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 subcommittee 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 four additional 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. Finally, it confers the Gerard A. Hauser Award for outstanding student papers presented at the conference.

Awardee Selection

An awards committee 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 subcommittee 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 as appointed by the RSA Awards Chair. 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.


Nominations for the Book Award, Dissertation Award, Fellows’ Early Career Award, and Outstanding Student Chapter Award are accepted and considered 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.


Please contact the society’s Awards Committee with any outstanding questions about the nomination, submission, or selection processes.

RSA Awards

  • Book Award

    The Rhetoric Society of America gives a Book Award each year to recognize an exemplary work in rhetorical studies–broadly construed–published by a Society member in the previous year. The Society welcomes nomination of books published in any branch of or approach to rhetorical studies.

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  • Charles Kneupper Award

    The Charles Kneupper Award, given annually, recognizes the article published in that year’s volume of Rhetoric Society Quarterly that the editorial board and the editor consider the most significant contribution to scholarship in rhetoric. 

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  • Cheryl Geisler Award for outstanding mentor

    The Cheryl Geisler Award for Outstanding Mentor is presented biennially at the RSA conference. This award honors individuals who during their careers have demonstrated exceptional commitment to mentoring through such activities as guiding, supporting, and promoting the education, training and career development of their students or junior colleagues.

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  • Dissertation Award

    The RSA Dissertation Award is presented yearly to recognize an exemplary dissertation in the field of Rhetorical Studies completed by a student member of the Society.

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  • Fellows’ Early Career Award

    The Fellows’ Early Career Award honors a current member of the Rhetoric Society of America who has established an innovative and robust research record within eight years of having earned the Ph.D. degree.

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  • George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award

    The George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award is presented biennially to a member of the Society who has made significant and sustained contributions to RSA and to the field. 

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  • Gerard A. Hauser Awards

    The Gerard A. Hauser Award is a national award that is presented to outstanding graduate student papers accepted for presentation at the biennial RSA conference. 

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  • Lunsford Travel Grant

    RSA makes travel grant awards to graduate students of color who participate in the conference. These awards are made possible through the generosity of the Andrea Lunsford Diversity Fund. This endowed fund honors Andrea Lunsford’s longtime commitments to promoting diversity within RSA and the education and professional development of graduate students in rhetoric.

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  • Outstanding Student Chapter Award

    The Outstanding Graduate Student Chapter Award, given annually, recognizes the previous year’s most creative, engaged student chapter. A prize of $500 accompanies the award. 

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  • RSA Fellows

    Fellows of the Rhetoric Society of America have produced scholarship in rhetorical studies that is remarkable for its quality, quantity, and/or influence; have participated in the work of the RSA, whether on the Board, on its committees, or in other capacities; and have worked to increase the visibility and influence of rhetorical studies through public lectures,…

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