Lauren Mitchell’s RCID Oral Exam Defense

March 13, 2012 by

“The fringing benefits of rhetorics in architecture”

Happened: 3.13.12, 10:30AM until 12:30PM
Outcome: Lauren successfully–with honors–passed her exams.

Victor J. Vitanza (Chair), Director, RCID (CAAH)
Cynthia Haynes: English Dept.
Martha Skinner: Architecture
Jason T. Young: Architecture (U of Michigan)

Here are some pix:


S3S Society and The Carolina Rhetoric Conference

March 2, 2012 by

Check out:

Visit the S3S (Society of the 3rd Sophistic) | Clemson CAAH RCID.

Carolina Rhetoric Conference, RCID, Clemson University, 2012. Be sure to visit this site for the program. This was a fantastic conference with a full array of formats for presentations and events!

Seven Strange Attractors: How to Repent! And Be Unbaptized!

March 2, 2012 by

Jimmy Butts’ Defense of Exams, Feb. 29th. An occasion to remember! The defense began with a reception … Jimmy with Stephen Lind (pic below) :

Jimmy’s dissertation topic explores how Victor Shklovsky’s concept of defamiliarization functions rhetorically across different forms of composition and media.  The ethics underlying his writing works against the flood of totalizing immersive media when they elicit only automatic or anesthetized responses from their contemporary audiences.  The project hopes to complicate expectations of standardization by seeing both potential and problems in normative and unusual compositions. He will work through seven forms of inventional strategies for strangeness including figural shifts in media, time traveling, replacement, addition & subtraction, negation, glossolalia, and exponentiation.

Here is Cynthia Haynes, the Chair of Jimmy’s committee, opening the defense:

The Studio room was changed to match the mood of the topics on the exams.

The Defense (snapshots):

Congratulations, Jimmy! (vjv)

RSA Announces Graduate Student Special Event Award

November 5, 2011 by


RSA is proud to announce that Clemson University’s RSA Student Chapter [RCID] is the sole recipient of the 2011-2012 RSA Graduate Student Special Event Award.  They will receive $2450 in support of the Carolina Rhetoric Conference.

The award committee reviewed numerous proposals for interesting and important graduate student events around the country.  However, Clemson’s proposal distinguished itself by demonstrating a wide-reaching opportunity for graduate students of rhetoric. The award committee was particularly impressed by Clemson’s effort to reach across many graduate programs, to create numerous venues for students’ scholarly and professional development, and to utilize digital technologies creatively.

In February 2012, Clemson’s RSA chapter will host the Carolina Rhetoric Conference (CRC), an annual event that brings together graduate students from North and South Carolina. The CRC provides graduate students in the region with opportunities to share their research, build a network of rhetoric scholars in the Carolinas, and to receive feedback on conference presentations before presenting at major national conventions.  The event is alternatively hosted by RSA chapters at NC State, the University of South Carolina, and Clemson.  This year, Clemson plans to expand the conference by inviting graduate students from additional rhetoric programs.  In addition, they plan to include various networking events, a digital showcase, keynote speakers, workshops, and live blogging during the event followed by a series of round-up blogs after the event.

Stephen Lind’s Oral Exams

October 7, 2011 by

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 by

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)

European Graduate School, June 2011

September 10, 2011 by

This year’s visiting scholars to the European Graduate School (EGS) were second year RCID student Jared Colton and fourth year RCID candidate Nicole McFarlane. They attended the June session seminars in Media and Communication. Although this session took place in the days leading up to the solstice, the Clemson RCID contingent arrived to find a landscape with little resemblance to balmy Carolina summers. Freshly fallen snow covered the landscape.

The video below features excerpts from the six seminars that Nicole and Jared attended. Courses included “Art, Community, and Freedom” by Jean-Luc Nancy; “Derrida”: Hospitality and Cosmopolitanism” by Diane Davis; “Justice in Language” by Werner Hamacher; “Lyotard: Hesitating Thought” by Victor J. Vitanza; “Literary Cinema: the Transformation of Thought” by Volker Schlöndorff; and “Deleuze: Science and History” by Manuel DeLanda.

The EGS Experience from Jared on Vimeo.

Favorite Italian Restaurant: The chocolate truffles were to die for.

Jean-Luc Nancy was kind enough to pose for a photo with Nicole.

Manuel DeLanda strikes a playful stance with Jared upon the conclusion of his seminar on Deleuze.

Derrida seminar with Diane Davis and EGS students.


RCID Graduation, 4 new Ph.Ds, AY 2010-11

April 21, 2011 by

College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Doctor of Philosophy
Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design

Joshua Mitchell Abboud…………………………..Clemson, SC
B.A., Brigham Young University; M.A., University of Arizona
Dissertation: The Ethics of Obstruction
Advisor: Dr. Victor j. Vitanza

Sergio Correia Figueiredo…………………………Riverside, NJ
B.A., Rowan College; M.A., Marshall University
Dissertation: UnComposing (Visual) Rhetoric’s: A (Strange) Comic(s) View of Writing in the Age of New Media
Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Haynes

Alicia Nicole Hatter………………………………….Snellville, GA
B.A., College of Charleston; M.A., Georgia State University
Dissertation: You Belong Here: An “Interpellative” Approach to Usability
Advisor: Dr. Tharon Howard

Josephine Nambuya Walwema……………………Mbale, Uganda
B.A., M.Ed., Makerere University; M.A., University of New Mexico
Dissertation: Tactile Interfaces: Epistemic Techne in Information Design
Advisor: Dr. Steve Katz

RCID Research Forum, AY 2010-11

April 21, 2011 by

The RCID program along with the CAAH thanks our faculty-colleagues for their presentations of research for the AY 2010-11.

–Fall 2010

Bryan Denham, Department of Communication Studies: “Mass Communication and Deviance Amplification: Conceptual Processes.”

Tharon Howard, Department of English: “Who Watches the Watchmen: Evaluating Multimodal Scholarship in the Academy.”

Christina Hung, Department of Art: “Peripatetic Looking: Making the Image and Its Situation.”

Jan Holmevik, Department of English: “The Electrate Ludic Transversal.”

Linda Li-Bleuel, Department of Performing Arts: “Lucie Robert’s 10 + 1: A Landmark Work in the Creation of a Performance Medium.”

–Spring 2011

Steve Katz, Department of English, “Plato’s Nightmare: Poetry in an Age of Electracy?”

Barton Palmer, Department of English: “Textual Multiplicities and the Auteur Theory: Some Thoughts on Genette and Jameson”

Diane Perpich, Department of Philosophy and Religion: “Heidegger’s Contribution to Social Ontology.”

Susanna Ashton, Department of English: “South Carolina Slave Narratives.”

Martha Skinner, Department of Architecture: “CiTy-SCAN: The Sensual and Scientific Notation of the Human Body and the City Body”

Johannes Schmidt, Department of Languages: “Resisting theory: 18th-century German theater and the education of the masses.”

Tharon Howard chosen for the J.R. Gould Award

March 26, 2011 by

We in RCID are pleased to announce that the Society for Communication, on the recommendation of the J. R. Gould Award Committee, has chosen Tharon Howard as a recipient of the prestigious J. R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2011

The award committee noted Tharon’s life-long work as a mentor of students in usability and community involvement, and his passionate encouragement of students in STC competitions. The committee thanked Tharon for his commitment to excellence in teaching technical communication. 

The award will be conferred at the Honors Banquet (8:00 pm –10:30 pm, in the Hyatt Regency) of the annual STC conference, which will be held on May 15-18 in Sacramento, California.

Congratulations, Tharon!