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RSA 19th Biennial Conference - Keynote Speaker & Super Sessions

19th Biennial Conference of the 
Rhetoric Society of America
Portland, OR
May 21 - May 24, 2020

Conference Co-Chairs:  Michelle Ballif, Diane Davis,
                                    Karma Chávez, Byron Hawk

We write with exciting updates on plans for the RSA 2020 Conference, including the announcement of our Keynote Speaker and our Super Session themes.

RSA 2020 Keynote Address, Catherine R. Squires:  “Fractal Homemaking for UnSettling Times”

SquiresWe are pleased to welcome Catherine R. Squires as our Keynote Speaker.  Dr. Squires is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota.  She is the author of multiple books, including Dispatches from the Color Line (SUNY Press 2007) and The Post-Racial Mystique (New York University Press 2014).  Most recently, she edited the collection Dangerous Discourses: Feminism, Gun Violence & Civic Life (Peter Lang 2016), which was a finalist for the AEJMC Tankard Award.  Currently, her work focuses on cultivating intergenerational storytelling and healing. Dr. Squires is a certified instructor in somatic yoga, lives in St. Paul with her family, and is always on the lookout for interesting birds.

RSA 2020 Super Session Themes

RSA 2020 will feature seven Super Sessions; which are extended panels with scholars addressing timely issues:

Hospitality / Inequity

Co-organizers: Jay Dolmage and Annie Hill. Panelists from multiple research areas will discuss institutional and systemic inequity in the state, media, academia, and law. 

Hospitality / The Extrahuman

Co-organizers: Diane Keeling and Thomas Rickert. This session will consider hospitable relations (intrabiological, ecological, technological, symbiotic) that extend or disperse “the human.” 

Hospitality / Borders

Organizer: Lisa Flores. Panelists will address questions of agency, belonging, containment, and mobility at the U.S./Mexico border, in the complicated dynamics of bio citizenship, and in contestations of decoloniality and transnationalism. 

Hospitality / Accessibility

Co-organizers: Casey Boyle and K.J. Rawson. Panelists will approach accessibility as an inventive practice capable of creating new possibilities for hospitable living through cultural, social, and technological innovation.

Hospitality / The Environment

Organizer: Amy Propen. This session will consider the question of ecological responsibility in an age of Anthropocene technoscience where the putative boundaries between human-made and “natural” worlds implode. 

Hospitality / Biopolitics-Bioethics

Organizer: Stuart Murray. Panelists will reflect on the ethical and rhetorical contours of hospitality implicated in the mutually constitutive twin-powers of biopolitics: the power to “make live” and the power to “let die.” 

Hospitality / Violence

Organizer: Erik Doxtader. This session will address the question of violence, a question that provokes, troubles, and abides within the possibility of hospitality itself.

The website to submit proposals is now live and will remain open until July 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM. The site can be accessed here:

We look forward to receiving your submissions and meeting with you in our host city, Portland, Oregon.

All inquiries can be sent to

Proposals Due: July 15, 2019, 11:59 PM EST

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