Pac Rim Conference 2017

J. R. Collins's picture
Call for Papers
December 1, 2016
Alaska, United States
Subject Fields: 
Composition & Rhetoric, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Communication

2017 Call for Proposals

Moving Bodies, Moving Ideologies

Pacific Rim Conference on English Studies

March 31-April 1, 2017

Anchorage, Alaska


All bodies—from atoms and cells to humans and animals, from planets and stars to oceans and continents—are in constant motion. Much like a shark will suffocate and drown if it stops moving, our world as we know it would end without the movements that direct, determine, and define us. Our bodies are constantly in motion, consequently, our identities are constantly in motion. Even our environments, which are often thought of as static, are in motion, as are the social constructions we use to explain our environments and the digital environments that extend and reflect them. Two motions in which humans engage—reading and writing—inevitably lead to further motions. Writing is a bodily motion expressing and shaping a writer’s ideology, just as reading is embodied action, shaping but also often challenging the reader’s constantly forming identity.

This year’s Pacific Rim Conference, which will take place in Anchorage, Alaska, a city of unparalleled diversity that is often referred to as a “crossroads of the world,” asks participants to consider the ways in which we move and are moved, physically, digitally, pedagogically, emotionally, socially, and ideologically. In her call for an attention to the movement that forms what she refers to as “a transnational feminist analytic,” rhetorical feminist Wendy Hesford argues that scholars have:


Not sufficiently engaged the complex material and rhetorical dynamics of transnationality or addressed the need to revisit key rhetorical concepts, such as the public sphere, to account for transnational publics generated by the movement of people, goods, and ideas across and within national boundaries. (Emphasis added, 61)


Hesford, and the other authors in Rhetotrica in Motion: Feminist Rhetorical Methods & Methodologies, explore the ways movement directs our bodies and actions and shapes our associations and identities, while attending to the movements occurring within rhetorical scholarship and specifically feminist rhetorical scholarship. Hesford’s challenge to explore material and rhetorical dynamics of movement and attendant definitions should not be limited to rhetoricians, however; all those engaged in writing studies, literature, linguistics, composition, and communication can benefit from an attention to “the movement of people, goods, and ideas across and within national boundaries.”

The 2017 Pacific Rim Conference invites us to explore, highlight, and critique movements of all kinds. We especially welcome proposals that take up questions about movement as a conceptual, theoretical, and embodied experience such as:

  • How are bodies defined by movement, and how does embodied action shape our perceptions and identities?

  • How do social movements—both physical and digital—form, operate, enact change?

  • How do we articulate the ways movements of “people, goods, and ideas” within cities and nations and across borders are facilitated and constrained?

  • What can we learn from examining how narratives—both literary and rhetorical—move through a text and move those who interact with them?

  • How, when, and where does ideological movement occur, and what can we learn from discursive expressions of this movement?

  • How is physical/digital movement influenced by discursive practices, and how does movement in turn influence those practices?

We at the University of Alaska Anchorage look forward to the movement of our presenters as they travel to our diverse campus. In these dynamic times, when so many people and so much information move so far and with such speed, the topic of movement will provide our conference with a lively set of discussions. We welcome your submissions and your attendance at the 2017 Pacific Rim Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.


Individual Paper Proposals: Please send a 250 word abstract for a 20-minute presentation, including the title of the paper, your name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, phone and fax number, and email address.

Panel Proposals: In addition to providing detailed contact information for each panel member, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words summarizing the panel and describing each paper.

Roundtable Proposals: In addition to providing detailed contact information for each participant, please send a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words for the proposed roundtable discussion topic.


In addition to the aforementioned requirements, your abstract(s) should connect your topic(s) to this year’s conference theme. Please submit your proposals to no later than December 1, 2016.

For more information please vist:

Please direct questions to:

J. R. Collins, Conference Director
Amilyn Reece, Assistant Director
Department of English, ADM 101, University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
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