“Reflection on Frederick Douglass’s Rhetorical Legacy on the Bicentennial of His Birth”

Call for a Symposiun

Rhetoric Review

ISSN 0735-0198 (Print), 1532-7981 (Online)

Call for Papers for a Special Symposium in January 2018 issue: “Reflection on Frederick Douglass’s Rhetorical Legacy on the Bicentennial of His Birth”

The Journal:  Rhetoric Review (RR), a scholarly interdisciplinary journal of rhetoric, publishes in all areas of rhetoric and writing and provides a professional forum for its readers to consider and discuss current topics and issues. The journal publishes manuscripts that explore the breadth and depth of the discipline, including history, theory, writing, praxis, philosophy, professional writing, rhetorical criticism, cultural studies, multiple literacies, technology, literature, public address, graduate education, and professional issues. Rhetoric Review periodically publishes special symposiums devoted to important issues in rhetorical theory, the history of rhetoric, and analysis of discourse within its social context.

Symposium Theme: The runaway Maryland slave who rose to become one of the nation’s leading reformers, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was primarily and perhaps most importantly a public communicator whose transformative power emerged from his powerful oratory and eloquent writing. Nineteenth-century Americans recognized him for the power of his public speaking, and his oratory was always at the center of his work as a political activist and agitator. The 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth provides occasion for a careful reconsideration of Douglass’s rhetorical legacy—both his written work such as autobiographies and editorials as well as his acclaimed oratory. The organizing theme for the essays in this symposium will be an examination of Frederick Douglass’s importance to the history, present, and future of rhetoric and composition studies. Collectively these essays make a case for Douglass’ long-standing and continued significance both for rhetorical studies and for our interdisciplinary connections to race studies, protest and social movement studies, performance studies, and the like. As such, this symposium invites scholars and teachers of rhetoric to consider the ways Frederick Douglass’s rhetorical contributions and excellence continues to shape and animate contemporary conversations about public address, social justice, rhetorical education, public deliberation, and other salient topics to rhetoric and composition studies.

Symposium Special Editors:

John R. Kaufman-McKivigan, Mary O’Brien Gibson Professor of American History, IUPUI, is the editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers. An expert on the U.S. abolitionist movement, Kaufman-McKivigan has authored or edited twenty-four books, including the Yale University Press’s forthcoming new edition of A Critical Edition of the Oratory of Frederick Douglass.

Jonathan Rossing, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Communication Studies, Gonzaga University, studies the rhetoric of race and racial discourse in U.S. public culture and public address. His scholarship and rhetorical criticism works at the intersection of rhetoric, critical race theory, critical pedagogy, and humor scholarship.

Manuscript Preparation: Each essay should be between 4,000 and 5,000 words (inclusive of references and footnotes) and be prepared according to the guidelines of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed.). All material should be double-spaced and placed in the following order: title page, text, notes, works cited, appendixes, tables, and figures. All manuscript pages, including the tables and figures, should be numbered. Tables and figures (illustrations) should not be embedded in the text, but should be included as separate sheets or files. A short descriptive title should appear above each table with a clear legend and any footnotes suitably identified below. Authors are responsible for all statements made in their work and for obtaining permission from copyright owners to use a lengthy quotation (exceeding the limits of fair use) or to reprint or adapt a table or figure published elsewhere.


Proposal Submission Instructions:

Deadline for proposal submissions: August 1, 2016.

Prospective authors should submit a detailed abstract of no more than 500 words that outlines your research plans. We encourage you to contact the symposia editors in advance of submitting a proposal for advice on whether this symposia is the right venue for your research.

Please send your questions and proposals directly to:

John R. Kaufman-McKivigan, jmckivig@iupui-edu

Jonathan Rossing , rossing@gonzaga.edu

Final Manuscript Submission Instructions: Authors will have until April 1, 2017 to prepare a complete draft of their symposium article. Kaufman-McKivigan and Rossing will collect those initial drafts, review them for conformity to the journal’s style, request any needed corrections from authors, and review the final article drafts. They will submit the entire manuscript of the symposium to the editor of Rhetoric Review, who might request further revisions. The goal of this timetable is complete all preparation of the symposium in time for publication in 2018 when public as well as scholar interest in Frederick Douglass will be at a peak thanks to the bicentennial of his birthday.

Contact Info: 

John R. Kaufman-McKivigan, jmckivig@iupui-edu

Jonathan Rossing , rossing@gonzaga.edu

Contact Email: