Category: Graduate

RTC Colloquium: Crisis and Communication in Cross-Cultural Contexts

RTC Colloquium event posterThe Department of Humanities is pleased to announce a Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium to be held on Friday, February 24 titled “Crisis and Communication in Cross-Cultural Contexts.” RTC student Vincent Manzie will first present his talk “Applying the Rhetoric of Renewal Model in a Contemporary African Context: Lessons Learned from the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Crisis in Nigeria” followed by RTC student Tolulope Odebunmi presenting “Whatsapp: A Safe Haven for Gender Transgression?” Ramon Fonkoué will be providing commentary to the presenters.

Please join us 4 p.m. Friday, February 24 in Walker 134.

RTC Colloquium: When Pop Culture Does Science

RTC Colloquium event posterThe Department of Humanities is pleased to announce a Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium to be held on Friday, January 27 titled “When Pop Culture Does Science.” RTC student Anna Swartz will first present her talk “The CSI Effect: Are Jurors Starstruck by Forensic Science?” followed by RTC student Shelly Galliah presenting “Creatively Intervening on a Manufactured Scientific Controversy: John Oliver’s Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate & the Problems and Promises of Satirical Science Accommodation.” Andrew Fiss will be providing commentary to the presenters.

Please join us 4 p.m. Friday, January 27 in the Great Lakes Research Center room 202.

RTC Colloquium: The Postcolonial Condition

RTC colloquium event posterThe Department of Humanities is pleased to announce a Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium to be held on Friday, December 2 titled “The Postcolonial Condition.” Associate professor of French and cultural studies, Ramon Fonkoué will first present his talk “The Postcolonial Condition in the 21st Century: A Non-Citizen at Home, a Locus of Paradigm Shift in the World” followed by RTC students Yunana Ahmed and Nancy Henaku presenting “Performativity in African Scam Messages: A Feminist Discourse Analysis.” Scott Marratto will be providing commentary to the presenters.

Please join us 4 p.m. Friday, December 2 in the Great Lakes Research Center room 202.

Upcoming RTC Colloquium Announced

RTC colloquium event posterThe Department of Humanities is pleased to announce a Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium to be held on Friday, October 14. RTC student Silke Feltz will first present her talk “Slaughter, Art, & Tofu: The Rhetorical Ecologies of the Pig” followed by RTC student Kim Tweedale presenting “Rhetorical Ecologies: WPA Outcomes Statement.” Abraham Romney will be providing commentary to the presenters.

Please join us 4:30 p.m. Friday, October 14 in the Great Lakes Research Center room 203.

RTC Graduate Student Colloquium Series Presents “Visual Rhetoric in the Polis”

RTCColloquiumPosterCorrectedThe 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.

Gareth Williams to Speak on Violence in Contemporary Mexico

williams_colloqThe Humanities Department’s Rhetoric, Theory and Culture 2014-15 Colloquium Series is pleased to welcome Gareth Williams, Professor of Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Michigan. Professor Williams’ talk is entitled “2666, or The Novel of Force.” It will take place on Friday, April 3rd, at 5 pm, in Forestry G002 (refreshments will be available). All are welcome!

Here is the abstract for Professor Williams’ talk:

Upon the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, Simone Weil penned one of her most renowned essays dealing with the relation between force and the foundation of the city, titled “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force”.  Roberto Bolaño’s 2004 novel 2666 is a fictionalized attempt to approach the murder of hundreds of working class women in and around the city of Santa Teresa (Ciudad Juárez) in the deserts of northern Mexico from the 1990s to the present.  The novel also offers a sustained reflection on the double originality of the political, that is, the constitutive relation between reason and force.  At the heart of the novel’s aesthetic is the questioning of the relation between war as the register and experience of the everyday and the contemporary grasped as (im)possible metaphorization, which in turn raises the question of what is possible in literature, in life, in the face of death.

Professor Williams is the author of The Other Side of the Popular: Neoliberalism and Subalternity in Latin America (2002), The Mexican Exception: Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy (2011), and numerous articles examining the relation between cultural history, literature, and political philosophy. He is one of today’s key thinkers about Latin American politics and culture.

For more information, please contact Marcelino Viero-Ramos.

Photo credit: Shaul Schwarz for The New York Times

CPTSC 2012 Conference a big success!

Last year’s Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication Conference was held at Michigan Tech’s campus back in August of 2012. The goal of these conferences is to bring together directors and administrators in the field of Technical Communication from across the United States and abroad. It was an international conference that brought about a lot of questions regarding diversity in interesting and innovative ways. The featured speakers talked about their experiences in the field as well as the issue of diversity in Technical Communication. Their topics of discussion ranged from honoring diversity in the field to usability testing to bringing diverse perspectives to programs. Overall, the conference posed many questions about the future of Technical Communication and the importance of diversity in the classroom. It offered a real-life experience to students who were able to attend and allowed for great networking opportunities for faculty and students alike.