Rhetoric, Politics & Culture: Now Open for Submissions!

Visit the “Submission Information” tab on the RPC homepage for author guidelines and further submission instructions.

General Call

Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture invites original scholarship that examines rhetoric as a phenomenon rooted in relations of power. Essays may work within a variety of intellectual traditions addressing matters of rhetorical theory, history, criticism, and pedagogy. We also invite manuscripts engaging in archival analysis. Submissions should attend to the co-constitutive relationship between politics and culture in a variety of historical, geographic, and media contexts. Because this journal is the progeny of antiracist activism in rhetorical studies and cognate fields, we are committed to publishing intersectional and reflexive work that attends to its role in disciplinary histories. Successful submissions will engage in mindful citational practices and contribute to the conversations that gave rise to Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture.

We also invite individuals to submit review essays. In addition to book reviews, we encourage reviews of films, events, exhibitions, installations, digital projects, podcasts, and live performances that advance knowledge in rhetorical studies. From time to time, we will also invite themed reviews.

Lastly, Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture will regularly publish a forum section consisting of shorter essays addressing a common theme in rhetorical scholarship.

Due date: Submissions are rolling, but please submit by October 1, 2020 to be considered for the inaugural Spring 2021 issue.

Forum 1: Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture in Perilous Times

Unlike most journals in rhetorical studies, Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture traces its origins to a specific moment in disciplinary history. It is a response to the field’s racism and seeks to enshrine the important activist work against it. Furthermore, our inaugural issue will appear in a world ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and emboldened white supremacy and challenged by antiracist movements. In such a context, we remember Stuart Hall’s challenging words regarding cultural studies, “Against the urgency of people dying in the streets, what in God’s name is the point of cultural studies?” For much of its history, scholars have asked the same question of rhetorical studies. Our goal in this forum is not to again discuss the social relevance of what we do or prescribe ways we might become more “engaged.” Instead, because we believe scholarship’s cultural and political situatedness makes it always already engaged, we hope that asking a more precise question will facilitate concrete notions of what a journal such as this might do. We invite brief essays that consider what agendas should drive Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture. In what ways can the journal function as a corrective to hegemonic intellectual norms? How can it disrupt other professional practices that trade in the marginalization of oppressed communities in higher education? What responsibilities does the journal have toward its various publics and communities–specifically communities that are historically and contemporaneously barred from the academy but on whose labor, land, and creativity the academy rests? What kind of work should we publish and what kinds of rhetorical scholarship does not serve our purposes? Because Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture is the result of discipline reshaping activism, and because financial support from departments and individuals sustain it, we welcome and depend on the voices of those whose intellectual, pedagogical, and activist labors continue to sustain this endeavor.

Due date: Submit by October 1, 2020, to be included in the Spring 2021 issue. Open invitation for submissions on this topic. Select submission type “Forum” when you submit online. 3,000 word limit.

Forum 2: ROLL CALL! Graduate Students, Activism, and the “Third University”

In A Third University is Possible (2017), la paperson works against rescuing the university from neoliberalism and instead positions us towards “decolonizing assemblages.” Rooting “thirdness” deeply in histories of indigeneity, feminisms of color, historical activism related to Third World Feminism/ the Third World University, and Black Studies, a “third university” is a fugitive space in which we teach, be, think, and live against the violent histories of the university.  In this forum, we are calling on graduate student-activists (current and recent graduates), the folx who we see at the center of creating the real possibilities for such a third space.  We want to hear from graduate students who have moved beyond the white proprietary processes of graduate school where they are positioned merely as new settlers in academic logics that mimic their program’s existing theories and faculties. While we welcome reviews of activist histories and contemporary struggles on campuses worldwide, we want the lens of that work to come from the student-activists themselves who lived it and risked it and not neutralized social science reports.  We welcome individual and collaborative work that can take the shape of personal retrospectives, interviews, dreamscapes, manifestos, and/or critiques of the discipline from the location of graduate school/undergraduate majors.  We are looking for work that especially illuminates positionality as we do not all face the same risks with our activism and organizing. How do you define activism? In/for the field? As a graduate student? How do you define community organizing? In/for the field? As a graduate student?  What barriers do/did you face and how does that show up as the epistemological closures and violences of your discipline?   How have you held on to refusal, abolition, decolonization, and/or fugitivity in your work and time on campus?  What programs, organizations, collectives, and/or pedagogies have sustained your critical work and how have these spaces expanded the possibilities and definitions for what constitutes activism and organizing?  How do we unsettle graduate education?  What might that look like and do?

Due date: Submit by March 1, 2021, to be included in the Fall 2021 issue. Open invitation on submissions for this topic. Select submission type “Forum” when you submit online. 3,000 word limit.