Program of the KBS Triennial Virtual Conference 2021

The Kenneth Burke Society Triennial Virtual Conference 2021 will take place from 9:45 am to 3:30 pm EST, June 24 and 25, 2021. This single stream conference will be hosted in the same Zoom room for every session. The link will be emailed to registrants the day before the conference—please do not circulate it or post it publicly to prevent Zoombombing. 

Please register for the conference here. We cannot send you the Zoom link if you do not register. Reminder that the conference is free for all KBS members; you can join the KBS online.

Obviously, the Triennial comes after a long pandemic year and is accompanied by many of the challenges of conferencing from home. We want to underline that, while we hope that people are able to attend many sessions and create a conference vibe, we also understand the realities of cameo appearances by pets and kids, Zoom fatigue, and the various surprises that life will no doubt throw at us. So, following our patron saint, we will try to muddle through the virtual conference scramble as best we can while looking onward and upward to new futures for Burkean studies.

Below is the program for the synchronous part of the conference. Please take special note of the two keynotes, Dr. Theon Hill’s “Burkean Identification, Coalition Politics, and the Black Freedom Struggle” and Dr. Kyle Jensen’s “Identification’s Dimensions,” both at 10 am EST

Synchronous presenters will have the ability to share their slides, if they have any. Chairs will guide their respective sessions, just as in a "normal" conference. Please be mindful of keeping presentations to the 12-15 minute range so that we have time at the end of the session to engage the papers.

After the synchronous program, please note the line-up of asynchronous papers. We will circulate the asynchronous presentations to participants after the conference concludes. 

June 24, 2021

9:45—Conference welcome

10:00—Keynote, Dr. Theon Hill, “Burkean Identification, Coalition Politics, and the Black Freedom Struggle”

11-12:15—Session 1—Burke + Religion

  • Joshua Hill, Pennsylvania College of Technology, “Re-introducing Augustinian Hope to the Humility of Burke’s Logology: A Probe into Substantial Participation”
  • Camille K Lewis, Furman University, “‘Love Bob Jones or Go to Hell’: Klandamentalism as a Dysfunctional Romance”
  • Steven Mailloux, Loyola Marymount University/ University of California, Irvine, “Diagraming Jesuits of Logology: Comparing Kenneth Burke and Gaston Fessard on Truth and Freedom in History”
  • Joel Overall, Belmont University, “Hall Johnson, African American Spiritual Music, and Burke’s “One Light in a Dark Valley”“

12:15-1:00—Lunch break

1-2:15—Session 2—Burke in the 21st-Century Classroom

Chair: M. Elizabeth Weiser, Ohio State University

  • Annie Laurie Nichols, St. Vincent College, “Perfected by the Other: Learning Cluster Analysis with Undergraduates”
  • Laura Van Beveren, University of Ghent & Kris Rutten, University of Ghent, “Educating Students in the Social and Behavioral Sciences to Become Symbol-Wise Practitioners”
  • Ann George, Texas Christian University, “Drama in a Graduate Seminar”
  • Shannon Walters, Temple University, “Muscular Drooping and Sentimental Brooding: Burke’s Crip Time-War Time Disability Pedagogy”
  • Elvera Berry, Roberts Wesleyan College, “Burke for Undergraduates: Equipment for Thinking, Working, and Living”

2:15-3:30—Session 3—The Future of Burkean Rhetorical Criticism

Chair: Jouni Tilli, University of Jyväskylä (Finland)

  • Clarke Rountree, University of Alabama-Huntsville, “What Burkean Rhetorical Critics Can Learn from Judicial Discourse”
  • Kris Rutten, University of Ghent, “Burkean Rhetorical Criticism and the Future of Education”
  • Rochelle Gregory, North Central Texas College, “Understanding Identification and Symbolic Action in Autistic Language and Communication”
  • Gretchen Berry, Villanova University, “Dance of Bodies/Dance of Words: A Burkean Analysis of Jordan Peele’s Us

3:30-4:30—Social Hour

June 25, 2021

9:45—Zoom room opens

10—Keynote, Dr. Kyle Jensen, “Identification’s Dimensions”

11-12:15—Session 4—Attitudes Toward Institutions

  • Edwin S. Lee, The University of Alabama, “Josh Gibson’s Baseball Statistics and the Power Structures Embedded in Language”
  • Deborah Leiter, University of Wisconsin at Platteville, “God Terms, Devil Terms, and the Logology of the White Evangelical Church”
  • AmyLea Clemons, Francis Marion University, “The Drama of Fan Relations: Cluster Analysis and Fan Historiography”
  • Katherine Tanski, Gonzaga University, “The Bureaucratization of the Rhetorical Imaginative in NCA and NCTE Histories”

12:15-1:00—Lunch break

1-2:15—Session 5—Apocalypse (Right) Now

Chair: David Blakesley, Clemson University

  • David Blakesley, Clemson University, “The Value of (Burkean) Theory in an Age of Activism”
  • Cody Hunter, Clemson University, “A Flash of Light to Blurred Vision: The Rhetoric of the Threat of a Nuclear War The Day After Trinity and in the Year 2020”
  • Jacob Richter, Clemson University, “Nervously Loquacious at the Edge of an Abyss: Kenneth Burke, Trained Incapacities, and the Vocabularies of Climate Change”

2:15-3:30—Session 6—Burking the Digital/Digitizing Burke

  • John Dowd, Bowling Green State University, “The Irony of Contemporary Loneliness: Confirmation, Disconfirmation, and Symbolic Solace within Ubiquitous Digital Connection”
  • Kalin Schultz, University of Maryland, “Should We Laugh or Should We Cry?: The Use of Burke’s Perspective by Incongruity in Sexual Assault Discourse”
  • Joseph S. Vuletich, Indiana University, Bloomington, “iWitness: Kenneth Burke, Alan Turing, and Thinking (with) Machines”
  • Karen Walker, independent scholar, “Traversing the AI Ethics Landscape”

3:30-4:30—Social Hour

Asynchronous Presentations
View the Video Presentations at KB Journal

  • Allison Diaz, Texas Christian University, “One Man’s Dream: A Pentadic Study of The Walt Disney Company”
  • Michael David Measel, Clemson University, “The Rhetoric of Kenneth Burke’s ‘One Light in a Dark Valley’”
  • Rebekah Bennetch, University of Saskatchewan, “That’s Not Funny! Applying Burke’s Comic Corrective to Teaching in a Pandemic”
  • Jarron Slater, Brigham Young University, “Suffering as a Catalyst for Creative Acts”
  • Michael Feehan, independent scholar, “Kenneth Burke’s Late Theory of History: The Personalistic and Instrumentalist Principles”
  • Zari Taylor, University of North Carolina, “‘Crude Magic, But Effective’: A Burkean Analysis of Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign”
  • Rebecca Oliver, University of Alabama, “Redemption and Metaphor: Historical and Present Constructions of Democracy in Joe Biden's Inaugural Address”
  • Maximilian Pietroforte Brichta, University of Southern California, “Believing (for): Rhetorical Form in Hillsong California’s Sunday Service”
  • Richard Thames, Duquesne University, “Kenneth Burke’s Anticipating and Remediating Thomas Kuhn”
  • Yohei Chiba, Chukyo University (Japan), “Purifying the Aesthetic: I. A. Richards and Kenneth Burke on Interpretation of Errors in Teaching”