Workshop 1: Rhetoric, Publics, and Placemaking in Everyday Life
John Ackerman, Greg Dickinson, and Candice Rai
This workshop brings together work on materiality, ecology, space/place, memory, and publics to explore rhetoric in and of everyday, civic life. We begin with the idea that place matters deeply to the practices and study of rhetoric. Over the course of our two and a half days together, we will locate conversations on rhetoric in everyday life within cities and suburbs, museums and memorials, digital and offline publics, collective memories and public rhetorical performances, everyday democracies, objects and places of ruin, and various built and natural environments, among others.
Some inquiries we will explore, include: How does rhetoric become emplaced and entangled in the world? What are some key topoi in conversations at the intersections of space/place, materiality, ecology, and public rhetoric? What are different theoretical and methodological approaches to studying rhetoric in situ? How can we conceive of and capture complex rhetorical entanglements—of bodies, objects, desires, technologies, ideologies, affects, materialities, vernacular rhetorics, and all manner else—within various places? How might rhetoric and its study/practice/pedagogy help us mediate, negotiate, and act within various complex ecologies and in response to the urgent collective issues of our time?
Workshop participants will discuss readings that explore theoretical and methodological approaches to engaging and enacting rhetoric in publics, places, and ecologies. We will also enliven and ground the concepts that emerge from our discussions through place-based activities that take us into Washington, D.C. Finally, we will provide space for participants to share and workshop their own specific projects. We welcome participants at various stages of their career who are working, teaching, and engaging these inquiries.