RSA Awards

The Rhetoric Society of America recognizes the achievements of its members through nine awards: five given annually and four given biennially.

The Book Award and Dissertation Award are presented annually for the best work in rhetorical studies published or defended by an RSA member in a given year. The annual Fellows’ Early Career Award recognizes the cumulative successes of an RSA member within eight years of completing their doctorate. The Charles Kneupper Award acknowledges the best article published in RSQ in a given year and is selected annually by a sub-committee of the RSQ Editorial Board. The Outstanding Student Chapter Award recognizes the efforts of RSA graduate student members as they advance the work of RSA through student chapters. 

In even years (at its biennial conference), the Society presents the five awards described above as well as an additional four awards.  It recognizes significant and sustained contributions to RSA and to the field by conferring the George E. Yoos Award and naming RSA Fellows.  It celebrates exceptional mentoring of students and junior colleagues with the Cheryl Geisler Award for Outstanding Mentor.  And it confers the Gerard A. Hauser Award for outstanding student papers presented at the conference.

The 2020 awards will be presented at the 2020 Biennial Conference for work published or defended in 2019.

Nominations for the Book Award, Dissertation Award, Fellows’ Early Career Award, and Outstanding Student Chapter Award are accepted annually. Nominations for RSA Fellows, the George E. Yoos Award, and the Cheryl Geisler Award for Outstanding Mentor are considered biennially. Any RSA Member meeting the criteria for each award (outlined below) is eligible for nomination. Self-nominations are welcome, though in some cases must be accompanied by additional supporting material.

An Awards Committees appointed by the RSA President oversees the selection of RSA Fellows and winners of the Book Award, Dissertation Award, George E. Yoos Award, and Cheryl Geisler Award for Outstanding Mentor. A committee of RSA Fellows named by the RSA Awards Chair chooses the recipient of the Fellows’ Early Career Award. The Editor of RSQ appoints a sub-committee of the editorial board to determine the recipient of the Charles Kneupper Award from the slate of all articles in that year’s volume-no nomination is necessary. The Outstanding Student Chapter Award review committee is comprised of the two graduate student/early career RSA board members and at least one other Board member. The RSA Board gives final approval for each of the above Award Committee recommendations. Gerard A. Hauser Award recipients are selected from nominated papers by a committee appointed by that year’s conference planner.

For more information about RSA Awards, please contact RSA Awards Committee Chair,

Christa J. Olson
Department of English
University of Wisconsin-Madison
600 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53706


Click the title of the award below for a description and requirements:

Book Award

Charles Kneupper Award

Cheryl Geisler Award

Dissertation Award

Fellows' Early Career Award

George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award

Gerard A. Hauser Awards

Lunsford Award

Outstanding Student Chapter Award

RSA Fellows