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RSA Project 2021 - Call for Local Site and Project Director(s)

RSA Project 2021 

In 2019, RSA will inaugurate a new event called the RSA Project. The Project returns to the classical notion of a symposium, a conference to explore a particular subject. It adds the twist of being organized into working groups that are approaching its central topic from different disciplinary perspectives. It retains the traditional dialogic aspect of a symposium in that it includes plenary sessions intended to bring the different working groups into conversation with one another. It is envisioned as a new genre of scholarly meeting, with between 150-200 participants and composed of multiple working groups, not to exceed 25 in size. The specific focus of the Project may range from purely academic topics, such as “Classical Rhetoric, its continued importance and purpose,” to ones that are more praxis oriented, such as the 2019 Project on “Power, Place, and Publics” in the specific setting of the University of Nevada, Reno, and the exigence of its recent Campus Master Plan (CMP). 

The Rhetoric Society of America seeks nominations and self-nominations to serve as Local Site and Project Director(s) for the Second Biennial Project, to occur in the summer of 2021. The topic and dialogic format (i.e., working groups, plenaries, fieldwork, common experiences, etc. as pertain) should be outlined in the proposal. This should include a description of the central problem around which working groups will be formed and the interactive and collaborative structures envisioned to bring the full population of the event into a dialogue that addresses its particular question or topic from a variety of conceptual and theoretical bases. Relevant considerations may include community liaisons available to participate with the working groups and how they will be utilized to address a particular exigence in a specific setting, a sampling of possible themes that may serve as working group foci, and how the planners envision intersections among the different working groups that lead to a summary symposium on the Project’s central subject. 

The focus of the proposal is to be conceptual. The specific content and of the Project will be planned by the Project Director(s) and the Project Steering Committee which will be appointed by the RSA Board in consultation with the Project Director(s). The Project Director(s) is to be a faculty member from the host institution, thus allowing the local hosts to play the major role in the composition and direction of the Project’s program as well as logistical issues. The proposal to host must adhere to the RSA Institute Guidelines, available on request. 

Proposals should include [1] identification of the individual(s) who will serve as the Project Director(s); [2] indication of the specific site(s) that would accommodate up to 200 participants in plenary sessions, smaller working groups, and other activities for the duration of the Project (three-and-a-half days); [3] an explanation of the resource commitments to support the Project—institutional support, other subventions, faculty, graduate assistance, student volunteers, etc.           

Strong proposals will project significant participation in planning and supporting the event from rhetorical studies scholars working in English, Rhetoric and Composition, and Communication, as pertain to the institution, and will include both a detailed description of meeting spaces and lodging resources that will be available and sufficient preliminary budget information to demonstrate that the event is likely to provide a surplus of not less than $7500 for the RSA operating budget beyond event expenses. 

Proposals should be submitted electronically to Gerard Hauser, RSA Executive Director, by October 1, 2018: The Site Selection Committee will review proposals and make recommendations to the RSA Board of Directors during the Board’s Fall 2018 meeting. Direct any questions to Gerard Hauser at

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