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CFP: Weapons of Mass Seduction: Rhetoric and Political Discourse in The United States

Submission deadline: April 15, 2013

Conference date(s):
November 6, 2013 - November 9, 2013

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Roosevelt Study Center - Ghent University
Middelburg, Netherlands

Topic areas


One year after the 2012 US presidential elections an international conference will be held in the neighbouring towns of Middelburg in the Netherlands and Ghent in Belgium. This four-day conference (November 6-9, 2013) will be hosted jointly by the Roosevelt Study Center (Middelburg) and Ghent University.

Both Ghent and Middelburg possess close links with former US presidents: the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, negotiated the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, while the Roosevelt family originated from the province of Zeeland, of which Middelburg is the main town.

The conference, which will take place one year after the 2012 presidential elections, encompasses American political discourse and rhetoric in the widest sense. We welcome paper proposals that analyse aspects of discourse and rhetoric in the United States since the 18th century.

The conference aims to cover a wide range of political actors, from presidential rhetoric and campaigns to state-level politics, from the role of the media to online fora, from social movements to public intellectuals.

The conference will bring together specialists of ancient and modern rhetoric, historians, political scientists, linguists, and communication specialists. While the event will bring together perspectives on the use of classical rhetoric in American politics, the intention is to include perspectives on both classical and modern rhetoric. This will allow not only for contrast and comparison but will also emphasise the continuity between the two. By bringing classicists and modernists together around the subject of American discourse and rhetoric, the conference will develop a fruitful interaction between disciplines.

The language of the conference will be English.

Proposals of no more than 300 words should be submitted to the organizing committee via Giles Scott-Smith and Michael Burke

Each proposal should include a short CV.

Deadline for proposals is

April 15, 2013.

Organising Committee:

Prof. Dr. Gert Buelens, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University

Prof. Dr. Michael Burke, University College Roosevelt. Middelburg

Prof. Dr. Danny Praet, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University

Prof. Dr. Giles Scott-Smith, Roosevelt Study Center / Leiden University

Scientific Committee:

Prof. Dr. Adam Fairclough, Institute of History, Leiden University

Prof. Dr. Jan Verplaetse, Faculty of Law, Ghent University

Prof. Dr. Rik Coolsaet, Faculty of Political Sciences, Ghent University

Dr. Koen De Temmerman, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University

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