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Edited collection: Ubuntu and/as Rhetoric (Edited volume)

Event: Edited volume
Categories: Pedagogy, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, Rhetoric & Composition, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2024-03-15 Abstract Due: 2024-03-15

Call for Proposals for chapters in an edited volume: Ubuntu and/as Rhetoric

Ubuntu is a traditional African concept which situates the self in its relationships to others, highlighting human interdependence and dignity. It is a concept central in African philosophy (Gyekye, Masolo, Mathabane, Mudimbe, Wiredu) that has informed politics in Africa as well (Samkange and Samkange). Most widely known, Archbishop Desmond Tutu marked the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa by invoking the Zulu proverb “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu,” or “I am because we are.”

Scholars in rhetoric who study truth commissions and reconciliation (Doxtader, Hatch, Marback, McPhail) have separately discussed ubuntu. So far, however, the concept has not gotten sustained attention as a rhetorical concept in rhetorical theory. As a result, neither African rhetorical traditions associated with ubuntu nor the implications of those traditions on rhetorical scholarship have either been established as significant or thoroughly explored.

Given the importance of attending to non-Eurocentric rhetorical practices and perspectives in rhetorical scholarship, we invite proposals for contributions to an edited collection exploring ubuntu in rhetoric and as rhetoric.

We invite proposals for chapters in three broad areas: rhetorical strategies, wicked problems, and pedagogy. Sample topics include:

·         how ubuntu functions in the rhetorical ecologies of African traditions and practices;

·         how an ubuntu perspective usefully constructs/critiques traditional rhetorical concepts such as ethos, the sense of rhetorical self and the ethical obligations of the rhetorical situation;

·         what resources ubuntu contributes to confronting challenges in civic, embodied, and material rhetorics;

·         what insight appeal to ubuntu can provide to questions of shared responsibility for technologies of persuasion, including social media and the growing use of AI;

·         whether and how an ubuntu-based writing pedagogy serves the ends of linguistic justice.

The proposed timeline for proposals, submissions, revisions, and publication:

·         Proposals (500 to 1000 words) are due March 15, 2024.

·         Acceptances will be sent by April 15, 2024

·         Chapters of 5000 to 7500 words will be due September 1, 2024

·         Revision requests will be sent to authors by October 1, 2024

·         Final revisions will be due by December 15, 2024

We anticipate publication in 2025.

Please address any questions regarding a proposal or the volume as a whole to Richard: marback@wayne.edu.


Richard Marback, Wayne State University

Olagbenro Oladipo, Wayne State University

Francis Issah, Wayne State University



Richard Marback