Submit!! Rhetoric of Health and Medicine As/Is

Deadline extended due to lots of questions and requests for extensions.  New due date for proposals is June 15, 2016

Please consider submitting to the following. We are especially interested in a wide variety of voices and innovative proposals. This is your chance to help shape the foundation and direction of the field!!

We look forward to seeing all the great ideas and proposals!!

The Rhetoric of Health and Medicine as/is: Theories and Concepts for an Emerging Field

Editors: Lisa Meloncon, Scott Graham, Jenell Johnson, John Lynch, and Cynthia Ryan

Descriptive Rationale for Volume

The rhetoric of health and medicine is a growing and vibrant discipline that has emerged out of the rhetoric of science (Meloncon & Frost, 2015; Scott et al, 2013) and incorporates scholars from a number of fields—most notably, communication, technical and professional communication, composition, and linguistics. Accordingly, the overarching goal of this volume is to identify the key concepts that ground the rhetoric of health and medicine, as a field of inquiry. In so doing, this volume will explore how scholars in the rhetoric of health and medicine use rhetoric in theoretical and practical ways to examine the discourses of health and medicine and how those discourses create meaning within a wide variety of scientific, technical, practical, and political sites.

The growing body of work (see Condit et al, 2012; Meloncon & Frost, 2015), however, lacks the critical apparatus necessary to help place it within a broader context that is accessible to a wide range of scholars within and outside of the field. That is, at present we have many exemplars of scholarship that do not have/lack clearly articulated field-wide theoretical and methodological foundations. The health of our discipline relies in part on scholars ability to identify and share these foundational underpinnings.

Thus, the central concepts of the volume will be presented in terms of rhetoric of health and medicine’s’ dual perspectives: both “as” and “is.” First the discipline can be seen as a theoretical construct that guides research and thinking in the field. Additionally, the concepts can be explored in the is stance as a way to define the boundaries of the field. Both orientations are necessary to any scholarly field. Both allow a diversity of approaches while also ensuring a common core. For example, let’s take the concept that is part of the field’s name, “rhetoric.” For many years, scholars in rhetorical studies and rhetoric and composition have argued that rhetoric is way of analyzing existing discourse as well as providing a framework for creating it. As provides us an entryway into thinking about different concepts as theoretical underpinnings. Is provides us an entryway into thinking about how theories can potentially be applied in practice. We definitely want to nudge and even push scholars in the rhetoric of health and medicine to appraise what it is that we do and examine what sets us apart from other related fields. This endeavor means taking a critical stance to determine what is at stake when we say that we are rhetoricians of health and medicine.

Call to Action

Starting with a series of terms participants at the Discourses of Health Medicine 2015 ( felt were vital for a conceptual understanding of the field, we challenge scholars to continue the participatory nature of this collection and propose innovative chapters that incorporate the following terms.

Consent Advocacy
Ethics Health citizenship
Professionalism Environment
Global Risk (comm)
Methods Publics
Performance Invention
Materiality Circulation/delivery
Ontology Discourse
Agency Narrative
Lived experience Decision-making
Online STS
Technology Disability studies
Visual Rhetoric of science
Genre Medical and health humanities

We strongly encourage collaboration between scholars from across institutions and more importantly, across fields and disciplines. Your chapter proposal should bring two or more of the terms/concepts into conversation and speak directly to the as/is theme. You are welcome to propose new terms or concepts in addition to these.

We also encourage cluster proposals. That is, if a group of scholars believes that particular chapters might work together nicely, you can propose them as a cluster. Think of this option as similar to proposing a panel at a conference or a section in a book.

We are leaving this call more open than most because we do want the overall volume to be shaped by the contributions. In other words, we truly are embracing participation and innovation.

A university press has invited a full proposal on this project and once proposals are received and acceptance decisions made, we will be forwarding a full prospectus to them.

If you want to discuss your idea or if you have questions, please contact Lisa or Scott


Chapter proposals should be from 750-1000 words (give or take and excluding citations). Include a cover page with all of the authors’ contact information, a list of the terms your chapter (or cluster of chapters) addresses, and a short c.v. for each author.

Submit proposals as PDF or Word files to

Proposals due: June 15, 2016 UPDATED

Proposal decision: June 30, 2016 (or soon thereafter 🙂

Final chapters of 6000-7000 words: December 30, 2016



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