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Candidates for RSA Board

RSA Nominees for Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Rhetoric Society of America is the principal policy-making body of the Society and is responsible for promoting the Society's purposes. In addition to its policy making function, directors serve on the various standing committees of the Society, as are indicated in its bylaws, and serve as a conduit for member issues, concerns, and proposals to the officers and the other board members of the Society. The bylaws stipulate that RSA shall have a Board of Directors consisting of nine members, one of whom is to be a student member. Board members serve four-year terms. The student member serves a two-year term. Elections to the board are held every two years, so that approximately half the board members are retained and terms of the other half terminated at each election (i.e. 4/5 members). An electoral contest for the designated student member, who serves a two-year term, must be on the ballot every two years. Election contests are between paired candidates to insure that the composition of the board reflects the diversity of the Society's various disciplines, teaching and research traditions, as well as region, race, and gender.

The RSA Nominating Committee is pleased to offer the following slate of board candidates for your consideration:

Candidates for position held by: Sean O'Rourke

Leah Ceccarelli, Associate Professor, Department of Communication,
University of Washington

My professional service experience includes: NCA. Public Address Division: secretary, nominating committee chair; Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division: nominating committee. WSCA. publications committee (member then chair), article award committee. Co-editor of a special issue of RSQ. Current service on the editorial boards of P&R, QJS, and WJC. My goals: RSA conferences and institutes increasingly bring together rhetoricians from different departmental homes; I wish this trend of unity across disciplines to continue. I also think we can do more to promote the unique contributions of rhetorical inquiry in the larger university community and in the general public.

Kirt H. Wilson, Associate Professor, Communication, University of Minnesota.

I am an Associate Professor, DGS, and McKnight Presidential Fellow of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota. My research on nineteenth-century rhetoric and black civil rights led to the publication of Reconstruction's Desegregation Debate (2002) and articles in QJS, R&PA, and Western Journal of Communication. Through my affiliation with RSA I attended the ARS Conference at Northwestern (2003) and the Athens in Africa Conference in Cape Town (2004). I will be a plenary speaker at the 2006 RSA Conference in Memphis, TN. If elected, I will focus on creating interdisciplinary opportunities for scholars of history and public discourse.

Candidates for position held by: Alisse Portnoy

Ralph Cintron, Associate Professor of English and Latino/Latin American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

I am an active member of RSA and former executive committee member of CCCC. My teaching and research intersects rhetorical theory with political theory, urban studies, Latino studies, political economy, and ethnography. My major publication/awards include: Angels' Town: Chero Ways, Gang Life, and Rhetorics of the Everyday; Rockefeller Fellow; Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. My current research: late capitalism and the arts of governance in Chicago's Humboldt Park and Kosovo. If elected, my goals for RSA are to encourage international and ethnographic work in rhetorical studies; and to increase the diversity of the membership while questioning the rhetorics of identity politics.

Ellen Quandahl, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, San Diego State University

My qualifications include over twenty years of teaching and research in rhetorical history, theory and pedagogy. I have sought to bring ancient rhetoric to life for our current situation, to encourage teaching of writing that is anchored in the best rhetorical theory, and to develop pedagogies for diverse students who thrive on electronic media. I would work to support the evolving publications of the Society, to encourage a lively interchange between historical rhetoric and emerging spheres of study and civic discourse, and to assist in planning strong conferences, institutes, and ties with the international rhetoric community.

Candidates for position held by: Jack Selzer

Janet Atwill, Professor, Department of English, University of Tennessee

Since 1989, I have known RSA to be an intellectual community supporting scholarship that challenges narrow institutionalized definitions of rhetoric. At the same time, young scholars entering the field face a number of challenges doing interdisciplinary research. I would like to see RSA become a site that helps to mediate the research conventions of the various disciplines that make up our intellectual community. This is another way RSA can support research characterized by rigor and community defined by respect. I am presently Professor of English at the University of Tennessee, an active member of NCA and NCTE. I serve as the 2005 President of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric, and I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Modern Language Association, Division on History and Theory of Rhetoric.

Jane Donawerth, Professor, Department of English, affiliate in Women's Studies, University of Maryland

I am qualified to serve through my scholarship and my administrative experience. Publications include Shakespeare and the Sixteenth Century Study of Language, Rhetorical Theory by Women before 1900: An Anthologytranslation of Madeleine de Scudry's rhetorical pieces (Best Translation Award SSEMW 2005), and essays in Conference Proceedings, Rhetorica, Rhetoric Review, and RSQ on the 16th-century spelling debate, and rhetorical theory by women. I have directed Introductory Composition; coordinated Language, Writing, and Rhetoric Faculty; helped create an MA in Composition and Rhetoric, and a citation in rhetoric; and have served another society as Treasurer. My goals include expanding participation through a mailing campaign and establishing a teaching prize in history of rhetoric.

Candidates for position held by: Susan Wells

Michael Leff, Professor, Communication, University of Memphis

I have been an active member of RSA for about thirty years. Recently I have served the Society as the program coordinator for the first RSA Institute, as local arrangements chair for the 2006 convention, and as a member of the editorial board of RSQ. If elected to the board, I would have two main goals: (1) to help to promote the recent growth in the size and diversity of the Association, and (2) to help solidify the effort to develop and sustain clear policies for the governance and professional management of the Society.

John Louis Lucaites, Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Culture Indiana University

I have been an active member of the Rhetoric Society of America since 2000. In 2001 I was the co-recipient (with Robert Hariman) of the Charles Kneupper Award, and I chaired the RSA Dissertation Award Committee for 2003-2004. My scholarly interest focuses on the relationship between rhetoric and social theory and with a particular eye to understanding and acting upon the problems of liberal-democratic polity in post- or late-modern society. I believe that the future of rhetorical study requires sites at which more traditional studies of rhetoric its history, its theory, and its practice can be brought into careful and sustained conversation with contemporary social, political, and cultural problematics. This may require constituting new intellectual arenas for study such as recent interests in visual rhetorics/cultures and as a board member it would be my goal to use the resources of the association to animate and facilitate such work.

Candidates for position held by: Irene Grau (student member)

Virginia Sanprie, Doctoral student, Department of Communication, University of Colorado at Boulder

I am very excited about the possibility of becoming the student member of the RSA board. I believe it is important for students to participate in the scholarly community, a sentiment reflected in my own work and my goals as a potential member of the board. I received my MA from San Diego State University where I specialized in rhetorical studies. Work culled from my master's thesis is in press with Feminist Media Studies, was recognized as a James L. Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric award winner, and is currently under review at the Quarterly Journal of Speech. I am pursuing my PhD at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since entering CU's doctoral program, I have encouraged fellow students to become RSA members and have formulated a student chapter to cultivate a greater sense of community among students of rhetoric. Additionally, as a board member, I hope to initiate graduate student workshops in between RSA conference years, and develop additional means to recognize outstanding graduate student work in the field.

Erin Wais, Doctoral student, Rhetoric Department, University of Minnesota.

My areas of interest include rhetoric of science, specifically biology, and the theory of Kenneth Burke. I organized the first student chapter of RSA at the University of Minnesota. This chapter not only includes students from the Rhetoric Department, but also students from Communication Studies, and English. During the past two years I have also served as the graduate student representative to the DGS Advisory Committee. In this position, she has worked to bring the needs of graduate students to Rhetoric's graduate faculty.

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