Call for Proposals

Amplifying Soundwriting:
Theory and Practice in Rhetoric and Writing

Kyle D. Stedman, Courtney S. Danforth, & Michael J. Faris

Call for Proposals

You've probably heard it by now: in the conferences and journals of rhetoric and composition, there's a whisper, a rustle, a bass throb of sound studies. It's increasingly common to read introductory paragraphs just like this one, urging reader–listeners to hear what so many of us are hearing already: we read that "the growing preponderance of new work in sound and rhetoric has precipitated an emergent scholarly community in rhetoric and sound studies" (Stone, 2015); that "over the past two decades, the study of sound has become increasingly popular in writing studies" (Rodrigue et al., 2016); and that "interest in sound composition has emerged within the field of computers and composition as a complement to the field’s interests in visual rhetorics and multimodal composition" (Hocks & Comstock, 2017).

So let's boost that signal; let's amplify it. This call for proposals is an invitation to join that growing community of sound scholars, but with a particular focus: teaching students to compose sounds as part of their writing curriculum—teaching them to do what we call "soundwriting." Our aim is to inspire and encourage writing and rhetoric professionals to teach soundwriting by taking advantage of all the affordances of digital audio.

We propose an online, digital, edited collection with a distinctive organization. We've already lined up a series of what we’re calling "theory chapters" on particular aspects of teaching with sound. Now, we request proposals for shorter "praxis chapters" that expand on the ideas in these theoretical chapters by asking, "What do these theories look like in actual classrooms?" Our call here is for chapters that explore, explicate, demonstrate, and reflect on soundwriting in action.

Praxis chapters will include three elements: a written assignment or sequence of activities, an audio reflection, and sample student texts. Details about those three elements:

  • A written, alphabetic assignment, scaffolded series of assignments, or series of activities written for a student audience and designed to be adapted by our audience of teachers. Your assignment must involve students composing, recording, manipulating, or in some other way writing sound. That is, students must actually produce digital audio. You may choose to include readings, lists of online resources, in-class activities, smaller low-stakes assignments, larger major assignments, or anything else that students would need to be successful. We'll accept assignments you have or haven't used in real classrooms.
  • Your reflection/rationale about this assignment's strengths and weaknesses, recorded as a 5–10-minute audio file (along with a transcript). At a minimum, this reflection could be a simple, live audio recording of a voice speaking your informal reflection (if you're physically able), but we would also encourage you to push boundaries and include other voices, noise, music, or other sounds. This reflection should make sense even to listeners who don't have your written assignment in front of their eyes, allowing listeners to experience this part of your work in an audio-only version of the book's collection of assignments.
  • Sample texts following the guidelines given in your assignment—ideally, in the form of digital audio (with transcripts to make sure the collection is fully accessible). These sample texts can be created by you and/or by real students (as long as we have documentation that they gave permission to share their work).

We do not expect chapter authors to design and code their own webtexts for this publication; the editors will provide a webtext template for authors to work within. If you anticipate specific technical requirements, please note them in your proposal.

To propose a praxis chapter, please address your plans for each of the three elements listed above in a proposal of 250–500 words (assignment, audio reflection, sample texts). Include your name, preferred email address, and 3–5 tags or keywords that you see your chapter falling under (which we'll use to connect your work to our longer theory chapters and other praxis chapters).

Our current plans for chapters include the following tags: access, agency, archives, bodies, computing, critical pedagogy, disability, editing, ethics, hip-hop, history, materials, music, nonhuman, podcasts, seriality, soundscapes, spaces, voice. Proposals can draw from these tags, but we encourage you to develop your own tags in your proposal as well.

Submit your proposal by uploading a .docx or .rtf file to this Dropbox folder. Proposals of 250–500 words are due by October 16, 2017, and we'll inform authors of acceptance by October 30. While future deadlines may change, we currently plan to require complete praxis chapter drafts by January 15, 2018.

Please feel free to email us with questions about proposal ideas at,, and

About the Editors

Courtney S. Danforth is a professor of English, poet, and podcast editor/host, devoted to questions of dimensional composition (multimodal, multistream, multimedia, multisynchronous, multidisciplinary, multiaccess). She teaches a lot and leads her school's composition program, where she encourages students and faculty to make/do/play their way toward knowledge. She has worked as a Patsy Cline impersonator, but only because they wouldn't let her do Karen Carpenter, and she is willing to sing either Amy's or Emily's part on a roadtrip Indigo Girls singalong and will let you choose your part first.

Kyle D. Stedman is assistant professor of English at Rockford University, where he directs the writing center and teaches digital rhetoric, professional communication, first-year composition, and creative nonfiction. His work on music, intellectual property, and remix has appeared in Computers and Composition, Composition Forum, Harlot, and the Writing Spaces and Writing Commons series of online textbooks. In the car, he listens to a lot of Chvrches, but at home he listens to a lot of Explosions in the Sky. Once, he played a record with a sewing pin taped to a cone of construction paper during a conference presentation.

Michael J. Faris is an assistant professor in the English Department at Texas Tech University, where he directed the English Department Media Lab (2015–2017) and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on digital rhetoric, technology, and new media in the Technical Communication and Rhetoric Program. His research explores questions related to digitality, materiality, and queer theory. He has published in Present Tense, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Composition Forum, and Communication Design Quarterly. He works best when immersed in the ambient noises of a busy coffee shop and believes that the Dandy Warhols are one of the best things to happen to sound.