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RSA 14th Biennial Conference - Info for Graduate Students Their Mentors


Dear Graduate Students and Their Mentors: 

RSA has had a long-standing commitment to nurturing young talent and finding ways of including them in our activities, especially our institutes and conferences. That commitment is reflected in our plans for the 2010 meeting in Seattle, and I want to describe some of the special features of that meeting designed to encourage graduate student participation.  Many of these activities and opportunities continue policies initiated at our 2008 meeting which attracted a record number of graduate students and generated much enthusiasm.   We hope that the 2010 meeting will prove equally successful. 

AFFORDABILITY:  We have made a special effort to make the conference affordable for graduate students.  I anticipate that we will continue our policy of a reduced conference fee for graduate students of $80, the same as at Memphis in 2006 and Seattle in 2008.  In addition, we have negotiated reasonable room rates with the Marriott Civic Center Hotel.  The basic price for a room is $135 for either single or doubt occupancy, and you will only have to pay an additional $10 to add a third or fourth person.  Consequently, if four people share the same room, the cost for each of them would be less than $40.  We intend to help students reduce costs by assisting in matching up those in need of roommates at the Marriott.  More information on this service will appear on the RSA website in November on the "Hotel" page. 


The Minneapolis conference will continue one of the most highly praised parts of the 2008 meeting in Seattle-The Research Network: Sharing Work in Progress.  This program offers a unique opportunity for graduate students to expand their contacts in the field and to discuss and improve their work.  Of course, we encourage graduate students to submit proposals for individual presentations, panels, and special events. But we also recognize that one of the highlights of the conference for everyone is the chance to meet and converse with established scholars.  For that reason, RSA 2010 will once again include a special program offering emerging scholars the opportunity meet and talk with one another and with a senior scholar and to do this in an informal small group setting.  

The "Research Network: Sharing Work in Progress' will organize groups of no more than six with each group headed by one of these well-known, established scholar: Janet Atwill (University of Tennessee), Davida Charney (University of Texas),  James Darsey, (Georgia State University), Jeanne Fahnestock (University of Maryland),Cara Finnegan, (University of Illinois),  Keith Gilyard (Penn State University) Martin Medhurst (Baylor University),  Krista Ratcliffe (Marquette University). Sue Wells (Temple University), Kirt Wilson (University of Minnesota), David Zarefsky (Northwestern University). 

The session will give you a chance to discuss work-in-progress-a draft of an article, or dissertation chapter, or conference paper, or research project proposal.  Whatever you choose to submit will be distributed to the group in advance.  Participants in this session will have their names printed on the program as part of the network (both because this seems reasonable and because it improves chances of getting departmental travel support), and students may participate in this Research Network instead of or in addition to another presentation at the conference.  For more detailed information about how to apply and how the program works, CLICK HERE


Once again Shirley Logan and Cheryl Glenn are organizing a session that will address professional development and the job market.  Graduate students also have the opportunity to participate in the ISHR/RSA seminar on epideictic rhetoric, which will give them the opportunity to work with and learn from Laurent Pernot of the University of Strasburg, one of the world's leading authorities on the history of rhetoric.  We are also considering other special programs designed to interest graduate students.


RSA will offer three $150 (plus registration fee) scholarships to graduate students at our 2010 meeting.  These Gerard Hauser prizes are awarded for the best student work submitted to the conference.  Students will receive information on how to apply upon acceptance of their proposals to RSA 2010. 

So please do send in a proposal for RSA 2010-whether for a paper, a panel, a special event, or the Research Network: Sharing Work in Progress.  Plan on enjoying the hotel, the Minneapolis Civic Center, and the exciting talk about rhetorical scholarship. And spread the work to all graduate students who might be interested.  See you in Minneapolis! 


Michael Leff
Program Coordinator

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