In June 2015, I’ll be leading a workshop at the RSA Summer Institute, held in Madison, WI. What follows is the teaser that I posted to Facebook about it. Eventually, this page will either be built out to include readings, resources, and an agenda for that workshop, or it will link to a more interactive platform for those things. In the meantime, if you’re interested in the Institute more generally, I recommend the Institute website.

The application deadline for the RSA Institute is October 1. The application form is available at the RSA website.


Networks have always been with us, but from social media to digital humanities to big data, we feel the weight of our networks today in unprecedented ways. And rhetoric supplies much of the energy that animates these networks, whether we talk about it in terms of persuasion, deliberation, judgment, identification, attention, or even deception. At its core, rhetoric forges connections, and they form the basis for our individual and collective relationships, our vast maps of texts and ideas, and the news and cultures that surrounds us.

A new vocabulary has begun to emerge that draws specifically on the networked qualities of rhetoric–betweenness and centrality, virality and velocity, tipping points and long tails–and part of my goal for this workshop is to survey that vocabulary, to see where it overlaps with and sometimes breaks from established rhetorical theory. We will look at recent scholarship in rhetoric that is deploying concepts from network studies, survey relevant online tools and platforms, and explore digital projects (Republic of Letters, The Writing Studies Tree, e.g.). Readings will include work by Albert-László Barabási, Kathleen Carley, Wendy Chun, Rebecca Dingo, Byron Hawk, John Jones, Jeff Rice, Thomas Rickert, James Ridolfo and Dànielle DeVoss, Mark Taylor, & Duncan Watts. Finally, participants will have an opportunity to share work-in-progress, receive feedback, and/or plan future collaborations.

Rhetorics and Networks
Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute Workshop
Madison, WI
June 5-7, 2015

Workshop (RSA grad student member): $220
Workshop (grad student non-member): $290
RSA grad student membership: $50

The fees include the cost of the plenary lunch on Friday afternoon, a continental breakfast (coffee, bagels, etc.) each morning before the institute begins, and some other social events that are still in the planning stages for both seminars and workshops.

If you’re interested in chatting with me about this, even after the application deadline, you can find me as cgbrooke on gmail or twitter.