Nancy Henaku, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the RTC program, has received one of three inaugural Feminist Research Grants awarded by the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. This will support her travel to archives for her dissertation research on the rhetoric of Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, the first female candidate for president of Ghana. The review committee “expressed great enthusiasm for [her] dissertation project, which is poised to bring important perspective from the global South and specifically from Ghana to ongoing research in transnational feminist rhetoric.”
Brilliant Books in Traverse City, recently interviewed Rhetoric, Theory and Culture PhD student, writer and poet Edzordzi Agbozo about his writing. Two of Agbozo’s poems appear in the spring 2018 issue of Northern Michigan’s premier literary journal, Dunes Review. See the full interview online.
RTC PhD student Sarah Potter received a top paper award and presented the paper on the panel, Top Papers in the Communication Ethics, Activism, and Social Justice Interest Group at the Central States Communication Association Conference. The paper title is “Different Rights (in)Different Times: Rendering the Invisible Visible in a Comparative Iconographic Analysis of the Women’s Suffrage Parade of 1913 and the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.” She was also a panel member for the graduate student discussion session, “When the Experts Don’t Agree: Navigating Differences in Faculty Advice.” The conference was held April 5-8, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Edzordzi Agbozo, Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture Ph.D. Candidate, authored, with co-author Kwame Osei-Poku, a book chapter entitled “Negotiating the Gothic in African literature: a study of Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard and Besie Head’s Maru“.
Agbozo’s work is in Memories of the Caribbean futures: Reclaiming the pre-colonial to imagine a post-colonial in the languages, literatures and cultures of the Greater Caribbean and beyond, 2017. University of Curacao and the University of Puerto Rico published the book along with editors Nicholas Faraclas, Ronald Severing, Christa Weijer, Elisabeth Echteld, Wim Rutgers, and Robert Dupey.
Anna K. Swartz, a graduate student in RTC (HU) presented a paper, “The Blame Frame: Representations of Mental Illness in Mainstream News Accounts of U.S. School Shootings,” at the Midwest Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association annual conference in St. Louis, Missouri on Oct. 19.
Swartz also presented a paper, “Incentivized Neglect: Privatized mental health care in prisons” at the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, on Oct. 21.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appointed Michigan Tech alumnus Nathaniel Gbessagee ’12 as president of Grand Bassa Community College, three miles north of Buchanan on Liberia’s Atlantic coast.
Gbessagee received his PhD in rhetoric and technical communication from Michigan Tech in 2012. His dissertation research focused on improving risk communication about malaria in Liberia.
After completing his doctorate, Gbessagee returned to Liberia, where he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Arts and Sciences at Tubman University. In 2016, Gbessagee was appointed a senior aide to the chairman of Liberia’s National Elections Commission. His responsibilities as president of Grand Bassa Community College will begin in August.
Pictured here are faculty advisors and graduates, from left to right, Jennifer Slack, Nate Carpenter, Kirsti Arko, Joel Beatty, Stefka Hristova, Vicky Bergvall, Ann Brady, Ron Strickland and Yunana Ahmed.
Also participating in the ceremony but not present for this photo was Professor Emerita Beth Flynn.
The Humanities Department’s Rhetoric, Theory and Culture 2015-16 Graduate Student Colloquium Series will be holding an event, “Visual Rhetoric in the Polis” on Friday, October 2, 2015 from 4-6 PM in Walker, Room 120A. Two of our esteemed graduate students, Thomas Adolphs and Heather Deering, will be presenting papers, respectively titled “Solidarity and the Life-World: Facebook and the Image that United the LGBTQ Marriage Equality Movement” and “The Whitewashed Eye: Le Corbusier’s Refashioning of Subjectivity.” Dr. Karla Kitalong will be offering commentary and moderating discussion. These papers both deal with questions about visual rhetoric and its political implications.
This event will inaugurate a series of colloquia in which graduate students and faculty will have opportunities to share their work in a format modeled on a typical academic conference panel. The goal here is, in part, to create opportunities for graduate students to gain experience presenting their work among peers and colleagues, but it is also hoped that this will be a venue for the sharing of scholarly work and questions across the various disciplines that make up our department. I hope that everyone will be able to attend and contribute to a lively, collegial discussion.
Light snacks and Dionysian refreshments will be provided. All are welcome.
Here are the abstracts for the papers to be presented:
“Solidarity of the Life-World: Facebook and the Image That United the LGBTQ Marriage Equality Movement”
This presentation will focus on the red and pink marriage equality logo, developed by the Human Rights Campaign’s to provide a sense of unity for the LGBTQ movement through digital space. The distribution of the logo began on March 25th, 2013, through the peer-to-peer website, Facebook. The intended symbolism of this event was, as described by the HRC, to display a sense of solidarity among the LGBTQ community and its advocates as the U.S. Supreme Court came to a decision on the case United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. The response to this logo, however, could not have been predicted. Facebook saw a 120% increase in the number of profile images changed during only a twenty-four hour period, roughly 2.6 million individuals. Seemingly overnight, the red and pink logo was a cultural phenomenon, with corporate entities as diverse as Kenneth Cole and Bud Light displaying their support for the cause by replicating the logo with their own products. How and why did this viral event happen? What impact has the event had on our cultural cognition of LGBTQ rights after we “unplug” from our digital devices? By investigating the phenomenological theory of the life-world, it is the author’s intention to address such questions.
“The Whitewashed Eye: Le Corbusier’s Refashioning of Subjectivity”
In the initial stage of his architectural career, Le Corbusier promoted whitewashing as the communicative medium that could restore order and rationalism to the larger society. Through its ability to define the very lines of architecture and to erase impurities associated with expression of ethnicity and class, whitewashing was the means through which Le Corbusier desired to reform the human eye—to condition it to see that which was worthy of its gaze. This paper explores his work through Foucault’s theories of spatiality and subjectivity to address how whitewash could impact the larger society, leaving behind inscribed lines of class and racial segregation. Furthermore, through establishing this new way of seeing through the fashioned form of a rational human, Le Corbusier instituted a new subjectivity, a new inhabitant of living spaces. In an environment devoid of sensual identities, this human becomes the product of a systemic machine powered by pervasive binaries.