Keynote Speaker: Christy I. Wenger, Shepherd University

Poetry Reading: Amy Ratto Parks, University of Montana


Date: October 25-26, 2019

Location: Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Call for Proposals

Contemplative rhetorics and literacies invite mindfulness into our academic ecologies for consideration and study on behalf of teachers, students, and scholars. They provide us new ways of approaching recurrent conceptual threads within rhetoric and literacy studies, such as those surrounding reflection, invention and process. Contemplative rhetorics and literacies also help us to meet surging interest in metacognition, well-being and non-cognitive factors of learning. How does mindfulness as a practice and heuristic of contemplative rhetoric change the terms, stakes and outcomes of discussions of these and other concepts? How can it be leveraged to examine the sustainability of our literacy practices?

We seek proposals that make connections between existing conversations and developing ones, proposals that investigate the ways contemplative literacies and the rhetorics of mindfulness provide new exigencies and frameworks for our work. We also invite proposals that provide more dialogue about the aims, methods and means of engaging contemplative rhetorics and literacies within traditional academic environments. The conversation around contemplative rhetorics and literacies is kairotic as mindfulness has gone mainstream: the New York Times has “Well” sections dedicated to the topic; corporations like Google and General Mills have instituted company-wide movements to incorporate mindfulness into traditional business environments; and public figures such as media mogul Oprah and journalist Dan Harris have championed the practice and used their influence to make mindfulness part of our contemporary cultural narrative. The benefits of meditation for stress relief, emotional health and focus means increased programs for meditation or mindfulness-based movement in schools, communities and prisons. Apps like Headspace and Insight Timer offer guided meditations, calming music and short courses for individuals to make mindfulness practices more available for home practices or travelers on the go. We’ll move conversations about contemplative rhetorics and rhetorics from the disciplinary margins to the center for the duration of the conference.

Proposals may explore contemplative rhetorics and literacies in any of the arenas of rhetoric and literacy, such as:


  • Contemplative approaches to teaching rhetoric and literacy
  • Politics of studying/teaching contemplative rhetorics alongside or as an alternative to Western rhetorics
  • Placing mindfulness, self-care and wellbeing in our curricula, programs, and departments
  • Contemplative leadership theories and practices
  • Rhetorics and literacies of embodiment and contemplation
  • Intersections with feminist rhetorics and literacies, disability studies, cultural rhetorics and other fields of study
  • Rhetorics of physical, mindful practices (yoga, qi gong, tai chi, etc.)
  • Neuroscience of contemplative rhetorics


Please submit:

A cover page that includes the title, speaker/s, address/es, email/s, and phone number/s, along with a brief 25-50 word description of your presentation. Please note any A/V needs.

A one-page abstract identifying the format of the presentation as: (a) a 20-minute paper (b) a 75-minute panel limited to 3 speakers, including time for discussion (c) a 75-minute roundtable (focused discussion/performance encouraging audience participation) (d) an experimental or creative piece with description of format, duration, etc.

Please visit our the Western Rhetoric and Literacy website: and the conference website:

Deadline: Proposals must be sent via email by April 2, 2019 to Kate Ryan at

Direct questions to Kate Ryan, conference organizer, at