The Contours and Configurations of Black Religious Rhetoric and Communication

The Center for the Study of African American Rhetoric and Public Address and
Memphis Theological Seminary will sponsor a virtual conference tentatively titled "The Contours and Configurations of Black Religious Rhetoric and Communication" on November 17, 2020. 

Conducted via Zoom and chaired and organized by Andre E. Johnson, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies at the University of Memphis, the conference will consist of panel presentations and roundtable discussions. Included in the conference is the keynote panel titled: "Early Sunday Morning: The Artistry, Eloquence, and Rhetoric of the Black Preaching Tradition."

We are interested in papers that examine any aspect broadly defined, of Black religious rhetoric and communication. Not only will participants interrogate the meaning and makeup of the Black religious rhetoric and communication, but we will also discuss the different historical periods and figures, theoretical frameworks, pulpit oratory, spoken word, the role of archival or digital research and explore new and innovative ways to move forward.

If you are interested in participating, please submit a 250 word abstract to
aarhetoricandpublicaddress@gmail by September 1, 2020. We will notify you of our decision by September 15, 2020.

More information about registration, panels, and participants is forthcoming. 

Call for Nominations: 2020 Benson-Campbell Dissertation Research Award

The Public Address Division of the National Communication Association solicits nominations for the 2020 Benson-Campbell Dissertation Research Award, which honors the scholarly contributions of Thomas Benson and Karlyn Kohrs Campbell by recognizing outstanding promise in doctoral research in rhetoric and public address.

A $500 award will be presented at the business meeting of the Public Address Division at the 2020 NCA convention.

Competition for the Benson-Campbell Award is open to graduate student members of the Public Address Division who have successfully defended a Ph.D. dissertation prospectus. A completed nomination packet consists of (1) a 7-10 page summary of the dissertation prospectus, (2) a statement by the nominee about the progress of the dissertation to date, and (3) a letter of support from the nominee's dissertation advisor that certifies that the nominee has successfully defended the prospectus and provides a rationale for why the nominee should receive the award. Complete nomination packets must be submitted electronically to Carly Woods ( no later than Monday, September 14, 2020 in order for the nominee to be considered for the award.

Criteria for selecting the award winner include originality of the proposal; significance of the potential findings; contribution to the theory, history, or criticism of public address; and appropriateness and/or innovation of the research design and method. We recognize that the study of public address has often privileged the study of hegemonic figures, groups, and rhetorics. Therefore, we encourage scholars whose position and/or scholarship expands beyond these historical limitations to submit their work for consideration.

Carly Woods (committee chair, University of Maryland), Robin Jensen (University of Utah), and Andre E. Johnson (University of Memphis) comprise the 2020 selection committee for this award.

Please direct questions to Carly Woods at (