ISHR Twenty-Second Biennial Conference

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 24-27 July 2019

The Twenty-Second Biennial Conference of the International Society for the
History of Rhetoric (ISHR) will be held at the Hotel Montelone
from Wednesday 24 to Saturday 27 July, 2019.

The special theme of the conference will be
‘Populism. Members pay reduced conference fees!


Call for Papers

The Twenty-Second Biennial Conference of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (ISHR) Hotel Monteleone in
downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
July 24-27, 2019

The Biennial Conference of ISHR brings together several hundred specialists in the history of rhetoric from around thirty countries.

Scholarly Focus of the Conference

The Society calls for twenty-minute conference papers focusing on historical aspects of the theory and practice of rhetoric. This year’s specific conference theme or focus is “populism.” From its beginnings, rhetoric has been criticized for its perceived focus on manipulation of popular thought and emotions. Rhetoric can thus be easily associated with “populism,” a political concept describing movements, both left and right, that vigorously claim to champion the interests of “the people” against those of privileged elites. From the Greeks to contemporary politics, many aspects of rhetorical theory and practice can be viewed in this light, whether in ideologically charged argumentation, in popular modes of style, or in delivery. At the same time, the concept of populism itself can be contested. Finally, the reaction to perceived populism is a rhetorical study in its own right.

The conference will be held in a state which was the home of one of the most notable populist movements in U.S. history – under the rule of governor and later senator Huey P. Long in the 1920s and 30s – and of course will be held at a time when populist movements have upset traditional political balances worldwide.

Besides papers dealing with the relationship of rhetoric to populism, submissions might also deal with the rhetoric used (usually by its opponents) to describe populism.

However, papers are also invited on all aspects of the history of rhetoric in all periods and languages, and the relationship of rhetoric to poetics, literary theory and criticism, philosophy, politics, art, religion, sport and other cultural areas.

Procedure for Submission

Proposals are invited for 20-minute presentations delivered in one of the six languages of the Society, viz. English, French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Panel proposals are welcome, under the following conditions: the panel must consist of three or four speakers dealing with a common theme, so as to form a coherent set of papers. The person responsible for the panel, who may also be one of the speakers, has the task of introducing the papers and guiding the discussion. Each speaker in a panel must submit a proposal form for his or her own paper, and should send the finished paper to the panel organizer before the conference. Proposals for panel papers must specify the panel for which they are intended. In addition, the panel organizer must complete and submit a separate form explaining the purpose of the proposed panel and naming the participants. Please be aware that proposals for panel papers will be considered on their individual merits by the Program Committee, and there is no guarantee that all papers proposed for a panel will be accepted.

Only one proposal for presentation per person can be accepted, including also presentations as parts of panels. Each person may only appear once as a speaker on the program.  Multiple submissions will be automatically deleted. Persons serving as (non-presenting) chairs are not affected by that rule.

Proposals for papers and for panels must be submitted on-line. Please complete the on-line form carefully and fully. In exceptional cases (only), proposals may also be sent by regular mail to the following address:

Professor Malcolm Richardson
Department of English
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge
Louisiana 70803

Guidelines for the preparation of proposals are provided at the bottom of this message. The length of the abstracts must not exceed 300 words. 

Please CLICK HERE to access the submission website and for CFPs in other official ISHR languages. These calls are located on the 'Contact Us' tab.

Deadline for Proposals

The deadline for the submission of proposals has been extended until 1 June, 2018.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out before the end of August 2018. In a few cases participants may require an earlier acceptance date in order to secure funding. We will try to accommodate such requests if they are made with appropriate documentation.

Information about the Conference, including the conference hotel at special rates, will be provided during the academic year 2018-19. The conference registration fee is still to be determined, but the New Orleans organizers will endeavor to insure that this is kept as low as possible. Graduate students and scholars from underrepresented countries pay reduced registration fees and may be eligible for travel grants.

I am very much looking forward to welcoming you to New Orleans in 2019.

Malcolm Richardson,
President of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric

Guidelines for the preparation of proposals:

The members of ISHR come from many countries and academic disciplines. The following guidelines are intended to make it easier for us to come together and understand one another’s proposals. The Program Committee recommends that all proposals contain:

  1. a definition – accessible to a non-specialist – of the field of the proposal, including its chronological period, language, texts and other sources;
  2. a statement of the specific problem that will be treated in your paper; its place in relation to the present state of research in the general field under consideration; and its significance for the history of rhetoric;
  3. a summary of the stages of argumentation involved in addressing the problem; and
  4. conclusions and advances in research.

Please CLICK HERE to access the submission website and for CFPs in other official ISHR languages.