Kenneth Burke Society

The Kenneth Burke Society, founded in 1984, is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York since 1988. The Society has hundreds of members from a variety of academic disciplines, including English, Speech Communication, Sociology, Economics, Philosophy, Mass Communication, Religion, and Rhetoric. The Society sponsors the KB Journal, a triennial conference, affiliated groups in national and regional organizations, and more. Membership in the KB Society is open to any person or institution interested in promoting the Society's purposes.

KBS 2014: Attitudes Toward Technology/Technology's Attitudes

poster

Fast Facts

Conference Dates: July 17-20, 2014
Proposal Deadline: February 14, 2014
Submit Proposal to: kbsconference2014@gmail.com
Acceptance Notification: March 14, 2014
Please note that acceptance notifications went out March 14, 2014. If you haven't heard from us, please email the conference organizers right away.
Registration Window: April 1, 2014 to July 1, 2014. Register Here (Late registration will begin July 2, 2014.)
Conference Website: http://kbjournal.org/kbs14
Conference Chairs: Paul Lynch (plynch11@slu.edu) and Nathaniel Rivers (nrivers1@slu.edu)
Conference Keynotes: Jodie Nicotra will present "Compulsion and 'Transcendence Sideways': Burke’s Technological Attitudes," and Thomas Rickert will present "Making Hope Out of Nothing at All: Amechania in Burke, Nietzsche, and Parmenides." Both talks engage the conference theme of Attitudes Toward Technology/Technology’s Attitudes. Find abstracts here. Conference Seminars: For a complete list (and descriptions) of seminars click here. Conference Poster: Click Here. (Poster designed by Nathaniel A. Rivers. Animated gif generated by Chris Lindgren)

Conference Program


Call for Nominations for the 9th Triennial Kenneth Burke Society Awards


KBS 2014: Conference Paper Awards


Conference Theme

Attitude mediates action and motion. Attitude is incipient action. Media have attitudes. Media are incipient. We act through media and media act through us. This dance of attitudes, both human and nonhuman, shapes action. Action is always in media res.

Taking both Burke’s attitude and his rhetorical philosophy of technology as points of departure, The Ninth Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society welcomes proposals that focus on attitudes toward technology and technology’s own attitudes. We also welcome proposals that focus on any Burkean subject. The conference will be hosted by Saint Louis University in historic Midtown, home of the Grand Center, the place for the arts in St. Louis, from July 17-20, 2014. Saint Louis University is also home to the Walter J. Ong, SJ, Center for Language, Media and Culture as well as the Ong Archives. In the middle of the country, in the middle of the city, we will grapple with being in media res.

In a retrospective to Attitudes Toward History, Burke defines attitude as “the point of personal mediation between the realms of nonsymbolic motion and symbolic action” (394). For Burke, these realms are tightly knitted, and as Debra Hawhee reminds us, we should see them as “an irreducible pair, contiguous but distinct” (Moving Bodies 158). Stuff and story dance in attitudes.

In his reexamination of Burke’s status as a luddite, Ian Hill reminds us that “Burke’s writing was fraught with technological anxiety, and his negative attitude toward technology developed over many decades.” Nevertheless, Hill demonstrates how Burke developed a “rhetorical philosophy of technology.” “Burke’s concept of technology entailed that rhetoric motivates technology, and that technology motivates behavior. For Burke, the realms of technology and rhetoric are inseparable because technology and motivation are fundamental conditions of human existence.”

The Kenneth Burke Society conference welcomes not only those who are particularly invested in Burke but also those who ask the same sorts of questions, explore similar avenues of scholarship, and see rhetoric as tightly knit to symbols, bodies, and environments. We are building a big tent in St. Louis. The Ninth Triennial Conference will feature participation by students and scholars from a wide range of fields, and we welcome proposals that address topics of continuing relevance in Burke studies, including Burke and his circles; archival research in the Burkean corpus; the meaning and relevance of particular Burkean texts; Burke in the fields; the future of Burkean studies; and new applications of Burke’s insights to contemporary issues. We especially encourage those proposals that focus on attitude and technology: the range of conceivable connections and potential points of departure is limitless.

The theme of attitudes toward technology and technology’s own attitudes calls on conference participants to engage Burke in a contemporary scene increasingly saturated and mediated by technology:

  • In what ways can we revisit, challenge, or augment Burke’s work in light of contemporary, digital technology?
  • In what ways has Burke’s work (in particular, his notion of “technological psychosis”) been prescient of contemporary popular treatments of technology (What Technology Wants, Alone Together, The Shallows, You Are Not a Gadget)?
  • How might Burke’s thought anticipate or inform rhetorical theory and related areas as it rethinks the place of the material and of objects in rhetorical activity? Recall Burke’s discussion of air conditioners in “(Nonsymbolic) Motion/(Symbolic) Action”: “Such bodily responses as increased warmth and accelerated respiration place a greater burden upon the air conditioning device, which is equipped with mechanical ‘sensors’ that register the change in conditions and ‘behave’ accordingly” (834).
  • How might Burke’s interest in the body inform discussions of race and gender in digitally mediated environments? Likewise, how might contemporary scholarship in these areas inform Burke (challenge, discount, or otherwise augment him)?
  • How does Burke’s focus on the nonsymbolic resonate with new materialist and feminist new materialist approaches (e.g. Jane Bennett, Karan Barad)?
  • How do the above questions expand Burke’s circles? How can we use such questions to bring new thinkers into the Burkean parlor?

Over the course of the conference, a combination of keynote speakers, featured presenters, and seminar leaders will explore our attitudes toward technology and technology’s own attitudes. Keynote speakers, seminars, and seminar leaders will be announced in January 2014.

We invite individual presentations, panels, and seminar topics exploring the above sets of concerns. Proposals should be submitted via email to kbsconference2014@gmail.com. The submission window runs from October 1, 2013, through February 14, 2014. All proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. on February 14, 2014. Proposals for individual presentations should be 250-350 words in length. Proposals for panels or other formats may be up to 500 words in length. Acceptances will be announced by March 14, 2014.

Registration

Attendees may register for the conference online starting March 17, 2014. As with past conferences, affordable registration fees will include all meals and special events. Further details will be published on the conference website from now until the conference.

The Venue

Saint Louis University is located in St. Louis, MO. The Busch Student Center is located in bustling Midtown St. Louis. For a list of dinning options in and around campus click here. On-campus lodging is available at the recently built Hotel Ignacio, the Water Tower Inn, and in the recently renovated Marchetti Tower West.

slu

The Hosts

The conference chairs are Paul Lynch (plynch11@slu.edu) and Nathaniel Rivers (nrivers1@slu.edu). The conference is sponsored by Saint Louis University, the Walter J. Ong, SJ, Center for Language, Media and Culture, and the Kenneth Burke Society.

Transportation from Lambert Airport

There are multiple ways to get from the airport to the conference site/residence hall. St. Louis Metrolink will take you to the Grand Avenue stop, which is about about half a mile south of Marchetti Towers (3530 Laclete) and the Busch Student Center (20 N. Grand), and about a mile north of the Water Tower Inn (3545 Lafayette). If you prefer to take a bus from the Grand Stop to either location, you can take the 70. The Metro Link Trip Planner can be found here.

If you prefer an airport shuttle, here is GO Best Express. A cab from Lambert to the SLU campus will run approximately $38.00.

On site transportation will be provided for those attendees staying at the Water Tower Inn

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KBS 2014: Keynote Announcement

We are please to announce the keynote speakers for the Ninth Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society. Jodie Nicotra will present "Compulsion and 'Transcendence Sideways': Burke’s Technological Attitudes," and Thomas Rickert will present "Making Hope Out of Nothing at All: Amechania in Burke, Nietzsche, and Parmenides." Both talks engage the conference theme of Attitudes Toward Technology/Technology’s Attitudes.

Abstracts

Jodie Nicotra, University of Idaho. "Compulsion and 'Transcendence Sideways': Burke’s Technological Attitudes"

Burke makes no bones about his fear and loathing of the symbol-using, symbol-used animal’s “technological psychosis.” Unless remediated by symbolic action in the form of the comic frame and perspective by incongruity (something to which he arguably devoted his entire lengthy career), Burke believed, the pervasiveness of the technological attitude would, by the logic of entelechy , bring a bad end: in the form of an Earth made unlivable by contamination from technological processes or in nuclear destruction.

While Burke argued that all things related to humans could be categorized as either symbolic action or nonsymbolic motion, it’s clear that technology presented an unusual and troublesome case, belonging comfortably to neither realm. As he wrote in one of his attempts to apply a comic corrective to the potential harms of the technological attitude, “the compulsiveness of man’s technologic genius, as compulsively implemented by the vast compulsions of our vast technologic grid, makes for a self-perpetuating cycle quite beyond our ability to adopt any major reforms in our way of doing things”(“Helhaven” 19). Here it’s clear that Burke sees technology as having its own sort of agency, one that might rival symbolic action; he would certainly have appreciated Donna Haraway’s observation that “Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert” (Simians, Cyborgs, Women 152). This language of compulsion (which crops up frequently in reference to technology in his works) also aptly characterizes Burke’s own attitudes toward technology. In a different essay, he confesses that for years he had been “compulsively taking notes on the subject of technological pollution,” even as he loathed the notes and wanted to “get shut of the whole issue...But it goes on nagging me” (“Why Satire,” 312).

Yet at points within Burke’s corpus appear signs of a different attitude toward technology, one characterized by an appreciation for the strange not-quite-agency of machines themselves that he himself wryly names “transcendence sideways” (ATH 381). Here, along with Burke’s published theoretical work, I read his poetry, fiction, and archival materials to flesh out this somewhat hidden attitude toward technology. Ultimately, I argue, the notion of “transcendence sideways” is an attitude appropriate for an era where the machines have become livelier than ever.

Thomas Rickert, Purdue University. "Making Hope Out of Nothing at All: Amechania in Burke, Nietzsche, and Parmenides"

Nietzsche once remarked that despite centuries of belief in the basic idea that God is truth, and truth is divine, it may be that the divine is nothing but error, blindness, and the lie (GS 344). The stakes of this statement are as profound and timely now as ever, and not simply for the humanities. A recent article argues that the fundamental belief in science’s ability to deliver truth and self-correct may not be justified—that science, and technology alongside, is always at the mercy of other forces.

The basic thematic here is that nothing humans do or produce offers escape from our foibles and errors—we are fundamentally amechania, without metis. I explore this thematic in Nietzsche and Burke, in particular on the tragic and comic attitudinal frames that they offer as hope. I then offer a third attitudinal perspective, that of the ancient Greek thinker Parmenides, who also had a profoundly pessimistic view on human capability to achieve truth and the good life, and cultivated this attitude through his philosophical poem on being. For Parmenides, hope was predicated on the utter acceptance of our entrapment in illusion and the cultivation of a profound attitude of metis emerging from this acceptance. Parmenidean thought is timely because science is fostering doubts within in its own ranks as to the hopes and technological solutions it can offer, in part because science cannot offer the “remedy” for our emotional, moral nature it was long believed to provide. Lastly, Parmenides offers a revelatory frame that seeks the nonhuman divine within the human, a point that bears exploration in contrast to Nietzsche’s cultivation of new values and Burke’s “complete sophistication” allowing for new vocabularies. Each of the attitudinal stances bears on the issue of media, for the question of what initiates a change in praxis is inseparable from the question of the means to do so.

We shall see that Parmenides demonstrates even more than Nietzsche and Burke an attendance to the performative dimension—predicated not on the hope to overcome human nature but rather on absolute acceptance of our utter helplessness, our amechania, that is, our lack of metis without appeal to revelatory aid.

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KBS 2014: Seminars

Currently, we have planned for the conference the following seminars:

Kenneth Burke and New Materialisms

Steven B. Katz
Pearce Professor of Professional Communication
Clemson University

It is well known in Burke circles that KB was vitally concerned with questions of “substance”—material vs. rhetorical, motion vs. motive, causality vs. free will—and the effects of scientism and determinism on our understanding of the human animal as a symbol using being. What Diana Coole and Samantha Frost in their anthology have labeled “New Materialisms” are emerging in the twenty-first century—but across the entire curricula, from computer engineering and life sciences, through social and political sciences, to posthuman philosophies and rhetorics. What all these movements may have in common might be simplified and called an ‘animated empiricism’ in which objects and artifacts, long neglected in “the situation,” are increasingly recognized as having their own, powerful agency (what Levi Bryant dubbed A Democracy of Objects).

Can Burke’s discussion and analysis of “substance”— as dramatistically rather than mechanically motivated, as casuistic rather than universal categories, as the result of rhetorical deliberation and persuasion rather than mere fact and sheer force—help us grapple with and understand new materialisms? For instance, what might Burkean rhetoric reveal about the similarities, distinctions, and relations between objects as ‘actants’, and the symbolic of the human body? Between classical literacy and what Ulmer in Avatar Emergencies calls “flash reason”? Between “speculative realism” (Harman) and pentadic screens? How might Burke deal with the philosophies and sciences of new materialisms, e.g., informatics, cybernetics, actor-network theories, object oriented ontologies, digital and virtual realities, and other metaphysical empiricisms, as well as some of the physical products of new materialisms, e.g., radical (prosthetic/technological) enhancement, genetic modification, synthetic biology, nanotechnologies, and biosocial engineering (as eagerly anticipated by George Church and Ed Regis in Regenesis)?

All of these questions have profound implications not only for philosophies and rhetorics of agency, but also for political and environmental sciences, as Vibrant Matter (Bennett) and Ecology without Nature (Morton) demonstrate; for gender, queer, and race studies; and for the rhetoric and ethics of our relations to each other, to our machines, to our avatars, and to “the Other.” In light of the new materialisms, what are our definitions of symbolic action, “community,” the “individual,” human consciousness itself?

In this seminar, we will ecstatically together explore some of the questions and issues raised above by consulting and applying selected Burke scholarship (TBA) to a sampling of readings representing some of these new materialisms (to be distributed to seminar participants prior to the conference).

The Problem of Substance in Kenneth Burke’s Corpus

Bryan Crable, Villanova University
Clarke Rountree, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Richard Thames, Duquesne University
David Cratis Williams, Florida Atlantic University

Substance has been a central term in Burke’s theory of human symbol-using at least since A Grammar of Motives, where its paradoxical nature is connected to the problem of motives. This emphasis on substance continues in A Rhetoric of Motives, where consubstantiality is the aim of identification, making separate entities substantially “one.” And, less well known, Burke promised to consider substance and identity in A Symbolic of Motives (a version of which was published recently, so that commentary on it has scarcely begun).

Marie Hochmuth Nichols called Burke’s analysis of substance and its connection to identification “his most basic contribution to the philosophy of rhetoric” (Marie Hochmuth, "Kenneth Burke and the 'New Rhetoric,'" Quarterly Journal of Speech 38.2 [1952]: 137). Weldon B. Durham, who published an essay in The Quarterly Journal of Speech in 1980 on Burke’s idea of substance, notes that “Burke appropriated a term in philosophical disrepute and spun out of it half a life’s work” (Weldon B. Durham, "Kenneth Burke's Concept of Substance," Quarterly Journal of Speech 66.4 [1980]: 354).

Although most Burkeans have a working knowledge of Burke’s paradox of substance and of consubstantiality, there is much more to be scrutinized in this important concept.

This seminar seeks to explore Burke’s conception of substance and its place in his theory of human symbol using. It will revisit some of the thinkers in Burke’s day whom he charged with banishing the word substance from philosophy, and try to better understand his assertion that “in banishing the term, far from banishing its functions one merely conceals them” (Kenneth Burke, A Grammar of Motives 21.) Generally, then, the seminar will address the following questions:

  • Which thinkers banished the term substance, particularly in Burke’s day, and why?
  • Why do the functions of terms for substance persist, even if the terms for it are not used?
  • Without terms for substance, how have theorists “worked around” the problem of substance?
  • How does Burke define substance?
  • What role does substance play in Burke’s theories?
  • Is substance a central, if unacknowledged term, in contemporary theories of symbol-using?

Readings will include excerpts from theoretical texts that use, eschew, or dismiss the term substance; Durham’s and others’ essays on Burke and substance, and Burkean texts that examine the concept.

Given the complexity of the issues surrounding this central and disputed concept, the seminar will feature four co-leaders to ensure a variety of perspectives and a depth of insights into these issues.

The Kenneth Burke Digital Archive Initiative

Ethan Sproat, Utah Valley University

Kenneth Burke developed his entire symbol-use project throughout the 20th century when our theories of communication were out-paced only by our means of communication. However, even though KB was one of the most influential theorists of human communication in a time of so many advances in communication technology, there is an apparent dearth of audio or video footage of KB. Yet such a dearth is only “apparent” because there actually are many existing audio and visual recordings of KB lecturing, performing readings, or participating in discussions or interviews. Most KB scholars have not seen or heard much of this footage for two basic reasons: first, the existing footage is not centrally accessible or cataloged in any one place; second, such footage is often in a medium that prohibits broad distribution (as with various analog recording technologies).

Accordingly, this seminar seeks to establish a Kenneth Burke Digital Archive Initiative with the following goals:

  • Coordinate efforts among KB enthusiasts to identify the current repositories of all existing audio and video recordings of KB.
  • Assemble historical notes and details surrounding each recording.
  • Catalog all these in one resource through the KB Journal.
  • Work with individual repositories to digitally transfer all existing KB footage that is not already digitized.

The first day of this seminar will provide an overview of some notable KB footage that has undergone partial or complete digital transfer. These include three projects that have received attention at previous KB conferences and one new project that is particularly apropos to this year’s KB Conference in St. Louis. This new project involves audio recordings of KB performing a reading and participating in an extended discussion (moderated by poet Howard Nemerov) while KB was the Visiting Hurst Professor at Washington University in St. Louis during the 1970-71 school year.

The second day of this seminar will address the array of logistical challenges facing a Kenneth Burke Digital Archive Initiative and some strategies for addressing them. Also during this session, seminar participants will begin actively participating in the Kenneth Burke Digital Archive Initiative. We will meet in a computer lab, and seminar participants will begin a coordinated effort to find additional repositories of audio or video footage of KB. Working from a list of universities and schools KB visited, seminar participants will scour special collections databases and online library resources for hints of currently-not-in-print KB materials (text, audio, video, etc.) that are either not yet digitized or not yet on the Kenneth Burke Society radar—i.e. materials that might be candidates for digital archive work.

On the final day of this seminar, participants will collect their findings and make plans for further online participation in the Kenneth Burke Digital Archive Initiative.

Identification Redux

David Blakesley, Clemson University

In naming identification an aim of rhetoric, Burke may or may not intend to valorize identification for its own sake:

identification is affirmed with earnestness precisely because there is division. Identification is compensatory to division. If [people] were not apart from one another, there would be no need for the rhetorician to proclaim their unity. If [people] were wholly and truly of one substance, absolute communication would be of [humanity’s] very essence. (RM 22).

We are divided, and so we desire consubstantiality. We are identified, and so we desire division. In acts of identification or division, we imagine ourselves to be alike or different. And thus identification in the imaginary is a rhetorical process as well as the act of decoding and encoding signs. Burke saw identification—and with it, the corresponding situation of division—as both the condition and aim of rhetoric. The desire for identification, which Burke calls consubstantiality, is premised on its absence, on the condition of our division from one another. There would be no need for the rhetorician to proclaim our unity, Burke says, if we were already identical. Consubstantiality, with its roots in the ambiguous substance (sub-stance), may be purely an expression of desire, an identity of attitude and act in a symbolic, visual, and (even) emotional realm, an assertion of or desire for identities and divisions in a limitless realm of ambiguity.

This seminar will focus on the familiar and often competing concepts of identification and division in recent scholarship, as well as their implications for rhetorical theory, critical inquiry, and Burke’s own (non)system.

  • What motives might we (or does Burke) associate with identification and division?
  • To what extent does Burke idealize or privilege identification in his understanding of rhetoric?
  • How might Burke’s conceptions of identification and division help us understand motives grounded in racial or gendered ethics?
  • Recent extensions and critiques (some of which seminar participants will read in advance) have argued that Burke valorizes identification and in so doing has minimized or ignored other motives for rhetoric. What critiques have most effectively challenged Burke’s concepts of identification or division?
  • What material bases for identification or division does Burke imagine?
  • From the identity politics of Facebook and social media to the virtual and augmented realities of Google Glass, in what ways do emergent technologies and interfaces extend or limit identifications or expose or increase division?
  • What is the visual basis of identification and division (e.g., in film, media, design, image)

Seminar participants will be asked to submit a short position statement (250-500 words) addressing one of these questions, or one they want to bring to the attention of others. A short list of reading suggestions will be distributed by mid-June or earlier.

2011 Conference: Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and Social Change

Fast Facts

Conference Dates: May 26-29, 2011
Proposal Deadline: January 20, 2011
Registration Starts: February 11, 2011
Conference Website: http://kbjournal.org/2011conference
Full Conference Program
Schedule at a Glance
Keynote Speakers
Seminars
Travel and Accommodations (book now!)
Conference Chair: David Blakesley (dblakes@clemson.edu)

The Eighth Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society welcomes proposals that focus on any Burkean subject. Especially welcome are proposals that address the conference theme, “Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and Social Change.” The conference will be hosted by Clemson University at its Madren Conference Center in Clemson, South Carolina, from May 26 to May 29, 2011. In addition to lively seminars, presentations, performances, and unending conversation in the parlor, KBS 2011 will also feature keynote speakers Jack Selzer and Scott McLemee.

KBS 2011 Logo

Click on the image to see the full-size Tagxedo, which uses the terms from Burke's passage about the "unending conversation of history" in The Philosophy of Literary Form for its inspiration (see p. 110-11).

The Conference Theme

Surveying the global scene in 1933, Burke wrote in his notes for what would become Permanence and Change, “We are trying to solve cultural problems with the most explosive words in our vocabulary, and we need not be surprised that there are continually occurring frightful accidents which rip out half a continent and maim the lives and bodies of millions.” The step away from these explosive words is, Burke claimed, “the step which [humankind] has never been able to take. Heroism; Jungle authority; acquisition; pugnacity; inspiration; ‘superiority’ . . . this is still at the bottom of our thinking, though [the] situation no longer ‘requires’ it. . . . This is the crux—can we make this change, from which all else would radiate?” In our own historical moment, which so eerily echoes the cultural, political, and technological upheavals of the first half of the twentieth century, Burke’s question remains urgent—and unanswered. Can we make this change?

This theme calls on conference participants to explore the relevance of Burke’s thought and practice for defining, analyzing, or producing the kinds of change that would enable us to transcend or disarm our “explosive words.”

  • What cultural problems need to be solved?
  • What rhetorical practices cause, cloud, or intensify those problems?
  • Where, when, and how does change occur?
  • What genres of persuasion and identification encourage or enable change?
  • What role do we as teachers, artists, scholars, critics, citizens play in creating change?

Featuring diverse opportunities for engagement with Burke’s enduring relevance, the Eighth Triennial Conference will continue the interdisciplinary tradition of past events, with participation by students and scholars from communication, rhetoric, composition, literary theory and criticism, cultural studies, sociology, technical communication, art, economics, political science, and other disciplines. Thus, in addition to proposals addressing the conference theme, we welcome those that address topics of continuing relevance in Burke studies:

  • Burke and his circles
  • Archival research in the Burkean corpus
  • The meaning and relevance of particular Burkean texts
  • Burke in the fields
  • The future of Burkean studies
  • New applications of Burke’s insights to contemporary issues

Over the course of the conference, a combination of keynote speakers, featured presenters, and seminar leaders will explore the possibilities of and conditions for meaningful change. Keynote speakers, seminars, and seminar leaders will be announced in January, 2011.

Proposal Submission

The proposal submission deadline has passed. Acceptances will be announced in early February 2011. After acceptance and to be eligible for awards and inclusion in a subsequent conference volume, proposers will be invited to submit full-length submissions by April 15, 2011.

Registration

Attendees may register for the conference by mail starting February 11, 2011. You can learn more and download the forms here. As for past conferences, affordable registration fees will include all meals and special events. Travel grants and subsidies for students may be available and will be announced as the conference nears. Further details will be published on the conference website, http://kbjournal.org/2011conference from now until the conference.

The Venue

Clemson University is located in Clemson, which is in upstate South Carolina. The Madren Conference Center (http://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/madren/conference/) is surrounded by beautiful Lake Hartwell and the Walker golf course, with easy access from Greenville/Spartanburg, Atlanta, Asheville, and Charlotte. The climate in May is ideal for outdoor gatherings, golf, and water sports.

The Hosts

The conference chair is David Blakesley (dblakes@clemson.edu). The conference is sponsored by the endowment for the Campbell Chair in Technical Communication at Clemson and the Kenneth Burke Society.

Questions

If you have questions about the conference, please contact David Blakesley (dblakes@clemson.edu). Watch the conference website (http://kbjournal.org/2011conference) for additional announcements.

Keynote Speakers for KBS 2011

We're pleased to announce two exceptional keynote speakers for the 2011 Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society: Scott McLemee and Jack Selzer:

Scott McLemee
Inside Higher Ed
"Motives of the Public Intellectual; or, Confessions of an Unlicensed Burkean."

Scott McLemee writes the weekly column "Intellectual Affairs" for Inside Higher Ed. He was a contributing editor at Lingua Franca and he covered the humanities as a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2004, he received the National Book Critics Circle award for excellence in reviewing, and began serving on that organization's board of directors in 2008. Besides editing two volumes of writings by C.L.R. James, he has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and abroad. He discovered Kenneth Burke in adolescence, which was not recently. Read A Puzzling Figure in Literary Criticism Is Suddenly Central at the Chronicle of Higher Education (login required).

Scott McLemee

Jack Selzer
Penn State University
"Kenneth Burke, MLK, and Me: Taking a Comic Perspective on August 28, 1963"

Jack Selzer earned the Kenneth Burke Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 for service to the organization, for mentoring colleagues and graduate students in their archival research on Burke, and for his publications Kenneth Burke in Greenwich Village (Wisconsin, 1997); Kenneth Burke in the 1930s (South Carolina, 2007, with Ann George); and Kenneth Burke and His Circles (Parlor, 2007, edited with Robert Wess). Currently past president of the Rhetoric Society of America, he has taught courses on rhetoric, composition, technical writing, and Kenneth Burke at Penn State since 1978. He is currently working with Keith Gilyard on a book on the rhetoric of the civil rights movement, and researching another book on Burke's later career.

Jack Selzer former President Bill Clinton
Jack Selzer (right) greets former President Bill Clinton at Penn State University. Photo Credit: Annemarie Mountz. Year Taken: 2008. View a high-resolution version.

Register for KBS 2011

To register for KBS 2011 at Clemson, you will need to download and complete the registration form and mail your form and payment to the address shown on the form. We can only accept payment by check, made payable to Clemson University.

Summary of Registration Fees

Registration fees include a one-year membership in the Kenneth Burke Society. If you are already a member, one year will be added to your membership. Please check the appropriate space according to your status and according to the timing of your registration, then enter the total in the space provided. Registration includes meals, refreshment breaks, t-shirt, book discounts, and other swag throughout the conference.

By April 15:                 ______ $195
After April 15:             ______ $215

Student Registration: ______$135 (before April 15)           ______ $155 (after April 15)

Note on Late Registration

So that we can make sure to have all materials ready, be sure to mail registration forms before May 19, 2011. After that date, you can plan on registering on-site.

Cancellations

Those who cancel before May 10, 2011 are eligible for a full refund. We can provide a 50% refund if cancelled on or before May 19, 2011.  After that date, there are no refunds possible since all food and other arrangements have been confirmed.

Seminar Registration

When you submit your registration, you'll be asked to select rank your top three seminars. Space will be limited, but we will try to honor everyone's first or second choice. Seminars run throughout the conference. There is no additional charge to attend a seminar. Please see the conference website for full details on each: http://www.kbjournal.org/seminars2011.

Travel and Accommodations

For full details, please see the Travel and Accommodations KBS 2011 page, which contains information about how to make hotel reservations, how to get to Clemson, and more. Room rates at the conference hotel run $120 (up to four people). 

Conference Dates/Program

The conference will begin in the late afternoon on Thursday May, 26, 2011 at 5 pm with the first of four seminar meetings, followed by a welcome reception. The conference ends on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 1 p.m. There will be panel sessions on Sunday morning. There will also be a golf outing or other fun events planned for those who want to stick around.

Conference Schedule at a Glance: KBS 2011

The conference runs from late afternoon on Thursday, May 26, through Sunday mid-day on May 29, 2011. All events will be held at the Madren Conference Center, which is connected to the Martin Inn.

To view a full draft of the program, login and then the PDF attachment will appear at the bottom of this message.
 

Thursday, May 26

 

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Registration Open: Conference Center lobby

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Seminar Meetings 1

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Welcome Reception (hors d'ouevres, cash bar)

9:00 pm. - ?

After hours parlor in Hospitality Suite

Friday, May 27

Registration and Exhibits open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

8:30 am - 9:45 am

Concurrent Sessions A

9:45 am - 10:15 am

Refreshment Break

10:15 am - 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions B

11:30 am - 1:00 pm 

Lunch: Keynote Speaker (Plenary)

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Seminar Meetings 2

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Refreshment Break

3:00 pm -4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions C

4:30 pm -5:30 pm

Featured Sessions

6:00 pm - 9 pm

Outdoor Barbecue, Michael Burke Reading, Entertainment

9 pm - ?

After hours parlor in Hospitality Suite

Saturday, May 28

Registration and Exhibits open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

8:30 am - 9:45 am

Concurrent Sessions D

9:45 am - 10:15 am

Refreshment Break

10:15 am - 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions E

11:30 am - 1:00 pm 

Lunch (Sandwich Buffet)

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Seminar Meetings 3

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Refreshment Break

3:00 pm -4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions F

4:30 pm -5:30 pm

Featured Sessions

6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Banquet and Awards Ceremony: Keynote Speaker

9 pm - ?

After hours parlor in Hospitality Suite

Sunday, May 29

 

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Seminar Meetings 4

9:30 am - 9:45 am

Refreshment Break

9:30 am - 11:00 am

Kenneth Burke Society General Meeting

11:00 am - Noon

Kenneth Burke Society Officers Meeting

Noon - 12:30 pm

Box lunches

1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Golf Outing, Walker Golf Course (Email dblakes@clemson.edu if you want to play);

7:00 pm - ?

Post-Conference Pool Party, hosted by Parlor Press at 3015 Brackenberry Drive, Anderson SC 29621 (20 minutes east of Clemson; directions to be provided).

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Travel and Accommodations KBS 2011

Madren Center

Clemson University is located in Clemson, which is in upstate South Carolina. The Madren Conference Center and Inn (http://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/madren/conference/) is surrounded by beautiful Lake Hartwell and the Walker golf course, with easy access from Greenville/Spartanburg, Atlanta, Asheville, and Charlotte. The climate in May is ideal for outdoor gatherings, golf, and water sports. You can also learn more about the Madren Conference Center and Inn on Facebook. If you would like to play some golf on the last afternoon of the conference, please email David Blakesley (dblakes@clemson.edu) to join the group. The Walker Golf Course is on Facebook as well.

Walker Golf Course

Planning Your Arrival and Departure

The conference will begin in the late afternoon on Thursday May, 26, 2011 at 5 pm with the first of four seminar meetings, followed by a welcome reception. The conference ends on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 1 p.m. There will be panel sessions on Sunday morning. There will also be a golf outing or other fun events planned for those who want to stick around.

Travel

The Greenville/Spartanburg airport (GSP) is the closest to Clemson, about 40 minutes by airport shuttle or car. Atlanta, Asheville, and Charlotte are about two hours away by car. Local shuttles service all airports. Amtrak has a stop in Clemson on the Crescent line. Shuttle and other information about travel arrangements will be announced in January, 2011. Shuttle arrangements can be made through a number of private shuttle services. We recommend Anderson Clemson Shuttle Services: http://clemsonshuttle.com/. The cost for roundtrip service from GSP to Clemson is about $90. As possible, we'll also announce ride-sharing and other airport transportation options.

Accommodations

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Madren Conference Center and Inn (the conference headquarters), which offers multiple room types, all of which are spacious and nicely appointed: Double Queen/King ($120) and Suites ($120). Suites include a kitchen, living room, and separate bedroom and two beds plus a sofa bed. All rooms have views of the golf course, gardens, or Lake Hartwell. There is a restaurant and bar on site, and a free local bus service is just a short walk away. Room reservations may be made by phone at 888-654-9020 (toll free) or 864-654-9020 (local). Be sure to specify “Kenneth Burke Society” or GF (Group Folio) # 8067 when making your reservation. Rooms should be reserved as soon as possible and before March 26, 2011 to ensure the conference rate. There are other hotels in the area, but there won't be a shuttle service and they are 1-2 miles away.

Seminars at KBS 2011

The tradition of outstanding seminars at past conferences continues in 2011. We have six distinguished scholars leading five seminars, each of which radiates from the conference theme, "Burke, Rhetoric, and Social Change." Seminars will meet all four days of the conference in a small group setting for discussion, debate, and competitive cooperation (friendly as it may be). The leaders describe their seminars below and include a list of work to read prior to the conference. Seminar participants are often asked to prepare inforrmal response papers of some sort. Seminar leaders will make contact with seminar participants in advance of the conference with updates as needed.

Conference registrants should select a seminar when they submit their 2011 KBS Registration Form. We'll make every attempt to give each person the first or second choice (you'll be asked to rank your top three). Space in some seminars will fill up quickly, so be sure to register early. These descriptions may be updated before the conference, so be sure to check back before sending in your registration.

Quick Links

Burke and Law

Clarke Rountree
University of Alabama, Huntsville

This seminar will explore intersections between Burke’s work and law, with particular attention to the Clarke Rountree’s application of the pentad to the analysis of judicial discourse. Seminar participants will read the essays below. Additionally, the group will read the U.S. Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London (the controversial case approving Connecticut’s use of imminent domain) as a case study in legal rhetoric.

Prior to the conference, small group members will submit a f5-8 page exploratory essay considering how Burke’s ideas might help us understand law, justice, or judicial processes. The focus should be narrow, considering the role of identification, form, terms for order, terministic screens, perspective by incongruity, bureaucratization of the imaginative, the master tropes, the five dogs, administrative rhetoric, substance, dialectic, the constitution-behind-the-constitution, or other Burkeian concepts relevant to legal discourse or talk about the law. Essays may consider explicit statements Burke has made about law or apply one of his concepts to general legal processes, to a particular example of those processes, or to talk about law and justice.

Materials to Read

  • Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives. 1945. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1969. (Especially the Introduction, Part 1, and Part 3.)
  • Rountree, Clarke. “Coming to Terms with Kenneth Burke’s Pentad.” The American Communication Journal 1, no. 3 (May 1998). (Online at http://acjournal.org/holdings/vol1/iss3/burke/rountree.html)
  • Rountree, Clarke. “Instantiating 'The Law' and Its Dissents in Korematsu v. United States: A Dramatistic Analysis of Judicial Discourse.” The Quarterly Journal of Speech 87 (February 2001): 1-24.

Provided by the Seminar Leader

  • Rountree, Clarke. “Chapter 1: Judicial Motives in American Jurisprudence.” In Judging the Supreme Court: Constructions of Motives in Bush v. Gore. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2007.
  • Rountree, Clarke. “Setting the Stage for Brown v. Board of Education: The NAACP’s Litigation Campaign Against the ‘Separate But Equal’ Doctrine.” In  Brown v. Board of Education at 50: A Rhetorical Perspective. Edited by Clarke Rountree. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2004.
  • Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

Clarke Rountree is Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Rountree was awarded the prestigious 2008- 2009 Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism by Michigan State University Press for his book, Judging the Supreme Court: Constructions of Motive in Bush v. Gore. He is presently the Vice President of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Race-ing Burke

Bryan Crable
Villanova University

In many respects, this seminar topic would seem to figure a connection at best unlikely, and at worst antagonistic. Burke might seem an unlikely figure to link with race--simply because his origins (geographic, generational, and racial) contrast sharply with the concerns of those who advocate or construct critical race theory. More to the point, Burke was not then, and is not now, known for his writings on issues of race. Not only are Burke's own writings relatively quiet on matters of race (with some notable exceptions), but the same is true of the secondary literature. To be sure, some scholars have done work connecting Burke's work to issues of race, identity, and racism (e.g., Bobbitt, Rhetoric of Redemption; Carlson, "'You Know It When You See It'"; Crable, "Race and A Rhetoric of Motives"; Crable, "Symbolizing Motion"; Klumpp, "Burkean Social Hierarchy"; Lynch, "Race and Radical Renamings"). In many respects, however, Burkean scholarship focuses much more strongly on issues of class than of race (or of gender). This seminar will hope to change that somewhat, by focusing attention on several key works by Burke that deal with matters of race, and from throughout his career, including the "Rhetoric of Hitler's 'Battle,'" an early review from The Philosophy of Literary Form, the controversial citation of Ralph Ellison in A Rhetoric of Motives, and a late essay on Ellison's Invisible Man. Further, by reading these works alongside essays by Ellison and Donald Pease, seminar participants will be in a position to contribute new, Burke-fueled statements on our nation's ongoing "conversation" on race and identity.

Materials to Read

  • Bobbitt, David A. The Rhetoric of Redemption: Kenneth Burke's Redemption Drama and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007.
  • Carlson, A. Cheree. "You Know It When You See It: The Rhetorical Hierarchy of Race and Gender in Rhinelander v. Rhinelander." Quarterly Journal of Speech 85 (1999): 111-128.
  • Crable, Bryan. "Race and A Rhetoric of Motives: Kenneth Burke's Dialogue with Ralph Ellison." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 33.3 (Summer 2003): 5-25.
  • Crable, Bryan. "Symbolizing Motion: Burke's Dialectic and Rhetoric of the Body." Rhetoric Review 22.2 (2003): 121-137.
  • Klumpp, James F. "Burkean Social Hierarchy and the Ironic Investment of Martin Luther King." Kenneth Burke and the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Bernard L. Brock. Albany: SUNY Press, 1999. 207-41.
  • Lynch, John. "Race and Radical Renamings: Using Cluster Agon Method to Assess the Radical Potential of 'European American' as a Substitute for 'White.' KB Journal 2.2 (Spring 2006). http://www.kbjournal.org/lynch
  • "The Rhetoric of Hitler's 'Battle.'" The Philosophy of Literary Form. 1941. Berkeley: U of California P, 1973.

Bryan Crable is the Chair of the Communication Department at Villanova University. He is also the Founding Director of the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society. He received the Charles Kneupper Award from the Rhetoric Society of America, for best article of 2003 in Rhetoric Society Quarterly: "Race and A Rhetoric of Motives: Kenneth Burke's Dialogue with Ralph Ellison." In 2008, he chaired the 7th Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society. Crable is finishing a book on Kenneth Burke, Ralph Ellison and the American "racial divide," scheduled to be published by The University of Virginia Press in 2012. He is also completing an edited volume on Kenneth Burke and the transcendence of social conflict, to be published by Parlor Press in 2012.

Burke and Education

Elvera Berry
Roberts Wesleyan College

Peter M. Smudde
Illinois State University

Whatever our particular interest in the work of Kenneth Burke, to the extent that we engage his ideas, we become both student and teacher of those ideas. Taking Burke seriously calls for an examination not only of the substance of his corpus, but also of the implications of that substance for how we function as educators. The theme of the 2011 conference, “Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and Social Change,” speaks directly to the nature and role of education. While he did not write extensively about education, per se, Burke left a corpus filled with implications for education as well as a major resource in his remarkable 1955 essay, “Linguistic Approach to Problems of Education.”  Concerned though he was about the lack of pedagogical imagination in his time, Burke himself could not have fully anticipated the level of polarization and bureaucratization in today’s colleges and universities, let alone the atomizing effects of web-based news cycles and social media. However, his work remains invaluable in raising questions, identifying concerns, and proposing changes aimed at transcending our own “explosive words” and disarming anger and hate with civil discourse.

This seminar is organized around these questions:

  • What did Burke advocate directly regarding education and civil discourse, and what attitudes toward education can one glean from the rest of his corpus?
  • What role should we, as educators, play in creating social change?
  • What would a Burkeian educational approach for course design and classroom pedagogy look like?
  • What insights does Burke offer regarding the challenges of educating today’s students?

Participants are also encouraged to identify their current educational concerns. Ample time will be given to examining what it means to take Burke seriously, as educators, and to consider implications for the ways we teach and students learn.

Materials to Read

Participants are asked to read Burke’s 1955 essay, “Linguistic Approach to Problems of Education” (National Society for the Study of Education, Modern philosophies and education: The fifty-fourth yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I of 2) and to consider its applicability 56 years later. This essay will serve as the foundational reading for the Seminar. It is the cornerstone and opening chapter in Humanistic Critique of Education: Teaching and Learning as Symbolic Action. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press, 2010

Additional Highly Recommended Readings

  • The set of thought-provoking essays contained in Humanistic Critique of Education, all of which speak to the idea of “teaching and learning as symbolic action.”
  • “On Words and The Word” (opening chapter of Burke’s 1961 book, The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology, pp. 7-42)
  • “Dramatism” (International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 7, pp.445-452, Crowell Collier and Macmillan, Inc.)*
  • “Terministic Screens” (third chapter in Burke’s 1966 book, Language as Symbolic Action, pp. 44-62)
  • “Poetics and Communication” (in Perspectives in Education, Religion and the Arts, H. Kiefer & M. Munitz, editors [1970], pp. 401-418, SUNY)*
  • “Literature as Equipment for Living” (in Burke’s 1941/1973 book, The Philosophy of Literary Form, pp. 293-304).
  • Enoch, J. (2004). Becoming symbol-wise: Kenneth Burke’s pedagogy of critical reflection. College Composition and Communication, 56(2), 272-96.

* Electronic version to be made available.

Elvera B. Berry (Ph.D.) is Professor of Communication and Director of the Honors Program at Roberts Wesleyan College, and 2010 recipient of the inaugural Spiritan Award for Teaching bestowed by Duguesne University’s Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies. A long-term member the Kenneth Burke Society involved in regional and national organizations, she has been studying, teaching, and applying the works of Kenneth Burke for 25 years. Her essay, "The Both-And of Undergraduate Education: Burke's 'Linguistic' Approach" appears in the 2010 collection Humanistic Critique of Education: Teaching and Learning as Symbolic Action.  

Peter M. Smudde (Ph.D., Wayne State University) is assistant professor in the School of Communication at Illinois State University. He came to academe full-time in 2002 after sixteen years in industry in the fields of public relations, marketing communications, and technical writing. His primary research and teaching interest is the application of Kenneth Burke's ideas and contemporary theories of rhetoric to pedagogy and industry. He is also the editor of Humanistic Critique of Education: Teaching and Learning as Symbolic Action (Parlor Press, 2010).

Burke, "Hitler's 'Battle'" and Beyond 

Steve Katz
Pearce Professor, Clemson University

Kenneth Burke’s “The Rhetoric of Hitler’s 'Battle',” ostensibly a book review, was a rhetorically perspicacious if not prophetic analysis of what was yet to transpire. Though the layers of biography, bigotry, tirades, hatreds, and political strategies that permeate Mein Kampf turned others away in disgust and disbelief, Burke foresaw the general outline of events, read in relation to capitalism, religion, and anti-Semitism, just beginning to unfold. Burke did not have the last word on the interpretation of Mein Kampf; others have examined it since. But despite Burke’s warning that “we need to discover what kind of ‘medicine’ this medicine-man concocted, that we may know exactly what to guard against if we are to forestall the concocting of similar medicine in America,” for obvious and subtle reasons, rhetorical scholars, with a few exceptions, have tended to shy away from engaging Hitler’s manifesto, or its wider implications about genocide and rhetoric, in any hermeneutic depth.

This seminar will not be so shy. What can Burke’s analysis of Mein Kampf teach us today? Or, conversely, what does Mein Kampf and the horrors of history that followed teach us about Kenneth Burke’s rhetoric? After a general introduction of these two primary sources, and discussion of some pieces of scholarship about or that employ Burke’s insights, concepts, or methods of reading, in this seminar participants will share and discuss their five-page exploratory papers focusing on a Burkean method applied to a section or part of Mein Kampf, and/or similar and perhaps rhetorically untreated holocausts in subsequent history. The concept or methods applied could include Burke’s notions of identification, consubtantiality, or substance; form, casuistry, and/or entelechy; tropes, terministic screens, pentadic ratios, etc. Papers should be as specific as possible.

Materials to Read

Burke, Kenneth. “The Rhetoric of Hitler’s ‘Battle’.”  The Philosophy of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action. 3rd ed. Berkeley: U of California P, 1973. 191-220.

Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf (any unexpurgated edition. I have the 1939 edition, published by arrangement with Houghton Mifflin). You might want to pay particular attention to Volume 1,“Chapter VI: War Propaganda” and in Volume 2, “Chapter VI: The Struggle of the Early Days—The Significance of the Spoken Word,” or “Chapter XI: Propaganda and Organization,” as I do in some of my work (see below), but any part or topic of Hitler’s manifesto, which are highly discernible in the Table of Contents, is ripe for the talking.

Pauley, Garth. "Criticism in Context: Kenneth Burke's "The Rhetoric of Hitler's 'Battle'" KB Journal 6.1 (Fall 2009). http://www.kbjournal.org/garth_pauley

Schmidt, Josef. “In Praise of Kenneth Burke: His ‘The Rhetoric of Hitler’s ‘Battle’ Revisited.” Should be available for free from your university computer at: RHETOR – Volume I (2004). http://uregina.ca/~rheaults/rhetor/2004/schmidt.pdf

Weiser, Elizabeth M. “Burke and War: Rhetoricizing the Theory of Dramatism.” Rhetoric Review, Vol. 26, No. 3, 286–302. Copyright © 2007, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.  Should be available via university journal subscriptions or may be downloaded from Prof. Weiser here: http://newark.osu.edu/facultystaff/personal/eweiser/Documents/Burke%20and%20War.pdf

Materials to Read Provided by the Seminar Leader

Katz, Steven B. “The Ethic of Expediency: Classical Rhetoric, Technology, and the Holocaust.” College English 54 (March 1992): 255-75

Katz, Steven B. “Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Hitler’s Program, and the Ideological Problem of Praxis, Power, and Professional Discourse as a Social Construction of Knowledge.” Special issue on Power and Professional Discourse, Journal of Business and Technical Communication. (Jan. 1993): 37-62

Steve Katz is the Pearce Professor of Professional Communication at Clemson University. He received his Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1988. His most recent book is the 3rd edition of Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Conventions of Scientific Discourse, co-authored with Ann Penrose and published in 2010 by Allyn & Bacon/Longman. In 1993, Dr. Katz won a National Council of Teachers of English Award for his article on "The Ethic of Expediency." His book Plato's Nightmare is due out from Parlor Press in 2011.

Mining Burkean Archives

Ann George
Texas Christian University

Archival research is changing the face of Burke studies. In the past decade, a host of essays and books have demonstrated how the archives ask us to reexamine what we “know” about Burke by reexamining how we’ve come to this knowledge. Archives, that is, changewhat we study (his rhetorical strategies as well as his theory, how he wrote as well as what he wrote) and how we study, enabling us to employ Burke’s methodologies—to read dramatistically, to “use everything.” And, then, archives help us begin to define what “everything” means in each case.This seminar will enable participants to explore, practically and theoretically, the potential for and the limitations of creating new understandings of Burke via his archives.

 Materials to Read

Anderson, Dana, and Jessica Enoch. “Introduction.” Burke in the Archives:  Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies. Ed. Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch. Under review at U of South Carolina P.  

Crable, Bryan. “Distance as Ultimate Motive: A Dialectical Interpretation of A Rhetoric of Motives.” RSQ 39.3 (2009): 213-39.

George, Ann. “Kenneth Burke’s ‘On Must’ and ‘Take Care’ ”:  An Edition of His Reply to Parkes’s Review of Attitudes Toward History.”  RSQ 29.4 (1999):  21-39.

---. “Finding the Time for Burke.”  Burke in the Archives:  Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies. Ed. Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch. Under review at U of South Carolina P.  

“Interview: Jessica Enoch—Striking Metaphors.” Working in the Archives: Practical Research Methods for Research and Composition. Ed. Alexis E. Ramsey, Wendy B. Sharer, Barbara L’Eplattenier, and Lisa S. Mastrangelo. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2010. 152-53.

Morris, Sammie L., and Shirley K Rose. “Invisible Hands: Recognizing Archivists’ Work To Make Records Accessible.” Working in the Archives: Practical Research Methods for Research and Composition. Ed. Alexis E. Ramsey, Wendy B. Sharer, Barbara L’Eplattenier, and Lisa S. Mastrangelo. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2010. 51-78.

Robert J. Connors, “Dreams and Play: Historical Method and Methodology.” Methods and Methodology in Composition Research. Ed. Gesa Kirsch and Patricia A. Sullivan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1992. 15-36.

Tell, David. “Burke’s Encounter with Ransom: Rhetoric and Epistemology in ‘Four Master Tropes.’ ” RSQ 34.4 (2004): 33-54.

Wible, Scott. “Professor Burke’s ‘Bennington Project.’” RSQ 38.3 (2008): 259-82.

Ann George is Associate Professor of English at Texas Christian University.  Currently President of KBS, she is co-author, with Jack Selzer, of Kenneth Burke in the 1930s and is working on a critical edition of Permanence and Change.

KBS 2011 Program

We're pleased to publish the program for the 8th Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society. Printed versions of the program will be available at the conference. Any errata should be emailed to the conference chair at dblakes@clemson.edu (David Blakesley).

8th Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society

2008 Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society

Download the conference flyerThe Seventh Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society welcomes proposals for papers and panels on any Burkean subject. Especially welcome are proposals that address the conference theme: “Kenneth Burke: Transcendence by Perspective.” The conference will take place from June 29-July 1, 2008, at Villanova University, just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2008. View the conference flyer.

About the Conference Theme

One of the hallmarks of Kenneth Burke’s work is a deep-rooted suspicion of entrenched antagonism, of the bitterly contested either/or. Confronting a Western tradition mired in dualisms, and a social world fractured along binaristic lines, Burke traced these all-too-common symptoms to their source in the human symbolic condition and, not content simply with this diagnosis, he also sought a cure: the disciplined cultivation of transcendence via “ultimate” terms (A Rhetoric of Motives 186-89). As Burke writes in Attitudes Toward History, “When approached from a certain point of view, A and B are ‘opposites.’ We mean by ‘transcendence’ the adoption of another point of view from which they cease to be opposites” (336). Although inspired in part by his reading of Plato, Burke’s vision of transcendence avoids the pitfalls of the transcendental, but instead is grounded solidly in the necessity of our embodied symbolicity. In Burke’s skilled hands, transcendence becomes not the elimination of perspective, of partisanship, but the embrace of transcendence by perspective—because only by rigorously acknowledging the symbolic nature of perspective can we move beyond the stagnant stalemate of reified social, political, and philosophical binaries.

This theme calls on conference participants to explore the relevance of Burkean thought for the transcendence of conflicts, whether enduring (as in the American “racial divide”) or ephemeral (as in the humanitarian crises of today). Over the course of the convention, a combination of keynote speakers, featured presenters, and seminar leaders will engage in their various incarnations the pressures of symbolicity, the multiple dimensions of perspective, and the possibilities of transcendence.

Featuring diverse opportunities for engagement with Burke’s enduring relevance, the seventh triennial expects to continue the interdisciplinary tradition of past triennials, with participation by scholars from communication, rhetoric, literary theory, sociology, American studies, critical/cultural studies, and theology (among other fields).Most triennials have produced books of conference proceedings and all have promoted work by their participants leading to important articles and books on Burkean subjects.

About the Conference

A number of prominent Burke scholars will participate in the conference as speakers and seminar leaders. Detailed information about their work is available at the conference website. The keynoters will be Joseph R. Gusfield and John S. Wright. Featured speakers will include A. Cheree Carlson, Michael Hyde, and Robert Perinbanayagam. Seminar leaders with their topics include Ann George (Burke in the 1930s), Scott Newstok (Burke and Shakespeare), Mari Boor Tonn (Burke and Feminism), and Robert Wess (Transcendence by Perspective).

Visit the conference website (http://communication.villanova.edu/burke/index.htm) for information about nominations for Kenneth Burke Society awards for Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Service, and Emerging Scholar.

It's expected that this conference, like previous ones, will feature an enjoyable evening with the Burke family, including a reading by Julie Whitaker from her recent collection of Burke's later poetry (Late Poems, 1968-1993, co-edited with David Blakesley).

Finally, a special feature of this conference will be an event celebrating the lives and works of three much-missed members of the Kenneth Burke Society: Bernard Brock, Leland Griffin, and William Rueckert.

Proposals for paper and panels

While always encouraging submissions focused around the conference theme, we also welcome work by faculty as well as students on any subject related to Burkean scholarship. Please identify student proposals as such, indicating school, area of major study, level (graduate or undergraduate). Proposal should be 250-350 words in length (for panels, include 250-350 words for each paper). Submit proposal electronically, as either PDF or MS Word document, to george.boone@villanova.edu, with the words “Submission to Burke Conference” on the subject line of the e-mail.

Deadline for proposals: February 1, 2008. Selections for the conference will be announced April 1, 2008.

The length of completed papers should be appropriate for a 15-20 minute presentation. Completed papers submitted by May 1, 2008 will be eligible for awards, one for the best conference paper, the other for the best graduate student paper. In addition, up to two meritorious undergraduate papers will receive conference grants (travel, housing, conference registration) from Graduate Programs in Communication at Villanova.

About the Conference Location

All events and programs for the convention will be held at the Villanova University Conference Center, located just off of its main campus. The combination historic mansion and contemporary conference facility will allow participants to enjoy a peaceful, bucolic setting, without having to stray far from the day’s meeting and banquet rooms. Conference participants will have three options for housing: the Conference Center itself, the nearby Radnor Hotel, or air-conditioned campus apartments—this last option especially helpful for budget-conscious Burkeans. Details on housing prices and reservations will be posted by January, 2008. Please note: transportation will be provided at no additional cost for all those staying at the Radnor Hotel and campus apartments.

For additional information on paper submission, registration, housing, and other matters, consult the conference website (http://communication.villanova.edu/burke/index.htm) or direct questions to George Boone, Assistant to the Conference Planner (george.boone@villanova.edu), or to Bryan Crable, Conference Planner (bryan.crable@villanova.edu).

US Mail should be directed to Communication Department, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, PA 19085-1699, USA.

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Book Discounts for KBS Members

Members of the Kenneth Burke Society can use the information below to purchase important books by and about Burke at a significant discount. These days, it's important to support the publishers of "Boik Woiks" (as KB would put it) so that we continue to benefit from their efforts to provide an important venue for our scholarship. The Kenneth Burke Society appreciates their generosity.

Parlor Press

Parlor Press offers a 20 percent discount on all books by and about Kenneth Burke, including Essays Toward a Symbolic of Motives, 1950 to 1955, Kenneth Burke on Shakespeare, Letters from Kenneth Burke to William H. Rueckert, 1959-1987, Poetic Healing (Huglen and Clark), a Parlor Press t-shirt with a caricature of Burke (available June 1, 2007), and forthcoming Burke books, such as Literature as Equipment for Living and Kenneth Burke and His Circles . You need to use this form (PDF format) to order your books or other paraphernalia. You may also call Parlor Press with your order at 765.409.2649.

Parlor Press Website: http://www.parlorpress.com

Roman and Littlefield

Roman and Littlefield offers a 25 percent discount to KBS Members through 2/10/2008 on these titles. Use this discount code when ordering online or by phone: 4S7KBJOU

Roman and Littlefield Website: http://www.rowmanlittlefield.com

Say Press

Say Press offers a 20 percent discount on its Burke titles, including A Concise Kenneth Burke Concordance, Persuasion, Proposals, and Public Speaking, The Seven Cs of Stress: A Burkean Approach, and Psychotic Entelechy: The Dangers of Spiritual Gifts Theology. Please use this online order form: http://mywebpage.netscape.com/lindsaystan/KBS-SayPress.html

Say Press Website: http://www.saypress.com

University of California Press

The University of California Press offers a 20 percent discount to KBS members on its Burke books using this code, which you should enter at the time of your online purchase: 07D1676 

UC Press Website: http://www.ucpress.edu/books/

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Constitution and Bylaws of the Kenneth Burke Society

[Ratified November 14, 1986. Revised May 8, 1993.]

Constitution

Article I

Name

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Kenneth Burke Society.

Section 2. Official use of the Kenneth Burke Society's name shall be made only through the authority of the officers of the Kenneth Burke Society or by members of the Kenneth Burke Society at the triennial convention business meetings.

Article II

Purposes

Section 1. The purpose of the Kenneth Burke Society shall be to promote the study, understanding, dissemination of, research on, critical analysis of, and preservation of the works of and about Kenneth Burke.

Section 2. The Kenneth Burke Society, a not-for-profit organization, exists for educational, scientific, and literary purposes only. No part of the organization's net earnings shall inure to the private benefit of any individual or group. No substantial part of the activities of the Kenneth Burke Society shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation. The Kenneth Burke Society shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.


Article III

Membership

Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society shall be open to any person or institution interested in promoting the Kenneth Burke Society's purpose.

Article IV

Affiliate Organizations

The officers or by members of the Kenneth Burke Society at triennial convention business meetings, may upon petition from an association whose objectives are consistent with those of the Kenneth Burke Society, grant to such an association the status of affiliate organization.

Article V

Officers

Section 1. The officers shall be: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor of Publications.

Section 2. The Vice President shall succeed to the office of President.

Section 3. The officers shall be nominated and elected as specified in the Bylaws.

Section 4. The duties of the officers shall be as specified in the Bylaws.

Section 5. In the event of the incapacity of any officer, the remaining officers shall, at their discretion, elect a replacement or establish a nomination and election procedure for so doing.

Article VI

Committees

The Kenneth Burke Society shall have such ad hoc committees as shall be created by the President or by members of the Kenneth Burke Society at the triennial convention business meetings and such ad hoc committees as shall be created by any other officers with advice and consent of the President or by members of the Kenneth Burke Society at the triennial convention business meetings.


Article VII

Program Sessions and Business Meetings

Section 1. Program sessions to promote the purposes of the Kenneth Burke Society shall be held as specified in the Bylaws.

Section 2. Business meetings for all members of the Kenneth Burke Society shall be held as specified in the Bylaws.

Section 3. A quorum for a business meeting shall be one percent of the members of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Article VIII

Chapters

Section 1. With the advice and consent of the officers of the Kenneth Burke Society or by members of the Kenneth Burke Society at the triennial convention business meetings, members of the Kenneth Burke Society may form Chapters within other professional organizations and associations whose principles are consistent with the purposes of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Section 2. Each Chapter may elect the officers and adopt an organizational arrangement which is appropriate to the organization and association in which it functions.

Section 3. Each Chapter may sponsor program sessions, hold business meetings, elect its own officers, distribute publications, and sponsor other activities consistent with the purposes of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Section 4. Each Chapter shall delegate a representative of the Chapter to report on the activities of the Chapter at triennial business meetings of the Kenneth Burke Society.


Article IX

Triennial Convention

Section 1. The Kenneth Burke Society shall sponsor a convention for all members of the Kenneth Burke Society every three years referred to, in this document, as the triennial convention.

Section 2. At the triennial convention business meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society, the members shall elect a Chief Convention Planner whose primary responsibility shall be to appoint a Convention Planning Committee and to plan the triennial convention with the advice of the Convention Planning Committee.

Section 3. The Chief Convention Planner and the Convention Planning Committee shall select the convention site and dates for the triennial convention.

Section 4. The Chief Convention Planner and the Convention Planning Committee shall be responsible for the activities and organization of the triennial convention.

Section 5. The Chief Convention Planner and the Convention Planning Committee shall establish a convention fee for the triennial convention in accordance with the Kenneth Burke Society's financial needs.

Article X

Amendments

Section 1. The officers, by majority vote, may initiate amendments to this Constitution.

Section 2. Any member of the Kenneth Burke Society may petition the officers, which shall then mandate them to consider a proposed amendment.

Section 3. Any 25 members of the Kenneth Burke Society may present a petition that will mandate the officers to submit a proposed amendment to the members.

Section 4. Any amendment initiated as specified in the Sections above shall be voted on by the Kenneth Burke Society membership at the triennial convention business meetings. Such an amendment shall be approved by a simple majority of the members voting.

Article XI

Dissolution

The Kenneth Burke Society may be dissolved only at a special meeting called for such purposes, and in the manner prescribed by the relevant federal and state laws, by vote of the three-fourths of the members present. Upon any such dissolution of the Kenneth Burke Society, the Treasurer shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Kenneth Burke Society, dispose of all of the assets of the Kenneth Burke Society exclusively for the purposes of the Kenneth Burke Society in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, literary, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 ( or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax laws), as the officers may determine.


Bylaws

Article I

Dues and Fees

Section 1. Annual dues for members of the Kenneth Burke Society shall be determined by the members of the Kenneth Burke Society at the triennial convention business meetings.

Section 2. Upon petition of 25 members of the Kenneth Burke Society, the officers must submit any decision to change dues to the members at the next triennial convention business meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society. A simple majority of those voting shall constitute approval.

Article II

Meetings

Section 1. Meetings of the Kenneth Burke Society and of its constituent bodies are normally open to all members. Each body shall establish its own rules.

Section 2. The Kenneth Burke Society shall assume no responsibility for statements of opinion expressed by participants in program sessions sponsored by the Kenneth Burke Society or in such other conferences and meetings as it may sponsor or which may be sponsored by any Chapter of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Section 3. The Kenneth Burke Society shall sponsor program sessions at its triennial conventions. Program sessions shall be under the direction of the Chief Convention Planner (or whomever the Chief Convention Planner may designate for this purpose). Policy implementation and financial obligations of such program sessions shall be subject to the approval of the Chief Convention Planner and the Convention Planning Committee, governed by the policies approved by members of the Kenneth Burke Society at triennial convention business meetings.

Section 4. Program sessions shall be organized by the Chief Convention Planner (or whomever the Chief Convention Planner may designate for this purpose). Whenever possible, a call for papers shall be distributed to all members of the Kenneth Burke Society and papers shall be competitively selected, through a "blind review" process, by a Selection Committee appointed by the Chief Convention Planner (or whomever the Chief Convention Planner may designate for this purpose).

Section 5. The Kenneth Burke Society shall hold periodic business meetings for all members of the Kenneth Burke Society, at least at the triennial convention of the Kenneth Burke Society, and at other times and places to be determined by the officers of the Kenneth Burke Society. The officers shall notify all members of the Society of the date, time, location, and agenda of each business meeting at least two months prior to the meetings. Business meetings may be held in association with the scheduled activities of other professional associations and organizations.

Article III

Eligibility for Office

A person must be a member of the Kenneth Burke Society to be eligible for (1) nomination to candidacy for any elective office of the Kenneth Burke Society; (2) appointment to any appointive office or committee position in the Kenneth Burke Society; and (3) election to any elective office in the Kenneth Burke Society.

Article IV

Nomination and Election of Officers

Section 1. Any member of the Kenneth Burke Society may nominate any eligible person for any Kenneth Burke Society office during a scheduled election at a triennial convention business meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Section 2. The nominee for any office receiving a simple majority of the votes cast at a triennial convention business meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society shall be elected. Should no candidate receive a majority of votes cast, a runoff election shall be held between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes.

Section 3. Elected officers shall assume office at the conclusion of the triennial convention business meeting immediately following their election.

Section 4. Elected officers shall serve three (3) year terms of office.

Article V

Duties of Officers

Section 1. The President shall serve as presiding officer of the Kenneth Burke Society at its triennial convention business meetings and shall discharge the responsibilities normally adhering to the office. The President shall be responsible for the administration of the Kenneth Burke Society's business meetings.

Section 2. The Vice President shall discharge the responsibilities normally adhering to the office and shall succeed to the office of the President in the event of the death, disability, or resignation of the President. The Vice President shall succeed automatically to the office of President at the conclusion of the President's term of office.

Section 3. The Secretary shall perform the usual duties adhering to the office.

Section 4. The Treasurer shall perform the usual duties adhering to the office.

Section 5. The Editor of Publications shall select the editorial staff and shall perform the usual duties of an editor-in-chief.

Article VI

Publications

Section 1. The Kenneth Burke Society shall publish a scholarly newsletter. The name of the newsletter shall be the Kenneth Burke Society Newsletter.

Section 2. The Kenneth Burke Society shall publish other scholarly publications as shall be determined by the membership of the Kenneth Burke Society at its triennial convention business meetings.

Section 3. The Kenneth Burke Society shall assume no responsibility for statements of opinion expressed by individuals in any publication sponsored by the Kenneth Burke Society or sponsored or published by any Chapter of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Article VII

Parliamentary Authority

In the absence of any provision to the contrary in the Constitution or Bylaws, all business meetings of the Kenneth Burke Society or the subsidiary bodies of the Kenneth Burke Society shall be governed by the parliamentary rules and usages contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Orders, Newly Revised.

Article VIII

Amendments

Section 1. Amendments to these Bylaws may be initiated by a majority of the officers or by a petition addressed to the officers and signed by 25 members of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Section 2. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws shall be presented to the members present at the triennial convention business meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society for vote. Such an amendment shall be adopted if it is approved by a majority.

Join the Kenneth Burke Society

Your Kenneth Burke Society Membership entitles you to premium content at KB Journal, book discounts, and more. Read more about it here. If you registered and attended the 2011 KBS Triennial Conference at Clemson, your membership in KBS is active until the next conference in 2014.

The membership options are listed below. Click on the link to review the option and then, if desired, add it to your shopping cart. When ready, you may check-out and pay online securely through PayPal with a credit card, an echeck, or an existing PayPal account. Your membership expiration date will be updated automatically.

Thanks for your support of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Lifetime Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society

$250.00

Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society entitles you to premium content at the KB Journal site, including premium bibliographies, archives of newsletters, discounts for future conferences, and valuable coupons from publishers for discounts on Burke books. In addition, membership dues support publication of KB Journal, KBS awards, archival projects, and conferences.

This membership is good for a lifetime. If you're renewing a membership, your membership will have its expiration date set to "never."

SKU: KBS Lifetime Membership
List price: $250.00

Catalog: 

Price: $250.00

Regular One-Year Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society

$25.00

Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society entitles you to premium content at the KB Journal site, including premium bibliographies, archives of newsletters, discounts for future conferences, and valuable coupons from publishers for discounts on Burke books. In addition, membership dues support publication of KB Journal, KBS awards, archival projects, and conferences.

Your membership is good for one year. If you're renewing a membership, one year will be added to your current expiration date.

SKU: KBS Regular One-Year Membership
List price: $25.00

Catalog: 

Price: $25.00

Regular Three-Year Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society

$75.00

Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society entitles you to premium content at the KB Journal site, including premium bibliographies, archives of newsletters, discounts for future conferences, and valuable coupons from publishers for discounts on Burke books. In addition, membership dues support publication of KB Journal, KBS awards, archival projects, and conferences.

This membership is good for three years. If you're renewing a membership, three years will be added to your current expiration date.

SKU: KBS Regular Three-Year Membership
List price: $75.00

Catalog: 

Price: $75.00

Student One-Year Membership in the Kenneth Burke Society

$10.00

A student membership in the Kenneth Burke Society entitles you to premium content at the KB Journal site, including premium bibliographies, archives of newsletters, discounts for future conferences, and valuable coupons from publishers for discounts on Burke books. In addition, membership dues support publication of KB Journal, KBS awards, archival projects, and conferences.

This membership is good for one year. If you're renewing a membership, one year will be added to your current expiration date.

SKU: KBS Student One-Year Membership
List price: $10.00

Catalog: 

Price: $10.00

Join the Kenneth Burke Society by Mail

Name: ______________________________________________________

Title: ______________________________________________________

Department: ______________________________________________________

University: ______________________________________________________

Street: ______________________________________________________

City: ______________________________________________________

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Zip Code: ______________________________________________________

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Include in public directory of members? ___ Yes ___No

Dues: Regular: $30 per year; $75 for 3 years
Student: $10 per year
Lifetime: $250

To join or renew your membership, please send a check made out to "Kenneth Burke Society" and mail it to:

Virginia Anderson, Treasurer
Indiana University Southeast
4201 Grant Line Road
New Albany IN 47150

Newsletters of the Kenneth Burke Society

Archival issues of the Kenneth Burke Society Newsletter are available to active Society members in PDF format. The list below includes the issue date, volume, number, and front page headline. This archive was prepared by Heather Christiansen, Clemson University.

October, 1984: "Logology is Our Logo" (606 kb)
Volume 1, Number 1

July, 1986: "Kenneth Burke: Himself - A Letter From Andover" (662 kb)
Volume 2, Number 1

October, 1987: "Video Tapes Ready" (551 kb)
Volume 3

January, 1989: "New Officers of SCA Branch" (169 kb)
Volume 4

April, 1989: "Kenneth Burke Society National Convention Announcement (1990)" (494 kb)
Volume 5, Number 1

October, 1989: "Autumn in Andover" (463 kb)
Volume 5, Number 2

April, 1990: "Dramatizing Technology: Extrapolating a Future from the Writings of Kenneth Burke" (1.7 mb)
Volume 6, Number 1

April, 1990: "Special Pre-Conference Issue" (721 kb)
Volume 6, Number 1a

October, 1990: "Airlie in 93" (1.6 mb)
Volume 6, Number 2

April, 1991: "Book Review: The Selected Correspondence of Kenneth Burke and Malcolm Cowley 1915-1981" (781 kb)
Volume 7, Number 1

October, 1991: "Monument to a Man of Monumental Mind" (496 kb)
Volume 7, Number 2

April, 1992: "Some Burkeian Scenes in Japan" (551 kb)
Volume 8, Number 1

October, 1992: "Activities in Airlie" (616 kb)
Volume 8, Number 2

December, 1993: "Kenneth Burke Dies at Home in Andover, November 19, 1993" (180 kb)
Volume 9, Number 1

June, 1995: "Burke Centenary" (423 kb)
Volume 10, Number 1

May, 1996: "Books & Bibliography" (250 kb)
Volume 11, Number 1

October, 1998: "Continuing Our Conversation" (1999 Iowa Conference Preview) (598 kb)
Volume 12, Number 1

April, 1999: "Culture, Criticism, Dialectic: Engaging Kenneth Burke" (1999 Iowa Conference Program) (316 kb)
Volume 12, Number 2

June, 2000: "1999's Iowa Conference" (Conference Reports) (457 kb)
Volume 13, Number 1

KB Discussion List

The Kenneth Burke Discussion List has been active since 1997 and is moderated by David Blakesley. In 2013, there were 265 subscribers when the list migrated to its new server and address (kb AT kbjournal.org). To subscribe or adjust your subscription details, go to the KB List Information Page:

http://crichton.liquidweb.com/mailman/listinfo/kb_kbjournal.org

If you have questions that can't be answered there, please send a note to Dave via our online contact form:

http://kbjournal.org/user/4

Tweets at the Edge of an Abyss

Here's what people are saying about Kenneth Burke in the Twittersphere . . .

Attitudes Toward Kenneth Burke in Inside Higher Ed

Scott McLemee

Intellectual Affairs columnist for Inside Higher Ed Scott McLemee has written an excellent piece on KBS 2011 at Clemson. Here's a brief excerpt:

Attitudes Toward Kenneth Burke

. . . The triennial meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society, held at Clemson University over the Memorial Day weekend, drew a diverse crowd, numbering just over one hundred people -- with at least a third, by my estimate, being graduate students or junior faculty. The Burkological elders told tales of the days when incorporating more than a couple of citations from “KB” in a dissertation would get you scolded by an adviser. Clearly things have changed in the meantime. Tables near registration were crowded with secondary literature from the past decade or so, as well as a couple of posthumous collections of KB's work. The program featured papers on the implications of his ideas for composition textbooks, disability studies, jazz, environmental activism, and the headscarf controversy.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee_on_burke_society

Minutes of the KBS Business and Executive Meetings at the KBS 2011

Kenneth Burke Society Triennial Conference
Clemson University, Business Meeting: Sunday, May 29, 2011

President, Ann George, chaired the KBS business meeting.
The 2008 (Villanova) minutes were approved as distributed.

OFFICERS ELECTED

            Vice-President: David Cratis Williams
            Treasurer: Virginia Anderson
            Secretary: Elvera Berry

REPORTS

Treasurer:  Virginia Anderson has been organizing and updating membership records in order to avoid confusion and non-canceled checks.
Current records indicate: 76 paid members + several non-paid participants.

Balance as of May 2011    2085.62
Savings  1336.10
Balance (minus forthcoming expenses): 4910.01
Expenses (incomplete as of May 29, 2011)       

Virginia also reported:

  • She has been working on the Official “filing” of the Society with New York State. (Original legal document is missing at this point.)
  • Membership remains an issue to be addressed. Dues  have been $20 (3 years, $50); students $10 (3 years, $25)

2011 Conference: David Blakesley

  • Dave will be submitting a formal report with expenses, etc. He indicated there were 106 registrations (half students).
  • He will be sending a call to participants for papers to be considered for a Conference book (South Carolina Press).

Special appreciation was expressed to Dave for a successful Triennial, including significant participation from young Burke scholars!

Journal: Ann George/Clarke Rountree 

  • Clarke indicated that Andy King had expressed some interest in producing a summer edition of the KB Journal. If so, great!
  • Andy’s journal-successor has not yet been named.
  • Many signed a card of Missing and Best Wishes that Elvera sent to Andy.

DISCUSSION

Membership and Dues

  • How can we encourage and sustain membership?
  • What do members “get” for their money?
  • Should any online-areas be restricted to “members only?”
  • Would such restriction violate spirit of access and openness?
  • Could members receive significant discounts on books?

(Secretary’s note: Questions raised in 2002/2005/2008 remain: i.e., Should dues be raised? What are the benefits of membership? Which resources should be open to all? Should a portion of the online journal or other materials be for members only?)

Suggestions discussed:

  • A periodic newsletter to maintain connections between triennial conferences
  • Receiving such an email (e.g., twice-a-year) might include a short column from the Executive Committee and alert membership to new KB works being published; reviews of publications; national and regional conferences with a Burke-presence (Communication, English, Rhetorical Studies, Writing, etc.); and the like.
  • The Burke list resides with David at Clemson; he offered to provide a template for a periodic form of correspondence that might make this feasible.

Question: How will we follow up on these ideas?

2014 Triennial Conference Location

  • Advantages/disadvantages of several geographic locations were discussed.
  • Discussion of university conference-sites with institutional host-coordinators vs. free-standing conference sites seemed to favor an institutional base.
  • The preference would be to distribute the workload by separating the functions of host and program planner.
  • Recent sites for possible return included: Penn State, Pittsburgh, Villanova.
  • The decision was to put out a formal request for possible hosts/sites.

Constitutional Changes: Ann George

Ann presented recommendations coming from the Executive Committee for several changes in the Constitution:

  • Article IX, Sections 2, 3  PASSES
  • Bylaw V (Duties of Officers), New Sections 3, 4, 5 PASSED
  • New Bylaw X (Awards) 

(Passed for now—logistics of timing to be reviewed by executive committee)

  • Discussion took place regarding whether the editor of the KB Journal should be a full member of the Executive Committee. The decision was to have an Executive Committee composed of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and immediate Past President. The editor will serve as ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Elvera Berry, Secretary

Elvera B. Berry, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Roberts Wesleyan College
Rochester, NY14624
585.594-6333
berrye@roberts.edu

For the Record: Scott McLemee was plenary luncheon speaker (article appeared June 2, 2011), and Jack Selzer entertained with Donald Duck (Friday) and Fishing Stories (Banquet).

2011 Awards-Recipients (presented at the Saturday evening Banquet)

  • Lifetime Achievement Award = Bryan Crable 
  • Distinguished Service Award = Ann George 
  • Emerging Scholar Award = Brian O’Sullivan
  • Outstanding Paper = Adiel Suarez-Murias
  • Any other awards?  Have I made any errors in names?

Kenneth Burke Society Triennial Conference, Clemson University, Executive Committee: Sunday, May 29, 2011

Virginia Anderson, Elvera Berry, David Blakesley, David Cratis Williams, Ann George, Clarke Rountree

Incoming President, Clarke Rountree, chaired the Executive Committee Meeting

Treasurer’s Report

Virginia Anderson has been organizing and updating membership records in order to avoid confusion and non-canceled checks. Questions arose regarding:

  • Who pays/does not pay dues?
  • What difference do dues make in terms of participating in the Triennial?
  • What information (e.g., treasurer’s report) should be public?
  • What information should be for Executive Committee?
  • What data should be transferred to a central location to be kept by whom?

(David will be getting the financial information to Virginia and help clarify membership records.)

The Journal

Discussion focused on appointment of a new editor. David Blakesley reported that several were willing to be considered for the position: David Tietge (Monmouth), Paul Lynch (St. Louis), and Nathaniel Rivers (in transition from Georgetown to St. Louis). In view of experience and the current centralized housing of publication-related materials, it was decided to name David Blakesley “Editor of Publications” and ask Paul Lynch and Nathaniel Rivers to assume primary responsibility for the KB Journal as “managing editors.”

(We’ll need some email exchange regarding some of this once David has a response from Paul and Nathaniel)

  • identification of role(s) of “Editor of Publications” vis-à-vis journal and other website material, etc. 
  • delineation of responsibilities of the “managing editors.”
  • role of journal personnel vis-à-vis Executive Committee (cf., Business meeting discussion of bylaws).                 

Additional Actions Taken

Ethan Sproat gave KBS his property interests (from his digitization work) to the DVD, KB: A Conversation with Kenneth Burke. The Treasurer will store the letter/legal document. (Where will we announce how to purchase these now?)

Dues: – KBS membership will be renewed at the same time every 3 years—namely, during the Triennial Conference. Current members out of synch because their membership falls short of 2014, will be given a free membership to that date (including those who renew for "One Year" on the KB Journal website). Those who run over three years will be given a discount on the Conference in 2014.

  • New dues have been increased to $30/year for one year (which will no longer be  an option as of 2013). Three-year dues will go to $75. Lifetime members will now pay $250.
  • Post-Executive Meeting: Student dues will remain at $10/year until 2013; three-year dues will be $75 at the 2014 Triennial Conference.

Triennial Conference

  • Clarke will send out a call for conference hosts and planners (two separate duties by two different people) later this summer. Ideally, we will have someone whose institution can support the conference.

NOTE: President Clarke’s 81 totally dominated the post-Conference golf outing!

2011 Burke Triennial Conference: Business Meeting Attendance
Attendance at Triennial Business Meeting: Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ed Appel
Virginia Anderson
Elvera Berry
David Blakesley
Chris Carter
Miriam Marty Clark
DavidDzikowski
Mike Feehan
Ann George
Greig Henderson
Mark Huglen
Jim Klumpp
Joel Overall
Nathaniel Rivers
Clarke Rountree
Ethan Sproat
Dries Vrijders
Ryan Weber
Robert Wess
David Williams

2011 Burke Triennial Conference: Executive Committee Meeting
Clemson: Sunday, May 29, 2014

Virginia Anderson
David Blakesley
Elvera Berry
Ann George
Clarke Rountree
David Williams