The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


South Central MLA

Submitted by Maxwell on October 25, 2011 - 12:50am

After my most excellent experience at the FemRhet Conference in Mankato (referenced on this blog here and here), I'm excited to hit the road again this week for my first taste of a regional MLA conference. Of course, it would have been much closer for me to attend the Midwest MLA (held this year in St. Louis, a mere hopskipjump from Mizzou), but since there's no standing panel in Rhetoric at the MMLA, and since the SCMLA is nothing more than a short 7-hour drive through the Ozark Mountains from Columbia, I decided to point my wagon south.

The conference is to be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas (apparently they have springs there, that are hot), and the conference theme is 'Springs of Innovation'. When the call for this conference came out, I was neck deep in writing a seminar paper that explored the policy rhetoric of Farm Bill legislation. Without trying to, I ended up writing about the name of the 2008 Farm Bill, which, for the first time ever, had the word 'energy' in it. Imagine that, a Food and Farm bill that had a non-food-or-farm title. Something rhetorical was happening there, I could feel it. After my seminar paper was complete (and only then), I crafted a proposal that argued the naming of the bill as an act of policy invention; from the naming of the bill bubbles forth the materialities of the policy. A short while later I had been accepted to present my research at the conference.

So, will any of you dear Blogora readers be in Hot Springs, Arkansas this week? If you'll be, and you're interested in discussing public policy rhetoric as it pertains to the Farm Bill (which is to be introduced in Congress next month, a well-planned coincidence I must say), swing by the Rhetoric panel on Saturday morning at 930am. But hey, if morning policy rhetoric isn't your cup of tea, there's always Restoration Francophone Literature after lunch....

SCMLA Annual Conference Website

Submitted by syntaxfactory on November 1, 2011 - 7:36am.

I would expect that someone who wanted to go to RSA would sign up for this:

Submitted by Maxwell on October 31, 2011 - 11:16pm.

Well, since I didn't see any of you Blogorians at the conference, I'll give the update here. As is probably often the case, this regional MLA conference was heavy on the language and literature with a dash of linguistics added for spice. Unfortunately for me, mine was the only presentation with Rhetoric in the title. Luckily the Composition panel didn't make either, and our resourceful chair combined the panels so we could all still present. We were in a tricky spot, but in the end it all worked out.

Despite my lack of interest in many of the research presentations, I'm glad I went. If nothing else, I can cross the regional MLA thing off my list. I just felt like I was trespassing on a discourse community I wasn't a part of. Everyone was very nice, but there was a reason I switched away from Lit in the first place.

Now I just need to figure out when those RSA proposals are due. What? They were? When?

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