CFP/Edited Collection: Rhetoric and Oil Discourse (“Energy Humanities”)


Proposals Due: Jan. 31, 2016 (see below for submission details)

(edited, full version available here)

Recent years have seen the rise of the “Energy Humanities,” which consider cultures in terms of the energy sources that make them possible, energy sources that tend to be invisible to those inhabiting a given culture. In Oil Culture, for example, Ross Barrett and Daniel Worden argue that in contemporary North America oil is largely secreted out of sight but, at the same time, “the oil industry is as ubiquitous and necessary to contemporary life as money” (xix). This simultaneous invisibility and necessity is effected through rhetoric. For instance, in the recent “Life Takes Energy” campaign. We don’t see oil, or pipelines, or windmills in these ads, but energy’s necessity is asserted and the energy corporation’s necessity is implied.

Despite the rise of the Energy Humanities, eco-rhetoric, and Petroculture, no study of oil rhetoric currently exists. Therefore, The Rhetoric and Discourse of Oil seeks papers that examine how discourse and rhetoric create/enable the spectrality of oil (how rhetoric persuades individuals/the public that oil is an invisible magic elixir fuelling progress) and how it also disrupts or counters that view. Contributions to this collection will engage with our understanding of petroleum in its fundamental ambiguity, not only as a key sustaining source of modern culture but also as a toxic and destructive commodity. As such, The Rhetoric and Discourse of Oil seeks interventions in the discourses and rhetorics of oil and its related industries. Possible areas of focus include, but are not limited to, rhetoric and/or discourse and one or more of the following:

bitumen extraction;

hydraulic fracturing (fracking);

Off-shore drilling;

Pipelines and other forms of transportation (oil-by-rail, the Lac Mégantic disaster, tankers);

Spills, Leaks, Ruptures;

Upgrading and Refining;

Lawsuits (Aboriginal consultation, Treaty rights);


Government documents;

Industry documents;



Poetry, fiction, drama;

Visual Rhetoric;


Environment vs. Economy;

Economic History.

Please submit proposals of 300-400 words to Jon Gordon ( and Heather Graves ( by Jan. 31, 2016. Final papers will be due Sept. 1, 2016.

Special Issue Publication from Exercices de rhétorique

Rhétorique et citoyenneté  de la revue en ligne Exercices de rhétorique

Cher.e.s collègues,

Nous avons le plaisir de vous annoncer la parution du numéro 5 | 2015 – Rhétorique et citoyenneté  de la revue en ligne Exercices de rhétorique (édition Ellug, publication Cléo/OpenEdition), à l’adresse suivante:

Nous vous en donnons ci-dessous la table des matières.

Nous lançons également un appel ouvert à contributions : toute proposition de dossier ou d’article sera la bienvenue.

Vous trouverez une présentation générale de la revue en tête du premier numéro (URL:

Avec nos salutations les plus cordiales.

Francis Goyet et Christine Noille,

directeurs de la revue Exercices de rhétorique

Call for Papers – “Ecoplay: Digital Games and Environmental Rhetoric”

Call for Papers – “Ecoplay: Digital Games and Environmental Rhetoric”

Kyle Bohunicky and the University of Florida

TRACE at University of Florida

Deadline of Abstracts: 1 Oct 2015

The University of Florida’s TRACE journal publishes online peer-reviewed collections in ecology, posthumanism, and media studies. Providing an interdisciplinary forum for scholars, we focus on the ethical and material impact of technology. TRACE Innovation Initiative’s second call for papers, “Ecoplay: Digital Games and Environmental Rhetoric,” focuses on digital games and asks how play contributes to ecological thought.

Building on M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline S. Palmer’s Ecospeak: Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America as well as Sidney I. Dobrin and Sean Morey’s Ecosee: Image, Rhetoric, Nature, this issue proposes “Ecoplay” as a rhetorical framework for investigating the intersection of gameplay and ecocriticism. Both Ecospeak and Ecoseeexplore how rhetorical forms encourage support and sympathy for environmental movements. Specifically, Ecospeak identifies rhetorical patterns in writing about environmental politics and argues that discourse is a fundamental part of the environmental problem. Meanwhile, Ecosee claims that image-based media plays a powerful role in shaping arguments about ecology, environment, and nature. Examining play as a catalyst for environmental discourse, Ecoplay critically considers existing and potential rhetorics of digital ecologies and evaluates how games make arguments about nature.

Games often perpetuate problematic ideologies about human-nature-technology relationships by offering a platform for environmental consumption, resource management, colonization, cultivation, etc. At the same time, game designers and players can challenge entrenched ecological narratives or promote conservation efforts through digital worlds. TRACE’s “Ecoplay” issue seeks a comprehensive way of engaging the interplay between multiple forms of ecological rhetoric in digital games and ‘plays’ with how the multi-modality of games enables rhetorical forms to interact. Thus, contributions to this issue of TRACE should explore how digital games configure our understandings of ecologies and ecological issues through their design, play, and materiality.

Paper topics may include, but are not limited to, any of the following as they relate to digital games:

  • Ethics and rhetorics of play, interface, or design
  • Representations of nature, ecology, or environment
  • Wildlife or resource management
  • Ecological conservation or preservation
  • “Green” games
  • E-waste and pollution
  • Built environments, construction, and destruction
  • Agriculture, gardening, and urbanization
  • Media ecologies
  • Posthumanism

Completed articles will be peer-reviewed and should be between 3000-6000 words in length. Multimedia submissions are accepted and encouraged. If you are interested in contributing to the TRACE Innovation Initiative’s second issue, please send a 500 word abstract to by Oct. 1, 2015.


CSSR Social Media update, May 2015

ethos, logos, pathos
Image by Brett Jordan, used for our Google+ community on Rhetorical Criticism, History, Theory. Click to view source.

As part of refreshing our CSSR-SCER website this month, I enriched our society’s Social Media presence by adding links to our existing Facebook and Google+ pages on our website sidebar.

In order to generate more discussion, I’ve also created 2 new Google+ communities:

1) Rhetoric in Canada

2) Rhetorical Criticism, History Theory

Posts to these communities (and the 2 additional pre-existing rhetoric communities we joined) will appear on our public Google+ page at and add to the activity there.

If you are a Facebook or Google user, consider following our social media pages and sharing your thoughts, images, or links. It’s a way of linking your own profile to rhetorical studies as well. Our Facebook and Google+ pages have seen little to no activity for years, but I hope they’ll see more activity in future as part of their increased presence on our website and on Google.