Call for Papers

Call for Papers

The Twenty-Fourth Biennial Conference of the
International Society for the History of Rhetoric (ISHR) 
University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University

Vancouver, Canada
July 23-26, 2024

The biennial conference of ISHR brings together several hundred specialists in the history of rhetoric from around thirty countries.

Scholarly Focus of the Conference

The Society calls for twenty-minute conference papers focusing on historical aspects of the theory and practice of rhetoric. The specific conference theme or focus for the 2024 conference is “Continuity and Change in the History of Rhetoric.”

Repeated terms, exempla, and practices give continuity to the historical study of rhetoric, but change and even rupture also occur over time, place, technologies, and cultures. We invite proposals for papers that will highlight an instance or pattern of reiteration, translation, adaptation, reception, innovation, or disruption within the past theory or practice of rhetoric. In keeping with ISHR’s own traditions, we also welcome papers on both the theory and the practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages, and on its relationships with poetics, philosophy, politics, religion, law, and other aspects of cultural contexts.

Procedure for Submission

Proposals are invited for 20-minute presentations delivered in one of the six languages of the Society, viz. English, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. The Society also welcomes panel proposals consisting of three or four speakers dealing with a common theme so as to form a coherent set of papers. The chair of the proposed panel may also be one of the speakers. Each speaker in a panel should submit a proposal form for their own paper, clearly specifying the panel to which it belongs. In addition, the panel organizer is expected to complete and submit a separate form explaining the purpose of the proposed panel and naming the participants. Please note that proposals for panel papers will be considered on their individual merits by the Program Committee, and there is no guarantee that all papers proposed for a panel will be accepted.

Each person may only appear once as a speaker on the program. Only one proposal for presentation per person can be accepted, including also presentations as parts of panels. Persons serving as (non-presenting) chairs are not affected by this rule.


Proposals for papers and for panels must be submitted on-line. Please complete the on-line form carefully and fully. For any questions please contact the chair of the program committee, Prof. Michele Kennerly (mjk46@psu.edu), or myself (dmirhady@sfu.ca). Please note that submitting a proposal implies making the commitment to attend the conference if your proposal is accepted. Guidelines for the preparation of proposals are provided at the bottom of this message. The length of the abstracts must not exceed 300 words. 

Deadline for Proposals

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 15 May 2023.

The submission website will be open for submission by February 2023. An alert will appear on the ISHR website and in your mailbox.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by September 2023. For participants who require an earlier acceptance date in order to secure funding, we will try to accommodate their requests if they are made with appropriate documentation.

Information about the Conference, including hotel accommodation, will be provided at the beginning of the academic year 2023-2024. The conference registration fee is still to be determined, but the Vancouver organizers will endeavour to ensure that it is kept as low as possible. Graduate students and scholars from underrepresented countries pay reduced registration fees and may be eligible for travel grants. Click HERE to apply.

I am very much looking forward to welcoming you to Vancouver in 2024!

David Mirhady, President of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric

Guidelines for the preparation of proposals:

The members of ISHR come from many countries and academic disciplines. The following guidelines are intended to make it easier for us to come together and understand one another’s proposals. The Program Committee recommends that all proposals contain:

  1. a definition – accessible to a non-specialist – of the field of the proposal, including its chronological period, language, texts and other sources;
  2. a statement of the specific problem that will be treated in your paper; its place in relation to the present state of research in the general field under consideration; and its significance for the history of rhetoric;
  3. a summary of the stages of argumentation involved in addressing the problem; and
  4. conclusions and advances in research.