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Post-Conference Survey and 2019 Summer Programing

We are now a little past one month from the 18th Biennial Conference and 50th Annivesary Celebration, and so far I have kept my conference promise to reduce the number of emails I send to your inbox. I hope that you are still thinking about the sessions you attended in Minneapolis and extending some of the work that you presented there. As for myself, I am grateful to you for making the 2018 Conference one of the best experiences of my professional career to date.

The Rhetoric Society of America has a bright future ahead of it, despite or, perhaps, because of the challenges and changes that we face. I look forward to serving as your president for the next two years. The officers of RSA are hard at work this summer. Michelle Ballif is thinking through her plans for the 2020 RSA Conference in Portland, Oregon. Joan McAlister is attending to the influx of new members we gained in Minneapolis. Susan Jarratt is racing toward the end of her term as RSQ editor. Jerry Hauser and I are organizing a fall Board meeting and working with faculty at the University of Maryland and the University of Nevada, Reno to mount two exciting projects next summer. More about those opportunities in a moment.

Post-conference News and Survey

As we wrap-up the 2018 conference, there are two things that we want to share with you. First, professors Roxanne Mountford (University of Oklahoma) and Dave Tell (University of Kansas) have agreed to co-edit a publication that features papers and presentations from the 2018 conference. In the coming weeks they will finalize their submission process and forward a CFP to the membership–please look for it.

Second, we are asking that everyone who attended the conference complete a post-conference survey. For the past several cycles, RSA has collected information about the conference experience to fine-tune our process and to locate areas for future investment. Mounting a conference is no easy task, and the information you provide helps us to make better decisions about the programming, events, and social experiences that matter to you. So, please to go the following URL and complete our survey:

The survey has 33 questions and shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to complete.

2019 Summer Institute, University of Maryland

The 8th Biennial RSA Summer Institute will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park campus in less than a year–June 3–8, 2019. Information about the event is available on the RSA website. Applications for the Institute are OPEN NOW. Registration for accepted participants will open in January. As in years past, you can stay in a campus dorm or at a university hotel.

The 2019 Summer Institute will feature 8 seminars and 25 workshops devoted to topics such as archives, diversity, memory, politics, and protest. The faculty who have agreed to organize these events are experts in their various sub-fields, and the entire event promises to continue the Institute’s tradition of excellence. Professors Jessica Enoch and Kristy Maddux are its co-directors. Visit their event web page to learn more or email

2019 RSA Project, University of Nevada, Reno

Faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno will host the first “RSA Project,” a four day intensive symposium focused on a single topic. From May 20–23, 2019, eight working groups of 25 participants each will collaborate with scholars and community leaders to discuss how rhetoric intersects with urban development, local politics, environmental justice, and systems of inequality. The case-study for the symposium involves the “Campus Master Plan,” a strategic initiative to redevelop the Gateway Precinct and University District surrounding the University of Nevada, Reno. Directed by professors Lynda Walsh, Catherine J. Chaput, and Amy Pason, the Summer Project in Power, Place, and Publics will provide a small, dedicated community of scholars the opportunity to focus on issues that have implications for towns and cities across the country. The participants in each working group will collaborate to produce a public-facing rhetorical cartography of the CMP. On the final day, working groups will present their contribution to this larger work to UNR administrators and city officials.

The application portal is now open for the 2019 Summer Project. You can click here to review the list of working groups that will assemble for the event, along with the faculty who will facilitate each group. Registration for the event will open in early 2019, but remember that you must first apply to participate in the Project before you can register. Questions about this event can be forwarded to:

That’s it for the moment. You will be hearing from me and other members of the RSA leadership in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, enjoy your summer and don’t forget to take some time off. You deserve it!


Kirt Wilson
Rhetoric Society of America

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