Events Calendar

Congress Event

Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric (CSSR)



Tuesday, May 31, 2016 to Thursday, June 2, 2016


See pages 46-47 in the Congress Guide

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About the conference

This year we are pleased to host two senior international keynote speakers, Pierre Chiron (Paris, France), a scholar of ancient Greek rhetoric, and C. Jan Swearingen (Texas, USA), a scholar of Chinese and intercultural rhetorics. We also welcome presenters and attendees interested in all other themes and aspects of rhetoric to our general panel sessions. Our association promotes dialogue through sessions delivered in plenary format. We mentor and encourage graduate and undergraduate students of rhetoric. We foster French/English bilingual dialogue, and we communicate regularly through social media. Our members offer diverse international, interdisciplinary perspectives in rhetorical studies.

This year, the theme of CSSR / SCÉR's keynote and special sessions are "Teaching rhetoric across time and cultures." One of the main questions we are asking is "What are the aims and potential impacts of rhetorical education: should it, and can it, not only enhance messages and enrich individuals or organizations, but also improve societies or broader communities?"


Featured speakers

Our French keynote speaker, Dr. Pierre Chiron, plans to share insights on the ancient tradition of rhetorical education called the "progymnasmata." He will explore its potential to strengthen civic education in the wake of acts such as the killing of the journalists of Charlie Hebdo, whose perpetrators passed through the French state education system. 

The progymnasmata has been core to many centuries of humanistic study and pedagogy across many cultures. The series of exercises has both Aristotelian and Isocratean traditions, and the Isocratean mode gives more emphasis to stylistic, aesthetic, and argumentative skills as well as social and political purposes. While the most elementary exercise was the fable, the culminating exercise in the series was the legal proposition, or the attack or defense of a law, which engaged in legislative reasoning that enabled one to reach the apex of competence in citizenship. What are we still learning about these rich, enduring traditions of humanistic education and how can we apply them today? 

Dr. Pierre Chiron, Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (Paris, France) is a leading senior scholar in the area of Greek language, literature, politics, and rhetoric from ancient times to the present. He is currently focused on the conditions under which ancient rhetorical exercises could be updated and renovated to contribute to the formation of the citizen. He has served as President of the eighth section of the National Council of Universities (2011-2015) in France.

Featured events

The rhetoric society CSSR / SCÉR normally hosts a Banquet off-campus at a Calgary restaurant. The CSSR also to provide options for an optional tourism activity or excursion for members, attendees, and their guests after the end of its association's conference.


Only those people who are registered for Congress 2016 and have added the Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric (CSSR, #111) to their Congress registration may attend this conference. Please note that conference registration fees are separate from the association's membership fees.

About the association

For more information about membership or this conference, please contact the association directly at the contacts listed below.

  • Program Chair: Tania Smith, University of Calgary
  • Local Arrangement Coordinator: Tania Smith, University of Calgary
  • Association website: