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.


New CSSR Posters for 2015

A new 8×10 CSSR/SCÉR poster and 2×6 bookmark are now available.

See them on the Posters page of our website.

I have also created a “campaign” series of four 4×6 postcards with messages and quotations about rhetoric, eloquence or oratory.  Each card comes in a French version & an English version. They are great for sharing on social media.

I will bring some postcards, bookmarks, and “Rhetoric is majestic” and “Rhetoric is useful & good” cards for distribution at our conference next week.

Submit a postcard idea

I also welcome submissions of content for additional postcards with a similar design. Not every postcard can be printed due to cost, but they would be shared on our website and social media.

I’d need a complete postcard concept, which includes the following:

1) a brief 2-3 word persuasive or informative message about what rhetoric is, or does, or can do, ideally using the word “rhetoric” or “eloquence” or similar terms that identify rhetoric.

2) a very short, pithy quotation with a citation that develops the idea of the poster’s message. This has to be very short to prevent it from being too small print.

3) AND, for PR materials for our bilingual society, we need the content of the message and quotation in eloquent French and English. Please do not send content in only one language because it can take a lot of time to find or make a good translation.

Send your complete, bilingual content ideas to  I will select and edit the content as necessary for postcard design, and all PR materials will be reviewed by the Executive committee.

Academic conference tips from UAffairs

It’s conference season for many of us, and good presentations are a rhetorical art.

I would like to recommend this short article re-distributed by email today by the University Affairs magazine:

Also of interest from University Affairs:

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.