Monthly Archives: May 2020

June 1st Reading Group Conversation Guide

For our first reading group conversation, we will be reading and discussing Anna Hinton‘s “Making Do with What You Don’t Have: Disabled Black Motherhood in Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents.” In terms of a “discussion guide” for our first conversation, we will center various keywords that emerge in the article, but our conversation isn’t limited to these keywords. They are only meant to serve as a guide. Below, you will find some of these keywords, a form to add your own keywords and themes, and a tangible guide for making our first conversation as accessible as possible.

After the June 1st conversation, each participant will receive a Google Form to solicit feedback on ways we can make our ongoing reading group conversations more accessible. As always, email with recommendations, questions, and comments.


  • Figurative disability (p. 442)
  • Metaphor
  • Pathological mothering (p. 443)
  • Supercrip
  • Maternal fatigue
  • Hyper-empathy (p. 444)
  • Material-discursive (p. 445)
  • Being and Becoming Disabled
  • Strong Black women and representation (p. 450)
  • Black interiority
  • Disability and maternal identity (p. 454)

Reminders for a more accessible conversation

  • Be sure to allow each participant to finish their contribution before contributing yourself. This will help all participants follow the conversation and will also help to ensure that all participants are able to contribute and be heard.
  • After thirty minutes, we will take a ten minute break. For example, if our discussion lasts about an hour (which is the goal), we will take a ten minute break in the middle of this time period.
  • All participants can contribute written discussion elements to the conversation by using the Zoom chat option and/or by emailing their contributions to prior to or during the conversation.
  • If you are not speaking, please mute your microphone to minimize background noises.
  • It is recommended that you not use digital or animated Zoom backgrounds to minimize cognitive-visual distractions.
  • All participants are encouraged to use a signal to note their desire to contribute to the conversation. For example, participants can make a handwritten note that says “Contribute.” Instead of relying on verbal cues to participate, this conversation will be open to visual cues. This may be adopted universally after the first conversation, pending accessibility feedback.
  • If you would like to contribute longer forms of discussions, you are encouraged to write a discussion as opposed to speaking at length. This is to ensure that all participants who desire to contribute to the ongoing conversation will have time and space to do so.


Virtual Coffee Break | Rhetoric, Politics & Culture Journal | May 22nd at 3pm (Eastern)

Join us for a virtual coffee break with the editors and executive board of the new journal, Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 3pm Eastern Time. Register at or go to

About the Co-Editors

Dr. Carmen Kynard is the Lillian Radford Chair in Rhetoric and Composition and Professor of English at Texas Christian University. She interrogates race, Black feminisms, AfroDigital/African American cultures and languages, and the politics of schooling with an emphasis on composition and literacies studies. Carmen has published in Harvard Educational Review, Changing English, College Composition and Communication,College English, Computers and Composition, Reading Research Quarterly, Literacy and Composition Studies and more. Her first book, Vernacular Insurrections: Race, Black Protest, and the New Century in Composition-Literacy Studies won the 2015 James Britton Award and makes Black Freedom a 21st century literacy movement.

Carmen’s current projects focus on young Black women in college, Black Feminist/Afrofuturist digital vernaculars, and AfroDigital Humanities learning. Carmen traces her research and teaching at her website, “Education, Liberation, and Black Radical Traditions” (

Dr. Bryan J. McCann is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Louisiana State University. He is a rhetorical critic whose research and teaching interests include black studies, crime and public culture, hip-hop, masculinity, social movements, and whiteness studies. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in argumentation and debate, Black studies, crime and public culture, intersectionality, the politics of citizenship, rhetorical criticism, social movements, and social theory. He also serves as affiliate faculty in African and African American Studies, as well as Women’s and Gender Studies at LSU.

​Dr. McCann is the author of The Mark of Criminality: Rhetoric, Race, and Gangsta Rap in the War-on-Crime Era (University of Alabama Press, 2017), as well as numerous scholarly essays that have appeared in journals such as Communication and Critical/ Cultural StudiesCommunication, Culture, and CritiqueCritical Studies in Media CommunicationQuarterly Journal of Speech, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly.

Click here to monetarily support the start-up fund for the Rhetoric, Politics & Culture journal.