Category: RTC

RTC Colloquium: Islands of Resistance

RTC colloquium event posterPlease join the Department of Humanities for a Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium on Wednesday, November 14 titled “Islands of Resistance.” Dana Van Kooy, associate professor of english in transnational literature and literacy theory and culture, will present “Islands of Resistance: Geography as a Configuration of Political Resistance and Atlantic History” (see abstract below). This essay draws attention to Haiti, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic as differently scaled geopolitical literary spaces that represent multiple cultures and histories of resistance.

Please join us 12 p.m. (noon) Wednesday, November 14 in Rozsa Center room 120 (choral room).

Abstract:

Islands of resistance. The phrase commonly refers to isolated pockets of organized and oppositional force. Significantly, when interpreting the phrase, the emphasis falls more on the geographical features of an island than on the refusal to comply. The geographical imagery encircles and confines resistance: limiting its effectiveness to a series of singular actions or to a small, containable  collective movement. In the cultural imaginary, the island represents a point of stasis in the midst of an immensely larger—very fluid and indomitable—natural force. However, the island’s characteristics—its isolation, its remoteness from everywhere else, and its unique ecology—also produce a synecdoche: the world is an island. What I find relevant here is how geographical markers reconfigure the politics of the phrase, both positively and negatively. 

In the Romantic period, islands of resistance constitute a global expanse of spatial and temporal assemblages that encompass isolated rural agricultural estates, mining districts, mountain ranges, and wild “wastelands.” Metropolitan areas and cities can also be represented as islands, as well as nations and other geo-politically defined areas. For the purposes of this essay, I will focus more specifically on the island of Haiti. This island represents a geo-historical watershed: intertwining slave revolts, reactionary invasions, and revolutionary acts of independence, which culminated in the collective establishment of the first independent black state in the New World.

Focusing specifically on Leonora Sansay’s narrative depictions of Haiti’s history and its Revolution in her novel, Secret History (1808), I want to locate and map the shifting depictions of Haiti’s geography and how these markers shape, challenge, erase, and make manifest the many political possibilities for this island of resistance.


Nancy Henaku Publishes in African Journal of Rhetoric

Nancy HenakuNancy Henaku, Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD candidate, has published a paper in the African Journal of Rhetoric titled “Rhetoric, Power and Political Crisis: A Rhetorical Discourse Analysis of Ghana’s 2012 Election Petition”.

Henaku argues that “courtroom discourse during Ghana’s 2012 election petition was not meant to just persuade the panel of judges and that power framed and determined what was significant in the courtroom interactions.”

Discursive construction of power during cross-examinations is complicated by the fusion of ‘legal’ and ‘political’ power which impacts the production of the three modes of proof (ethos, pathos and logos) and ultimately, determines the outcome of the case itself. —Nancy Henaku, RTC PhD candidate


William De Herder Publishes Paper on Multiliteracies Center

William De HerderWilliam De Herder, Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD student, has published a paper in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal in which he discusses Michigan Tech’s own Mulitliteracies Center. The paper is titled “Composing the Center: History, Networks, Design and Writing Center Work.”

I hope that other centers might learn from our experience and consider deploying similar strategies to question and reflect on how their work can accommodate new technological realities and pursue social projects. —William De Herder


Faculty and RTC Graduate Students Present at OSCLG Conference

R.T.C. group at conference. Pictured from left to right: Victoria Bergvall, Toluulope Odebunmi, Sara Potter, Patty Sotirin, Nancy Henaku, Modupe Yusuf, Nada Mohammad Alfieir, and Nancy Achiaa Frimpong.Michigan Tech Humanities graduate students and professors presented scholarly work at the annual Conference of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender in Lake Tahoe, Nevada October 3-6, 2018.

Masters Graduate student Nancy Achiaa Frimpong presented “Skin Colour on Sale: Advertising and Postfeminism”. Doctoral Graduate student Nada Mohammad Alfieir presented “‘I Didn’t Understand Anything!’ A Muslim Mother’s Narrative Reflections on Privacy, U.S. Sex Education, and a Daughter’s Denials”. Doctoral Graduate student Sara Potter presented “Motherhood as a Jointly Constructed Narrative”. Doctoral Graduate student Modupe Yusuf presented “African Women as Symbols of Feminist Persistence”. Ph.D. candidate Toluulope Odebunmi presented “Women and Politics in West Africa: An Analysis of Feminist Criticisms Against Liberia’s Ellen HJohnson Sirleaf”. Ph.D. candidate Nancy Henaku presented “Resistance, Discursive Activism and Gender Politics in Ghanaian Social Media: A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis” and also served as the student representative on the OSCLG Board. Ph.D. candidates Nancy Henaku and Toluuope Odebunmi presented papers on the panel, “African Women Performing Persistence: Tales of Historical and Contemporary Contributions to Global Activism”.

Professor Victoria Bergvall presented “Missing Voices in the WEIRD Discourse of Gendered Neuroscience: Transnational Feminist Discourses of Nature and Nurture in Gender/Sex/Sexuality”. Professor Patty Sotirin presented “Militarized Mother Legacies: Talking with WWI Mothers”.

Pictured from left to right: Victoria Bergvall, Toluulope Odebunmi, Sara Potter, Patty Sotirin, Nancy Henaku, Modupe Yusuf, Nada Mohammad Alfieir, and Nancy Achiaa Frimpong.


RTC Colloquium: A Sixth Great Lake Beneath Our Feet

Poster for the Fall 2018 RTC ColloquiumThe Department of Humanities is pleased to announce the first Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium of the semester titled A Sixth Great Lake Beneath Our Feet. Professor M. Bartley Seigel will read poetry from his current project and will be joined by students from his graduate seminar in poetics: Edzordzi Agbozo & Xena Cortez. Seigel is the author of the poetry collection, This Is What They Say, (Typecast Publishing, 2013).

Please join us on Wednesday, October 10 at 12 p.m. (noon) in the Rozsa Center Choral Room 120.


Faculty and Graduate Student Present at Armistice Symposium

World War One in the Copper Country logoThree faculty members and a graduate student presented on various topics related to the First World War at the Armistice & Aftermath: a World War One Symposium. The symposium is part of the commemoration of the Copper Country’s involvement in WWI. Ramon Fonkoue presented on “Art and activism in Abel Gance’s film Jaccuse: Revisiting anti-war sentiment in French art and society a century later”. Dany Jacob’s presentation was titled “’Pour la France! Pour ma famille!’: Legacies in Rouad’s Champs d’honneurs”. Laura Fiss also presented on “Recalling the trenches from Club Window: Contrasting perspectives in Dorothy Sayers and P.G. Wodehouse”. Graduate student Edzordzi Agbozo presented on “World War One & Africa: Contesting history, nation, and identity in ‘Western Togoland’”.


Richard Ward Publishes Creative Non-fiction Story

Richard WardRhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD student Richard Ward has published a creative non-fiction story in Pennsylvania’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Nonfictionreleased by Z Publishing House, 2018. Ward’s story is titled “A Rumble in the Woods”. Previously, Ward’s “Cute from a Distance” won the The Bob Hoffman Award for Creative Non-fiction and was published in York Review 21, 2015.


Wenjing Liu Among Fall 2018 Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award Recipients

Wenjing LiuWe are happy to announce Rhetoric, Theory and Culture PhD student Wenjing Liu is among the winners for the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award. Congratulations!

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan.


RTC Graduate Students Present at IAICS International Conference

Three RTC Graduate students presented papers at the 24th International Conference of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies, July 5-8, 2018. Hua Wang (with Junhua Wang, University of Minnesota Duluth) presented on the topic “Culture and Rhetoric: A Contrastive Analysis on the Effectiveness of Two Articles on Climate Change”. Aranya Srijongjai presentated on “Digital Rhetoric of Cosmopolitanism: A Methodological Framework” and also chaired the Communication and Technology panel of the conference. Wenjing Liu presented on “Color in China”.

The conference was on the theme “Communication and Dialogue: Integrating Global Communities”. According to organizers, “The IAICS international conference brings scholars together from around the world to share ideas, experiences and scholarly research from diverse interdisciplinary perspectives on communication across cultures.” The conference was hosted by DePaul University in Chicago, IL.