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Call for Papers Call for Participation

International Conference on "Rhetorical Citizenship and Public Deliberation

Call for Papers – Call for Participation

International Conference on


"Rhetorical Citizenship and Public Deliberation"


October 9-10, 2008, at the University of Copenhagen

The conference is presented by the researchers' network "Rhetorical Citizenship: Perspectives on Deliberative Democracy", based at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication at the University of Copenhagen.

The conference will open at 9:00 AM on October 9 and close at 5:00 PM on October 10. The registration desk is open from 8:30 am. both days. Participants may sign in, pick up conference materials, etc. at this time.

The conference theme frames explorations into:

- how rhetorical citizenship can manifest itself,
- what common and/or local traits it might have,
- what societal interests are vested in regarding citizenship as a rhetorical phenomenon.

The conference welcomes scholars from a broad spectrum of academic fields, including Communication, Rhetoric, Political Science, and Philosophy, as well as educators, journalists, politicians, activists in political and grassroots movements, etc.

Keynote Speakers

The following Keynote Speakers will be featured:

Professor John Dryzek:


Contemporary democracy is mostly representative democracy. Deliberative democracy highlights communication rather than aggregation of the preferences of individuals. Especially in contexts where a well-defined demos cannot be identified, it may make sense to think in terms of the representation of discourses rather than persons. We might then think about desirable characteristics of discursive representatives, and the circumstances under which they might meet in a ‘chamber of discourses'.


Professor John Dryzek (Australian National University) is the author of Deliberative Democracy and Beyond, Discursive Democracy: Politics, Policy, and Political Science, Democracy in Capitalist Times: Ideals, Limits, and Struggles, The Politics of the Earth, and several other works.



Professor Rosa A. Eberly:

"Quantum Parliaments": Disciplinarity, Public Scholarship, and Common Goods


More than two millennia after Plato put the -ic in rhetoric -- and more than a century after hair-splitting disciplinarity began to erode the scholarly pursuit of common questions -- scholars from across the arts and sciences (even physicists!) are bringing their "occupational psychoses" to the shared and perduring problems of democracy. What might scholars do to imagine our different roles -- researchers, teachers, citizens -- as complementary rather than antagonistic? I will discuss with the audience several historical and contemporary cases of how disciplinary differences discouraged and enabled the useful pursuit of common questions in the context of public scholarship.


Professor Rosa A. Eberly (Penn State University, formerly University of Texas, Austin) is a Fellow of Penn State's Laboratory for Public Scholarship and Democracy and is author of Citizen Critics: Literary Public Spheres, The Elements of Reasoning and many studies on rhetoric and civic engagement, and public scholarship and has published in distinguished journals such as Rhetoric and Public Affairs and Rhetoric Review, and New Directions for Teaching and Learning.

Professor John M. Murphy:

Cultivating Citizenship: The Role of Public Rhetoric

In recent years, a variety of thinkers, from Robert Putnam to Danielle Allen, have identified individualism and distrust as key obstacles to a vigorous practice of citizenship. They have also generally focused on public rhetoric as a problem and unfavorably compared the competitive norms implicit within political discourse to the cooperative norms they see in other discursive practices. Rather than giving up on public rhetoric, I suggest we explore some exemplary discursive practices that may light the way toward a more vibrant citizenry. I'll illustrate these concepts with examples drawn from John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Professor John M. Murphy (University of Illinois, formerly University of Georgia) is the author of numerous studies of American political rhetoric in leading journals such as Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Quarterly Journal of Speech.

Professor Georgia Warnke: Title to be announced.

Professor Warnke (University of California, Riverside) is the author of Gadamer: Hermeneutics, Tradition, and Reason, Justice and Interpretation, Legitimate Differences: Interpretation in the Abortion Controversy and Other Public Debates, and After Identity: Rethinking Race, Sex and Gender.

Participation and papers

All those interested in the conference themes are invited, whether they wish to present papers or not. Papers discussing aspects of rhetorical citizenship - particularly with regard to questions raised by ideals about democratic debate and its many manifestations - are invited. Topics may include practical, ideological and ethical perspectives on public discourse. Particular questions explored might be:

• What should we expect from public debate?

• Can meaningful norms of public conversation be formulated, and how might such norms be nurtured?

• What is "reasonable disagreement" and how can it be handled constructively?

• How might the notion "rhetorical agency" contribute to our thinking about and critique of public deliberation?

• What characterizes a constructive speaking position and how might it be obtained?

Papers should be given in English. Time slots for papers will be 45 minutes, including at least 10 minutes for questions and debate.

If you wish to participate, send an email to by June 1, 2008. (You may use the reply email function if applicable.) Those wishing to present papers should include a title and an abstract of no more than 200 words. Within a short time, you will then receive an email giving further information on registration, payment, etc., and directing you to the conference website.

Notification on acceptance of papers will be sent out by email by June 15, 2008.

Registration and fees:

Registration must be sent by email to

Fees for registration before July 1, 2008:

For academic faculty: DDK 500,00

For students and non-academic participants: DDK 350,00

Fees for registration later than July 1, 2008:

For academic faculty: DDK 600,00

For students and non-academic participants: DDK 450,00

Fees include conference participation, lunches, and coffee/tea/refreshments during conference hours, and a conference dinner (excl. beverages).

Instructions regarding payment will be posted on the conference website as soon as possible and sent by email to individuals who have submitted an abstract.

Final registration deadline will be September 15, 2008.

Conference Publication

The organizers intend to publish a volume containing selected conference papers. Participants interested in submitting their paper for consideration are invited to indicate this during the conference by submitting a brief statement containing subject, title and contact information. Final versions of papers must be submitted by November 15, 2008. All submissions for the conference volume will be peer reviewed.

Conference Website

There will be a conference website continually updated with relevant information, such as a full conference schedule, advice on travel, lodging, meals, etc. A website for the conference is under construction and will shortly be accessible at this address:


As organizers of the conference, we sincerely hope that you will choose to attend.

With our best wishes,

The Conference Committee:

Lisa Storm Villadsen Christian Kock
Associate Professor of Rhetoric Professor of Rhetoric
University of Copenhagen University of Copenhagen
Hans V. Hansen Ove Korsgaard
Professor of Philosophy Professor, The Danish University School of Education
University of Windsor, Canada University of Aarhus

Kjell Lars Berge
Professor, Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies
University of Oslo
Kasper Møller Hansen
Associate Professor of General and Comparative Political Science
Dept. of Political Science
University of Copenhagen

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