KB Journal Information

Editorial Board


David Blakesley, Clemson University

Kenneth Burke Society Editor of Publications

David Blakesley, Clemson University

Review Board

Matthew Althouse, SUNY Brockport
Barry Brummett, University of Texas
John Angus Campbell, University of Memphis
Gregory Clark, Brigham Young University
Bryan Crable, Villanova University
Christopher R. Darr, Indiana University at Kokomo
Jessica Enoch, University of Maryland
Michael Feehan, Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research
Ann George, Texas Christian University
Steven Holmes, Texas Tech University
Jordynn Jack, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
James Kastely, University of Houston
William J. Kinsella, North Carolina State University
Jim A. Kuypers, Virginia Tech
Stan A. Lindsay, Florida State University, Panama City
Star Muir, George Mason University
Jodie Nicotra, University of Idaho
Robert Perinbanayagam, Hunter College CUNY
David Payne, University of South Florida
Clarke Rountree, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Kris Rutten, University of Ghent
Roger Stahl, University of Georgia
Lou Thompson, Texas Woman's University
Jouni Tilli, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Richard Thames, Duquesne University
Shannon Walters, Temple University
Elizabeth Weiser, Ohio State University
John S. Wright, University of Minnesota

Imagine that you enter a (newly refurbished) parlor

The parlor metaphor? Really? Isn’t that a little obvious? A little too pious?

Sure, it is appropriate: KB Journal is in effect the parlor of the Kenneth Burke Society, the place where the interminable discussion takes place. And it is newly refurbished. Thanks to the painstaking work of Dave Blakesley, the site is everything you’d want in a parlor: it’s inviting, warm, tastefully appointed and productively arranged. Still, a reference to the parlor metaphor on the occasion of the site’s re-launch? Isn’t that a bit clichéd? You’re not likely to inspire much confidence as the incoming editors if that’s the best you can do.

Perhaps. But there are particular passages of the parlor metaphor that seem appropriate to the beginning of our editorship:

When you arrive, others have long preceded you…. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before.

Those first words capture our feeling as we begin to edit KB Journal. We know that others—perhaps most of the readers of this journal—have long preceded us as Burkologists, and that knowledge makes us humble. We also have some big shoes to fill. Andrew King has done a marvelous job editing the journal for the past few years, so we have a lot to live up to. Special issue 8.1 is no exception. We ourselves do have some accomplishments in Burke studies: Nathaniel, along with Ryan Weber (our new book editor) published Literature as Equipment for Living: The Literary Reviews of Kenneth Burke. They are also past winners of the Emerging Burke Scholars award. For his part, Paul has published in the journal before. Yet we know that we come to this work as students of Burke rather than experts. And we are comforted by the idea that, in this conversation, no one present is qualified to retrace all the steps of Burkology. We are all students of Burke, though some of us arrived a shorter time ago.

Our endeavor, then, is to be the most welcoming hosts we can be. We invite work on any aspect of Burke’s work and in nearly any form. Moreover, an online presence allows us to cast the net even more widely. We seek to publish work not only in text form, but also in audio and video form. In fact, we plan on publishing multimedia work in our first issue in Fall 2012. We also hope for work that extends the range of Burkean scholarship. As our new mission statement suggests:

KB Journal takes as its mission the exploration of what it means to be "Burkean." To this end, KB Journal publishes original scholarship that addresses, applies, extends, repurposes, or challenges the writings of Kenneth Burke, which include but are not limited to the major books and hundreds of articles by Burke, as well as the growing corpus of research material about Burke. It provides an outlet for integrating and critiquing the gamut of Burkean studies in communication, composition, English, gender, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and technical writing. In light of this, Kenneth Burke need not be the sole focus of a submission, but Burke should be integral to the structure of the argument.

Let the conversation continue. And please email us if you have questions or concerns. Paul is at plynch11@slu.edu and Nathaniel is at nathaniel.rivers@gmail.com.

KB Journal Video Parlor #1: An Introduction

KBJournal Editors Paul Lynch and Nathaniel Rivers discuss their vision for the journal as well as new features they plan on introducing this Fall. This is also a trial run for a planned series of video conversations between Burke scholars.


Mission Statement

KB: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society takes as its mission the exploration of what it means to be "Burkean." We publish original scholarship that addresses, applies, extends, repurposes, or challenges the work of Kenneth Burke, which includes his books, articles, reviews, fiction, poetry, and music, as well as the growing body of research about his contributions to the unending conversation of history. KB Journal provides an outlet for integrating and critiquing the gamut of Burkiean studies in communication, composition, English, gender, literature, philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, religion, sociology, and technical writing. In light of this, Burke need not be the sole focus of a submission, but his ideas should be integral to the argument or performance.

Submission Guidelines

All scholarly approaches—historical, textual, empirical, pedagogical, performative—are welcome and encouraged. Each essay, hypertext, or other project submitted for possible publication will be anonymously reviewed by a minimum of two editors or experts from a particular area. Submissions for possible publication should be submitted through KBJ's submission interface at Submittable (see below for a button, also). Allowable formats include Word, RTF, or HTML. All article submissions should conform to the most recent style guide of the Modern Language Association (currently the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook), which covers all matters related to manuscript preparation not covered by KB guidelines. Authors must use in-text citations and provide a reference or Works Cited page at the end of the essay. Authors may also include explanatory endnotes, though such notes should be kept to a minimum and should not be automatically embedded in the text using Word's note function (they will need to be extracted). Hypertext or other projects requiring multiple files may be submitted as a Zip file. All essays may run a maximum of 7,000 words (not including the Works Cited or other endmatter).

Each submission should also include the author's or authors’ name(s), title, professional affiliation, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number. No author-identifying information should appear in the corpus of the text itself. Each submission should include a fifty-word abstract. Works submitted for review should not have appeared in any other published form. If any part of the submission has been presented at a colloquy, conference, or convention, the date and form of that presentation should be indicated in the submission notes. It is expected that such submissions will be substantially revised to make them suitable for publication in the journal.


In submitting to KB, the author or authors agree to license the work under the Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported), under which the author retains copyrights but allows KB and other noncommercial entities to print or repost the work, provided attribution is made. KB, at its pleasure, may republish the work in forms such as anthologies, books, electronic formats, and other possible emerging technologies. All accepted material, including images or song lyrics, that does not conform to fair use policy must be accompanied by the appropriate letters of permission from rights holders prior to publication. In submitting to KB, the author or authors warrant that a) he/she/they will not submit the contribution for possible publication elsewhere while under review; b) the submission is original material; and c) appropriate credit has been given to and permission has been granted from others when the work includes copyrighted material beyond standard fair use limits.


KB seeks reviews of recent books focused on Burke and his ideas. Reviews should run a maximum of 2,000 words and include the book title in MLA format at the beginning of the review. The journal also seeks review essays discussing at least three books and/or articles that share a common Burke-related focus. Review essays should discuss how these works forward, enhance, or challenge Burke studies. Reviews essays should run a maximum of 4,000 words and should include the titles in MLA format at the beginning of the review.

Click on this Submit button to visit KB submission interface at Submittable:

Inquiries should be addressed to the following:

New Submissions

Dr. Rochelle Gregory
KBJ Associate Editor
North Central Texas College

General Questions about KB, Current or Past Issues, Editorial Policies

Dr. David Blakesley
KBJ Editor and KBS Editor of Publications
Clemson University

Contact Us

General Questions about KB Journal

Dr. David Blakesley
KB Journal Editor
Department of English
Clemson University
616 Strode Tower
Clemson SC 29634

Questions about Submissions to KB Journal

Glen Southergill
Associate Editor
Montana Tech of the University of Montana


Rochelle Gregory
Associate Editor
North Central Texas College

or for review questions

Dr. Ryan Weber
Review Editor
University of Alabama in Huntsville
222 Morton Hall
Huntsville, AL 35899

The Kenneth Burke Society

David Cratis Williams
Florida Atlantic University

KBS Memberships

Elizabeth Weiser
Treasurer of the Kenneth Burke Society
The Ohio State University
1179 University Drive
Newark, OH 43055
Become a Member Here

Editor of Publications for the Kenneth Burke Society

Dr. David Blakesley
Clemson University

Research and Book Reviews

KB Journal aims to help apprise readers of current developments in Burke studies by reviewing recent books and articles relevant to Burkean thought. Books and articles merit review in KB Journal either in their use of Burke as their explicit object of study or in their noteworthy application of Burke's work in exploring broader ideas. In keeping with KB Journal's goal of cultivating a more diverse and inclusive community of Burke scholars, materials for review are welcomed from any area of study. KB Journal's Review Editor is Dana Anderson.

Interested contributors are invited to submit reviews of such materials in any of three different forms.

Book Reviews of 2000-3000 words detail a recent book's relevance to scholarship on Kenneth Burke. To suggest a book for review, or to suggest yourself as the reviewer of a specific book, please contact the Review Editor.

Article Reviews of 500-1000 words summarize and/or critique a recent article's contribution to Burke studies. To suggest an article or articles for review, or to suggest yourself as a reviewer, please contact the Review Editor.

Review Essays of 3500-5000 words seek to provide a critical guide to a specific topic or direction within Burke studies&;for example, Burke and Gender Studies, Burke and Organizational Communication, and so on. Review essays may draw on books, articles, conference presentations, or any other scholarly resources that help the essay to develop its topic. To author a review essay, please contact the Review Editor and briefly explain the proposed topic to be covered. Essays will be reviewed by the Review Editor and at least one Associate Editor.

Reviewers in each of these forms should feel free to not merely describe the treatment or application of Burke in their reviewed texts but to engage and critique it as well, to guide readers toward questions or areas for fruitfully extending Burkean inquiry.

Please contact the Review Editor with any questions about guidelines or materials for review. All submissions should be sent as either Word or RTF email attachments.

Posting Content to KB Journal

1. Go to KB Journal (http://www.kbjournal.org) and log in.

2. From the navigation menu on the right side, choose "create content"

3. Choose "book page" from the menu. This will take you to the input screen

On the book page input screen:

4. The "published" box and other boxes will be checked by default. If you want your post to be viewable by others, leave them as is. You can also uncheck the published box and then (in "my workspace") revised and publish the post later. You can also choose to promote the message to the front page of the site. We typically use that for articles only.

5. In the Title box, give the message a title.

6. Under view/edit permissions (if you see that box), make sure that you check the box next to intended audience ("anonymous" is checked by default, which means anyone, including editors, etc. will be able to view it). Then check "administrator" and "editors" under the "edit" column (that will also be the default). You may not see this box, in which case you don't need to worry about it. (It's a super-admin function, that means.)

7. Enter nothing under "path alias"

8. In the "Parent" drop-down box, choose "Happenings" (or whatever "book" you want to place the message in.

9. Under "Permissions" you don't need to select anything (that leaves it open to the public after it's published). (This function is like , but is really meant for edting functions.)

10. Click on "enable rich text" under the "body" box. (Or, if you like, you can post the message in HTML code and skip this step, then select "Full HTML" in Step 13.)

11. Cut-and-paste the review (without the title) from your word processor into the "body" box.

12. You may need to manually re-add italics or other special formatting at this point.

13. Check "filtered html" under "Input Format." (Or you can use "Full HTML" if you pasted code in from your Web editor.)

14. Don't worry about log message, weight, or subscribe. If you subscribe to the post, you'll receive email notification if someone posts a comment.

15. Click on "Preview." On this next screen, you'll see what the page will look like when displayed. You can make changes to anything (such as content in the body box) at this stage.

16. When you're ready to submit it, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Submit." The review will be placed at the site in unpublished format, meaning that only those with editing privileges can find it (from the administer/content menu).

You will see your message as it appears to users. It will also have stable URL now that can be shared (in email announcements, for example).


Happenings at KB Journal include postings about current or future events, calls for papers, and other announcements. Readers are invited to submit notices to the Editor, David Blakesley.

Obituary for Edward C. Appel

From Clarke Rountree:

Ed Appel in 2002I’m sad to report the death of my old friend and a wonderful scholar Ed Appel, at the ripe old age of 86. I was in contact with Ed about a panel for the upcoming 11th Triennial Kenneth Burke Conference two days before he passed away on Tuesday, January 29, 2020 at his home. He never stopped working and was a frequent emailer and blogger with his friends and colleagues.

[The photograph of Ed was taken in 2002 at the KB Conference in New Orleans.]

Edward C. Appel taught for years at Lock Haven University and other Pennsylvania universities after 34 years as a high school teacher. He earned his M.A. in Communication from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. in communication from Temple University.

Ed was best known as an encyclopedic scholar of Kenneth Burke’s rhetorical theory and a rhetorical critic who focused on conservative political discourse. He’s the best source for understanding Burke’s conceptions of the genres of comedy, tragedy, melodrama, and burlesque. He also added importantly to the question of when we are justified in expressing “warrantable outrage” (e.g., against Trump, as he was), despite Burke’s claim that seeing others as fools is the better route. (Herb Simons set the terms for that discussion, which Ed joined.)

Ed was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Kenneth Burke Society in 2017. He gave away his excellent primer on Burke, Language, Life, Literature, Rhetoric and Composition as Dramatic Action to all who wanted to learn more about his favorite scholar, though he was always adding addendums to the first edition, telling those of us her drew from the book to keep stuffing in extra pages. (These are all collected in the last edition.)

Ed was born in Philadelphia to the late James R. and Mabel Darlin Appel. He was married to Ruth Anne Yuninger Appel for 63 years. He is survived by her, three children, and a grandchild.

Ed was an Associate Editor for the Quarterly Journal of Speech and an Associate Editor and Conversation Editor for KB Journal, as well as reviewer for many other journals, conferences, and many of my Burke-related publications. When I co-edited KB Journal, he was my go-to, quick-turnaround, thoughtful reviewer.

I have greeted Ed at every Triennial Conference since 1990. This one is going to feel strange. He will be missed.

[Read Ed's obituary in his local newspaper: https://lancasteronline.com/obituaries/dr-edward-c-appel/article_62c9faf0-2d13-5426-90dc-2735c1f471e1.html]

Obituary for Dr. James W. Chesebro

David McMahan

It is with tremendous sadness that I report the passing of Dr. James W. Chesebro (Ph.D., University of Minnesota), Past President of the National Communication Association (NCA). He is survived by his loving husband, Donald G. Bonsall, with whom he had shared his life since 1981.

With Jim’s passing, the discipline of communication has lost one of its giants. He dedicated himself to the promotion and development of the discipline through his scholarship, through his extraordinary record of service, and through the countless number of students and colleagues who continue to be influenced by his exceptional teaching and guidance.

Among numerous additional awards for scholarship, service, and teaching, Jim was the recipient of the National Communication Association Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, the Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award, the Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award, the Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, the Wallace A. Bacon Lifetime Teaching Excellence Award, the Everett Lee Hunt Award, the Eastern Communication Association Distinguished Research Fellows Award, the Eastern Communication Association Distinguished Teaching Fellows Award, the Kenneth Burke Society Distinguished Service Award, the Kenneth Burke Society Lifetime Achievement Award, the Speech Communication Association of Puerto Rico Distinguished Service Award, and the Speech Communication Association of Puerto Rico Outstanding Career in Research Award.

The James W. Chesebro Award for Scholarly Distinction in Sexuality Research is presented in his honor by the Central States Communication Association to scholars who have made significant contributions to the study of gender, sexuality, and sexual identity.

With particular focus given to dramatism and to the study of media as symbolic and cognitive systems, Jim’s scholarship spanned the discipline of communication, resulting in significant contributions to multiple areas of study and sometimes actually forging new areas of study. His numerous books include Gayspeak (1981), Computer-Mediated Communication (1989), Methods of Rhetorical Criticism (1990), Extensions of the Burkeian System (1993), Analyzing Media (1996), Communicating Power and Gender (2011), Internet Communication (2014), and Introduction to Communication Criticism (2017), in addition to other titles. He published well over 100 journal articles and book chapters. And, he took part in over 350 convention panels, including the presentation of nearly 200 convention papers. His sustained and extensive level of scholarship places him as one of the most active scholars in the history of the discipline.

The revolutionary and visionary spirit of his scholarship was also evident in his prolific service and leadership. Dedicated to enhancing the discipline of communication and expanding the scope of its influence, he held over 200 service roles throughout his career. He served as President of the National Communication Association in 1996 and served on the Executive Committee and Legislative Assembly over a sixteen-year period of time. He chaired the Publications Council from 1986 through 1988 and was Director of Education Services for NCA from 1989 through 1992. He had earlier served as President of the Eastern Communication Association and had co-founded the Speech Communication Association of Puerto Rico. He also served as editor of Communication Quarterly, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and Review of Communication at various points throughout his career.

Among his countless service contributions, Jim’s perhaps most significant and personally important were changing the name of the national association from the Speech Communication Association to the National Communication Association and his commitment to cultural diversity and inclusion.

Maintaining that the association’s name should encompass the intellectual diversity of its members and properly promote public understanding of the association, Jim wrote a President’s column in the May 1996 issue of Spectra entitled “SCA Should Change its Name—But to What?” In what he later admitted was perhaps not the most subtle move, the page facing his column included a piece reporting focus group and survey results indicating that 78% of members favored a name change, 14% opposed a name change, and 8% percent were undecided. His November 1996 Spectra column argued for the change to the National Communication Association.

Jim moved the discipline on more than one occasion, and his commitment to cultural diversity and inclusion was central to his vision for the discipline. He was driven to make the discipline one that was open to all voices. At all levels and in all his capacities, he worked tirelessly to make his vision of the discipline a reality. He frequently encountered opposition, but a true leader, he never gave up and never compromised fighting for what was right.

Isolating even a few instances or initiatives would not do justice to all that Jim achieved, but his words might convey the core of his convictions. In his 1996 Presidential Address, employing the power and essence of the NCA caucuses as his point of departure, he noted how multiculturalism affects NCA and all of its members. He focused specifically on

"how multiculturalism affects each of us as individual scholars within the discipline of communication, how multiculturalism affects our sense of organization and the sense of unity and division that goes with such organizational schemes, how multiculturalism affects the policies and actions of NCA, and finally how multiculturalism affects the definition of NCA as a moral, ethical, and political professional education association"

He ended by his address by stating:

"In all, our dialogue needs to encourage and to respect the voices of all NCA members, not in spite of their cultural orientation, but because of their cultural identities. The mix of diverse cultures in NCA, the respect NCA members show for these diverse cultures, and the rich scholarship and research that NCA sponsors in understanding these culture-based communication systems, all can constitute the foundation for the unity that makes NCA a community of scholars."

Reflecting on his time as President in a 2006 piece published in the Review of Communication, he later noted:

"I continue to believe—more strongly than ever—that the strength, creativity, and development of the National Communication Association will, must, and should be shaped by its commitment to multiculturalism and diversity in its governing philosophies, theories, methods, applications, and performances. … In my view, multiculturalism and diversity are no longer options when we deal with communication; multiculturalism and diversity are now essential perspectives if we are to account for what happens during virtually all communicative processes and outcomes."

In so many ways, Jim was a trailblazer and a giant on whose shoulders we stand as we strive to continue and expand upon his vision for the discipline.

For all that Jim gave to the discipline through his scholarship and service, his work as an educator was especially meaningful. First and foremost, he was a teacher. He was a teacher whose influence in the lives and careers of his students is immeasurable and continues to this day.

Jim impacted countless students through his teaching and guidance. Having taught courses at a number of institutions, including Ball State University, Indiana State University, North Dakota State University, George Mason University, Queens College of the City University of New York, University of Puerto Rico, Temple University, University of Minnesota, and Concordia College, he taught a total of 61 different courses, including 20 graduate courses and 41 undergraduate courses. Of these courses, he taught approximately 200 different sections. Perhaps most remarkable, as with his scholarship, these courses spanned the entire discipline of communication.

Just prior to his retirement from the classroom, his most recent courses had been “Foundations of Digital Storytelling” and “Digital Message Analysis and Design.” He was once again forging a new path for the discipline of communication like he had done so often in the past. At a time when most people were just beginning to recognize the term, Jim had already established one of the nation’s first master’s programs in Digital Storytelling.

Jim’s dedication to teaching and academic success and the excitement with which he approached learning were inspirational to each student who entered his classroom. He demonstrated genuine respect for all of his students and viewed them as scholars and colleagues. He wanted his students to not only develop an understanding of communication but also contribute to its advancement through their own scholarship, service, and teaching. Through his own example, he taught them how to be scholars, and above all else, being a scholar meant working to make the discipline better.

Words cannot adequately convey the importance and scope of Jim’s influence on the discipline of communication and in the lives of so many people both directly and indirectly. Quite simply, his groundbreaking scholarship, visionary leadership, and passion for teaching and learning did make the discipline better. Ultimately, James W. Chesebro made the world better.

BurkeShop Mini-Conference at CCCC 2016

The Kenneth Burke Society will host a "BurkeShop" Mini-Conference during a Special Interest Group meeting during the upcoming Conference on College Composition and Communication Convention on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in Houston, Texas.

Time and Place: Thursday, April 7 at 6:30-7:20 PM, Hilton Room 336B, Level Three, Hilton of the Americas, Houston, TX. All presenters and attendees must register for the CCCC Convention (instructions located here: http://www.ncte.org/cccc/conv/registration).

Program of Presentations

Ethan Sproat, "BurkeShopping Burke"

Valerie A. Vancza, "Visiting the Parlor: Writing Students & Instructors Meet Burke"

Jacob Robertson, “Kenneth Burke’s Rhetoric of Role.”

Danica Blauer, “Kendrick Lamar's Agent-Act-Scene”

Joshua Halsey, "Body/Language: Kenneth Burke, Disability, and the Rhetoric of Embodiment"

Shea Haskell, “Constructing Ethos: Burke, Shaugnessy, and the Codification of Knowledge"

CFP for “Burke-Shop” Mini-Conference at CCCC (deadline January 31, 2016)

Please share this CFP with your students (graduate and undergraduate), and please consider applying yourself if you are not yet in a tenure-track position. Last year's KB mini-conference at CCCC was incredibly productive.


The Kenneth Burke Society will host a "Burke Shop" mini-conference during a Special Interest Group meeting during the upcoming Conference on College Composition and Communication Convention on April 7, 2016 in Houston, Texas (http://goo.gl/4n2XXg).

We invite proposals for 4-minute presentations, which identify uncharted or otherwise innovative areas of Kenneth Burke scholarship and interest. We especially encourage submissions from prospective graduate students, MA/PhD students, doctoral candidates, post-docs, lecturers, and other researchers not yet in a tenure-track position. Multidisciplinary and creative projects are welcome.

These 4-minute presentations will receive focused feedback from fellow attendees and will be listed on a mini-conference program, which will appear in the "Happenings" section of the KB Journal website (but will not appear on the CCCC program). Additionally, presenters will be encouraged to submit revised mini-projects for consideration in the online KB Journal (which has no minimum word-count requirement for submissions).

Time and Place: Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, Texas. All presenters and attendees must register for the CCCC Convention (http://www.ncte.org/cccc/conv/registration) and for KBS membership (http://www.kbjournal.org/join_kbs).

Submission Guidelines: Email submissions to Ethan.Sproat@uvu.edu no later than SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016. In your submission email, include your name, current institution affiliation, academic status (pre-grad school, MA/PhD student/post-doc, lecturer, etc.), preferred email address, a proposed title for your presentation or project, and a 250-word abstract (i.e. about the size of this CFP). Abstracts will be blindly reviewed by a small handful of KBS members. Everyone who emails a proposal by the deadline will be notified regarding acceptance by February 28, 2016.

CFP: KBJ Special Issue (deadline Jan. 1, 2016)

KBJ: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society invites submissions for a special issue dedicated to papers/projects/multimedia presentations developed from the 9th Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society (KBS 2014).

Chaired by Paul Lynch and Nathaniel Rivers and hosted by Saint Louis University, KBS 2014 provided a venue for scholarship that “focused on attitudes toward technology and technology’s own attitude.” Burke scholars responded to a theme in which “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.” This special issue of KBJ will feature work originally presented at conference and revised for publication.

About the Guest Editor
Jodie Nicotra, Associate Professor of English at the University of Idaho, presented the keynote address “The Uses of Compulsion: Addressing Burke’s Technological Psychosis” at KBS 2014. A native of Pittsburgh, Nicotra earned a doctorate in rhetoric and composition from Penn State in 2005. Most recently, she has written a textbook for first-year composition called “Becoming Rhetorical: A Toolbox for Analyzing and Creating Written, Visual, and Multimodal Compositions” (Cengage, 2017); her newest project is a book titled “The Microbial Imaginary: Rhetorics of Tiny Life.” She recently directed the Composition Program and teaches courses in composition and rhetorical theory.

Submission Guidelines
All scholarly approaches—historical, textual, empirical, pedagogical, performative—are welcome and encouraged. Each essay, hypertext, or other project submitted for possible publication will be anonymously reviewed and should be submitted through KB Journal's submission interface at http://kbjournal.org/submissions.

Allowable formats include Word, RTF, or HTML. All article submissions should conform to the most recent style guide of the Modern Language Association (MLA, currently the 3rd edition of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publications), which covers all matters related to manuscript preparation not covered by KB Journal guidelines. Authors must use in-text citations and provide a reference or Works Cited page at the end of the essay. Authors may also include explanatory endnotes, though such notes should be kept to a minimum and should not be automatically embedded in the text using Word's note function (they will need to be extracted). Hypertext or other projects requiring multiple files may be submitted as a Zip file.

Each submission should also include the author's or authors’ name(s), title, professional affiliation, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number. No author-identifying information should appear in the corpus of the text itself. Each submission should include a fifty-word abstract. Works submitted for review should not have appeared in any other published form. If any part of the submission has been presented at a colloquy, conference, or convention, the date and form of that presentation should be indicated in the submission notes. It is expected that such submissions will be substantially revised to make them suitable for publication in the journal

Full projects for publication consideration are due no later than January 1st, 2016. Reviews will be completed by March 1st, 2016. Publication is projected May 1st, 2016.

Crable's Article Wins RSA prize

Bryan Crable's "Distance as Ultimate Motive: A Dialectical Interpretation of A Rhetoric of Motives" won the 2009 Rhetoric Society of America's Charles Kneupper Award, given annually to recognize the article published in that year's volume of Rhetoric Society Quarterly that the editorial board and the editor consider the most significant contribution to scholarship in rhetoric. A deeply insightful new reading of the Rhetoric, the article appears in the summer 2009, volume 39.3 issue of the journal, pp. 213-239.

Dialogues: NEW Michael Burke exhibit July 7-30

A special exhibit of Michael Burke's aluminum books and sculpture, "Studies in Sequence," is on display until May 19, 2007 at Andre Zarre Gallery, 529 W 20th St. New York, NY. The aluminum books might be of particular interest to Burke scholars.

Image icon OpusIII.jpg35.95 KB

Rountree's Motives book wins big

Congratulations to the President-elect of the Kenneth Burke Society, Clarke Rountree, whose book Judging the Supreme Court: Construction of Motives in Bush V. Gore has just won the Kohrs-Campbell prize in Rhetorical Criticism. It is perhaps the most rigorous and extended pentadic analysis ever attempted. Theresa Enos of Rhetoric Review said that "it is like reading an eloquent drama complete with script notes."

The $10,000 Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism at Michigan State University is one of the largest awards ever established to sustain and advance the study of rhetoric in American higher education. This distinctive award offers this biennial prize for a book-length manuscript through the Michigan State University Press, which is privileged to offer the endowed prize through its award-winning Rhetoric & Public Affairs Series.

According to the MSU Press website, Judging the Supreme Court "questions the motives of Supreme Court justices in a landmark case: The Supreme Court's intervention in the presidential election of 2000, and its subsequent decision in favor of George W. Bush, elicited immediate, heated, and widespread debate. Critics argued that the justices used weak legal arguments to overturn the Florida Supreme Court's ruling, ending a ballot recount and awarding the presidency to Bush. More fundamentally, they questioned the motives of conservative judges who arrived at a decision in favor of the candidate who reflected their political leanings.

Judging the Supreme Court examines this controversial case and the extensive attention it has received. To fully understand the case, Clarke Rountree argues, we must understand 'judicial motives.' These are comprised of more than each judge's personal opinions. Judges' motives, which Rountree calls 'rhetorical performances,' are as influential and publicly discussed as their decisions themselves. Before they are dissected in the media, judges' motives are carefully crafted by the decision- makers themselves, their critics, and their defenders. Justices consider not only the motives of the government, of military officials, of criminals, of public speakers, and of others, they also consider, construct, construe, spin, and deconstruct the motives of dissenters (whom they want to show are 'misguided'), earlier courts, lower courts, and, especially, themselves.

Every judicial opinion is essentially a portrait of motives that says, 'Here's what we did and here's why we did it.' Well-constructed judicial motives reinforce the idea that we live under 'the rule of law,' while motives articulated less successfully raise questions about the legitimacy not just of individual judicial decisions but also of our political system and its foundation on an impartial judiciary. In Bush v. Gore, Rountree concludes, the judges of the majority opinion were not motivated by judicial concerns about law and justice, but rather by their own political and personal motives."

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The Space Between: Kenneth Burke's Scene offered for free

The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 announces its special issue on Kenneth Burke’s Scene and offers complimentary copies on a first come, first served basis. The journal is guest edited by David Tietge and includes articles on Kenneth Burke and WWI battlefield art (Marguerite Helmers), William Carlos Williams (Stephen Llano), Allen Tate (Elizabeth Weiser), and the New Deal (Dries Vrijders), along with numerous book reviews of new period-focused works. Burkeans wanting a complimentary copy can email the request to Tietge at dtietge@monmouth.edu.

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"Micro-Burkes" Mini-Conference at CCCC

The Kenneth Burke Society will host a "Micro-Burkes" Mini-Conference during a Special Interest Group meeting during the upcoming Conference on College Composition and Communication Convention on March 19, 2015 in Tampa, Florida.

Time and Place: Thursday, March 19 at 6:30-7:20 PM, Marriott Grand Ballroom J (Level Two), Tampa Florida Marriott Waterside Hotel. All presenters and attendees must register for the CCCC Convention (instructions located here: https://secure.ncte.org/store/register.aspx).

Program of Presentations

"Micro-Burkes: Introduction"
Ethan Sproat, Utah Valley University

"Burke on Eloquence"
Gretchen L. Dietz, Miami University, Ohio

"Identifying a Rhetorical 'Space' in Disability Studies for Kenneth Burke"
Rochelle Gregory, North Central Texas College

"The Importance of Kenneth Burke’s Identification within the Basic Writing Classroom"
Marc Azard, Texas Woman's University

"Burke, Rorty, and Danisch"
Kathy Elrick, Clemson University

2019 ECA Call for Papers for the KB Interest Group

Dear Kenneth Burke Society Members:

I would like to share with you the call for papers for the KB interest group for the 110th Eastern Communication Association Annual Conference (April 10-14, 2019 in Providence, RI). You can reach it from this direct link: https://goo.gl/mkLRyU

The deadline will be October 15, 2018 by 11:55p.m. Please make sure that you share it with your colleagues and other interested individuals. According to latest record that I have we had 31 people who registered as a KBIG members, unfortunately this is a decrease two year in a row – We had 47 and 35 members respectively in 2016 and 2017. I will post the call and promote it as much as can do the CRTNet and Kenneth Burke Society website, as much as I can. However, I believe, we as members can ourselves do some direct and personal promotion to raise the number back to 2016 level.

Our minutes from the past conventions and some additional information about the KBIG is available also on the ECA website. You can see it here: https://goo.gl/mFE5eb. Please scroll down to find our interest group and click on it to see the documents and information.
Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions or concerns.

All the best,

Cem Zeytinoglu, Ph.D

ECA Kenneth Burke Interest Group Call for Papers

Kenneth Burke Interest Group
The Kenneth Burke Interest Group invites submissions for the 110th Eastern Communication Association Annual Conference (April 10-14, 2019 in Providence, RI). While all papers and panel proposals shall be considered, those that address the conference theme will be particularly welcome. Submissions may include competitive papers or panels.

The use of AV equipment is not recommended unless it is necessary for the presentation of the content.

ECA will now be using Attendee Interactive to manage submissions and reviews. This is the same system used by the National Communication Association, so you may be familiar with it. The deadline for submissions remains the same, October 15, 2018 at 11:59 PM. You will be prompted to create a new User ID and Password to submit your work. An email will be sent to the membership in the next couple of months to announce when Attendee Interactive will be open for submission. Additional information, including a link to the submission page, will be sent to ECA members on the day the submission website opens.
The Interest Group invites two types of submission and the specific requirements for each type follows.

Submission Guidelines for Completed Papers

Papers should be written in accordance with the University of Chicago Manual of Style or APA 6th edition (whichever is appropriate). The following fields will be completed for individual submissions:

  • Title
  • Description (aka. Abstract) including the Professional Responsibility Statement.
  • Student Paper
  • Debut Submission
  • Special requests
  • Audio Visual Form
  • Upload fin

al paper or additional documents (file types accepted: Word or PDF).

Submission Guidelines for Panel/Program Proposals

Please submit panel/program proposals is one MS Word file (.doc or .docx). Proposals should be written according to the University of Chicago Manual of Style or APA 6th edition (whichever is appropriate). Include the following items in all panel/program submissions:

  • Thematic Title
  • Participants (Names & Affiliations) including chair and respondent.
  • Estimated Attendance
  • Special requests
  • Rationale
  • Audio Visual Form
  • Upload supporting documents that include titles and abstract for each paper or presentation, program copy (no more than a 75-word description) as it should appear in the final program, and Statement of Professionalism (see below).

Include the following statement with submissions.
In submitting the attached paper/panel, I/We recognize that this submission is considered a professional responsibility. I/We agree to present this paper/panel if it is accepted and programmed. I/We further recognize that all who attend and present at ECA’s annual meeting must register and pay required fees.

Please notice that you can also request special scheduling due to religious or cultural needs should submitting papers, panel proposals, etc. I will then forward the special request to the primary program planner, Katherine S. Thweatt.

CFP: Rhetoric as Equipment for Living. Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education

Ghent University
22nd to 25th May 2013
Ghent, Belgium

Enquiries: kbconference@ugent.be
Web address: http://www.cultureeducation.ugent.be/kennethburke
Extended deadline (!) for proposal submissions: February 1st 2013

Confirmed keynote speakers

Barry Brummett (University of Texas at Austin - USA)
Steven Mailloux (Loyola Marymount University, Irvine - USA)
Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University - UK)


The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed a number of different but related turns in the humanities and social sciences: linguistic, cultural, anthropological/ ethnographic, interpretive, semiotic, narrative... All these turns recognise the importance of signs and symbols in our interpretations of reality and more specifically the cultural construction of meaning through both language and narrative. The aim of this conference is to introduce rhetoric as a major term for synthesizing all the above-mentioned turns by exploring how rhetoric can make us self-aware about language and culture. We will specifically focus on ‘new rhetoric’, a body of work that sets rhetoric free from its confinement within the traditional fields of education, politics and literature, not by abandoning these fields but by refiguring them.

Guiding source of inspiration in all this will be the international legacy of Kenneth Burke, one of the founders of this new rhetoric tradition together with scholars such as Wayne Booth, Richard McKeon, Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. As a rhetorician and literary critic interested in how we use symbols, Burke described the human being as the symbol-making, symbol-using and symbol-misusing animal. He argued that our interpretations, perceptions, judgements and attitudes are all influenced and ‘deflected’ by the symbols that we make, use and misuse, and that we are at the same time used by these symbols. This implies that we can approach the world either symbol-wise or symbol-foolish. This conference wants to explore how rhetorical concepts can be used as tools – equipment – to make students, teachers, scholars and citizens symbol-wise: to understand the way linguistic, cultural, narrative… symbols work, and to develop critical engagement with, as well as on behalf of, those symbols. It furthermore wants to explore if and how rhetoric can still be relevant in a world that is becoming ever more complex and paradoxical by political, economic and cultural differences on a global scale.

In what will be the first major conference devoted to Kenneth Burke outside the United States, we aspire to introduce the ideas of this seminal thinker to disciplines that might benefit from them. We therefore welcome both paper abstracts as panel proposals that broadly explore the topic of Rhetoric as Equipment for Living from the perspective of education, citizenship, literature, literacy, technology, games, (new) media… and from the perspective of disciplines such as pedagogy, social work, psychology, cultural studies, management and communication. The committee especially welcomes contributions that examine the possible use of rhetoric for education or educators, as well as contributions that explore affinities between Burke and European scholars or scholarship, or that apply new rhetoric to political, economic or social issues.

Kenneth Burke Society

The conference is organized in close cooperation with the Kenneth Burke Society who will delegate a number of prominent US Burke scholars and rhetoricians: David Blakesley (Clemson University); Michael Feehan (Arkansas Legislative Council); Ann George (Texas Christian University); Mark Huglen (University of Minnesota); Clarke Rountree (University of Alabama in Huntsville); Herbert W. Simons (Temple University); Richard Thames (Duquesne University); Elizabeth Weiser (The Ohio State University); Robert Wess (Oregon State University); David Cratis Williams (Florida Atlantic University); James P. Zappen (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). From the International Rhetoric Culture Project participation is confirmed by Ivo Strecker (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz).

Conference dates: May 22-25th 2013
Deadline for submissions - February 1st 2013
Decision about submissions: by February 15th 2013
Registration starts: February 15th 2013

Conference Call: Rhetoric in Europe

From the attached CFP:

"Since antiquity, rhetoric has reigned as one of the great European traditions in education. Currently, as the importance of media of all kind is growing in daily communication, rhetoric is prevailing as an educational topic. The importance of intercultural communication is growing internationally as well as domestically, economically, and politically. Often political changes (from war, refugees, work migration, economical pressure, etc.) impact the crisis that the education system aggravates, (especially in the primary and secondary area), and this not since PISA. The worlds of work, along with public and everyday life, are altered since political (1989/1990), cultural (1968 and again 1989/90), and economical changes are not initiated, but accelerated by the globalization. Even this raw draft shows that schools, universities and adult education have important tasks and responsibilities in the formation of qualified teachers, university professors, and adult educators as well as in the research that is the basis for these formations. Because communication is the central category of the intercultural, medial, interpersonal problem, rhetoric is needed urgently in the mediation of “communication competence”, since media rhetoric, economical rhetoric, intercultural rhetoric, political rhetoric, and forensic rhetoric can advance the sectoral rhetorics at will."

Papers due January 15, 2013.

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Eleanor Leacock Burke--interesting article

A good look at the continuing contribution to anthropological theory of KB's daughter Eleanor (Happy) recently appeared in Race, Gender, and Class. See citation and abstract below:

Catherine Hodge McCold. “Eleanor Burke Leacock and Intersectionality: Materialism, Dialectics, and Transformation.” Race, Gender & Class 15.1-2 (2008): 24-41.

Anthropologist Eleanor Burke Leacock's Marxist dialectical materialism helped to create the core of intersectionality and still provides a methodology to help advance transformation. Her efforts contributed to two core aspects of contemporary intersectional approaches to capitalism: 1) the acceptance of the intersectionality of oppression in all its forms-race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., and 2) the general rejection of biological determinism as it relates to race, gender, and class. Using taped interviews by the author and other materials, this article examines Leacock's influence on intersectionality in five areas: 1) women's status in egalitarian societies, 2) race, class, and gender in schools, 3) the critique of the "culture of poverty" approach, 4) women, development, and work, 5) colonialism, race, class, and gender in Samoa. It also examines some contemporary work building on Leacock's model, which gives class a primary position, to illustrate how her approach continues to engage on-going challenges. Within the oppressive context of Cold War America, Leacock tested and found support for the Marxist hypothesis that humans once lived in a state in which men and women were equal partners. She explored and refuted biological determinist notions that 1) in all societies women have been subordinate to men (i.e., as a result of sexual biology), and she also refuted the idea that 2) basic features of capitalism (such as competition and private ownership of property) are found in all societies and individuals (i.e., are related to human "nature"). Since so many of the contemporary forms of oppression-attacks on immigrants, the rise of religious "fundamentalism," the increasing use of rape and other torture as weapons of war, the coloring of prison populations, rising attacks on sexuality, as examples-are resurrecting the ideology of biological determinism and are class assaults with new faces, it is ever more urgent to use the tools Leacock helped to develop.

Michael Burke, mystery writer

Swan Dive by Michael Burke

Michael Burke has a debut mystery novel entitled Swan Dive coming out September '09. It's been labeled a "Buzz" book at the BookExpo America convention. Here's the blurb--happy reading!

Swan Dive focuses on "Blue" Heron, a down-and-out detective with a roaming eye who gets much too involved in a complex business deal, a deal which results in embezzlement, swindling, sexual misconduct, and murder. Along the way, Blue discovers a great deal about himself while trying to understand the subterfuge. For a smart-guy detective, he is extremely naïve and innocent. You might even say he's rather stupid. One of his problems is that he often gets too entranced with whatever woman is nearest to be able to concentrate on the job he's being paid to do. That makes for trouble.

This is a first novel by Michael Burke, best known as a sculptor and graphic artist. The son of philosopher Kenneth Burke, he has shown here a remarkable ability to connect contemporary life with ancient mythology. The result is sexy, thought-provoking, insightful, and a damned good read. Burke lives and works in New York City, and he is already well along on the next "Blue" Heron novel, another myth-based
mystery with intrigue, lust, and more than one good laugh.

New Books and Articles, 2009

Below is a list of the new books and articles on Kenneth Burke or applying Burkean theories that the editors were able to glean from the presses in 2009. This is the most current listing of Burke work available. Articles listed here are in addition to those printed in the KB Journal. Please send other relevant publication information to Elizabeth Weiser, weiser.23@osu.edu


Ahmed, Rukhsana. "Interface of Political Opportunism and Islamic Extremism in Bangladesh: Rhetorical Identification in Government Response." Communication Studies 60.1 (Jan. 2009): 82-96.

Cooper, Troy B. "Appropriating Visual Form: The iPod “Silhouette” Campaign as Representative Form." Visual Communication Quarterly 16.2 (Apr. 2009): 90-107.

Crable, Bryan. "Distance as Ultimate Motive: A Dialectical Interpretation of A Rhetoric of Motives." RSQ: Rhetoric Society Quarterly 39.3 (2009): 213-239.

Fine, Marlene G. "Women Leaders' Discursive Constructions of Leadership." Women's Studies in Communication 32.2 (Spring2009 2009): 180-202.

Hawhee, Debra. "Kenneth Burke and American Studies: A Response to Giorgio Mariani." American Literary History 21.1 (n.d.): 123-127.

McClure, Kevin. "Resurrecting the Narrative Paradigm: Identification and the Case of Young Earth Creationism." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 39.2 (n.d.): 189-211.

Waisanen, Don J. "A Citizen's Guides to Democracy Inaction: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Comic Rhetorical Criticism." Southern Communication Journal 74.2 (Mar. 2009): 119-140.

Weiser, M. Elizabeth. “‘As Usual I Fell on the Bias’: Kenneth Burke's Situated Dialectic.” Philosophy & Rhetoric 42.2 (May 2009): 134-153.

Zappen, James P. "Kenneth Burke on Dialectical-Rhetorical Transcendence." Philosophy & Rhetoric 42.3 (Aug. 2009): 279-301.

New Books and Articles--2008--UPDATED

Below is a list of the new books and articles on Kenneth Burke or applying Burkean theories that the editors were able to glean from the presses in 2008. This is the most current listing of Burke work available. Articles listed here are in addition to those printed in the KB Journal. Please send other relevant publication information to Elizabeth Weiser, weiser.23@osu.edu


Weiser, M. Elizabeth. Burke, War, Words: Rhetoricizing Dramatism. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2008.


Ahmed, Rukhsana. "Interface of Political Opportunism and Islamic Extremism in Bangladesh: Rhetorical Identification in Government Response." Communication Studies 60.1 (2008): 82-96.

Anderson, Dana. "Burke Is Dead: Long Live Burke!" College Composition and Communication 60.2: W2-w10.

Conrad, Charles, and Ryan Malphurs. "Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet?" Management Communication Quarterly 22.1 (2008): 123-146.

Davis, Diane. "Identification: Burke and Freud on Who You Are." Rhetoric Society Quarterly (RSQ) 38.2 (2008): 123-147.

DePalma, Michael-John, Jeffrey M. Ringer, and Jim Webber. "Re)Charting the (Dis)Courses of Faith and Politics, or Rhetoric and Democracy in the Burkean Barnyard." Rhetoric Society Quarterly (RSQ) 38.3 (2008): 311-334.

Jack, Jordynn. "Kenneth Burke's Constabulary Rhetoric: Sociorhetorical Critique in Attitudes toward History." Rhetoric Society Quarterly (RSQ) 38.1 (2008): 66-81.

Hawhee, Debra. "The Squirm." College Composition and Communication 60.2: W10-w19.

Holdstein, Deborah H. "Rethinking Kenneth Burke's 'Questions and Answers about the Pentad'." College Composition and Communication 60.2: W1-w29.

Kaylor, Brian T. "A Burkean Poetic Frames Analysis of the 2004 Presidential Ads." Communication Quarterly 56.2 (2008): 168-183.

Olson, Christa. "Burke's Attitude Problem." College Composition and Communication 60.2: W19-w29.

Rowe, Jane Bloodworth. "Culture, Progress and the Media: The Shad as Synecdoche in Environmental News Coverage." Environmental Communication 2.3 (2008): 362-378.

Sabre, J. M.; Hamburger, S. “A case for item-level indexing: the Kenneth Burke papers at the Pennsylvania State University.” Journal of Archival Organization 6.1-2 (2008): 24-46.

Stob, Paul. "Terministic Screens, Social Constructionism, and the Language of Experience: Kenneth Burke's Utilization of William James.” Philosophy & Rhetoric 41.2 (May 2008): 130-152.

Veach, Grace L. "What the Spirit Know: Charles Williams and Kenneth Burke." Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature 26.3-4 (2008): 117-128.

Wible, Scott. "Professor Burke's 'Bennington Project.'" Rhetoric Society Quarterly (RSQ) 38.3: 259-282.

Recent Dissertations 2007-2009

There are 19 dissertations from 2007-09 listed in the DAI with a subject keyword including the name Kenneth Burke. Some of these are undoubtedly your students or colleagues, others are intriguing new paths; some will no doubt in a few years be publishing the next book to increase the corpus of Burke studies.

Atchison, Beth. Assistive technology as an accommodation on accountability assessments: An analysis of attitudes and knowledge of special education professionals. Diss. Kansas State University, 2008.

Beasley, James. A prehistory of rhetoric and composition: New Rhetoric and neo-aristotelianism at the University of Chicago, 1947--1959. Diss. Purdue University, 2007.

Bonnstetter, Bradley. An analytical framework of parody and satire: Mel Brooks and his world. Diss. University of Minnesota, 2008.

Boone, George. A Burkean analysis of "World of Warcraft": Identity work in a virtual environment. Diss. Villanova University, 2008.

Carlson, Gregory. The cinema of Wes Anderson as rhetorical text: Implications for teaching rhetoric, film appreciation, and ethics in the film studies classroom. Diss. North Dakota State University, 2007.

Carson, Gary. Time bending: Temporal malleability and organizational response in crisis situations. Diss. University of South Florida, 2008.

Day, Stacy. The rhetoric of nostalgia: Reconstructions of landscape, community, and race in the United States' South. Diss. The University of Arizona, 2009.

Gretton, Linda. The rhetorical helix of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries: Strategies of transformation through definition, description, and ingratiation. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2007.

Hovden, Jan. Symbols and the construction of values: Kenneth Burke and (re)valuation. Diss. University of Kansas, 2008.

Iuli, Maria. The human is the limit. Modernity and the ideology of the human in late American Modernism: Kenneth Burke, Nathanael West, and Richard Wright. Diss. Indiana University, 2007.

Johnson, Kevin. The unconscious as a rhetorical factor: Toward a BurkeLacanian theory and method. Diss. The University of Texas at Austin, 2007.

King, Amy. Evangelical confessions: An ideological struggle over evangelical political identity. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009.

Lissner, Patricia. Chi-thinking: Chiasmus and cognition. Diss. University of Maryland, College Park, 2007.

McCarthy, Rebecca. Building cosmopolitical solidarity from the "Antigone": A return to the chorus. Diss. Florida Atlantic University, 2007.

Phillips, Moira. The rhetoric of equality: A Burkean analysis of Vriend. Diss. York University (Canada), 2007.

Plate, Daniel. Early readers of Kenneth Burke: Contradiction within community as a means to knowledge. Diss. Washington University in St. Louis, 2008.

Singer, Ross. Ethics of identification in the organizational production of the war on terror: The rhetoric of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Diss. Bowling Green State University, 2008.

Whitehead, Barbara. A rhetorical analysis of John Fowles's "Daniel Martin". Diss. Purdue University, 2007.

Zeytinoglu, Cem. Advertising as epideictic rhetoric and its implications for ethical communication. Diss. Duquesne University, 2007.

New Books and Articles, 2007

Below is a list of the new or upcoming books and recent articles on Kenneth Burke or applying Burkean theories that the editors have been able to glean from the presses.


George, Ann, and Jack Selzer. Kenneth Burke in the 1930s. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2007.

Lewis, Camille. Romancing the Difference: Kenneth Burke, Bob Jones University, and the Rhetoric of Religious Fundamentalism. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2007.

Rountree, Clarke. Judging the Supreme Court: Constructions of Motives in Bush v. Gore. Ann Arbor: Michigan State University Press, 2007.


Beim, Aaron, and Gary Alan Fine. "The Cultural Frameworks of Prejudice: Reputational Images and the Postwar Disjuncture of Jews and Communism." Sociological Quarterly 48.3 (2007): 373-97.

Responses to prominent reputations provide a framework for understanding the growth and decline of group prejudice. In the 1930s, the connection between American Jews and Communism was both an empirical and cognitive reality—Jews constituted a significant portion of the American Communist Party and many Americans stereotyped them as such. However, by mid-century, the perceptual linkage between Jew and Communist had largely vanished. We explain the change in public attitudes by treating prejudice as a cultural framework for collective memory. Building on Blumer (1958) and the empirical conclusions of other prominent sociologists of the period, we argue that group prejudice depends on a group's distinctiveness, its perceived moral imbalance, and the discursive utility of attacks. When components of this three-part frame weaken, prejudice dissipates. Specifically, we claim that the specificity of reputations serves as a concrete stand-in for more diffuse images of social groups. While group position is not only the result of the reputation of prominent figures, the public images of these figures help to shape prejudice and its decline. As an empirical case, we examine the cultural framework for interpreting the linkage of American Jews and Communism in the late 1940s and early 1950s through the reputations of Alger Hiss, Roy Cohn, and Adolf Hitler. Presented by reputational entrepreneurs, these images emphasize American Communists who were decidedly non-Jewish, underline the prominence of anti-Communist American Jews, and delegitimize public anti-Semitism.

Brook, Douglas A., and Cynthia L. King. "Civil Service Reform as National Security: The Homeland Security Act of 2002." Public Administration Review 67.3 (2007): 399-407.

The events of 9/11 have influenced policy making in public administration. The Homeland Security Act of 2002, which created the Department of Homeland Security, contained language that empowered the secretary of homeland security and the director of the Office of Personnel Management to establish a personnel management system outside the normal provisions of the federal civil service. Why did civil service reform succeed as part of this legislation when previous attempts at large-scale reform had failed? A case analysis of the enactment of civil service reform in the Homeland Security Act points to theories of policy emergence and certain models of presidential and congressional policy making. In this case, civil service reform became associated with national security instead of management reform. An assessment of the rhetorical arguments used to frame this policy image offers a powerful explanation for the adoption of the personnel management reforms in the Homeland Security Act. This case has implications for understanding how policy makers might approach future management reform agendas.

Carabas, Teodora. "’Tales Calculated to Drive You Mad’: The Debunking of Spies, Superheroes, and Cold War Rhetoric in Mad Magazine's ‘Spy Vs Spy’." The Journal of Popular Culture 40.1 (2007): 4-24.

DeGenaro, William. ‘The New Deal’: Burkean Identification and Working-Class Poetics.” Rhetoric Review 26.4 (2007): 385-404.

Holbrook, Peter. "What Happened to Burke? How a Lionized American Critic, for Whom Literature Was ‘Equipment for Living,’ Became Lost to Posterity." TLS July 13, 2007 2007: 11-12.

Ivie, Robert L., and Oscar Giner. "Hunting the Devil: Democracy's Rhetorical Impulse to War." Presidential Studies Quarterly 37.4 (2007): 580-98.

The rhetoric of evil, so prominently evident in contemporary presidential public address, articulates a primal motive for the war on terrorism by projecting democracy's shadow onto the external enemy. In this regard, the president's discourse is a manifestation rather than aberration of U.S. political culture, a reflection of the nation's troubled democratic identity. Upon close inspection, it reveals the presence of the mythos of a democratic demon contained within the republic, various ways in which the unconscious projection of this devil figure is rhetorically triggered, and the cultural significance of its lethal entailments. The diabolism of presidential war rhetoric, we suggest, functions as an inducement to evacuate the political content of democracy, leaving a largely empty but virulent signifier in its place, which weakens the nation by reproducing a culture of war.

Jeffrey, Stout. "The Spirit of Democracy and the Rhetoric of Excess." Journal of Religious Ethics 35.1 (2007): 3-21.

If militarism violates the ideals of liberty and justice in one way, and rapidly increasing social stratification violates them in another, then American democracy is in crisis. A culture of democratic accountability will survive only if citizens revive the concerns that animated the great reform movements of the past, from abolitionism to civil rights. It is crucial, when reasoning about practical matters, not only to admit how grave one's situation is, but also to resist despair. Therefore, the fate of democracy depends, to some significant degree, on how we choose to describe the crisis. Saying that we have already entered the new dark ages or a post-democratic era may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, because anyone who accepts this message is apt to give up on the hard work of organizing and contestation that is needed to hold political representatives accountable to the people. This paper asks how one might strike the right balance between accuracy and hope in describing the democracy's current troubles. After saying what I mean by democracy and what I think the current threats to it are, I respond to Romand Coles's criticisms of reservations I have expressed before about rhetorical excess in the works of Stanley Hauerwas, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Richard Rorty. This leads to a discussion of several points raised against me by Hauerwas. A digression offers some of my reasons for doubting that John Howard Yoder's biblical scholarship vindicates Hauerwas's version of pacifism. The paper concludes by arguing that Sheldon Wolin's work on the evisceration of democracy, though admirably accurate in its treatment of the dangers posed by empire and capital, abandons the project of democratic accountability too quickly in favor of the romance of the fugitive.

Weiser, Elizabeth. “Burke and War: Rhetoricizing the Theory of Dramatism.” Rhetoric Review 26.3 (2007): 286-302.

While rhetoricians are familiar with Kenneth Burke’s epigram Ad bellum purificandum, little attention has been paid to why the “purification of war” would be Burke’s purpose in A Grammar of Motives. Yet the Grammar, with its theory of dramatism, was written throughout a conflict Burke called “the mightiest war the human race will ever experience.” This article recovers Burke’s wartime writings and explores the impact of World War II on his intellectual development. Arguing that Burke’s dialectical project was conceived as a specific, hortatory response to the absolutism of total war, it recontextualizes Burkean themes of ambiguity, transcendence, dialectic, and action as it “rhetoricizes” dramatism, placing the theory within its original cultural/material conversational parlor.

KB Journal Gets ISSN

KB Journal received it's "official" ISSN recently. The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is used to catalog journals and make it easier for archival services and other databases to keep track of what we're up to. Our number uniquely identifies us among all the world's periodicals. So, we have that going for us!

For the record, our number is

ISSN 1930-0026

You'll see this number in the footer on every page on the site.


Some Notes on "Ad bellum purificandum"

James P. Zappen, S. Michael Halloran, and Scott A. Wible

Potius Convincere Quam Conviciari / Ad Bellum Purificandum

On the flyleaf at the beginning of A Grammar of Motives, Kenneth Burke writes "Ad bellum purificandum"—"towards the purification of war."1 What does this phrase mean? Why does KB place it thus prominently at the beginning of A Grammar of Motives? What is the origin or source of this phrase?

We obtain a clue to help us to answer questions of this kind if we consult the phrase that appears next to the "Ad bellum" phrase above the window frame in a small room in KB's personal library. The two phrases, in KB's hand, appear thus:

potius convincere quam conviciari / ad bellum purificandum

Image of KB's library, showing both phrases.

Kenneth Burke Library Photo, July 2006, showing KB's handwritten phrases above the window frame. Click here or on the image to view a larger version.

Kenneth Burke Library Photo, July 2006, showing Libby's Welcome sign. Click here or on the image to view a larger version.

These same two phrases also appear on a Welcome sign, in KB's wife Libby's elegant script, hung to the right of the window frame. The first phrase may be translated literally "rather to prove or demonstrate than to revile or reproach" or, to retain the spirit and alliteration of the original, "better to prove than to reprove" or "better to debate than to berate."

On the face of it, "Ad bellum purificandum" seems to be a "perspective by incongruity"—a juxtaposition of seemingly incongruous words—such as T. S. Eliot's "decadent athleticism" or Thorsten Veblen's "trained incapacity."2 By juxtaposing the above two phrases, however, KB seems to be suggesting a way to explain (if not resolve) the incongruity. War, he suggests, may be purified through logic or dialectic, that is, through the exercise of the arts of proving or demonstrating our beliefs and actions to others rather than merely reviling or reproaching them.

We have reviewed the notes and underlining in the texts of Cicero and Quintilian in KB's library but have not been able to locate the source of either of these phrases.3 We note, however, that KB frequently uses Latin (and Greek, French, German, etc.) phrases in A Grammar of Motives and A Rhetoric of Motives.4 We also note that he wrote numerous Latin and Greek phrases on the wall to the left of the window frame. He also wrote copious notes—in Greek—in the margins of his Modern Library edition of The Phaedrus.5 KB loved words—in many different languages. Thus we suspect that the two phrases might be—indeed very likely are—his own.

We append some additional thoughts, from each of us, on the meaning and significance of these two phrases and invite further responses from others.

Ad Bellum Purificandum and Dialectical Symmetry

Toward the middle of the Grammar, KB suggests that the goal envisioned in his phrase "Ad Bellum Purificandum, or Towards the Purification of War," might be accomplished through the use of the "dialectical resources" by which "we shape the versions of human motives that have so greatly much to do with our individual actions and our relations to one another."6 Later in the same book, he adds that the phrase "towards the purification of war" is applicable to his project as a whole, the Grammar assisting toward this end "through encouraging tolerance by speculation," the Rhetoric by studying "the competitive use of the coöperative," helping us to "take delight in the Human Barnyard," on the one hand, and to "transcend it by appreciation," on the other.7

We can perhaps best grasp the full import of these remarks if we observe how the dialectical resources to which KB alludes unfold through the vast trajectory of these two great books. In a brief essay folded into his worn and battered Loeb edition of Aristotle's Rhetoric, KB observes that we cannot get to identification by way of Aristotle, but "we must look rather to the Platonist line for insights into the ways whereby dialectical symmetry itself acts as a kind of rhetorical persuasion, particularly when the dialectical form is used to depict a pyramidal social structure in which people think of themselves as participants."8 This dialectical (and also rhetorical) symmetry is explored at length in the last long section of the Rhetoric, titled simply "Order." As illustrated by the Platonic dialogues, this order or symmetry is a dialectical transcendence of the disparate ideologies of "competing rhetorical partisans" through a set of generalizations that lead to an ideal end, captured in myth as "purely intellectual abstractions."9 For KB, this symmetry—both dialectical and rhetorical—is the "ultimate identification" or "universal order" by which "all classes of beings are hierarchally arranged in a chain or ladder or pyramid of mounting worth," each striving "towards a perfection of its kind."10

This vision of a continual striving toward perfection conveys a hint of the deep irony in the phrase "Ad bellum purificandum"—the hope, on the one hand, of an end to war achieved through an order or symmetry that encompasses competing points of view and an acknowledgment (explicit in the word ad or toward), on the other, that this hope will very likely never be realized, for we humans are, and likely will remain, "'rotten' with perfection."11

Jim Zappen
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

A Road More-or-Less Traveled By

Read alone, the phrase ad bellum purificandum—toward the purification of war—is ambiguous. On the standard reading, it suggests that war can somehow be purified, distilled so as to rid it of impurities. But it can also be read as referring to a purification that is effected by means of war. A line from Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address offers an example: "Yet, if God wills that [the war] continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.'"12 A somewhat different example would be a war of ethnic cleansing.

The texts of Burke's Grammar and Rhetoric make it clear enough that his motive in that great exploration of motivation was to purify war rather than to purify by means of war. Having lived through a half century marked by massive genocides and two world wars, Burke sought to understand how the warlike impulse might be distilled into symbolic action. And if the text of the work to which ad bellum purificandum serves as epigraph were not sufficient to disambiguate the phrase, the couplet of which it forms the second member—recorded and translated nicely above—does the trick.

But why, having inscribed the unambiguous couplet over his window frame, did Burke choose to inscribe only the ambiguous second member of the couplet on the flyleaf of the Grammar of Motives? Perhaps he just didn't notice the ambiguity, as I suspect most of his readers don't. But Kenneth Burke was not most readers. Surely he would have noticed the ambiguity created by removing the first line of a couplet he himself had apparently written in the first place. So what might he have meant in creating this ambiguity?

Jim Zappen underscores the preposition ad in the epigraph, with its ironic suggestion of a hope forever unrealizable. Perhaps even deeper in that ad is the suggestion of a fork in the road before which we stand at each moment of our increasingly tenuous existence. One direction leads toward transforming our bellicose impulses into symbolic action—debate, ritual, poetry. The other leads toward holocaust. And as another great twentieth-century sage once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Michael Halloran
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Our Zealous Attempts to Destroy

Burke explains in A Grammar of Motives that we need to develop not only an attitude of "linguistic skepticism" but also a method for analyzing human relations "in terms of the linguistic instrument."13 Indeed, Burke argues, one can truly assume an attitude of "humanistic contemplation" only through a method of systematically analyzing how human beings' "absurd ambitions . . . have their source in faulty terminologies."14 The phrase "Ad bellum purificandum" emphasizes attitude, as it reflects Burke's hope that we "bring ourselves to be content with humbler satisfactions" than political, financial, and social competition.15 Interestingly, the newly discovered quotation above Burke's window seems to situate attitude in relation to method. This method of proving or demonstrating rather than reviling or reproaching, Burke explains in the Grammar, would entail "an elaborate analysis of linguistic foibles" toward the end of developing a theory about how symbolic action shapes and transforms human activity.16

This belief that one cultivates an attitude of tolerance through a method of linguistic analysis can be seen clearly through Burke's teaching in the classroom. Burke's pedagogy undoubtedly was shaped by the fact that he wrote and taught in a political and cultural moment when war was "always threatening."17 New archival materials at Penn State University provide a glimpse inside Burke's Bennington College classrooms and reveal how he taught his students a method of proving and demonstrating as a means to temper their inclinations to revile and reproach. Comments on his students' essays show that Burke used the writing assignments in his courses to teach students the technique of "indexing," that is, identifying key terms in a text's symbolic action and charting the associations between these terms.18 Throughout his comments, Burke stressed that students needed to devote significantly more energy to "summing up" an author's key terms before they could conceivably "turn later to objections."19 Burke's teaching of indexing to undergraduate students underscores his belief that it was the method of symbolic analysis that made it possible to cultivate an attitude of tolerance and linguistic skepticism. Indeed, as he explained to a student in his 1955 "Language as Symbolic Action" course, Burke taught indexing because it forced students to prove and demonstrate how language worked in a particular text, thereby curbing the tendencies of students who had "become so zealous in [their] attempt to destroy" the positions of others.20 In this new discovery of "potius convincere quam conviciari," then, we are reminded of the means by which we, as did Burke himself did, can cultivate an attitude that leads us to debate, not berate, about how to shape our world.

Scott Wible
West Virginia University


1Kenneth Burke, A Grammar of Motives (1945; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969), 319-20, 442. We are grateful to Michael Burke, Julie Whitaker, and Anthony Burke for generous assistance with the biographical background, the translations, and the photographs for these notes. The photographs are ©Kenneth Burke Literary Trust, Anthony Burke, Co-Trustee.

2 Kenneth Burke, Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose, 3rd ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 7-9, 69-70, 89-92.

3 Cicero, De oratore, trans. E. W. Sutton, Vol. 1, Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann; and Cambridge: Harvard University Press), 1942; Cicero, Brutus, trans. G. L. Hendrickson; Orator, trans. H. M. Hubbell, Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann; and Cambridge: Harvard University Press), 1939; Quintilian, The Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian, trans H. E. Butler, 4 vols., Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann; and Cambridge: Harvard University Press), 1921-22.

4 Burke, Grammar, 6, 9, 12, 15, 20, etc.; Kenneth Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives (1950; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969), 10, 13, 36-37, 39, 49-52, etc.

5 Plato, Phaedrus, in The Works of Plato, ed. Irwin Edman, The Modern Library of the World's Best Books (New York: Random House, The Modern Library, 1928), 263-329.

6 Burke, Grammar, 319-20.

7 Burke, Grammar, 442.

8 Kenneth Burke, "On Persuasion, Identification, and Dialectical Symmetry," edited with introduction by James P. Zappen, Philosophy and Rhetoric 39 (2007): 333-39.

9 Burke, Rhetoric, 200. Burke, Grammar, 429, describes this dialectical transcendence thus: "For in both the Platonist and neo-Platonist versions of transcendence, the dialectician begins with the particulars of the senses, with the images of imagination—and he [or she] subjects these to progressive transformations whereby their sensory diversity is thoroughly lost in generalization, the structure being completed in the vision of the One." Kenneth Burke, Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 188, explains how this same dialectical transcendence functions as a rhetoric of identification: "In many ways, drama and dialectic are alike. Both exemplify competitive cooperation. Out of conflict within the work, there arises a unitary view transcending the partial views of the participants. At least, this is the dialectic of the ideal Platonic dialogue."

10 Burke, Rhetoric, 333.

11 Burke, Language as Symbolic Action, 18.

12 Don E. Fehrenbacher, ed., Abraham Lincoln, Speeches and Writings 1859-1865 (New York: The Library of America, 1989), 687.

13 Burke, Grammar, 319, 317.

14 Burke, Grammar, 317.

15 Burke, Grammar, 317.

1 6Burke, Grammar, 318.

17 Kenneth Burke, "Linguistic Approaches to Problems in Education," in Modern Philosophies and Education: The Fifty-Fourth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I, ed. Nelson B. Henry, 259-303 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955), 272. For an analysis of how the ever-looming threat of nuclear war shaped Burke's language arts' pedagogy, see Jessica Enoch, "Becoming Symbol-Wise: Kenneth Burke's Pedagogy of Critical Reflection," College Composition and Communication 56, no. 2 (2004): 272-96.

18 Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form, 3rd ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 8-25.

19 Kenneth Burke, Comments on Bennington College Student Essays, 1955, Folder R17, Kenneth Burke Papers, Paterno Library, Pennsylvania State University.

20 Burke, Comments on Bennington College Student Essays.

KB Journal to maintain online format

The Journal was recently approached by a large press with the offer to begin publishing in print rather than online format. After a series of discussions, the decision was reached to maintain the Journal in its online form to ensure both access and creative control.

Kenneth Burke Society Honors . . .

At its 7th Triennial Conference in Philadelphia, PA in July 2008, the Kenneth Burke Society honored three of its members:
Mark Huglen, immediate past-editor of the KB Journal, the Distinguished Service Award.
Michael Burke and Julie Whittaker, son and daughter-in-law of KB who have worked for years to ensure that the myriad Burke papers are accessible to scholars and read widely, the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Elizabeth Weiser, author of Burke, War, Words: Rhetoricizing Dramatism and various Burkean articles, the Emerging Scholar Award.

2006 CSCA Panels

The Central States Communication Association's Burke Interest Group announces panels of interest to Burkeans attending the 2006 Convention, April 5-9 in Indianapolis. See attached file for details.

Microsoft Office document icon CSCA program KBS.doc26 KB

2008 CCCC Sessions [past]

There are several sessions at the 2008 CCCC’s conference that may be of particular interest to Burkeans. They include:

Whither English? As part of a panel discussing the future of English, John Warnock will discuss the rhetorical history of “English” and Kenneth Burke as a dissenting voice in that history. Session: B.06 on Apr 3, 2008 from 12:15 PM to 1:30 PM

In Latinos/Latinas and the New Rhetorics of Racism, Speaker 4 in the panel will outline theories of the New Racism from the likes of Balibar, Barker, Bonilla-Silva, and Winant, placing the New Racism within a rhetorical framework of the master tropes of Kenneth Burke. Session: C.16 on Apr 3, 2008 from 1:45 PM to 3:00 PM

In a session titled Theories of Metaphor: Aristotle, Burke, Pragmatics, Ethan Sproat will discuss “Irony and Ideation: Rethinking Critical Thinking Dramatistically.” Session: D.17 on Apr 3, 2008 from 3:15 PM to 4:30 PM

The Kenneth Burke Society Special Interest Group will meet on Apr 3, 2008 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

(Re)Charting the (Dis)Courses of Faith and Politics: Kenneth Burke's Pentad, Sharon Crowley's Toward a Civil Discourse , and Barack Obama's "Pentecost 2006" Keynote Address. The panel (Jeffrey M. Ringer, Michael-John DePalma, Jim Webber) will examine conservative Christian and liberal discourses in the public sphere by appealing to Burke's dramatistic pentad and the methods of pentadic analysis proposed by Anderson and Prelli to analyze Crowley's Toward a Civil Discourse and Obama's "Pentecost 2006 Keynote Address." Session: F.03 on Apr 4, 2008 from 8:00 AM to 9:15 AM

In Functions of Theory: Burke, Girard, Sanchez, Heather Branstetter will discuss “Kenneth Burke, Bergsonism, and Negation as Rhetorical Invention.” Session: H.13 on Apr 4, 2008 from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM

Walking with Sharon Crowley "Toward a Civil Discourse." The panel continues where Crowley's book ends, furthering discussion on the ways narrative, emotion, and myth may provide avenues for traversing binary realities in the public sphere. Ellen Quandahl looks at the issue viz. the interpretive problem which Kenneth Burke began to explore when he described piety as "loyalty to the sources of our being"--a non-religious approach to piety that may usefully extend Crowley's discussion of emotion and invention in a climate of fundamentalism. Session: J.01 on Apr 4, 2008 from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM

Awards Presented at the 2005 Triennial meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jack Selzer
Distinguished Service Award: David Blakesley
Emerging Scholar Award: Nathaniel Rivers and Ryan Weber

Congratulations to all the award recipients!

Awards presented at the 2002 Triennial Meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society

Lifetime Achievement Award: Timothy Crusius

Distinguished Service Award: Clarke Rountree

Emerging Scholar Award: Debra Hawhee

Top Competitive Paper: Phillip Arrington, "Theory as Verbal Act": A Burkeian Exploration of Theory's Relationship to Writing Research"

Top Competitive Student Paper, Elizabeth Weiser, "A Literary Critique of Life: Kenneth Burke's Dramatism as an Alternative to the New Criticism in America at War"

Burke Papers at RSA 2006 [past]

Here is a list of the papers on the program for the 12th Biennial Conference of The Rhetoric Society of America (26-29 May, 2006 in Memphis, Tennessee) that might be of particular interest to Burke scholars:

Date: Friday, May 26, 1:30-3:00 pm
Session: A06, Manufacturing the Democratic Imagination: Reflections on the Rhetoric of the Press
Place: Louis XVI
Speaker: Ann Dobyns, University of Denver
Title: “Kenneth Burke and the Progressive Press"

Date: Saturday, May 27, 1:00-2:30
Session: E05, Studies of Preaching
Place: Grand Salon F
Speaker: Christa Jean Downer, Texas Woman’s University
Title: “‛I Read it on a Church Sign’: A Burkean Analysis of Southern Baptist Church Marquees”

Date: Sunday, May 28, 8:30-10:00
Session: G07, Rhetorics of Emotion, Affect, and Common Sense
Place: Louis XVI
Speaker: Donna Strickland, University of Missouri-Columbia
Title: “The Burke Effect”

Date: Sunday, May 28, 10:15-11:45
Session: H02, George W. Bush and the Rhetoric of the War in Iraq
Place: Brinkley
Speaker: Ann George, Texas Christian University
Title: “Generic Imperatives: Burke, Bush, and the American Jeremiad”

Date: Sunday, May 28, 10:15-11:45
Session: H04, Influences of Religion on Rhetorical Theory
Place: Alonzo Locke
Speaker: Patrick Shaw, Lindsey Wilson College
Title: “Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric as a Secular Theory”

Date: Monday, May 29, 9:45-11:15
Session: L04, Literacy, Narrative, and Media
Place: Alonzo Locke
Speaker: Julie E. Groesch, Texas A&M University
Title: “Measuring One’s Soul by the Tape of the World: Burke and the Rhetoric of Literacy Narratives"

CFP [deadline passed]: Ecocriticism and Kenneth Burke

KB Journal is planning a special issue for Spring 2006 devoted to Ecocriticism and Kenneth Burke. The guest editor for this issue will be Robert Wess. Please send inquiries and submissions to rswess@peak.org, or to Robert Wess, Department of English, Moreland Hall 238, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331 5302.

Indicate if you would also like your paper to be considered for a panel on Burke and Ecocriticism at the upcoming Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, June 21-25, 2005, Eugene, Oregon. Papers included in the panel will be reviewed for inclusion in this special issue. The deadline for panel proposals is February 1, 2005, so proposals would have to get to Wess at least a few days before that date.

In 1970 Burke enjoyed public acknowledgement of the accuracy of his earlier prediction about ecology, when a Fortune magazine article observed, "[W]e may assume that most predictions put forward in 1937, like those of other years, would now be worth recalling only as examples of fallibility. But at least one prediction published in that year has since come to seem exceedingly perspicacious. It appeared in a book by Kenneth Burke, a literary critic. `Among the sciences,' he wrote, `there is one little fellow named Ecology, and in time we shall pay him more attention.'"

As literary studies has at long last turned to ecological issues, it's thus not surprising that some have turned to Burke (e.g., Laurence Coupe, "Kenneth Burke: Pioneer of Ecocriticism," Journal of American Studies 35 [2001]: 413-31). It's also notable that William Rueckert, credited with coining the term "ecocriticism," is the dean of Burke studies. This special
issue offers a timely and valuable opportunity for inquiry into both the value of Burke for ecocriticism and the value of ecocriticism as a standpoint from which to read Burke.

An online publication, KB Journal will publish original scholarship that addresses, applies, repurposes, or challenges the teachings of Kenneth Burke, which include but are not limited to the major books and hundreds of articles by Burke, as well as the growing corpus of research material about Burke.

A special feature of the online format is that authors take part in online conversations about issues raised in their publications. Once the conversation about a publication pauses, the author (or coauthors) submits a rejoinder, which functions as a second publication and continuation of the conversation.

Dr. Clarke Rountree
Associate Professor and Chair
Director of Computer-Mediated Communication
Department of Communication Arts
342 Morton Hall
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL 35899

CFP [deadline passed]: The Kenneth Burke Society Division of the National Communication Association (NCA), NCA 2006

2006 NCA Annual Convention

San Antonio, November 16-19, 2006

The Kenneth Burke Society Division of the National Communication Association (NCA) welcomes papers and panel proposals for NCA's 2006 convention in San Antonio. Paper and panel submissions should (1) address Burke's theoretical and critical approach; (2) appropriate Burke's teachings to a communication event; (3) situate Burke's ideas with other lines of scholarship; and/or (4) take Burke's scholarship in a new direction. Papers and panels should be organized around the conference theme, of "Creating Sites for Connection and Action." Papers will be evaluated competitively, resulting in a "Top Paper" award and a "Top Student Paper" award. A "Top Competitive Papers" panel is planned. Papers should include a 100-word abstract. Example paper and panel themes are "International Sites of Burkean Connection and Action," "The Internet as a Dramatistic Site of Symbolic Action," and so on. Panels may have the accepted papers posted in advance to encourage conversation.

Scholar-to-Scholar: Interactive Media Formats (posters, laptop displays, experiential activities, etc.) are also invited. Scholar-to-Scholar replaces the Poster Sessions and has been redesigned to encourage alternative forms of presentation, one-on-one interaction, and neighborhoods of knowledge. Submissions should reflect work in process for which the author(s) would like showcase to or obtain feedback from conference attendees. Such work can focus on theory, practice, pedagogy, or other arena of scholarship. Please indicate if your submission would be appropriate for the new Scholar-to-Scholar. Any submissions will be competitively reviewed by the Kenneth Burke Society division, but it may then be scheduled during the Scholar-to-Scholar session to allow you more flexibility in your presentation format. For more information, see the Scholar-to-Scholar call for papers.

The Kenneth Burke Society would also like to invite participants in an Agora session. Such sessions, in general, will focus on freedom of expression within specific contexts. In this way Agora sessions resemble a Burkean parlor. An example issue for such a Burkean parlor is freedom of speech and Burkean critiques about the Patriot Act and privacy (post 9/11). Interested participants should submit their ideas with a brief abstract. Ideas will be evaluated, and accepted ones will be forwarded to NCA's Agora session planners.

Convention guidelines state that participants should submit only one paper, panel proposal, and/or scholar-to-scholar session proposal. Only one paper from any person submitting as first author would be accepted. Details about submitting work are as follows:

Submissions: Submit online using AllAcademic System

Web Address: http://www.natcom.org/

Deadline: February 15, 2006

Specify student papers: Yes

Specify debut papers: Yes

Scholar-to-Scholar sessions: Yes

Agora session: Yes

Maximum manuscript length: 15 pages

NCA ~ Kenneth Burke Society

Peter M. Smudde, Ph.D.

Department of Communication

452 Heide Hall

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

CFP: Central States Communication Association Kenneth Burke Society Interest Group [past]

The Kenneth Burke Society of CSCA welcomes paper submissions and panel proposals for the 2008 Central States Communication Association conference in Madison, WI, April 8-13, 2008.  Any topic related to Kenneth Burke is welcomed; however, we encourage submissions that focus upon the convention theme (“Communication: An Activist’s Tool for Exploring, Explaining, and Engaging Human Behavior”).  Papers and panels that link to relevant ideas in Burke’s writings would be appropriate (e.g., ecology/ environmentalism, rhetoric as consumer protection), but all are welcome.  Co-sponsorship with other interest groups and divisions are encouraged.  We expect members of Kenneth Burke Society at Central States to help us continue to increase the presence of Burkean theory and criticism at this year’s conference.  Undergraduate and graduate student papers also are welcome.

A variety of formats should be employed, as outlined in the 2007 program planner’s general call.

Guidelines for Submission:

1. Papers must have a detachable title page that provides the author(s) identity/identities; if submitting electronically, make sure that identification of the author has been removed from the file’s “page properties.” Also, remove all author references in the text of the paper. Panel proposals need a title, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of each panel participant. First-time presenters and/or students should include the label(s) “Debut Paper” and/or “Student Paper” on the title page only.

2. Competitive panel proposals must complete the 2008 CSCA Special Panel Proposal Request Form using the instructions for sample program formats available at csca-net.org. If your proposal employs an alternative presentation format, use the same form and adapt it to your purposes so that it is clear what type of presentation for the panel you are proposing.

3. Be sure to include any media requests at the time of submission. Special media requests cannot be considered after the call deadline.

Papers and proposals may be sent via surface mail or e-mail. If submitting electronically, send your paper or panel proposal to jlcourt@ilstu.edu. E-mail is preferred; however, if sending proposals via U.S. mail, submit five (5) copies of all papers and panel proposals. Also send the information on a 3.5 PC compatible disk using MS Word. Submissions must be received by October 1, 2007, via e-mail or at the following address:

Dr. Jeffrey L. Courtright, School of Communication, Fell 434, Box 4480, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4480 Phone: 309-438-7310 e-mail: jlcourt@ilstu.edu

CFP: Southern States Communication Association Kenneth Burke Society Interest Group [past]

The Kenneth Burke Society Interest Group invites paper and panel proposal submissions. Submissions that explore the convention theme (“Communicating to Change the Human Condition”) are especially encouraged. Panel proposals on teaching Kenneth Burke’s work are welcome, as are papers and topical panel proposals exploring Burkean perspectives on Georgia culture, politics, or history. Alternative panel formats are also encouraged. Awards for the Top Paper and Top Student Paper will be made. Panel proposals must include a rationale, as well as the qualifications, names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of panelists who have agreed to participate. A/V requests must be specified but cannot be guaranteed.

Submit manuscripts and proposals by Sept. 15, 2007 to Christi Moss, Department of Communication, North Carolina State University clmoss@ncsu.edu

Call for Nominations: KB Society Career Awards (5-1-08)

The Kenneth Burke Society calls for nominations for career awards to be given at the Society’s Seventh Triennial Conference, June 29-July 1, 2008, at Villanova University, just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These awards recognize Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Service, and the promise of an Emerging Scholar.

Deadline: May 1, 2008

Lifetime Achievement recognizes extraordinary achievement in Burke studies. Previous recipients are Leland M. Griffin (1990), William Rueckert (1993), Bernard Brock (1993), James W. Chesebro (1999), Timothy Crusius (2002), and Jack Selzer (2005).

Distinguished Service recognizes extraordinary service to the Society. Previous recipients are Sheron J. Dailey (1990), James W. Chesebro (1993), Dale Bertelsen (1996), Robert Wess (1999), Clarke Rountree (2002), and David Blakesley (2005).

The Emerging Scholar Award recognizes the extraordinary promise of the work of a young scholar. Previous recipients are Dale Bertelsen (1993), Mark Wright (1996), Mark Meister and Glenn Stillar (1999 co recipients), Debra Hawhee (2002), and Ryan Weber and Nathaniel Rivers (2005 co recipients).

Nominations should include a brief rationale for granting the award to the nominee along with a brief description of the nominee’s relevant work. All nominations are confidential.

Nominations should be sent before May 1 to each of the three members of the career awards committee: James W. Chesebro (Jchesebro@ma.rr.com), Timothy Crusius (tcrusius@mail.smu.edu), and Jack Selzer (Jls25@psu.edu).

Cs 2006 Roundup [past]

Panels of interest to Burke scholars delivered at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Chicago, March 23-26, 2006:

Burke, God, Rhetoricity: Theories of Rhetoric
Session: B.14 on Mar 23, 2006 from 12:15 PM to 1:30 PM Cluster: 103) Theory
Type: Concurrent Session (3 or more presenters)
Participants: Frank Rosen (Chair), Bradley Siebert (Speaker 1), Christine Iwanicki (Speaker 2), Frank Rosen (Speaker 3)

The Rhetorics of Identification; Or, Me and You and You and Me, So Happy Together?
Session: F.15 on Mar 24, 2006 from 8:00 AM to 9:15 AM Cluster: 103) Theory
Type: Concurrent Session (3 or more presenters) Participants: Tilly Warnock (Chair), David Blakesley (Speaker 1), Thomas Rickert (Speaker 2), Diane Davis (Speaker 3)

CCCC Chapter of the Kenneth Burke Society: Teaching With Burke
Session: TSIG.03 on Mar 23, 2006 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Cluster: n/a) Not Applicable
Type: Special Interest Group
Five panelists will present a variety of classroom-tested techniques for incorporating Burkeian insights into college composition courses.
Participants: Elizabeth Weiser (Chair), Elizabeth Weiser (Session Contact Person), Elizabeth Weiser (Speaker 1), Billie Jones (Speaker 2), Wendy Hesford (Speaker 3), Jason Waite (Speaker Additional), Paul Casey (Speaker Additional)

Burkean Notions of Mind, Body, Individuals, and Culture
Session: I.16 on Mar 24, 2006 from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM Cluster: 103) Theory
Type: Concurrent Session (3 or more presenters)
Participants: George Jensen (Chair), Jason Waite (Session Contact Person), George Jensen (Speaker 1), Jason Waite (Speaker 2), Jennifer King (Speaker 3)

Interrogating the Rhetorics of War: Kenneth Burke Meets Gladwell, Dewey, and George W. Bush
Session: L.13 on Mar 25, 2006 from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM Cluster: 103) Theory
Type: Concurrent Session (3 or more presenters)
Participants: David Blakesley (Chair), Jason Thompson (Speaker 1), Tilly Warnock (Speaker 2), John Warnock (Speaker 3), Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis (Speaker Additional)

ECA Panels for Burke Scholars, 2008

The 2008 Eastern Communication Association Convention will be held May 1-4, 2008 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. Conference panels or presenters of particular interest to Burke scholars might include:

On Thursday: 2.26, 1:00-2:15 Rhetorical Framing and the Limits of Dissent

Chair: Meg Zulick, Wake Forest University

“Smiling Buddha: Scapegoating and Early Indian Nuclear Discourse” Brian Delong, Wake Forest University

“Burkean Scapegoating in the Rhetorical War on Terrorism” Brad Hall, Wake Forest University

“The 300, Persae and Symbolic Action” Sarah Spring, Miami of Ohio

“Theorizing the Effectiveness of Animal Rights Campaigns: Kenneth Burke and Holocaust Imagery” Joseph Packer, Wake Forest

“Connecting a Rhetorical Past to a Psychoanalytic Present: Kenneth Burke and Psychoanalysis” Paul E. Johnson, University of Iowa

This panel examines several case studies from a Burkean perspective in order to explore how rhetorical framing can act to undermine the ability to negotiate and persuade.

On Friday:

3.35, 12:30-1:45

Contemporary Applications of Burke: Analyses and Criticisms

Chair: Robert Westerfelhaus, College of Charleston

Respondent: James Klumpp, University of Maryland

“Emotions as the Foundation of Dramatism” James W. Chesebro, Ball State University, David T. McMahan, Missouri Western State University

“‘We’re Not Afraid’/Making a Difference: Burke’s Comic Frame and Re- Conceptualizing Public Responses to Terrorism” Thomas R. Dunn, University of Pittsburgh

“The Feminist Value of ‘Slippage’: Scene-Act Ratio in the Women’s Rights Rhetoric of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn” Mary Haman, The Pennsylvania State University

“Hope, Values and Commitment: A Burkeian Analysis” Deandre J. Poole, Howard University

“Attitudes toward Advertising: Capitalism and Advertising as the Container and the Thing Contained” Cem Zeytinoglu, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

This panel features competitively chosen papers submitted to the Kenneth Burke Interest Group.

3.48, 2:00-3:15

Burke Across Time and Genres: Historic Roots and New Understandings

Chair: Elvera Berry, Roberts Wesleyan College

Respondent: Janie Harden Fritz, Duquesne University

“Burke’s Bias: Exploring his Theoretical Grounding” Celeste Grayson, Duquesne University

“The Rhetoric of Global Warming: A Burkean Difference” Elizabeth Hogenmiller, Roberts Wesleyan College

“Understanding Hypocrisy: Orwell through Burke” Bryan Blankfield, Roberts Wesleyan College

“A Comic Corrective: The Graphic Novel” John Loyd, Roberts Wesleyan College

The salience of Burkean approaches and terms is evident in ongoing applications across disciplinary, philosophical, and socio-political boundaries. What are the historic roots of Burke's own biases and how do we read him today? Whatever the genre or mediaextension, his rhetorical frame seems to “make a difference” that matters. The significance of the difference is illuminated through his philosophical lineage and illustrated in three types of rhetoric that show us ourselves: the rhetoric of ecology, of satire, and of the graphic novel.

3.69, 5:00-6:15 Kenneth Burke and Philosophy of Communication

Chair: Janie Harden Fritz, Duquesne University

“The Voice of the Other: Aristotle and Burke, Dialogue and the Development of Language/Consciousness” Richard Thames, Duquesne University

“Rhetoric, Ideology, and Myth: Burke’s Platonic Dialectic” Bryan Crable, Villanova University

“Philosophers of Life: Kenneth Burke and Henri Bergson” Erik Garrett, Duquesne University

“Kenneth Burke’s Way of Knowing: Epistemological Implications” Elvera Berry, Roberts Wesleyan College

The panelists will endeavor to demonstrate the applicability of Kenneth Burke to the Philosophy of Communication, an area of the disciple to which Burke is not normally supposed to be relevant. Each of the participants in this session will bring Kenneth Burke into conversation with an important philosopher or issue in the philosophy of communication.

On Saturday:

4.63, 2:30-3:45 In a panel titled “There’s something in the air”: Pittsburgh’s Rhetorical Heritage, see “Kenneth Burke and the Aesthetics of Pittsburgh” Paul Johnson, University of Iowa

And on Friday (3.20) at 9:30-10:45, the KENNETH BURKE BUSINESS MEETING convenes.

ECA SIG Call for Papers [past]

The Kenneth Burke Interest Group of the Eastern Communication Association invites submissions of papers, program proposals, and round-table discussions for the 99th annual ECA Convention in Pittsburgh, PA, April 30-May 4, 2008. The convention theme, “Making a Difference,” brings together three important areas: scholarship, teaching, and service. Each of these areas makes a difference to the discipline, and, together, they make a great difference in those we reach within and beyond the classroom.

The interest group welcomes papers and panel proposals that engage Burke’s theoretical and critical approach, examine rhetorical artifacts or contemporary or historical events from a Burkean perspective, situate Burke’s ideas with respect to other lines of scholarship, or take Burke’s scholarship in a new direction. Especially welcome are papers and panels that examine Burke’s ties to Pittsburgh.

Submissions of completed papers should include: (1) a detachable title page with the title of the paper and the author’s affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address, (2) the word “Debut” on the title page if the author has not presented previously at a regional or national convention, (3) a 75 word abstract on the second page, (4) a statement of professional responsibility on the second page (see below), and (5) four copies of the completed paper (unless sent by e-mail, which is strongly encouraged). If a paper has multiple authors, please indicate who will be presenting at the convention. Papers should not exceed 25 double-spaced typewritten pages (not including abstract, references, and notes), nor should they have been previously presented at other conferences.

Submissions of panel or round-table proposals should include: (1) A thematic title for the program, (2) names of chair and respondents, if any, (3) names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and institutional affiliation of all participants, (4) title and abstracts for each paper or presentation, (5) program copy (a 75 word description) as it will appear in the final version, (6) a detailed rationale for the program/panel, (7) a statement of professional responsibility (see below), and (8) four copies of all of the above (unless sent by e-mail, which is strongly encouraged).

As noted above, the following statement of professional responsibility must be included in all submissions:

In submitting the attached paper or proposal, I/we recognize that this submission is considered a professional responsibility. I/we agree to present this panel or paper if it is accepted and programmed. I further recognize that all who attend and present at ECA’s annual meeting must register and pay required fees.

ECA Technology Policy

Technology use is expensive. Although every effort will be made to provide technology as requested, the Convention Planner will necessarily examine whether the integrity of the submission will be jeopardized if technology is not available. ECA will not approve requests for the following technology: personal computers, laser printers, satellite links, teleconference equipment, LCD panels and projectors, video data projects, and digital versatile/video disc equipment. Although ECA members may wish to rent this equipment from the hotel at their own expense, those individuals are responsible for the equipment, including protecting it from damage and theft. Further, ECA is not responsible for this equipment. Finally, the hotel should not be expected to provide service for, or assistance with, personal technology that is brought into the hotel. For more information regarding ECA's technology policy, please refer to the association's webpage.

Send papers and program proposals by mail or e-mail attachment for receipt by October 15, 2007 to the address listed below. Any questions, programming suggestions, and ideas concerning the Kenneth Burke Interest Group are welcome. 

ECA's 2008 convention will feature Spotlight on Scholarship programs, short courses, poster sessions, workshops, roundtables, and panels.  Proposals addressing the conference theme but NOT directly related to one of the interest group areas should be sent to Sara Weintraub, ECA First Vice-President.

Robert Westerfelhaus
Associate Professor
Department of Communication
College of Charleston
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

EXTENDED DEADLINE CFP: The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 - Special Topics Issue 2009 (now 4-30-08)

The editors of The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 would like to announce a call for papers for the next special topic issue (Volume 5, Number 1) on "Kenneth Burke's Scene." Deadline for submissions to this general issue is April 1, 2008.

Please send submissions or correspondence regarding submissions to the guest editor, David Tietge, at dtietge@monmouth.edu or Department of English, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764. Articles should be 6,000 to 9,000 words (including notes and works cited). Please submit one paper copy and an identical electronic copy in Word. (International submissions can forego paper copy.) Articles should conform to MLA style. Include a cover letter that describes the contents of your article.

All queries about general topic issues should be sent to the editor, Kristin Bluemel, at kbluemel@monmouth.edu or Department of English, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764. Articles on non-canonical figures or understudied arts and issues of the period 1914-1945 are especially appreciated, as are articles that address responses to the First or Second World Wars.

The Space Between is a refereed journal that is published annually. Its editors are especially interested in innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to texts of all kinds. Publication is annual and is co-sponsored by the Space Between Society and Monmouth University.

The Space Between will publish reviews on books that represent various disciplines' approaches to the culture of the space between the wars. Correspondence for the review editor should be addressed to Debra Rae Cohen at the Department of English, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208.

Kenneth Burke Conference: News Update [past]

Kenneth Burke fans should know that there has been an addition to the already impressive cohort of keynote and featured speakers appearing at the "Kenneth Burke and his Circles" conference at Penn State next summer: Arabella Lyon of SUNY Buffalo, author of Intentions: Negotiated, Contested, and Ignored.

Go to http://www.outreach.psu.edu/cnf/kb2005/

to see the full list (click on the "Keynote and Featured Speakers" link located in the menu to your right).

While you're visiting the website, you can learn more about the conference, register, find lodging information, and submit individual paper or session proposals: Don't forget that the deadline to submit individual paper or session proposals for the conference is February 1st!

Michael Burke featured in Harvard Magazine (Jan-Feb 2007)

The Jan-Feb 2007 issues of Harvard Magazine features a story about Michael Burke and his art (also featured below on KBJournal's Happenings). It includes a brief discussion of his relation to KB. check out the online version here: http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/010709.html

NCA 2008 Panels sponsored by the Kenneth Burke Society

At the National Communication Association’s annual conference in November 2008, the following panels presented Burkean topics.

Bringing Burke Back to the Future: Contemporary Perspectives on Burke and Popular Culture
Nothingness without End: Division and Merger in 'The Believer' *Emily D. Ryalls (Univ of South Florida)
Conservation on National Geographic Channel: Agency of Dragons and Heroes *Greg Smith (University of South Florida)
(Re)imagining Morality: Gender and Sexuality in HBO's 'Big Love' and 'Rome' *Steven W. Schoen (University of South Florida)
Jay-Z's Tragic-Comic Hero Worship and Kenneth Burke *Antoine Hardy (Univ of South Florida)
This panel seeks to highlight the “unconventional legacy” of Kenneth Burke’s range of rhetorical studies. Traditionally, rhetorical discussion and application of Burke have often been limited to public address and social movements. We seek to resuscitate Burke’s imperative to find rhetoric in all sectors of society, including forms of media. Each panelist’s essay interrogates a form of contemporary popular culture to highlight the efficacy of Burkean concepts to critical discussions of media.

Divers Unconventional Subjects: Competitive Papers in Burkean Criticism Session
Organizer: Jeffrey L Courtright (Illinois State University)
Chair: Bjorn Stillion Southard (University of Maryland)
Center Stage Sacrament: Father Mapple's Sermon in Moby Dick *Glenn H. Settle (Northwest Univ)
Revolutionary Symbolism in the Electronic Age: Burke and the Contemporary Communist Party *Verlaine M. McDonald (Berea College)
Economic Growth as Terministic Screen: An Essay on the Millennium Challenge Corporation *M. Karen Walker (University of Maryland)
The Perfect Victim: Pat Tillman and the Doctrine of Atonement *Luke A. Winslow (Univ of Texas, Austin)
Electoral Estrangement and Courtship by 'the Dancing of an Anecdote': Burkean Identification Strategies in Presidential Debates *Christopher J. Oldenburg (Univ of Memphis)
Respondent: James F. Klumpp (University of Maryland)

Enriching Our Understanding of Burkean Rhetoric through Explorations of the Pentad, Terms for Order, and Identification in Four Recent Books
Judging the Supreme Court: Constructions of Motives in Bush v. Gore *Clarke Rountree (Univ of Alabama, Huntsville)
Rhetorical Landscapes in America: Variations on a Theme from Kenneth Burke *Gregory Clark (Brigham Young Univ)
Chair: Clarke Rountree (Univ of Alabama, Huntsville)
Four authors of recent books using Burke's concepts of the pentad, terms for order, and identification describe their appropriations of these concepts in monograph-length studies. They consider the advantages of these lengthier treatments to realize the potential of these critical concepts for enriching our understanding of a Burkean rhetoric.

Unconventional Burke: Bodies that . . .
The Body’s Profundity *Richard H. Thames (Duquesne University)
Ruminating upon Action and Motion: Kenneth Burke, John Stewart, and Phenomenology *Corey Anton (Grand Valley State Univ)
Eating of My Dog's Bowl: Burke and Phenomenology on Animal Bodies *Erik Garrett (Duquesne University)
Action-Motion Redux: Regulating Bodies through Rhythmic Rituals *Joshua J. Frye (SUNY Oneonta)
Reasoning Bodies and Rational Minds: On the Intersection of the Sensory and Sentential in Burke *Lenore Langsdorf (Southern Illinois Univ, Carbondale)
Respondent: Bryan Crable (Villanova University)
Chair: Erik Garrett (Duquesne University)
This unconventional panel takes seriously what it means to be “bodies that learn language.” Panelists investigate the intersections between Burke’s philosophical anthropology and biology, arguing that the body holds a position equal to or even more important than language in the Burkean opus. Therefore, the panel will feature the philosophy of biology which is central to Burke but often ignored by most Burkeans.

Unconventional Criticism: Advancing Burkean Concepts through Critical Application
Session Organizer: Jeffrey L Courtright (Illinois State University)
Chair: Luke A. Winslow (Univ of Texas, Austin)
Casuistic Stretching and Misidentification in the Rhetoric of Intelligent Design *Anna Turnage (North Carolina State University)
Transforming Citizenship Ironically: Burke's Master Tropes and Henry Highland Garnet's Sermon in the House of Representatives, 1865 *Bjorn Stillion Southard (University of Maryland)
Toward a Metonymic Reading of Kenneth Burke’s Entelechial Principle *Kristyn E. Meyer (Univ of Texas, Austin)
Pure Persuasion as Burkean Mise-en-Abime *Les Belikian (California State University, Northridge)
Respondent: James W. Hikins (College of Wooster)

Variations on 'The Cult of the Kill': Burkean Analyses of Contemporary Issues
Session Organizer: Jeffrey L Courtright (Illinois State University)
Chair: Kristyn E. Meyer (Univ of Texas, Austin)
Stop Genocide Now! What is in a Word, that Calls for Change but Lacks the Action? *Matthew C. Maddex (Louisiana State University)
Root Causes of Conflict and the Climate Culprit: A Dramatistic Analysis of Ban Ki Moon’s Editorial on Darfur *Billie J. Murray (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)
Confronting Hate Speech: A Rhetorical Criticism of 'Playboy' Magazine's Interview of George Lincoln Rockwell *Steven F. Rafferty (Univ of Southern California)
Burke, Terministic Screens and Orientations: An Analysis of Female Genital Cutting Debates in Egypt and the United States *Diana M. Winkelman (Univ of Southern California)

Variety Is the Unconventional Spice of Life: Kenneth Burke Society Top Papers
Session Organizer: Jeffrey L Courtright (Illinois State University)
Chair: Hollie D. Petit (Colorado State University)
Refurbishing Psychoanalysis for Rhetorical Analysis: Burke’s Dramatistic Transformation of Freudian Terministic Screens *Yun Ding (Tennessee Tech Univ)
Alembicating Kenneth Burke's Concept of Recalcitrance *Floyd D. Anderson (SUNY, Brockport), *Lawrence J. Prelli (Univ of New Hampshire), *Matthew T. Althouse (SUNY, Brockport)
Testing Positive for a Concealable Identity: Rhetorical Identification as an Invitation to Cope *Jennifer A. Malkowski (San Diego State Univ)
Ethical Responsibility? Appeals to Scene, Agency, and Agent as the Denial of Ethical Choice in Bush’s Embryonic Stem Cell Addresses *Veronica Koehn (University of Denver)

NCA Regional Papers for Burke Scholars, 2008

Several regional bodies of NCA recently held their annual conventions. Panelists speaking on Burkean topics included the following:

The 2008 Central States Communication Conference held their annual meeting April 9-13th, in Madison, Wisconsin. Papers of interest included: In the panel on BURKEAN CRITICISM: COMPETITIVE PAPERS see “A dramatistic look at George W. Bush’s October 7, 2002, speech: Manipulation of the American people.” Emily C. Lenard, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

In the panel TOP PAPERS IN THE GRADUATE CAUCUS see “Media framing and intimate power violence: Exploring coverage of the Ron Artest case and public opinion of battered women using Burke’s cluster criticism.” Kathaleen Reed, University of the Pacific

The Western States Communication Association held their conference February 15-19, 2008. Papers of interest included: In the panel TOP THREE PAPERS IN THE ORGANIZATION FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN AND COMMUNICATION: “This is Not My Sisterhood”: Breast Cancer Culture, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Burke’s Perspective by Incongruity" Nicole E. Hurt, University of Georgia

In the panel LAUGHING AT THE SHIRLEY Q. LIQUOR MINSTREL SHOW: EXPLORING THE POTENTIALS AND LIMITATIONS OF CRITICAL VIROLOGY: “The Colbert Report’s Tragic Satire/The Daily Show’s Comic Irony: Kenneth Burke’s Frames and the “Fake” News.” George F. McHendry, Jr., Colorado State University

In the Southern States Communication Association Convention held April 2-6, 2008, papers included: WHEN MEDIA AND CULTURE COLLIDE: KENNETH BURKE, POP CULTURE, AND IMAGE, “Scapegoating the Big Easy: Melodramatic Individualism as Trained Incapacity in K-Ville” Shaun Treat, University of North Texas

“Stan Lee’s Soapbox: A Burkean Look at the Rebirth of the American Comic Book” Ron Roach, Young Harris College

“Sonic Savannah: Walking Through the Garden of Good and Evil” Stacey Treat, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“Hypocrites and Nasty Boys: Senator Larry Craig and Gay Rights Caught in the Grotesque Frame” Wesley Buerkle, East Tennessee State University


“Suicide Sermons: Confessing (or Converting?) Through Poetry,” Yvonne Kline, University of South Florida

“Existentialism as Equipment for Living? Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and the Unending Conversation with the Existentialists,” Zac Gershberg, Louisiana State University

“When Kenneth Burke was a Village Bohemian” David Cratis Williams, Florida Atlantic University


“Impious Piety in Contemporary Christian Rock Music” Brian Johnston, University of South Florida

“Nazi Baby-Steps: The Unintended Creation of a New Heathen Fascism” (in Death Metal Music) Gregory Vance Smith, University of South Florida

“Documenting Identity: Alterity and Authenticity in Taxicab Confessions” Steven Schoen, University of South Florida

“Incongruity and Gargoyles: The Image of Violent Woman in Popular Film” Carly Giesler, University of South Florida

“Innocence and Incongruity: Lesbian ‘First Love’ Romances in Popular Film” Emily Ryalls, University of South Florida


“Who is Axis of Evil?” Huikyong Pang, University of South Florida

“Identification through Antithesis and the Congressional Response to September 11” Brad Hall, Wake Forest University

“Shift Happens: Burke, Kuhn and the American View of the War in Iraq” David Steele, University of South Florida


“Union Kids: Using Burkean Identification and the ‘Union Bug’ to Recruit Children to the Labor Movement through the AFLCIO Website” Valerie Lynn Schrader, Ohio University

“ You’ve Got Faith: An Analysis of Identification and Identity on Congregational Websites” Taleyna M. Morris, Missouri State University

KENNETH BURKE AND COMMUNICATING TO CHANGE THE HUMAN CONDITION: A DISCUSSION PANEL Panelists: David Payne, University of South Florida Mari Tonn, University of Maryland David Cratis Williams, Florida Atlantic University Bill Kinsella, North Carolina State University Andrew King, Louisiana State University


“Difficult Notions: Dramatism as Literal” Clarke Rountree, University of Alabama in Huntsville

“Difficult Notions: Pure Persuasion” Richard Thames, Duquesne University

“Difficult Notions: Reason, Rationality, and Argument” David Cratis Williams, Florida Atlantic University

Quantum Stream: Michael Burke's Summer Art Project

At our request, Michael Burke has sent along a description of his latest art installation, designed for the Burke farm in Andover. Photographs of the project are included below. The second paragraph of the description--a tidbit about KB's "contemplation cage"--reminds us of Wilhelm Reich's Orgone Box.

Stay tuned!

Debra Hawhee
Happenings editor

Here's MB:
The installation ("Quantum Stream") is (was - I take them down for the winter as a group of sculptures were stolen a couple of years ago, and turned in for aluminum scrap at the local junk yard) a series of seven pieces running from just in back of the old New Jersey house, across the field (that KB originally cleared) and into the forest (had to cut a hole in the barberry). I call it "Quantum Stream" as it represents (be careful - here comes the art-speak) a beam of light made up of individual packets (Quanta). I'm fiddling with the conceit that each of the packets actually contains a different bit of information. Therefore each of the pieces contains some references to scientific theories -such as magnetism, transpiration/respiration, or the expansion rate of the universe.

I remember that KB had Anthony [Burke] build him a "contemplation cage" where he could sit outside and read. It was a large screened in box - about 10' by 10' by 8' high. It was theoretically to screen out the radiation (radio - etc.) that continually coursed through one's brain (doing what, I have no idea)—but I think keeping out mosquitoes was a significant sub-text. I wonder if my ray of light would have penetrated the contemplation cage?

RSA for Burke Scholars, 2008

The Rhetoric Society of America will hold its biannual meeting May 23-26 at the Westin Hotel in Seattle, Washington. Some panels of particular interest to Burke scholars might include:

Saturday May 24th:


“The Rhetoric of Exclusion: The Japanese-American Internment, Post-9/11 Detainees, and Burke's "Dialectic of the Scapegoat," Brad Herzog, Saginaw Valley State University

“The Grammar of Abortion: A Feminist/Burkean Analysis of Pro-Choice Rhetoric” Elizabeth Fleitz, Bowling Green State University
“A Burkean Perspective on the Rhetoric of Family Values” Carrie Anne Platt, University of Southern California


Chair: James Zappen, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
“Kenneth Burke on Rhetoric, Identification, and Dialectical Symmetry” James Zappen, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
“Resituating Representative Anecdote (in General): The Exigency for a Motivational Calculus” Ethan Sproat, Brigham Young University
“Rhetoric and Poetics in the Socio-Political Realm: Kenneth Burke as Counterstatement to Aristotle” Patrick Shaw, University of Southern Indiana
“The Kenneth Burke Concordance: A Heuristic, Organizational, Mnemonic, and Pedagogical Tool for Scholars in Multiple Fields” Stan Lindsay, Florida State University

Sunday, May 25th


“Expanding the Scope of Jewish Identity: Hatzaad Harishon, Black Jews, and Burkean Invention,” Janice W. Fernheimer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


“Rhetoric and Wisdom in the 20th Century: Burke and Perelman,” James Crosswhite, University of Oregon

Chair: Debra Hawhee, University of Illinois
“The Perils of Putting in an Oar before You Catch the Tenor or Test the Salmon Mousse: The Responsibilities of Scholarship in an Age of Electronic Glut” David Blakesley, Purdue University
“Making it Matter: The Importance of Timebound Analysis” Elizabeth Weiser, Ohio State University
“Archives as Equipment for Writing” Ann George, Texas Christian University
“Toward Impious Discipleship: WWBD” Dana Anderson, Indiana University
“Purging Burkophilia” Debra Hawhee, University of Illinois


“Odd Man Out?: Burke Among the Cognitivists” William FitzGerald, Rutgers University, Camden

Monday, May 26th


Chair: Ellen Quandahl, San Diego State University
“Irony Studies: Towards a Dialectical Classroom” Andrew Hinds, San Diego State University
“Burke and Vico: Toward a Tropological Methodology of Composition" Michael McCann, University of Oregon
“Rhetoric and Economics: A Humanistic Approach” William Schraufgnagel, San Diego State University


“Wii, Mii- self and ii: Burke’s Theory of Identification at Play” Amber Davisson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Site Announcement: Seventh Triennial meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society, 2008

We're pleased to announce that the seventh triennial conference of the Kenneth Burke Society will be in Philadelphia, June 29-July 1, 2008 (Sunday through Tuesday), at Villanova University. Events will be on both the Villanova Campus and at the nearby Villanova Conference Center. The conference planner is Bryan Crable.

Bob Wess, President
Ann George, Vice-President
Elvera Berry, Secretary
Pete Smudde, Treasurer
Mark Huglen and Clarke Rountree, Coeditors of Publications
Miriam Clark, Immediate Past President
Jack Selzer, Immediate Past Conference Planner
Dave Blakesley, Past Conference Planner and Technical Consultant