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The Collaborative Turn: The Communication-Based Reformation of Decision Making in Organizations and Communities
Stanley Deetz
(Seminar 5: 3:30 – 5:30 pm)

Communities and organizations throughout the world are experience decision contexts characterized by high degrees of pluralism and interdependence; relatively rapid, conflict producing, changes; and unprecedented sophistication in the sponsorship of specific types of information and experience. Within these contexts they are called upon to produce highly creative decisions that elicit high stakeholder commitment and compliance and are customized to local circumstances.  Most existing native communication concepts and practices were never designed to achieve these in these circumstances.  The seminar will explore constitutive communication conceptions and their support of new interaction designs in both workplaces and communities. Case studies and examples of Stan’s own classes in collaborative decision making and dialogue and deliberation will be used to help explore the way classes can be practically enriched and engaged scholarship can concretely address contemporary organizational and social issues.


Place Matters. Communication, Rhetoric and the Centrality of Place in Cultural Life.
Greg Dickinson
(Seminar 1: 9:15 – 11:15 am)

Place matters. Where we are in the world frames, directs, and engages who we are in the world. Place offers us resources out of which we can make and in which we can enact ourselves. In this seminar, we will explore the ways rhetorical critics and theorists—along with anthropologists, geographers, philosophers, sociologists, and others—have inserted place into the center of our ways of thinking and being. Together we will read and discuss foundational and recent work on space and place in rhetoric and across the humanities and social sciences. We will think about the uses of this work in scholarship and in teaching. We will talk explicitly about the practices and procedures for rhetorical scholarship of place. We will also consider how teaching place analysis can foster powerful high-impact practices in the classroom.


“Take(s) Heart!: Writing, Teaching, and Researching with Care and Compassion”
Carolyn Ellis
(Seminar 2: 9:45 – 11:45 am)

Higher education often neglects emotions, which are essential elements of our intelligence, humanity, and goal of educating the whole person. Yet students come to us with emotional troubles, immersed in disappointments, fears, family and relational problems, financial concerns, addictions, self-esteem issues, and lived experiences with inequality and prejudice. They may view our classes as another hurdle to jump before they can get back to coping with their “real lives.” As professors, we may think of our teaching, research, and writing as separate from our personal lives (and theirs) and as activities that take time away from our already overly busy and emotionally complex agendas. We can change these dynamics by focusing in our teaching and writing on understanding and living emotionally healthy lives. Shouldn’t we assist our students in coping with the troubles of daily living in a confusing cultural and political environment? Is it possible to better integrate work and personal lives, bringing more compassion to what we do and caring for ourselves as well as for others? In this seminar, we will create a safe space for addressing these issues through storytelling, deep listening, open communication, and personal writing.


Creativity, Aesthetics, and Dialogue in Everyday Communication
William Rawlins
(Seminar 3: 1:15 – 3:15 pm)

This seminar will examine concrete experiences, aesthetic practices, and ethical ideals for pursuing our everyday lives as creative communicative endeavors accomplished through dialogue with others. Using works by Buber, Bakhtin, Dewey, Anzaldúa, Burke, Bateson, Scarry, and others, we will explore interpersonal communication as embodied, ethical making (and unethical unmaking) of selves and others. There are constructive implications of cultivating imagination, creativity, and dialogical engagement. Meanwhile, offering new aesthetics means proposing new worlds for human dwelling. Recognizing the interconnection of aesthetic and dialogical activities with everyday interaction, we will illustrate these ideas using examples from friendship and music making.

Our work together presupposes vital interrelationships among research, teaching, and social/cultural/personal application. We will devote specific sessions to potential research topics informed by key works addressing these issues and emerging questions. We’ll also consider teaching strategies, course syllabi, activities, and assignments designed to facilitate meaningful applications of these ideas.


Rhetorics and Cultures of the Visual
Claire Sisco-King
(Seminar 4: 1:15 – 3:15 pm)

In what ways do images speak to us? In what ways do we speak to, about, and with images? This seminar will consider of the rhetorical and cultural work of the visual, addressing a range of artifacts including photographs, films, paintings, advertisements, and memes. We will explore various rhetorics of and about images, as well as the cultural practices that constitute the production, reception, and circulation of images. Readings will address both theoretical treatments of visuality, including writings by Roland Barthes, Andre Bazin, Stuart Hall, and W.J.T Mitchell, and rhetorical criticism of specific visual artifacts, including scholarship by Cara Finnegan, Robert Hariman & John Lucaites, bell hooks, and Raka Shome. This seminar will also give special attention to pictorial pedagogy, or practices of teaching with and about images.


Becoming a Resilient Scholar
Catherine Squires
(Seminar 6: 3:30 – 5:30 pm)

What does it mean to be resilient as a scholar?  How do we find balance amidst the varied responsibilities and pressures of the tenure track, the academic publishing industry, and ever-changing life circumstances? How do we avoid burnout pre- and post- tenure?  In this seminar, we’ll explore these questions through the lens of an eclectic mix of readings, movement, and writing exercises that frame our intellectual pursuits as embodied phenomena.  Works by women of color, feminists, affect theory, philosophies of nonviolence, and radical ethics of care will be interwoven with creative activities, discussions, and yoga practice to map out a resilient path.