RSA News

News from RSA President Vanessa Beasley: Summer Edition

June 29, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

For those of you on academic calendars where time is often marked by semesters or quarters, congratulations on completing an academic year.  For those of you who planned or participated in the RSA Institute in late May, congratulations on a terrific event,and thank you for engaging in one of RSA’s most unique and generative events. I’ll add special thanks to this year’s directors at Penn State University, Xiaoye You and Jack Seltzer, as well as RSA Executive Director Leslie Dinauer for their roles and responsibilities in organizing the Institute. Thank you also to the donors who answered our call and contributed to the Institute scholarship funds; you allowed RSA to offer over $15,000 in scholarship assistance to 77 graduate students, the most support we have ever provided. 

This month, I also want to thank two leaders within RSA for their tremendous service to our society and introduce two members who will assume new roles on July 1.

On June 30, our Membership Officer, Leslie Harris (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) will conclude her term and Joshua Holman Miller (Texas State University) will begin serving in this role. The Membership Officer is a critical role, charged with tracking trends in membership (and sometimes reminding us individually of the need for renewals) as well as working with the Board of Directors to imagine and create new benefits.

Also on June 30, Carolyn Miller will end her many years of service as chair of the Development Council, where she has led efforts for members to consider supporting RSA and its members through travel funds, planned giving, and other forms of philanthropy. Assuming the role of chair will be Kendall Phillips, Syracuse University and past president of RSA.  

To Leslie and Carolyn, thank you!  To Josh and Kendall, thank you, too, for saying yes to these roles.

If you would like an opportunity to get involved in the leadership of RSA, please consider self-nominating for service on one of our standing committees: Career Development; Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access; Development Council; Public Humanities Committee; or Publications Committee. To do so, please send a letter of interest directly to Leslie Dinauer before July 15, 2023. Her email address is We are interested in creating more opportunities for members to get involved in decision-making within the society, and we encourage members at all ranks, including graduate students, to self-nominate.

Additionally in regards to service, you may recall RSA membership voted this spring to add two Non-Tenure Track seats to the board. You will receive a ballot in the next few weeks to vote for an individual to serve in the first of these two seats. The vote for the second seat will take place in spring 2024. Please be sure to exercise your voice and vote on the ballot you receive.

I’ll close with a reminder of the call for papers for the 2024 Conference, to be held in Denver, CO, next May. President-elect Gwendolyn Pough and the committee have issued a call for work engaging the theme “Just Rhetoric,” (Click Here) and the deadline for submissions is August 15, 2023. Additionally, if you are a member of ASHR, ISHR or ARSTM, be sure to check in with these affiliates about their preconference activities.


Vanessa B. Beasley

President, RSA 

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