2013 Kneupper Award
The Charles Kneupper Award is given annually to recognize the essay 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. The award is named in honor of Charles Kneupper (1949–1989) to honor his many contributions to the scholarly mission of RSA. Three members of the 20012–15 Editorial Board served as the award committee: Vanessa Beasely, John Duffy (chair), and Ned O’Gorman.
The committee members were pleased to note that there were multiple essays published in RSQ during 2012 that made significant contributions to the study of rhetoric. Nevertheless, two essays rose to the top during our deliberations. Rhetoric Society Quarterly is pleased to announce that the Kneupper Award for the best article in the 2012 volume of the journal is awarded to:
Sabrina Marsh, “‘The Odds and Ends of Things’: Dorthy Day’s 1930s Catholic Worker Columns and the Prudent Translation of Catholic Social Teachings,” 42 (4): 330-352.
Lisa Zimmerelli, “‘The Stereoscopic View of Truth’: The Feminist Theological Rhetoric of Frances Willard’s Woman in the Pulpit.” 42 (4): 353-374
Both recipients will be recognized at the upcoming RSA institute in Lawrence, and the award will be formally conferred at the 2014 RSA conference in San Antonio.
These two essays, while ostensibly concerned with different texts and subjects, had much in common.
First, both examined a given case —in Marsh, the rhetoric of Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker columns, and in Zimmerelli, the feminist discourse of Frances Willard—in ways that advance understanding of that case as well as rhetorical theory and history more broadly defined. Both essays extend, for example, our understanding of the relationship between gender and rhetorical agency, questions that often begin with the recovery of historically neglected rhetors and then extend into larger, more conceptual discussions.
Second, and related, both essays demonstrated the benefit of incorporating these new insights about rhetoric into necessarily interdisciplinary conversations about the role of rhetoric within social movements, theology, and politics. Zimmerelli’s essay illustrates how Willard’s rhetoric engaged biblical and scientific discourses to advance a radical vision of an alternative world order. Marsh, in turn, demonstrates how Day’s rhetoric spoke across divisions of class, ideology, tradition, and faith to posit a new conception of the common good.
Third, both essays were exceptionally well written and engaged in clear argument, incorporating impeccable research from both primary and secondary sources.
As such, these two essays share not only common topics but remarkable strengths that merit the unusual step of granting the 2013 Kneupper Award to both.