RSA News

Submit your Application to the RSA Summer Institute Today

August 19, 2022

Come to the 2023 RSA Summer Institute! 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY BY OCTOBER 15TH. (You may be asked to create an Oxford Abstracts account to use the application system.)

The rhetoric faculty and graduate students at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, in cooperation with the Center for Democratic Deliberation, invite you to participate in the 10th Biennial RSA Summer Institute. Like Institutes before it, Penn State offers two ways for scholars to participate: 

  •  9 week-long seminars will be held Monday, May 22nd to Thursday, May 25th
  • 22 weekend workshops will be held Thursday, May 25th to Saturday, May 27th 

The seminars and workshops promise exciting intellectual opportunities for graduate students and faculty, and the week will feature many opportunities for networking, for exchanges with colleagues over food and drink, and for just plain fun.

Key terms for the Penn State Institute are diversity, accessibility, transnationalism, race, materiality, archives, and the future. Leaders of Institute workshops and seminars—among the finest and most innovative scholars active in rhetorical studies today—will explore these terms and stimulate the thinking of participants in deep, innovative, and provocative ways.

Seminars will invite conversation and study around global rhetorics (Mao, Garcia, and Zhu), Cold War rhetoric (Zarefsky and Prasch), rhetorical listening in action (Ratcliffe, Jensen, and Rivera-Mueller), climate change and migration (Cintron, Kells, and Sackey), graphic medicine and the rhetoric of health (Scott, Gouge, and Councilor), storying race, gender, and disability (Martinez, Hsu, and Kannan), archival methodologies (George, Epps-Robertson, and Graban), human rights (Chirindo, Hesford, and Lyon), and feminist rhetoric (Patia, Hill, and Rhodes).

Institute workshops will take up an exciting range of topics—everything from the African American rhetorical tradition (Johnson and Foreman), Asian/American feminist rhetorics (Sano-Franchini and Monberg), material rhetorics (Arellano and Edwards), and career planning (Bostdorff and Kerschbaum) to the sonic dimensions of rhetoric (Vega, Eberly, Detweilder, and Isasi), queering the archives (Haitsma and Hawkins), memory studies (Kurlinkus and Obermark), prophesy and activist politics (FitzGerald and Miller), and temporalities (Houdek and Maraj)—just to name a few of the workshops. 

To participate in a seminar or workshop, you must apply by October 15th; you can list first, second, and third preferences. Seminar and workshop leaders will accept participants by November 15th.  Graduate students accepted will have an opportunity to apply for financial support and then reserve a space by paying fees by April 1st with knowledge of their support amount.

We are so excited to return to the matchless vitality of in-person Institute sessions and the other benefits of in-person participation. But we are also deeply committed to accessibility, especially since the current moment presents real challenges, including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, reductions in financial support available to graduate students and faculty, and inflated travel expenses. We also recognize that personal circumstances can make in-person participation difficult for some RSA members. Therefore, 

  • The leaders of most seminars and workshops have agreed to accept about three remote participants in their sessions. (A few seminars and workshops are unsuited to remote participation because of the nature of their offerings; the availability of remote participation is noted on the website and in the application.)
  • Institute tuition rates are substantially reduced across the board.
  • The Institute budget includes provisions for increased financial support for participants. 
  • Multiple social events during the Institute–coffee breaks each morning and afternoon, receptions for seminar and workshop participants, and the Institute luncheon on Thursday.  
  • Affordable housing will be provided in three comfortable downtown hotels adjacent to campus, a short stroll from Institute venues. 
  • The Institute Keynote Address (by Anjali Vats) as well as several online webinars will be made available for free to all RSA members.

Make plans to join us at Penn State for the 2023 Institute. We’re excited to welcome you to campus and to engage our key terms and questions together!

Xiaoye You and Jack Selzer

For additional information, please contact Co-Directors Xiaoye You at or Jack Selzer at

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