header photo

The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics

ISSN: 2472-7318


To download a free dyslexia-friendly font, please visit OpenDyslexia (not associated with JOMR).

To download a free ADD/ADHD-friendly font, please visit BeeLine Reader (not associated with JOMR).

SPECIAL ISSUE: "Transdisciplinarity @ HBCUs: (Re)Writing Black Futures Beyond the Margin," Spring 2023

In “Where Would We Be? Legacies, Roll Calls, and the Teaching of Writing in HBCUs (2021),” Beverly Moss asserts that “Black rhetorical excellence has thrived at HBCUs. Pedagogical and scholarly creativity in the teaching of writing has excelled” (146). However, it is her critical question that anchors this proposal: “where would we, in composition studies, be without writing and rhetoric faculty who have taught or currently teach at HBCUs and/or scholars in the field who are alumni of HBCUs?” (145). The creation of the HBCU Symposium on Rhetoric and Composition in 2016 helped to bring some of these contributions from the margins into the center of conversations about the teaching of writing that happens on HBCU campuses across the country. While HBCU scholars’ contributions have been noted—even if only marginally—there remains little to no curiosity about the spaces in which they shape their knowledge.

Most recently, the Fourth HBCU Symposium on Rhetoric and Composition virtually gathered professors from historically Black institutions across a wide spectrum of disciplines to discuss their discursive practices as they attempt to prepare students to engage with writing within several contexts. The symposium deliberately moved beyond traditional English departments or writing programs to include historical and contemporary composition and rhetorical practices happening among disciplines, which has been essential to the preservation of HBCUs. Drawing on the success of that event, the proposed theme for this special issue, Transdisciplinarity @ HBCUs: (Re)Writing Our Futures Beyond the Margin, opens a space where we may focus on the critical consciousness and lifelong learning that permeates curriculum development in the sciences, mathematics, and other fields not readily associated with language and literature at HBCUs.  

Instantiations of cross-boundary interaction counter rigid disciplinary devotion. And, while teaching through COVID-19 has exacerbated other social and racial inequities, we see this moment as an opportunity to see transdisciplinarity at the center of the historical ingenuity formed out of oppression. For it is this ingenuity that propels HBCU communities beyond the marginal periphery into the epicenters of an uninhibited future. While the conversations on transdisciplinarity are not new to our field or HBCUs, this approach is essential for thriving beyond our ever-fluctuating learning environments. The various ways that Black scholars engage with and ask their students to engage with knowledge draws on a history of resilience that defines the past, present, and future state of what it means to teach at an HBCU. In sum, this collection “help[s] [the field] interrogate master narratives about literacy, race, and citizenship . . . in general and African American [Black] literac[ies] specifically” (Spencer-Maor 61) through its focus on the writing and rhetoric occurring at and because of HBCUs.

Therefore, in this special issue we invite papers that see HBCU futures as inherently informing the liminal spaces where change takes place, where the imaginary sees the whole picture beyond the constraining strictures of disciplinary discourses in these historically Black spaces. These conversations are opportunities for productive transdisciplinarity to steer us towards what we envision our futures to be: in our words, on our terms. We invite scholars, instructors, and students at HBCUs currently, or who have studied at HBCUs previously, to submit their work. In addition to an introduction by the editors, this issue will include traditional articles (approx. 7000 words), short essays, course designs, book reviews, and multimodal works such as podcasts, art-based essays, webtexts, and creative nonfiction pieces that align with the theme. Please send a 250-word abstract for the editors’ consideration before submitting your essay, course design, review, or multimodal work. We accept the following file formats: .doc, .docx, and .rtf.

Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Critical Transdisciplinary Approaches
  • Collaborative Teaching/Administration of Writing Across the Curriculum 
  • Reconsidering the Role of the First-Year Writing Courses for Non-Writing Departments
  • Digital Rhetoric and Mixed Media in Curriculum Design
  • Reimagining the Futures of Black Academic Discourse
  • Writing as Relational, Positional, and Locational 
  • HBCU Writing Programs and Curricula
  • Function of Writing Centers for the HBCU College Campus
  • Rethinking and Retooling Technology in the Classroom During/After Covid-19
  • Centering Black Voices in the Writing Classroom
  • HBCU and African American History as Context 
  • Social Justice, Activism, and Community Building on the HBCU Campus
  • Writing Programs and Black Feminist Rhetorical Practices 
  • Recovering the History of HBCU Approaches to Rhetoric and Composition 
  • Implementation of Black Rhetorical Traditions
  • Writing, Language, and Social and Political Activist Movements
  • Narratives of Influential Black Figures in Rhetoric and Composition 
  • Cultivation of Polyvocal Writing
  • Reconsideration of Composition Practices for the 21st Century

Please submit questions and abstracts with the subject line “Transdisciplinarity@ HBCUs” to either Dr. Kendra Mitchell at, Dr. Kajsa Henry at, or Dr. Tiffany Packer at  

Proposed Timeline: 

August 1, 2022 – deadline for abstracts/proposals for contributions

August 22, 2022 – notification of acceptance

November 18, 2022 – submission of accepted articles 

May 2023 – publication



Moss, Beverly J. (2021). Where would we be?: Legacies, roll calls, and the teaching of writing in HBCUs. Composition Studies, 49(1), 144-148.

Spencer Maor, Faye. (2021). Brian Street and African American feminist practices: Two histories, two texts. Literacy in Composition Studies, 8(2), 60-80. DOI:10.21623/


Revised Call for Papers, special issue: “Fantasies and Futurities,” Fall/Winter 2022

What would happen if we offered academics an intellectual playground and charged them with crafting visions of futures? What would it look like? How far could you push your mind?

For this special issue of the Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, we are delving into questions of fantasies and futurities. We are interested in investigating what fantasy and science fiction as genres can teach us about our contemporary moment, but also what it means to be invested in a fantasy for your life and making it a reality. Can fantasy as a genre aid us in imagining different futures? How? In a moment when narratives are born digital and multimodal, what does it mean to experiment with different modes of storytelling to imagine new and freer futures?

This special issue seeks brave investigations and inquiries that use multimodal rhetorics to show us your vision of new futures. We are open to considering various forms for final products and are particularly interested in comics, short films (10-15 minutes), games and digital projects, as well as more traditional scholarly article length/style manuscripts. However, we would like to encourage you to submit shorter prose pieces—we want your 2,000 word research bites and 1,500 word personal essays. It is important to us that your project takes the form that best suits the vision you have, in the way that best articulates it and without the pressure of a full length manuscript. (For examples of short form scholarly work, browse Contingent Magazine for inspiration!)

Some questions to consider (if you have a different question you’d like to answer, still submit!):

  • What are the conditions necessary to craft a postcolonial/decolonial education?
  • What might queering the future look like in practice?
  • How might education look different if we could completely reimagine the structure of the Academy?
  • How do popular notions of Afrofuturism push us closer towards understandings of a freer future? What are the limitations? Where are the areas that still need work?
  • What does it mean to bring the idea of “play” into your practice as a scholar?

Some topics we’d love to read about:

  • Questions of Audience for Fantasy Media
  • Abolition and Investing in Communities
  • Performativity of Investing in Certain Futures
  • Collaborative Future Building Efforts
  • Trends in Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • TV and Film Takes on Speculation (think Lovecraft Country)

Deadline to submit full projects: January 1, 2022

Submitters will be notified of their project’s status in February 1, 2022.

For questions and submissions, please contact both co-editors:


For questions and submissions, please contact both co-editors:

Ravynn K. Stringfield Alicia Hatcher


CFP for JOMR Special Issue on Carework and Writing during COVID, Summer 2022


We don’t know about y’all, but we are tired. Too tired to write academic articles, book chapters, dissertations, and all the other fancy genres that the academy values. You see, since COVID hit, we’ve been performing more carework than ever: Ruth for her two young kids who are now home all day every day, and Vyshali for her disabled bodymind after a pandemic-induced reduction in physical therapy and routine clinical care. We aren’t alone, either. During this pandemic, parents, disabled people, and caregivers have been disproportionately severed from their usual networks of care at the same time we are overwhelmed by carework for ourselves or others. Furthermore, the pandemic intensified already existing trauma against BIPOC, queer and trans folks, fat people, and disabled folks--and especially those who live at the intersections of these identities.

And yet, many of us are still writing. Ruth is homeschooling her kindergartener, developing lesson plans and literacy materials. Vyshali is crafting and refining materials for her online classes, writing her dissertation, occasionally tweeting about chronic pain and fatigue. Our friends are composing Facebook updates about their COVID recovery, collaborative statements about Black Lives Matter and faculty life during COVID, Twitter threads about parenting during lockdown, and more. This writing is multimodal. It’s vibrant. It’s communal. It’s radical. And we want to give it the attention it deserves in the Summer 2022 special issue for Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics.

We want to make this really clear: this is not a typical CFP, and we are not looking for academic essays about writing in the time of COVID. Instead, we are looking for short (and we mean short) personal narratives and reflections about the intersection of carework and multimodal composing during COVID. We want to know about the barriers you faced in your writing during the pandemic, and the multimodal compositions you created as you navigated carework for yourself or others. We especially want to feature the stories of multiply-marginalized graduate students, contingent faculty, independent scholars, and pre-tenure and non-tenure-track faculty. 

You might be thinking: What? You’re asking the people most burdened by COVID restrictions to write and submit something NOW? And yes, we are. We feel compelled to archive this moment, in what we hope is the least exploitative way possible, because we're afraid that in two to three years' time, our journals will primarily feature the voices of people not impacted by the virus. Reports already indicate that women are submitting fewer articles to academic journals during the pandemic, as they are disproportionately impacted by the increased carework--an impact felt, we can assume, exponentially by BIPOC women and disabled people. But we also know, as people who are performing more carework than ever, that we *are* writing. That our writerly experiences are important and should be recognized by the academy. Our hope is this forum will mitigate any potential absence of parents, caregivers, and disabled folks from our scholarly journals by recording the stories of their multimodal writerly lives during the pandemic.

Also, and we can’t stress this enough: we want the writing you do for this issue to be easy for you. Life is chaos, all this carework saps energy and time, and we refuse to pretend these are normal times. We’re open to pretty much any genre. Like we said, we aren’t looking for academic essays with a million citations and MLA/APA format and all that jazz. Who has time for that type of writing right now? We don’t! Instead, we’re looking for short personal reflections, snippets of poetry, flash nonfiction, photo essays, sound essays of you trying to write while a herd of hungry children yells in the background, multimodal essays of writing with an uncooperative bodymind, interviews among friends about how you’ve been writing, video rants, playlists, lists, web comics, and whatever else you can come up with. Our only request is that you think through how increased carework has shaped your writerly life during COVID: the barriers you face, the multimodal genres you’re experimenting with, the communities you engage with, etc. 

If all this sounds amazing but you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of writing the kind of proposal that academia expects, and yet you feel compelled to contribute somehow, you can fill out this Google Form by July 15.

Here, you can offer to contribute as a respondent or request a writing partner. For the latter option, we will email you a list of all the interested collaborators two months before the deadline, and you can contact people from there. Or not. You might change your mind. That’s OK. What seems possible in March may not be possible in September. And we get that. 

Send your submissions and queries to Vyshali Manivannan and Ruth Osorio at by September 1, 2021.

After that, Vyshali and Ruth will review and provide feedback to all contributors. (We’ll be transparent here and say we won’t know our approach to selecting pieces until we’re reviewing them. We might publish all the things, or we might make choices to amplify certain, overlooked perspectives. But we vow to communicate with empathy and care throughout each step.) We will work on revisions in October and November; contributors will have the opportunity to read each other’s work and offer feedback as well.

Then, we’ll publish the issue in Summer 2022.

We work on crip time, so this proposed timeline is fluid--for us, the editors, and for you, the contributors. 



Multimodality, as broadly defined, simply denotes an appeal to multiple senses or modes of perception. With this working context in mind, the editors and peer collaborators at The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics invite scholarly essays. Proposed articles can focus on the multisensory aspects of rhetoric and persuasion within:

  • Art and visual culture
  • Digital media
  • Material culture
  • Video and tabletop games
  • Music and film
  • Performance studies
  • Multimodal composition practices
  • Multimodal pedagogies within classroom spaces
  • Crafts and DIY endeavors

In addition, we are interested in essays which theorize the epistemic relationship(s) between rhetoric and sensory perception/experience.

The journal welcomes both traditional written essays and multimedia submissions, including hyperlinked webtexts, videos, podcasts, and narrated slideshows.