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The Responsibilities of Rhetoric: RSA Conference Volume Is Published

The Responsibilities of Rhetoric: RSA Conference Volume Is Published

If you attended the 2008 RSA Conference in Seattle, you should have received your copy of the edited collection of papers that emerged from the conference. The Responsibilities of Rhetoric, edited by Michelle Smith and Barbara Warnick, comes to each conference participant for free, paid for by conference registration fees. RSA thanks Michelle, Barbara, and the various contributors (as well as Waveland Press) for producing such an outstanding volume in such a timely manner.

Highlights of the volume include past president David Zarefsky's eloquent conference keynote address and plenary presenter Charles Johnson's short story "The Cynic," which is set in ancient Athens and dramatizes the rhetorical issues that animated Plato, Diogenes, and their circles. From topics about Rustic design to bot-written texts in Wikipedia, from the rhetoric of graphic novels to medieval Arab rhetorical theory, The Responsibilities of Rhetoric combines reflections on vital rhetorical episodes, past and present, global and local, with responsive glances toward the rhetorics of the future. The thirty-one contributors collectively address the question, "If rhetors are responsible and responsive to their publics, if rhetoricians instruct and empower those who learn from them, what are the responsibilities of rhetoric in our time?" Their answers rest on the promotion of public reason in society, the ability to unite publics and communities, the commitment to provide a vision of what is possible, and the responsibility to serve as a teaching resource that prepares students to think and deliberate in contemporary society.

If you did not have a chance to attend the Seattle event, you can still obtain a copy at the RSA members' price (20% off the list price). To get a detailed look at the contents, go to the Waveland Press Web site (, click on Communication and then Rhetoric, and you'll see the book listed. You will also find information on how to obtain your RSA member discount.

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