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RSA 19th Biennial Conference - 2020 Pre-Convention Events

19th Biennial Conference of the 
Rhetoric Society of America
Portland, OR
May 21 - May 24, 2020

RSA 2020 Pre-Convention Events

A variety of events are planned for May 21, the day before the opening of the conference, including:

Pre-conference Career Development Retreats (Co-Chairs: Cheryl Geisler and Lynée Lewis Gaillet)

Career Retreat for Associate Professors

For associate professors seeking to complete a scholarly project and achieve promotion to full professor.  The 2020 Associate Professor Retreat will offer participants the opportunity to work with a senior Career Mentor and to form a writing workgroup to stay on track following the conference.

Career Retreat for Contingent Faculty

For contingent faculty seeking to find or enhance their ability to do research/scholarship.  The 2020 Contingent Faculty Retreat will offer participants the opportunity to develop a manageable research trajectory, access research funds, and establish collaborations.  The facilitators, experienced labor activists, can also help contingent faculty strategize and advocate for improved working conditions.

Career Retreat on Leadership

For participants on a leadership trajectory and interested in preparing for the “next step.” The 2020 Leadership Retreat will help participants explore the rhetorical basis of leadership, assessing their strengths as leaders and the way the material structures and exigencies of their organizations influence their leadership style and decision-making.

Keep an eye out for the call for applications for these retreats that will be released in the fall of 2019.

Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine Pre-Conference

The theme of ARSTM@RSA 2020, “Boundary Work,” invites rhetoricians of science, technology, and medicine to explore and reflect on practices of demarcation, coordination, and calibration. When positioned in relationship to the radical openness of the conference theme, hospitality, this pre-conference asks attendees to consider what is at stake when scientific, technological, and medical boundaries are defined, maintained, and destabilized.

Further details are forthcoming from ARSTM President, Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher.

American Society for the History of Rhetoric Pre-Convention Symposium 

“EXCESS!!!  The Overmuch in/and the History of Rhetoric”:  Rhetoric’s strain of restraint and regulation is well known, identified and sustained by concepts like reason, order, fittingness, and civility. Less familiar is the strain characterized by excess, surplus, riotousness, redundancy, superfluidity, hyperbolicity, emotionality, generosity, infinity, overabundance, extravagance, decadence, exaggeration, abandon, or immoderation.  ASHR’s pre-convention symposium will feature papers that generate conversation about excess or that use excess to generate conversation about the history of rhetoric.

Watch for the call for proposals (due by September 15, 2020) from ASHR President Michele Kennerly.

History of Rhetoric Biennial Seminar

Following its successful 2018 seminar (“The Sublime: Longinus and Beyond,” with Dr. Casper de Jonge from Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands), the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (ISHR) is delighted to confirm it will offer a seminar before the 2020 RSA convention.

The seminar leader and topic will be announced after the ISHR conference in New Orleans at the Hotel Monteleone on July 24-27, 2019. A call for participants will circulate this fall.


To submit proposals for the RSA 2020 Conference, go to: 

Proposals are due:  July 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST

Please note that to submit proposals you will need to follow the directions for “New Submitters” and create a profile before you can login.  This submission site is administered by Attendee Interactive, and it is not linked to the RSA membership website (, so your existing RSA user ID and password are not recognized by this submission site.   

We look forward to receiving your submissions and meeting with you in our host city, Portland, Oregon.

The Co-Chairs:  Michelle Ballif, Diane Davis, Karma Chávez, Byron Hawk

All inquiries can be sent to

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