Rhetorical Circulation for Social Justice  (Panel)

Rhetoric & Composition / Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Sarbagya Kafle (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Indian reformers and social activists Jyotirao Phule and B. R. Ambedkar looked up to American antiracist struggle and activists as models and inspiration for Dalit movement in India. W. E. B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King Jr. drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi, Ambedkar, and Indian people’s anticolonial movement. It is one of many examples of transnational circulation of voices of justice and solidarity in nineteenth and twentieth centuries when humanity was yet to have the luxuries of instantaneous communication channels. Now, in our increasingly networked world saturated with new media, as Thomas Rickert puts, circulation has become “more than just a flow of communication, affect, and material” because its dynamic process is marked by the significant forms of transformation (301). The digital affordances have made it possible for the extension of offline social moments to online and vice versa at transnational scales. With the exponential growth of participatory culture in digital ecology of communication network, netizens involve in remix, appropriation, and further circulation of digital texts in the spirit of “digital bricoleurs” (Eyman 86).

In this context, this panel welcomes proposals of 200-300 words that might deal with but are not limited to the following questions:

- How do the social justice movements of our time build upon and circulate the voices or justice form preceding times?

-How do the affordances of participatory social media facilitate or impede the meaningful circulation of voices of justice.

-What are the opportunities and challenges when a text (an image, video, or hashtag) circulating online and offline assemble other texts and counter-texts?


Eyman, Douglas. Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice. University of Michigan Press, 2015.

Rickert, Thomas. “Circulation-Signification-Ontology.” In Circulation, Writing, and Rhetoric, edited by Laurie E. Gries and Collin Gifford Brooke. Utah State University Press, 2018, pp. 300–307.

This panel will show how the digital affordances of our increasingly networked world have made the circulation of voices of justice from online to offline and vice versa seamless at a transnational scale. It attends to how netizens’ involvements in the remix, appropriation, and further circulation of texts facilitate or impede the call for social justice.