Health Rhetoric and Social Justice 2018


September 27, 2018 | 9-12 noon, plus lunch | University of Colorado Boulder Campus | Aspen in the University Memorial Center | 1669 Euclid Avenue (corner of Broadway and Euclid) | Boulder, CO 80309


Recognizing the influence of 2018 Public Address Conference honoree Celeste M. Condit on both the understanding and practice of women’s health rhetoric and the rhetoric of health and medicine, scholars interested in health and medical discourses will convene before the 2018 Public Address Conference to consider the theme of health rhetoric and social justice.

The morning will begin with a spotlight conversation on reproductive health and justice featuring brief presentations and conversation by leading scholars in the area, including Tasha Dubriwny, Robin Jensen, Emily Winderman, and Celeste Condit.

The remainder of the morning will feature Pecha Kucha presentations on competitively selected research projects that address the topic of health rhetoric and social justice.

A health illustrator will be on hand to visually represent the themes of the day, and J. Blake Scott will summarize the day’s themes to conclude the session. Rumor has it there may be rhetoric of health and medicine (RHM) buttons for those in attendance.


8:30-9 am                  Registration and welcome with light breakfast and coffee


9 am-10 am              A Conversation About Reproductive Health and Social Justice

Tasha Dubriwny, Texas A&M University

Robin Jensen, University of Utah

Emily Winderman, North Carolina State University

Celeste Condit, University of Georgia


10-10:15 am             Putting Social Justice Rhetoric to Work: The Community Action     Network and the Colorado Black Health Collaborative

Cerise Hunt, Colorado School of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice


10:15-10:30              Break


10:30-11:05              Pecha Kucha 1: Gender, Identity, Agency, and Illness


Assembling Gynecology: The Potential of Assemblages for Rhetoric of Health and Medicine

Berkley Conner, University of Iowa

Rhetorical Transformations of Stigma and Social Justice: Mental Health Identities and the Value of Diagnosis

Davi Thornton, Independent Scholar

Breastfeeding Law, Agency, and Social Justice

Rebecca Kuehl, South Dakota State University

11:10-11:45 am        Pecha Kucha 2: Strategies of Resistance, Empowerment, and Obfuscation


Social Justice in Clinical Exchanges: Strong Patient Ethos for Rectifying Psychogenic Misdiagnoses

Cathryn Molloy, James Madison University

Digital Networks and Rhetorical Invention: A New Line of Inquiry for Rhetorical Studies of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Madison Krall, University of Utah

Manufactured Health Science Controversies: Conservative or Liberal Political Tactic?

Leah Ceccarelli, University of Washington


*Please note: most of the Pecha Kucha presentations touch on themes from both sessions.


11:45-12 noon:        Themes, Touchstones, and Trajectories

J. Blake Scott, Central Florida University


Preconference participants will then have lunch together.

**Thanks to the reviewers for reading and ranking the Pecha Kucha submissions.



Registration fees are covered for graduate students and $25 for faculty; these fees will fund refreshments for the day, including light breakfast, coffee, and a post-symposium lunch.

Submission Proposal Details

Scholars wishing to present their work about the rhetoric of health and medicine and social justice should submit a précis of no more than 500 words detailing the project they hope to present and indicate their willingness to create a lively Pecha Kucha to share with the group at the conference:

1. Submit via Word attachment or pdf to Lisa B. Keranen at on or before Feburary 15 with the subject line HRSJ Submission.

2. Please do not include identifying data (name, rank, institution, other recognizable information) in the submission file, or we will be unable to review your work.

Submissions should include:

·A statement of the purpose and aims of the research with a mention of data and methods

· An explanation of how the project fits into an ongoing scholarly conversation in the rhetoric of health and medicine or extends RHM work

· An indication of the submitters’ willingness to adhere to the Pecha Kucha genre Both works-in-progress and works under publication review are suitable for submission.

Proposals based on an already existing or in-press publication are not suitable for presentation.

Submissions will be evaluated by a team of reviewers using the following criteria:

(1) Clarity of the goals and aims of the research project

(2) Relevance to the session theme and to the rhetoric of health and medicine generally

(3) Scholarly significance

(4) Elegance of written expression

(5) Contribution to an ongoing scholarly conversation

(6) Stated willingness to attempt to conform to the Pecha Kulcha format.

In addition to these above criteria, organizers will assemble a diverse and inclusive group of presenters of all ranks and across multiple categories of difference. Submitters will be notified by March 15 of their acceptance to the preconference. All are welcome to attend the preconference regardless of whether their presentation is selected.

About Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha (Japanese for chit-chat) is a presentation format that involves 20 attractively designed, highly visual slides that auto-advance at 20 second intervals, prompting a dynamic, extemporaneous 6-minute and 20 second presentation. Done well, it is “surprisingly compelling beat-the-clock performance art” (Pink, 2007). Accepted submissions will receive detailed directions and advice about creating Pecha Kucha presentations.

Direct all questions to Lisa B. Keranen at