Welcome to the website of the Rhetoric Society of America. RSA is the umbrella organization for multi-disciplinary scholars, teachers, and students who are interested in the study of rhetoric in all of its historical and contemporary permutations.
RSA defines rhetoric quite broadly as the study of rhetorical theories, praxes, criticism, and pedagogies that help us to understand (1) how discourses construct our perceptions of the world around us, including people, texts, institutions, and cultures, (2) how we may employ rhetorical theories and tactics to facilitate critical thinking as we analyze the world around us via reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and (3) how rhetorical theories and tactics may help us compose our own texts in ways that persuade our audiences to agree or, at least, to give us a fair hearing.
RSA members study rhetoric in relation to a multitude of topics, both historical and contemporary. These topics include: communication, literature, law, religion, healthcare, national/ transnational politics, global economies, immigration, the environment, energy, digital/social media and other technologies, disabilities, international women’s rights, sexual identity, ethnic divisions, race, historiography, comparative/contrastive rhetorics, visual rhetorics, academic freedom, and war … to name only a few. Because RSA members enjoy the scholarly exchange among many academic disciplines, we benefit from access to interdisciplinary knowledge and methods.
RSA’s 1700 members are scholars in composition studies, English, communication, philosophy, linguistics, history, political science, sociology, visual arts, and other fields. We include people at every stage of their academic careers, from graduate students to professors emeriti. A vibrant interdisciplinary and intergenerational dialogue is a distinctive characteristic of RSA.
RSA sponsors a biennial national conference in even-numbered years. The next conference will be held over Memorial Day weekend, 2012, in Philadelphia. For more information about the conference, CLICK HERE. In the odd-numbered years, RSA sponsors a summer institute consisting of week-long seminars and two-day workshops on specific topics in rhetoric. The next institute will be held June 3 - 9, 2013 at the University of Kansas. For more information on the institute, CLICK HERE.
Rhetoric Society Quarterly, the official journal of RSA, is an additional membership benefit. RSQ is the leading interdisciplinary journal covering all areas of rhetorical studies. It is published five times per year – four quarterly issues and one issue on a designated topic or theme. For more information on the journal, CLICK HERE. RSA also sponsors a blog, The Blogora, and undertakes other important projects for the advancement of rhetorical studies.
If you are not a member of RSA and wish to support its activities, we invite you to consider joining the Society. For a membership application, CLICK HERE. If you are already a member, we hope that navigating the website will bring you in contact with RSA activities and projects, and we invite your continued active participation.