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Join the WSIC Editors for an RSA Institute Workshop

“Mediated Rhetorics of Crisis and Renewal”

At the upcoming 2021 Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute, WSIC's editorial team will be leading a workshop entitled "Mediated Rhetorics of Crisis and Renewal." Look for calls soon from RSA on how to apply!

Workshop Leaders:

Sarah Jackson, University of Pennsylvania

Claire Sisco King, Vanderbilt University

Marina Levina, University of Memphis


Using an intersectional feminist lens to address the relationships between media and rhetoric, this workshop addresses the ongoing ways hegemonic and discursive structures (like whiteness, masculinity, and ableism) make frequent recourse to crisis rhetoric in order to manage populations, classify difference, and affirm their positions of privilege. As well as a focus on more acute moments of crisis (such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic) and its impacts on already precaritized people, we consider how rhetorics of crisis are used to justify current systems of inequalities and to silence larger efforts for social equity by framing activism and social unrest as threats to established order. In turn we consider how intersectional rhetorics of renewal can challenge and subvert weaponized crisis rhetoric. Special attention will be given to the affordances of media for constructing and circulating such rhetorics of crisis and renewal. For example, these considerations might include attention to the cinema’s capacity as an audio visual medium to approximate the affects of trauma, entertainment television’s frequent recourse to serialized narrative structure to enact ongoing patterns of disruption and reparation, news norms that police engagement with rhetorics of renewal, and digital networked media’s inclinations toward replication, spreadability, and virality. We also consider how mediated texts construct crisis and renewal in relationship to race, gender, ability, age, and sexuality.

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