KBS 2014: Attitudes Toward Technology/Technology's Attitudes

poster

Fast Facts

Conference Dates: July 17-20, 2014
Proposal Deadline: February 14, 2014
Submit Proposal to: kbsconference2014@gmail.com
UPDATED Acceptance Notification: March 14, 2014
Please note that acceptance notifications went out March 14, 2014. If you haven't heard from us, please email the conference organizers right away. Registration info will go about April 1, 2014.
UPDATED Registration Window: April 1, 2014 to July 1, 2014. Register Here (Late registration will begin July 2, 2014.)
Conference Website: http://kbjournal.org/kbs14
Conference Chairs: Paul Lynch (plynch11@slu.edu) and Nathaniel Rivers (nrivers1@slu.edu)
Conference Keynotes: Jodie Nicotra will present "Compulsion and 'Transcendence Sideways': Burke’s Technological Attitudes," and Thomas Rickert will present "Making Hope Out of Nothing at All: Amechania in Burke, Nietzsche, and Parmenides." Both talks engage the conference theme of Attitudes Toward Technology/Technology’s Attitudes. Find abstracts here.
Conference Seminars: For a complete list (and descriptions) of seminars click here. Conference Poster: Click Here. (Poster designed by Nathaniel A. Rivers. Animated gif generated by Chris Lindgren)

Conference Theme

Attitude mediates action and motion. Attitude is incipient action. Media have attitudes. Media are incipient. We act through media and media act through us. This dance of attitudes, both human and nonhuman, shapes action. Action is always in media res.

KBS 2014: Conference Paper Awards

We invite presenters to submit their work for consideration in our Best Paper Awards contest. There are two categories: student and faculty/independent scholar. Paper should be submitted to conference organizers at kbsconference2014@gmail.com by June 15, 2014. Subject heading should indicate paper contest submission and the submission should indicate the category. Winners will be announced in Saint Louis at the Saturday Banquet.

KBS 2014: Keynote Announcement

We are please to announce the keynote speakers for the Ninth Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society. Jodie Nicotra will present "Compulsion and 'Transcendence Sideways': Burke’s Technological Attitudes," and Thomas Rickert will present "Making Hope Out of Nothing at All: Amechania in Burke, Nietzsche, and Parmenides." Both talks engage the conference theme of Attitudes Toward Technology/Technology’s Attitudes.

A Note from the Editors

Welcome to issue 9.1 of KB Journal. We are very pleased to present the issue, which features many new elements as we nudge the journal in new directions. As a result, 9.1 broadly reflects a series of moves we have made as editors.

We have worked to exploit the strengths (and limitations) of the online format

Because KBJ is an exclusively online publication, we strived to make the best use of what the internet affords and what it constrains. For example, we aimed for shorter pieces with fewer endnotes to allow for scrolling reads. An online journal may be theoretically more spacious, but online reading habits make lengthy articles less attractive.

Three Short Film Adaptations

"Parabolic Tale, with Invocation," The Excursion," and "Scherzando"

Jimmy Butts, Wake Forest University

Introduction

I have become increasingly interested in the process of adapting literature to the screen. Short stories represent a particular kind of medium that I find attractive in the age of new media, because they’re quickly taken in, but also manageable in the space of an hour long class discussion. Even so, Kenneth Burke’s short stories still remain largely unread—even by Burke scholars—and so I wanted to give them a broader audience by shifting them into another medium.

Scherzando

Kenneth Burke

As I entered the room, he was reading one of his poems to a very moth-eaten person. “Catalogus Mulierum,” he grunted at me, and went on with the poem. From which I assumed that the title of the thing he was reading was “Catalogus Mulierum,” or “A Catalogue of Women.”

“Yes, I know the old ones who have had their day.
I have observed them.
Those old wrecked houses;
Those dead craters.”

The Excursion

Kenneth Burke

Having nothing to do, and having searched in vain among the notes of a piano for something to think on, I started off on a walk, trusting that I might scent a scandal on the breeze, or see God’s toe peep through the sky. I passed a barbershop, a grocery store, a little Italian girl, a chicken coop, a roadhouse, an abandoned quarry, a field of nervous wheat. All this distance I had walked under God’s blue sky, and still without a thought. But at last, after trudging on for hours, I came upon a thought. Miles upon miles I had walked for a thought, and at last I came upon an anthill.

Redemptive Resistance through Hybrid Victimage

Catholic Guilt, Mortification, and Transvaluation in the Case of the Milwaukee Fourteen

Christopher Oldenburg, Illinois College

Abstract

In 1968 the Milwaukee Fourteen, members of the Catholic Anti-Vietnam War Movement, removed approximately ten-thousand draft files from a Selective Service Office and burned them with home-made napalm in a nearby park before awaiting arrest. Employing the Burkean concepts of categorical guilt, mortification and transvaluation as a framework from which to analyze the Milwaukee Fourteen’s “statement” and the resistive act itself, this essay troubles the general understanding of mortification as simply extirpating one’s guilt by self-victimage. Rather the Milwaukee Fourteen mortify themselves for the disordered transgressions of a culture. Their sacrificial purification results in a form of hybrid victimage with the ultimate goal of transvaluing the moral order of the Vietnam War era.

Review: The Chameleon President by Clarke Rountree

Four Ways of Looking at Eleven Ways of Looking

Clarke Rountree, The Chameleon President: The Curious Case of George W. Bush. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2013.

Jason C. Thompson, University of Wyoming

In 1917 Wallace Stevens published “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” a poem that, in presenting alternative perspectives of a mundane act, argues not for the narrative construction of one singular and edifying meaning, but for the intellectual possibility of perspectivism: in place of a distinct narrator’s voice, thirteen narrators speak, a literary prefiguration of the “virtual camera” that pioneered Bullet Time® in the 1999 film The Matrix.

Review: Rhetorical Listening by Krista Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe, Krista. Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Gender, Whiteness. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005. 248 pages.

Steven M. Pedersen, Oklahoma State University

During the 2005 Kenneth Burke Conference at Penn State, I was lucky enough to meet Donald Jennerman, who told me stories about knowing Kenneth Burke. One in particular has always stayed with me. It has to do with Burke’s notion of the negative. The story goes that, as a child, Burke’s grandmother would follow him around the house and any time Burke would touch or grab something he wasn’t supposed to, his grandmother would shake her index finger and say, “You musn’t.” This experience of listening to his grandmother, as I understand it, was the genesis to his later theories of the negative.

Review: Pragmatist Politics by John McGowan

McGowan, John. Pragmatist Politics: Making the Case for Liberal Democracy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

Paul Stob, Department of Communication Studies, Vanderbilt University

John McGowan’s Pragmatist Politics draws upon the pragmatist tradition—primarily the work of William James, John Dewey, and Kenneth Burke—to formulate a liberal democratic politics for the twenty-first century. At least that’s the overt aim of the book. But what may stand out most to readers of KB Journal is how McGowan seems intent on crafting an attitude. In formulating a pragmatist politics, McGowan fails to explicate political programs and initiatives, he disregards the nuts and bolts of democratic negotiation, and he provides no real strategies for building grassroots coalitions. What he does—and what he does admirably—is present readers with a pragmatist attitude that will, he hopes, come to permeate public culture. This attitude leaps off the page in the book’s introduction as McGowan foregrounds the writers who will help him construct a pragmatist politics:

Review: Moving Bodies by Debra Hawhee

Hawhee, Debra Moving Bodies: Kenneth Burke at the Edges of Language: Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2009.

Patricia Fancher, Clemson University

Debra Hawhee’s book Moving Bodies: Kenneth Burke at the Edges of Language develops the only comprehensive examination of the role of bodies in Burke’s rhetorical theory. For Burke scholars, this fact alone makes this book a significant contribution to the continuing conversation that Burke initiated. In addition, Hawhee argues that the broader field of rhetorical theory must re-focus on the body in order to account for the complex interaction of language and material in each rhetorical situation. This book constructs an argument for and a performance of body-focused rhetorical analysis.  Through her body-focused analysis of Burke, Hawhee illustrates how refocusing on the body in rhetoric can add new depth and complexity to our understanding of rhetoric and rhetorical theory.  For an audience of Burke scholars and rhetoricians in general, this book reminds us that the body is the foundation of rhetoric, and that we create new perspectives to understand any rhetorical situation by paying close attention to bodies. 

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