In memory of Michael Purves-Smith

Dear CSSR / RhetCanada members and associates, it is with sadness that I share news that one of our long-term and most cherished members, Michael Purves-Smith, passed away this week.

[Photo uploaded to the obituary website by the family] 

See his online obituary at

Michael and his wife Shannon Purves-Smith have contributed to the society for decades both separately and in partnership, playing many roles in the executive and committees and faithfully attending yearly CSSR conferences.

Michael’s gentlemanly kindness, organizational wisdom and deep intellect will be missed. He has left a strong legacy on our scholarly organization, and more importantly, he will be kindly remembered and respected in the hearts and minds of those who have worked together with him on committees, heard his presentations, shared meals or adventures with him, or discussed ideas with him. Michael has also left behind his writings for us to enjoy and ponder. He was not only a strong rhetorician and rhetorical critic, but he also used his eloquence as an active participant in Canadian and global society and culture, doing his best to leave an ethical, creative, and powerful impact on his audiences.

We thank you, Michael, for a life lived so well.

Dear Shannon, we send out our thoughts to you at this time and sincerely wish you and your family and friends comfort in your time of mourning.

Tania S. Smith
Current President, CSSR

2016 TED-Ed video gives overview of rhetoric

You might be interested in sharing this short instructional TED-Ed video to give students or friends an overview of Aristotle’s 3 genres and 3 appeals and how they can be used.

“How to use rhetoric to get what you want” (04:30), posted Sept. 20, 2016 by the TED-Ed YouTube channel

The title sounds like it teaches how to use rhetoric for selfish ends, but the content focuses on public rhetoric and encourages ethical use of rhetoric through ethos, argument, and cautions about pathos.

Full video information is on the TED-Ed website at

  • Educator: Camille A. Langston
  • Script Editor: Alex Gendler
  • Director: Hector Herrera
  • Producer: Pazit Cahlon
  • Sound Designer: Nick Sewell

CSSR Social Media update, August 2016

I’d like to introduce our CSSR-SCÉR Website & Social Media team and explain what’s going on in the world of our CSSR Social Media forums.

First, join me in giving sincere thanks to our current Website & Social Media team!

  • Tania Smith, CSSR Webmaster and Social Media admin since 2012
  • Ryan McGuckin, CSSR webmaster assistant, and CSSR-SCÉR Google+ co-admin since 2015
  • Brandon Katzir, CSSR social media assistant, and Twitter co-admin since 2015
  • Bruce Dadey, CSSR Webmaster co-assistant, and Twitter co-admin since 2016
  • M. Shivaun Corry, CSSR Facebook, since 2016
  • David Beard, our current CSSR-SCÉR Secretary, also holds the webmaster’s backup & password files just in case the webmaster becomes unavailable to do her work.

With the help of this team, our association has a greater ability to publicly engage those who choose to “follow” us on social media.

CSSR-SCÉR Social media is intended to complement, not replace, our website. Although our website is restricted to more “official” executive announcements and “academic” information (such as Job Ads and Calls for Papers for rhetorical studies), our social media posts can cast a wider net by also sharing articles and media that are broadly relevant to discussion of “rhetoric” or “eloquence” in the public forum and rhetorical studies in general.

Our pages on Google+ and Twitter are also publicly accessible to people without login, thus increasing our association’s reach and relevance.  This is one way our association stays engaged with our people and the public.

Currently, our social media is integrated in a “chain” of forwarding and accumulating posts from one forum to the next:

  1. All our CSSR blog posts (news) get automatically posted to CSSR Google+ and CSSR Facebook.
  2. On our CSSR Google+ page, we share additional material that may be relevant to our followers on G+.  We also post on two interactive “community” pages that we host, where members can also post material:
  3. All our official Google+ posts made by our Google+ assistants (including posts forwarded to G+ from our website blog) get automatically fed to our CSSR Twitter page.
  4. Our CSSR Twitter assistants add more material to our feed and keep it active and relevant to our Twitter followers
  5. Our CSSR Facebook assistants add material to the Facebook page. (Due to technical difficulty and settings, Facebook cannot easily accept an automatic feed from our Twitter page, but it does mirror our CSSR website posts.)
  6. Our CSSR Twitter feed is publicly accessible online and in a “widget” in the left-hand sidebar of our CSSR website.

Therefore, even if you are not a user of any of these social media outlets, you can view our Social Media activity on our website. Just scroll down on any CSSR website page and look in the left sidebar under the menu.  There, you’ll see our public Twitter feed, which includes all the posts that have s accumulated on Google+ as well as Twitter.

If you use Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, we encourage you to join or follow us there!


Tania Smith,
CSSR-SCÉR Webmaster, and President 2015-2017