Archive for October, 2011

Stephen Lind’s Oral Exams

October 7, 2011

As part of his Comprehensive Exams, third year RCID candidate Stephen Lind invited students, faculty, and friends to experience a slice of the vast Peanuts franchise at an exhibit (shown below) held September 30th in Clemson’s Brooks Center.  With Vince Guaraldi’s jazz music for Peanuts played live by Clemson University pianist Lori Gourdin, guests were treated to refreshments, including glass-bottled Coca~Cola (the original sponsor of the 1965 classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas), and were shown a variety of Schulz’s works through hands-on access to collectibles and rarities accompanied by informative placards.  For Lind, the items on display of particular interest were the religiously themed merchandise products, such as the high-end nativity scene from Lenox and the religious greeting cards from Hallmark and its subsidiary DaySpring.

Lind’s dissertation, titled “Schulz’s Religion: Exploring Faith in the Mainstream Media through the Peanuts Franchise” makes use of a transdisciplinary set of mixed-methods to examine the multifaceted Peanuts franchise as a rich case study in the portrayals of religion within the entertainment media.  In his Oral Exam presentation following the exhibit, Lind made the case that overt religion has become a rarity in the American “religio-secular public sphere,” citing legal battles over religion in public schools and media studies data indicating that religious affiliation is often nearly invisible on mainstream broadcast television.  Peanuts, according to Lind, stands out as one unique example of nuanced religious reference in a successful mainstream franchise.  Using historical, rhetorical, and social-scientific methods in his dissertation, Lind will engage questions surrounding religious portrayals in public media by analyzing the nuanced  references to religion across various components of the Peanuts properties – comic strips, animated specials, and product merchandising.

Part of Lind’s dissertation will also include a treatment of the complex theological aspects of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz’s biography.  In 2010, Lind met with Schulz’s widow Jean Schulz (pictured below) who has been graciously supportive of the project. Lind will return to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, CA, later this year to continue his archival research and to conduct a number of interviews with Schulz’s family and friends.


CRC 2012 (Feb 17-18)

October 4, 2011

Call for Submissions: Carolina Rhetoric Conference 2012 (Feb. 17-18)

The Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design (RCID) program at Clemson University invites you to submit your scholarly work for presentation at the 2012 Carolina Rhetoric Conference (CRC).  CRC will be held on Clemson’s campus in South Carolina’s beautiful Upstate region (Clemson, SC) February 17-18, 2012 (Fri-Sat). The submission deadline is December 1st by email:

CRC began several years ago as a joint graduate student endeavor by rhetoric programs from rotating hosts The University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Clemson University. This year we are excited to broaden our borders under the conference theme, “Embracing Heritage. Expanding Horizons.”  We encourage you to pass this Call for Submissions to other Master’s and Doctoral programs across the Carolina regions (that are involved, either directly or tangentially, in studies related to rhetoric) that may be interested in joining for an intimate and engaging conference. We are also excited to be offering three session types to which you can submit (please only submit one proposal per presenter):

1) Individual Presentation:  “Traditional” panel session format with 3-4 presenters (submitted individually) per panel grouped by thematic similarities, followed by a short Q&A session.  Submissions for Individual Presentations can be traditional scholarly papers and/or can bescholarly multi-media presentations with creator commentary before/during/after.

2) Showcase Session: This session will be similar to a traditional “poster session,” where creators stand alongside their work in an exhibit hall with casual opportunities to chat more personally with fellow scholars about their project. Submitters are encouraged to consider submitting digital/multi-media projects (videos, photo essays, artinstallations, etc.). Traditional “poster” submissions will also be welcomed.

3) Works-In-Progress Roundtable: In these sessions, 3-5 scholars across experience levels will be grouped in order to briefly explain their work to those at the table in order to then receive encouraging and substantive feedback/suggestions from their fellow scholars.

*** Submissions that embrace the conference theme are encouraged, but all submissions will be welcomed for consideration.

HOW-TO-SUBMIT: Submissions should be made via email ( ) by the December 1st deadline.  Please place “CRC Submission” in the Subject line of your email. In the Body of the email, please include the following:

Contact Information: Name, School Affiliation, Degree Level (MA, PhD, Faculty), Email Address, and the Title of your Submission.

Attached to the email, please include a Word document that is free of any immediately identifying information (i.e., no name or school affiliation) but that includes the following:

1) The Title of your Submission

2) A 200-300 word Abstract explaining the thesis and theoretical/methodological support for your project. (Artwork/Audio-Visual-Samples for multi-media/non-text-based submissions will also be accepted, accompanied by short descriptions of the project)

3) Identify which type of session you would like this considered for: Individual Presentation (part of a traditional panel); Showcase (physical and digital media); or Works-In-Progress Roundtable.

4) Indicate whether or not you are willing to have your work considered in an alternate session type than the one you list (i.e., would you be willing to show your Individual Presentation submission as part of the Showcase if requested by the CRC committee?).

5) What, if any, technology needs does your presentation require?

We look forward to an engaging and innovative opportunity to network, test ideas, and share perspectives at the 2012 CRC.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email them to:

Stephen Lind, Conference Chair, CRC 2012
Clemson University
RCID (Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design)
President, S3S (RCID Student Body Organization)