.


Erik Garrett, Kenneth Burke Interest Group 2013 Planner

List of Kenneth Burke Interest Group Meetings/Panel Presentations:

Kenneth Burke Interest Group Business Meeting:


Thursday, April 25, 2013, from 1:00 to 2:15 PM in the Oakmont Room

“Confluent Selves: Burkean Journeys toward Identity”

Sponsor: Kenneth Burke Interest Group
Chair: Annie Laurie Nichols, University of Maryland
Respondent: Celeste Grayson Seymour, Western Governor’s University


“Public Memory: Burkean Analysis of Past in Present”
     Susan Carr, Duquesne University

“Used by the Force: Burke Looks at Star Wars”
     Matt Mancino, Roberts Wesleyan College

“Beyond the Election: Shaping the American Socio-Economic Identity”
     Robin Kanak, Villanova University

“I Am My Gamertag: Burkean Division and Transcendence”
     Steven Zwier, Duquesne University

We live at the intersection of individual experience and collective identity; past identities and current challenges combine to construct today’s personal and communal self. This panel explores individual, popular-culture, and political identity through the “medium” of Kenneth Burke, whose ideas are invaluable in understanding the confluent construction of identity. From technology and media to politics and memory, a Burkean framework can help us discover who we are today.

Thursday, April 25, 2013, from 4:00 to 5:15 PM in Conference A Room

Book Spotlight Session—Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke: At the Roots of the Racial Divide by Bryan Crable (University of Virginia Press)

Sponsor: Kenneth Burke Interest Group
Chair: Jean Miller, George Washington University
Respondent: Bryan Crable, Villanova University


Elvera Berry, Roberts Wesleyan College
Erik Garrett, Duquesne University
James F. Klumpp, University of Maryland
Richard Thames, Duquesne University

In Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke (University of Virginia Press, 2012), Dr. Bryan Crable elegantly documents the over fifty year friendship of two important American twentieth century intellectual giants. As Crable states, “this relationship serves not only as a telling illustration of racial conflict, but as an Ellisonian reminder of the connection that lies beneath our racial divisions.” This panel will look at this award-winning book (Kenneth Burke Society, 2011), the KB-Ellison relationship, and a philosophy of contemporary race relations.

Friday, April 26, 2013, from 8:00 to 9:15 AM in the Fox Chapel Room

Confluences in Burkean Analysis and Theory

Sponsor: Kenneth Burke Interest Group
Chair: Richard Thames, Duquesne University


“Stephen Colbert’s Radically Comic Democracy”*
     Matthew R. Meier, Bowling Green State University

“A Burkean Analysis of Homer’s Iliad”
     Jeff Lohr, Duquesne University

“Using Scene to Oppose the LGBTQ’s Community in Online Spaces: Silencing Free Love and Free Speech”
     Emma Frances Bloomfield, University of Southern California

“A Burkean Psychology of Uncertainty Reduction”
     Joshua Hill, Duquesne University

This is a panel of submitted papers by students applying Burkean methods of analysis to various confluent themes. The presentations apply Burkean analysis to everything from Homer to Stephen Colbert, and from uncertainty reduction theory to hate speech.

*Student Debut Panel

Friday, April 26, 2013, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM in the Anchor Room

Kenneth Burke Business Meeting

Sponsor: Kenneth Burke Interest Group
Chair: Erik Garrett, Duquesne University

The business meeting is open to all and everyone is encouraged to attend. At the meeting we will formally recognize the top papers in the division.

Friday, April 26, 2013, from 3:30 to 4:45 PM in the Oliver Room

Roundtable on Future Confluence in Burkean Analysis

Sponsor: Kenneth Burke Interest Group
Chair: Ronald C. Arnett, Duquesne University
          James W. Chesebro, Ball State University
          Erik Garrett, Duquesne University
          David T. McMahan, Missouri Western State University

Paul E. Nelson, North Dakota State University

This roundtable takes up the ECA conference theme of “confluence” by looking at the future of Burkean analysis by pushing Burke into unconventional areas. For example, questions about what Burkean analysis can contribute to emerging digital media, globalization, changing conceptualizations of human interaction, feminism, intercultural communication, and organizational theory will be examined. The participants in this roundtable invite audience members to join us in the dialogue of extending Burke into new terrain within the discipline.

Here is a tentative list of questions that will be addressed by the Roundtable:

What does Burkeian analysis offer the study of digital media? What are the limits and challenges of using Burkeian analysis in the study of digital media? What does Burkeian analysis offer the study of human interaction, specifically the study of personal relationships? What are the cultural limitations of Burkeian analysis and can they be overcome? To degree does Burke-the-person determine how we think about dramatism and its critical applications? Does dramatism reflect Western cultural systems at the expense of Eastern cultural systems? How does Burke's concept of being "rotten with perfection" apply today and possibly in the future? Can Burke's theories be foundational in a qualitative study in the field of communication? Can one use a pentad approach to explore digital media? How does Burke's concept of identification relate to intercultural communication? What aspects of Burke's theories do not relate well to current and future research? What "new terrain" in communication is most susceptible to Burkeian analysis? Brummett called Burke "the most influential rhetorical theorist and critic of the twentieth century." What is his role as theorist and critic in the 21st century? How does Burke's unifying message in A Rhetoric of Motives speak to politics in the USA today? Although he may have personally have been something of a Luddite, how does the panel see Burkeian analysis allowing for new ways of opening up understanding digital media? The world has become much more globally interdependent since Kenneth Burke wrote his last words, what ways does Burke speak to our new global situation? How might Burkeian analysis respond to current issues of globalization? There have been several gendered feminist and heteronormative critiques of Burke? Are there ways that Burkeian analysis can be opened up to inform contemporary postmodern constructions of the (post)human? Kenneth Burke himself may have personally lived a very “provincial life,” yet are there ways that Burkeian theory can be extended to contemporary intercultural theory? How could we extend Burkeian analysis into contemporary critiques of higher education in the increasingly corporatized world? What ways can Burkeian analysis help inform contemporary issues in interpersonal scholarship? What ways can Burkeian theories enrich contemporary issues in organizational communication.

Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM in the Conference A Room

Top Papers in the Kenneth Burke Interest Group

Sponsor: Kenneth Burke Interest Group
Chair: Elvera Berry, Roberts Wesleyan College
Respondent: Erik Garrett, Duquesne University


“Recovery From Stuttering: An Application of Pentadic Analysis to Narratives of People Who Stutter”*
     Matthew T. Althouse, The College of Brockport, SUNY
     Rodney M. Gabel, University of Toledo

“Prostate Cancer Screening Suggestions: A Pentad Critique”
     Kathryn Anthony, University of Kentucky

“Language as Symbolic Action: A Burkean Analysis of Césaire’s Cahier d’un Retour au Pays Natal”
     Chelsea R. Binnie, Duquesne University

“Pontificating across the Confluence of Grammar, Dialectics, and Rhetoric: Exploring Kenneth Burke’s Connection With Marshall McLuhan’s Categories of the Trivium”
     Brian Gilchrist, Duquesne University

*Top Paper

Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 4:00 to 5:45PM in the Monongahela Room

ECA General Business Meeting