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RSA 19th Biennial Conference - Mini-Institute Program

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

In order to enhance opportunities for professional networking and collaboration, RSA is piloting a Mini-Institute program in conjunction with the RSA 19th Biennial Conference.  For nearly 50 years, RSA has run a summer Institute to deepen rhetorical education. This program will offer two mini-institutes, as detailed below.  These full-day conferences are intended to provide an in-depth, intimate professional development experience for approximately 30 participants coming to rhetoric from diverse perspectives, ranks, and locales.

Visual Rhetoric: Past and Future Directions

To discuss past, present, and future directions of visual rhetoric, RSA 2020 is hosting a mini-institute titled “Visual Rhetoric: Past and Future Directions” in which leading and emerging scholars in visual rhetoric will gather for a full day of discussion, collaboration, and vision building. This mini-institute—organized and facilitated by Cara Finnegan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Laurie Gries (University of Colorado-Boulder)—will invite a diverse body of scholars (representing a diverse range of bodies, perspectives, research areas, and ranks) to bringing working papers to the mini-institute, which will be discussed and revamped to help generate a collaborative vision statement for the future of visual rhetorical studies.

Rhetorics for All: Principles and Practices in the Public Humanities

Focused on specific public projects within rhetorical studies, this mini-institute will bring together scholars of all ranks invested in public scholarship.  Working with participant-provided projects, the mini-institute will provide a hands-on, practical approach to the promise and perils of public scholarship. Guided by best practices in the public humanities, participants will collaboratively workshop a small number of public humanities projects.  Co-organized by Dave Tell (University of Kansas) and Cindy Koenig Richards (Willamette University).

To attend, you must apply and be accepted into a mini-institute.  Because they will overlap, you may apply to only one institute.  Details regarding the application process and deadline will be forthcoming.


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

Proposals are due:  July 15, 2019 at 11:59 PMEST

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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