RSA Awards

The Rhetoric Society of America recognizes the achievements of its members through eight awards: four 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 granted annually by the Editorial Committee of RSQ. The 2018 awards will be presented at the 2019 RSA Summer Institute luncheon for work published or defended in 2018. The 2019 awards will be presented at the 2020 biennial conference for work published or defended in 2019.

At its biennial meeting (in even years), the Society presents the four awards described above as well as an additional four awards. It recognizes achievement in scholarship and professional service by naming Fellows to the Society and giving the George E. Yoos Award and the Cheryl Geisler Award for Outstanding Mentor. The Gerard A. Hauser Award recognizes outstanding student papers presented at the RSA conference.

Nominations for the Book Award, Dissertation Award and Fellows’ Early Career Award are accepted annually. Any book published or dissertation defended by an RSA member in the year of the award is eligible for nomination for the publication awards. Any RSA member within eight years of their doctorate may be nominated for the Fellows’ Early Career Award. 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.

The Awards Committee of the RSA board reviews nominations to name new Fellows to the Society and select recipients 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 Editorial Committee of RSQ determines the recipient of the Charles Kneupper Award from the slate of articles in that year’s volume. The RSA Board gives final approval for all Award Committee recommendations. Gerard A. Hauser Award recipients are selected from nominated papers by a committee appointed by that year’s conference planner.

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:

George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award

RSA Fellows

Charles Kneupper Award

Book Award

Dissertation Award

Gerard A. Hauser Awards

Geisler Mentoring Award

Fellows' Early Career Award

Outstanding Student Chapter Award

Awards Policies & Procedures

The Board has approved the following policies for awards.

  1. Eligibility for the Book and Dissertation Awards.
    To be considered for the Book and Dissertation Awards, a scholar must be a member of the RSA. The book award subcommittee will consider any book that has a designated author or authors and that meets the eligibility requirements. Generally, edited collections and second editions are not eligible for this award. Translations are eligible.

  2. Guidelines for Assessing Nominated Books
    In reviewing nominees for the Book Award, the Awards Committee considers:
    • Originality
    • Strength and persuasiveness of argument
    • Engaging style or readability
    • Potential to promote rhetoric among scholars from other fields and/or the general public's understanding of rhetoric.

  3. RSA Fellows
    Fellows of the Rhetoric Society of America have produced scholarship in rhetorical studies that is remarkable for its quality and quantity, 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, teaching, advocacy, or other activities.

  4. Winners of the George E. Yoos Award, which automatically confers the status of Fellow, meet the criteria for Rhetoric Society Fellows and have made sustained contributions to the RSA which have improved the organization.

  5. Conflict of Interest for Book and Dissertation Awards.
    A member whose book is nominated for the RSA book award may not serve on the book award sub-committee. A member who has worked as a member of the dissertation committee for any nominee for the dissertation award may not sit on the dissertation sub-committee. Members of the Awards Committee who feel that they are unable to be impartial in judging any nominee will recuse themselves from discussion of that nominee.