RSA Awards

The Rhetoric Society of America gives a Book Award and a Dissertation Award for the best work in rhetorical study in a given year. Additionally, it recognizes achievement in scholarship and professional service by naming Fellows to the Society and giving the George E. Yoos Award at its biennial meeting. The best article published in RSQ is recognized with the Charles Kneupper Award, which is granted by the Editorial Committee of RSQ. All other awards are open for nominations from any member of the Society. The Gerard A. Hauser Award for outstanding student papers presented at the RSA conference; selection is made by a committee appointed by the conference planner.

Nominations are reviewed by the Awards Committee of the RSA Board, which recommends winners to the Board for final approval.

For the 2013 Awards, submit nominations for the Book Award and Dissertation Award to the Awards Committee Chair:

Professor Lester C. Olson
Department of Communication
1117 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


2013 Book Award: 

Submit nominations for the Book Award to the Awards Committee Chair:

Professor Lester C. Olson
Department of Communication
1117 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Email queries and electronic nomination materials are welcome at olson@pitt.edu.

Deadline for nominations: February 15, 2013.

The book award is for books published between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.    Book Award nominees need to provide a letter from the publisher confirming the month and year of publication. Letters of nomination (paper or electronic) are welcome but not required. Authors may nominate their own work. 

2013 Dissertation Award:

For the 2013 Awards, submit nominations to the Awards Committee Chair:

Professor Lester C. Olson
Department of Communication
1117 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Email queries and electronic nomination materials are welcome at olson@pitt.edu.

Deadline for nominations: February 15, 2013.

Dissertations are eligible if they were completed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. The 2013 dissertation awards will be presented at the 2014 RSA Conference. 

2014 Yoos Award and RSA Fellows:

Submit nominations to the Awards Committee Chair:

Professor Lester C. Olson
Department of Communication
1117 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Email queries and electronic nomination materials are welcome at olson@pitt.edu.


Awards Policies & Procedures

The Board has approved the following policies for awards.

  1. Eligibility for the Book and Dissertation Awards.

    To be considered for the Book and Dissertation Awards, a scholar must be a member of the RSA. The book award subcommittee will consider any book that has a designated author or authors and that meets the eligibility requirements. Generally, edited collections and second editions are not eligible for this award. Translations are eligible.

  2. Guidelines for Assessing Nominated Books

    In reviewing nominees for the Book Award, the Awards Committee considers:

    • Originality
    • Strength and persuasiveness of argument
    • Engaging style or readability
    • Potential to promote rhetoric among scholars from other fields and/or the general public's understanding of rhetoric.
  3. RSA Fellows

    Fellows of the Rhetoric Society of America have produced scholarship in rhetorical studies that is remarkable for its quality and quantity, have participated in the work of the RSA, whether on the Board, on its committees, or in other capacities, and have worked to increase the visibility and influence of rhetorical studies through public lectures, teaching, advocacy, or other activities.

  4. Winners of the George E. Yoos Award, which automatically confers the status of Fellow, meet the criteria for Rhetoric Society Fellows and have made sustained contributions to the RSA which have improved the organization.

  5. Conflict of Interest for Book and Dissertation Awards.

    A member whose book is nominated for the RSA book award may not serve on the book award sub-committee. A member who has worked as a member of the dissertation committee for any nominee for the dissertation award may not sit on the dissertation sub-committee. Members of the Awards Committee who feel that they are unable to be impartial in judging any nominee will recuse themselves from discussion of that nominee.