Model individual paper proposal:

In his book, The Book of Dead Philosophers, Simon Critchley follows the various philosophical perspectives of “190 or so dead philosophers” (1) in an effort to elucidate the societal investment with death throughout the centuries. Quoting Cicero, Critchley writes, “To philosophize is to learn how to die” (xv). Beyond simply thinking, reasoning, or arguing how death comes about (ODE definition 1.a.), Critchley’s work illustrates how death continues to influence culture and thought throughout the twenty-first century. Given the stated interest with death, I would like to call attention to the way English writers, thinkers, and philosophers of the sixteenth and seventeenth-centuries address death. As the seedbed to modern thought, these works have influenced the way certain themes and values have been adopted into contemporary culture. Turning to the various Early Modern confrontations with death is relevant here because the work done throughout this literature provides the foundation for understanding death in our own experiences. Due to the interest of time and space within this essay I will be focusing specifically on the way Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, and the martyrdoms of Thomas More and Anna Askew illuminate the role of death in the twenty-first century production of the film Room (2015). Throughout these texts, the confrontation with death leads to an inevitable moment of choice, and it is precisely that moment of choice that I argue necessitates greater examination. The decision between hope and despair, between fear and faith, between life and death seems to be very straight forward. But in each of the instances mentioned, the choice that brought life, wasn’t life. It was death. Choosing to die in order to live.

Model Paper Panel Proposal

Title: Imitating Community: Teaching Invention in Introductory English Courses

Rationale: Invention pedagogy has enjoyed a sustained theoretical discussion in recent years. As part of this discussion, scholars have focused on notions of community and civic engagement (e.g. Heidlebaugh, Simmons and Grabill, Watson, Zulick, Foss and Griffin). But as Janice Lauer and others have pointed out, instructors in the classroom still often struggle to cultivate spaces of authentic rhetorical invention. Therefore, this panel believes that classrooms ought to be more effectively oriented to imitate actual, civic communities. Presenters will draw on productive theoretical concepts, including agency, kairos, imitation, and proto-publics, and provide materials to help teachers and students apply these concepts to enhance the role of invention in their own classes.

Panel Chair:

Professor Brigham Y. University

Associate Professor

Department of English

Presenter 1:

John Doe


Title: “Inhabiting the Spaces of Authority: Towards a Pedagogy of Rhetorical Agency”

In recent years, scholars have shown in increased interest in the question of agency, arguing that agency may not be something an individual possesses, but it may be an interactive space that confers the authority to speak. This paper lays out the fundamental features of the “new agency” and recommends ways of reimagining the introductory classroom to become more consistent with those features.

 Presenter 2:

Jane Doe

 . . .


Model Roundtable Proposal:

Rhetoric and Leadership Studies: An Interdisciplinary Experiment


In recent decades, the field of leadership studies has become an interdisciplinary force. Doctoral, masters, and undergraduate degree programs are now dedicated to its study, and private and public organizations seek consulting experts in order to reap its benefits. However, whereas rhetorical studies has a long tradition of leadership-focused pedagogy at least implicit in its theory, it has shown little to no regard for the resurgence of interest in practical leadership training elsewhere in the academy.

This roundtable seeks to encourage teachers and scholars of rhetoric to attend systematically to the new opportunity for rhetorical education that leadership studies presents. Questions will include: How do we best define leadership itself? How do we ensure that the notion of a good, liberally educated person who speaks well and thinks critically becomes a pillar of leadership education, not only in humanities departments, but also in business and social science disciplines?

Participant Bios:

  • Jane Doe is a third-year English major with an auxiliary interest in leadership studies. She participates in BYU’s civic engagement and leadership program and plans to apply to law school in fall 2020.
  • John Doe is . . .