Kristin Kondrlik in “Poroi”

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Congratulations to Ph.D. student Kristin Kondrlik, who collaborated with Jennifer L. Scott (Shawnee State), Heidi Y. Lawrence (George Mason), Susan L. Popham (University of Memphis), and Candice A. Welhausen on an article published today in Poroi: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention.

In the article, titled “Rhetoric, Ebola, and Vaccination: A Conversation Among Scholars,” Kondrlik and other scholars who study the rhetoric of health and medicine share their diverse perspectives on the Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa in March 2014. Using a unique multi-vocal approach, they raise questions for future research on the rhetoric of vaccines and vaccination, such as the role of visualizations in risk perception, the individuation of blame, the role of genres in vaccine development, and the rhetorical presence of material conditions that promote disease transmission. In the abstract, the scholars note, “Our overall goal is to initiate scholarly conversation about Ebola specifically and about outbreaks and vaccine development generally. Through our conversation, we explore subjects such as risk perception and data visualization, individuation of blame, genre systems, and the materiality of outbreaks. Together, our analyses suggest that vaccines, while a highly effective means of disease prevention, can also function rhetorically to draw attention away from the broad array of material and socioeconomic conditions that lead from a single infection to an outbreak. But by investigating what is revealed, what is concealed, who is blamed, and who is exonerated in discourses about vaccines and outbreaks, rhetoricians can contribute to the development of effective—and ethical—medical and communicative interventions.”

Poroi is sponsored by the Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry. Scholarly articles in Poroi emphasize rhetorical analysis and invention in all fields of learning, and they address interdisciplinary audiences

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