Kyle Gerber Wins RhetCanada Prize for Best Student Conference Paper / Kyle Gerber a remporté le prix de la meilleure communication proposée par un étudiant/doctorant octroyé par RhetCanada

Kyle Gerber, a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Waterloo, has won RhetCanada’s student prize for best student conference paper for “‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’: Transitive Action in The Lord’s Prayer.”

Kyle’s paper is an extension of interests he developed while completing an HBA in English at Wilfrid Laurier University and an MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design at the University of Waterloo. Working under Dr. Randy Harris, Kyle studies patterns of rhetorical figures in Mennonite writing on forgiveness, attending to cognitive implications for these patterns. He has published and presented in the areas of Mennonite identity, theology, and literature, and is interested in intersections of rhetorical, cognitive, and Mennonite studies. Kyle’s research is funded by a SSHRC doctoral grant.

When not working on his dissertation, Kyle splits his time between learning how to be a father to his 7-month-old daughter Gretchen and moonlighting as a mandolin player in his bluegrass band.

According to Kyle, “I’m grateful to be working in a department that fosters diverse modes of inquiry, surrounded by remarkable people, and connected to the broader community of RhetCanada. I’m grateful for Randy’s inspiration, guidance, and supervision, and for the collegial support of the peers in our writing group, Devon, Monique, Saeed, and George; any success I have is a product of what these individuals contribute to my life and scholarship.”

Congratulations, Kyle Gerber and the University of Waterloo.

Kyle Gerber, doctorant dans le département d’anglais de l’université de Waterloo, a remporté le prix de la meilleure communication proposée par un étudiant/doctorant octroyé par RhetCanada pour sa présentation intitulée: « ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’: Transitive Action in the Lord’s Prayer ».

Il y propose un développement de thématiques qu’il a eu l’occasion d’aborder dans son bachelier en anglais à l’Université Wilfrid Laurier et de son master en Rhétorique et Communication à l’Université de Waterloo. Travaillant sous la supervision du Professeur Randy Harris, Kyle étudie les modèles de figures rhétoriques dans les écrits mennonites au sujet du pardon, avec une attention particulière pour les implications cognitives de ces figures. Gerber a publié et présenté des travaux dans les domaines de l’identité mennonite, de la théologie et de la littérature. Il s’intéresse aux croisements possibles entre la rhétorique, les sciences cognitives et les études mennonites. Sa recherche est financée par une bourse doctorale du SSHRC.

Lorsqu’il ne travaille pas à sa thèse, Kyle partage son temps entre son rôle de père pour Gretchen, sa petite fille de sept mois et joue de la mandoline dans un groupe de Bluegrass.

Kyle a déclaré : « Je suis reconnaissant d’avoir l’opportunité de travaillé dans un département qui encourage différentes formes d’approches, entouré de personnes admirables, et en connexion avec la communauté plus large de RhetCanada. Je remercie Randy de m’inspirer, de guider et d’orienter ma recherche, ainsi que pour le soutien de mes collègues dans notre groupe d’écriture, Devon, Monique, Saeed et Georges; tous mes succès sont le fruit de ce que ces personnes ont pu m’apporter, tant sur le plan personnel que professionnel ».

Félicitations à Kyle Gerber et à l’Université de Waterloo.


CSSR 2017 AGM summary & minutes

At our conference at the Congress in Toronto, Ontario, at Ryerson University May 30 – June 1, 2017, we had 42 registered delegates as well as several guests, and we had the opportunity to hear 27 well-researched presentations in plenary format.

Minutes of our AGM are available here, and below are the highlights.

The executive team passed a revised constitution this year, making executive roles more flexible, allowing members to be nominated for positions that suit their skills for 2 year terms.

During elections based on the revised constitution, I was voted in as President for a second term of two years. David Beard will serve as VP although he expressed he has no interest in succeeding to the President role in future. John Moffatt will serve as Secretary-Treasurer, although he has expressed that he prefers mainly the Treasurer role by itself.  Pierre Zoberman will still provide advice to the Executive as past-president. Now that Past President and Editor roles are separate, we have elected a new journal editor, Tracy Whalen, who has previously served as this society’s journal editor. We also have a new Webmaster (Bruce Dadey), and this is now an elected 2 year position on the executive. M. Shivaun Corry, who has been helping with CSSR’s Facebook presence, has volunteered to be a “Social Media Coordinator” within our team of website & social media assistants.

We are putting together a working group on membership development to assist in retaining and recruiting members and promoting our conference and journal. We still have one position vacant on the Advisory committee, as Whalen should be replaced since she is now editor. We will call for nominations and hold an online vote.

As part of our constitutional revisions, we approved an official “alias” name for our organization, RhetCanada / RhétCanada. I will explain in a separate news post so that it gets emphasized.

At the end of the conference, we held a vote for the special theme of the 2018 conference. The winning theme is “That’s not rhetoric!” “Yes, it is.”


CSSR Congress Keynote Address: Heather Graves and Roger Graves

Disciplining Lady Rhetorica: An Allegorical Dialogue about Disciplinarity and Rhetoric

Heather Graves and Roger Graves will present the CSSR keynote address at Congress.

Rhetoric, known as the “plastic” art, can and has been conjoined with other areas of study and practice. Perhaps the most well-known statement of this is one of the earliest: Aristotle noted that rhetoric “is not concerned with any special or definite class of subjects” (24). Cheryl Glenn’s work on rhetoric and gender, together with male-centred histories of rhetoric (M.L. Clarke, for example) provide good touchstones for the range of rhetoric’s contacts with other disciplines through history.

Today, rhetoric’s ability to frame the discourse of any particular discipline allows us to create better learning experiences and support student writers in all disciplines; as researchers, it enables us observe, decode, and interpret the discursive practices of a wide range of disciplines (H. Graves). Our actual interactions with people outside of rhetorical studies, however, lead to issues of power and control that cannot be disentangled from the context of each discipline. Collaborative work of the kind Carl Herndl has done with agriculture, for example, leads to what Anthony Pare has called “critical interdisciplinarity” wherein the rhetorician has set up camp (physically as well as mentally) across campus or across town. Pare contrasts this work with what he calls “rhetorical tourism” or the kind of rhetorical analysis that is done from afar or without partnering with an insider in the area under study.

This talk will briefly consider the history of rhetoric’s entanglements with other disciplines before dwelling on the more recent dalliances of rhetoric and the humanities–philosophy, communication, literature–as well as encounters with the sciences–mathematics, physics, biology–and the professions–engineering, nursing, and the law. We will adopt and adapt rhetoric’s alternate identity as Lady Rhetorica to create an allegorical exchange between her and her long-time companion, Philosophy/Logic, as to the nature of these relationships and what, if anything, is to be done about it.

Aristotle. (1984). The rhetoric and poetics of Aristotle. Modern Library Edition. New York: Random House.
Clarke, M. L. (2002). Rhetoric at Rome: a historical survey. New York: Routledge.
Glenn, C. (1997). Rhetoric retold: Regendering the tradition from antiquity through the renaissance. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Graves, H. (2010). Introduction. In In Interdisciplinarity: Thinking and writing beyond borders. Eds. H. Graves & R. Graves. Edmonton: Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing.
Pare, A. (2010). Interdisciplinarity: Rhetoric, reasonable accommodation, and the Toto effect. In Interdisciplinarity: Thinking and writing beyond borders. Eds. H. Graves & R. Graves. Edmonton: Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing.

Heather Graves is Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, where she teaches academic and technical and business communication. Her research interests include argument in academic discourse, visual rhetoric, and the rhetoric of science. She has published three academic books: Rhetoric in(to) Science: Style as Invention in Inquiry in 2005; Writing Centres, Writing Seminars, Writing Culture: Writing Instruction in Anglo-Canadian Universities edited with Roger Graves in 2006; and Interdisciplinarity: Thinking and Writing Beyond Borders edited with Roger Graves in 2010; and four writing textbooks: A Strategic Guide to Technical Communication with Roger Graves in 2007/2012; The Brief Penguin Handbook (Cdn Eds) with Lester Faigley and Roger Graves (2008/2011/2014/2016); The Little Penguin Handbook (Cdn Eds) with Lester Faigley and Roger Graves (2009/2012/2015); and Dynamics of Business and Professional Communication: A Case-Based Approach with Roger Graves (2015).

Roger Graves is Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, and Associate Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta. He is the author, co-author, or editor of eight books and 30+ articles, including Writing Instruction in Canadian Universities. He is a member of the editorial boards for College English and the IEEE Proceedings on Technical Communication, and publisher of Inkshed Publications, the publications initiative of the Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning (CASLL/Inkshed). His current research interests include writing assignments across disciplinary fields and the gamification of peer response systems in writing classrooms. Since 2008, he has given over 250 public presentations locally, nationally, and internationally. From 2014-2017 he served on the ISAWR Steering Committee; previously he served on the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (2010-1202) and of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing (2008-2014).

Position: Lecturer in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, UWaterloo

Please share and apply!

The Department of English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo invites applications for a three-year definite-term appointment starting August 1, 2017 at the rank of Lecturer in Rhetoric and Technical Communication.

The successful candidate may be considered for reappointment at the completion of the contract.
Applicants must have a completed PhD and a substantial record of teaching by the time of appointment. The successful candidate will teach a writing- and speaking-intensive engineering communication course for first-year engineering students; thus, evidence of experience teaching technical communications courses at the post-secondary level will be considered an important asset. The successful candidate will also contribute to other areas of undergraduate teaching in communication and rhetoric.

This position is designated as 80% teaching and 20% service, with duties normally spread over three academic terms each year. The salary range for the rank of Lecturer is $60,000.00 to $80,000.00. Negotiations beyond this salary range will be considered for exceptionally qualified candidates.

The application deadline is June 5, 2017. Please submit applications to the Department Chair, Kate Lawson. Application materials must be submitted online as PDF files through Please include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and a teaching dossier, and arrange for three letters of reference to be uploaded (addressed to Professor Kate Lawson, Chair, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo).

More information about the Department is available at

Further enquiries may be directed to Professor Lawson at 519-888-4567, ext. 33965 or by e-mail to

The University of Waterloo respects, appreciates and encourages diversity. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals including women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

“Three reasons to apply:”.