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 https://arts-ofas.uwaterloo.ca/english/. 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 https://uwaterloo.ca/english/.

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

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: https://uwaterloo.ca/faculty-association/why-waterloo”.

Call for CSSR 2017 Nominations

Dear CSSR/SCER members, we need to elect people to fill the following roles on the Executive and Committees at the 2017 AGM. If you would like to nominate someone, or nominate yourself, please contact the president Tania Smith at president@cssr-scer.ca before May 25.  Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the AGM.

Executive committee

We will need to prepare a full slate of nominees in case proposed 2017 Constitutional Revisions are accepted at the AGM.  If none of the revisions are accepted, we will require a new secretary-treasurer and member-at-large.

Persons currently serving in the Executive may seek re-election to their current role or may seek to be elected to a different role.

See position qualifications in the proposed 2017 constitution revisions at  https://goo.gl/forms/iRtcrqjTsURUNwdn1

  • President:  Tania Smith (2015-2017)
    • Nominees welcome 
  • Vice-President:  John Moffatt (2015-2017)
    • Nominees welcome 
  • Secretary-Treasurer:  David Beard (2015-2017)
    • Nominees welcome 
  • Past President & Rhetor journal editor: Pierre Zoberman (2015-2017)
    • Past President 2017-2019 will be Tania Smith, whether or not she serves in another role as well.
  • Member-at-Large:  Benoit Sans (2016-2017)
    • Nominees welcome 

Additional Executive roles

If the revised constitution is accepted, the Editor role will be separated from the Past President role, and the Editor and Webmaster will be on the Executive committee.

  • Rhetor Journal Editor
    • Nominees welcome  
  • Webmaster: Tania Smith (2012 to present)
    • Nominees welcome 

Advisory committee

This committee reviews conference presentation proposals for the upcoming year’s conference.

  • Bruce Dadey (2015-2017)
    • Nominees welcome 
  • Jonathan Powers (2015-2017)
    • Nominees welcome 
  • Tracy Whalen (2016-2018)
  • Tess Laidlaw (2016-2018)
  • Julie Dainville  (student) (2016-2018)

Editorial committee

  • Pierre Zoberman (Editor/directeur, 2015-2017)
    • to be Replaced by newly elected Editor
  • Jeanie Wills (2013-15 past editor, member to 2017)
    • to be Replaced by Pierre Zoberman, past editor 2015-2017
  • Alice den Otter (2016-2020)
  • Randy Harris (2014-2018)
  • Victor Ferry (2014-2018)
  • Loic Nicolas (2014-2018)
  • Patricia Ofili (student in 2016) (2016-2020)
  • Kyle Gerber (student in 2016) (2016-2020)

Nominees welcome.  It would be wise to add 1-2 people in 2017 so that terms are staggered. We need Francophones.

Student prize committee

TOR: “At least one member must be currently on the Executive Committee and/or Editorial Board. At least one member should be a francophone. All members hold a Ph.D. and are not currently studying for a graduate degree.”

  • J. Moffatt,
  • D. Beard,
  • Shannon Purves-Smith
  • Nominees welcome

Webmaster Assistant & Social Media Assistants

  • Ryan McGuckin (Google+ 2015 to present),
  • Bruce Dadey (2016 to present)
  • Brandon Katzir (Twitter, 2015 to present)
  • M. Shivaun Corry (Facebook 2017 to present)
  • Nominees welcome

As I do each year, I will check to see if these can continue to serve.