Adam Banks at CWRU


Following his chair address (click here for the YouTube link) at the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Convention in Tampa, Florida, Professor Adam Banks will be visiting Case Western Reserve University. Banks will deliver a talk at the invitation of the Graduate Committee of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities – a group of CWRU humanities graduate students whose current leading representation is from the English Department. Details of the talk are as follows:

“Talking Back to the Book: Critical Digital Literacies in African American Rhetorical Traditions”
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Clark Hall Room 309

Talking Book ImageIn this talk, Adam Banks, Professor of Writing Rhetoric and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky, will consider Stevie Wonder’s exploration of technologies in his pursuit of artistic independence from Motown in the early 1970s as an invocation and deployment of the Talking Book, a trope of literacy for freedom emerging from Black oral traditions. He will argue that the Talking Book offers educators and community builders a framework for a critical digital literacy that helps us understand contemporary African American engagements with technologies like Twitter and can inform work with technologies in schools and community spaces.

Banks will also lead a Graduate Workshop the following morning (Thursday, April 2, 2015) at 9:00 a.m. in Clark Hall Room 206. Breakfast will be served. Please contact Jess Slentz ( if you plan to attend the workshop, so that adequate refreshments can be ordered ahead of time.

About Adam Banks:

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and educated in the Cleveland Public Schools, Adam Banks received his B.A. in English from Cleveland State University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. both in English from Penn State University. Professor Banks is currently Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies (WRD) at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches courses in African American Rhetoric, digital rhetorics, community literacy, and rhetoric and composition theory. He was also the Director of WRD for 2013-14. Previously, he has been Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric in Syracuse University’s Writing Program. He is the author of the award-winning Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground, a book challenging teachers and scholars in writing and technology fields to explore the depths of Black traditions more thoroughly and calling African Americans to make technology a central area for struggle. His second book, Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age, was released by Southern Illinois University Press’s Studies in Writing and Rhetoric series.