Rhetoric Society of America: Summer Institute

June 3, 2019 to June 8, 2019
9:00 - 5:00 PM
Tawes Hall




2019.06.03-08: Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute






The members of the rhetoric faculty in the departments of Communication and English at the University of Maryland are thrilled to host the eighth biennial Rhetoric Society of America Institute in summer 2019. As with Institutes before it, UMD will offer two ways for scholars to participate:

  • 8 week-long seminars Monday, June 3 to Thursday, June 6
  • 24 weekend workshops Thursday, June 6 to Saturday, June 8

The key terms for the UMD Institute are archives, diversity, memory, politics, and protest. Our Institute leaders are among the finest and most innovative scholars in rhetorical studies and will explore these terms in deep and provocative ways.

More specifically, our seminars will invite conversation and study around African American rhetorics and pedagogies (Richardson and Carey), intersectional feminisms (Glenn and Chavez), digital rhetorics and race (Brown and Knight Steele), social protest (Cloud and Towns), medical rhetorics (Jack and Jensen), public memory (Vivian and Mack), visual rhetoric (Marshall, Bruce, Webb), and archival research methods (Ore and Stillion Southard).

Our workshops will take on topics ranging from foodways rhetorics (Alvarez and Kelly), rhetorical placemaking (Rai, Dickinson, Ackerman), cultural rhetorics (Powell and Long-Smith), and career planning (Kerschbaum and Bostdorff), to rhetorical education (Ratcliffe and Jensen), neoliberalism (Asen and Dingo), rhetoric and migration (Flores and Harris), and, of course, much more!

Leaders and participants at the Institute will be able to take full advantage of our UMD location. This major research institution houses excellent collaborative research facilities, strong English and Communication departments, as well as MITH, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. Just a few metro stops away, in Washington, D.C., participants can explore archives, museums, monuments, and sites for all kinds of political exchange. Excellent new restaurants are easily accessible from the local hotels and lower-cost housing at residence halls.

We hope you’ll join us at UMD for the 2019 Institute. We’re excited to welcome you to campus and to engage our key terms and questions together!


University of Maryland | Transportation to UMD | Transportation around Local Area | Local Attractions | Area Attractions | Organizers




Map to Department of English, Tawes Hall, University of Maryland

The University

The University of Maryland is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. UMD is the largest university both in the state and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. UMD was founded in 1856 as the state’s land-grant institution. 27,443 undergraduate students attend the university, and UMD declares that it “counts the diversity of its community as among its greatest strengths and integral to its mission of excellence.” Indeed, U.S. ethnic minority students and international students comprise nearly 48 percent of the university’s undergraduate student body. The English and Communication departments serve these students by offering them a robust rhetorical education. The English department offers two required rhetorically based General Education courses for all students through the Academic Writing Program and the Professional Writing Program, while the Communication department supports General Education requirements through its Oral Communications course.

The University of Maryland is located in College Park, MD, a suburb of Washington, D.C. accessible via metro and other forms of public transportation. The University is less than 10 miles from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the Library of Congress, while also being located in Prince George’s County, a majority-minority county that claims the most affluent African-American population in the nation.  College Park is simultaneously urban, suburban, and a college town, with access to some of the most influential political institutions in the world, surrounded by unusual racial diversity and disparities. 

Transportation to the University

  • The University is located at the nexus of two major highways—Interstate 95, the major north-south freeway on the east coast, and Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway that surrounds the D.C. metro area—making it easily accessible by car.
  • Three major airports—Baltimore-Washington International (30 miles from campus), Dulles International (35 miles), and Reagan National (15 miles)—all service the region, making flight costs competitive and travel plans flexible.  All three airports are accessible by public transportation, DCA by Metrorail and BWI and IAD by Metrobus. 
  • Major Amtrak routes from the north, south, and west all run to or through the D.C. region, with both Union Station (D.C.) and New Carrollton Station (Maryland) easily accessible to the University campus.

Transportation around the Local Area
The University is located along Metrorail’s Green Line, which takes riders from College Park into D.C. in approximately 20 minutes. College Park’s bikeshare program, mBike, has stations around campus and the Metro station, which visitors can rent for a $6 daily fee.  

Local Attractions—College Park
College Park is an increasingly vibrant suburban college town.  It hosts entertainment in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center as well as the MilkBoy ArtHouse. The College Park Airport is the longest continuously operating air field in the world, and its associated museum tells its long history. The College Park area boasts a critical mass of bars and restaurants, including a local microbrewery and an outpost of Busboys and Poets restaurant and coffeehouse, to satisfy any group of workshopping rhetoric scholars.  

Local Attractions—Washington D.C.
For scholars of rhetoric, Washington, D.C. area attractions speak for themselves

  • institutions of government (White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Pentagon)
  • monuments and memorials (Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington Monument, Marine Corps War Memorial [Iwo Jima Memorial], National WWII Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial).
  • libraries and archives (Library of Congress, National Archives, Folger Shakespeare Library, Sewall-Belmont House)
  • museums (Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of the American Indian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Newseum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Phillips Collection).  

We envision Institute participants taking advantage of these local attractions before and after the Institute, as well as in the off hours of the sessions.  We also envision programming a few “hybrid” seminars and workshops, where participants would split their time between on-site meetings at the University and “field trips” to relevant archives, institutions, and memorial sites. We believe workshops and seminars that take advantage of UMD’s excellent location will create a unique experience for Institute


Jessica Enoch, Associate Professor of English, and Kristy Maddux, Associate Professor of Communication, will serve as co-directors of the Institute.

Planning Commitee: Chanon Adsanatham (English); Jane Donawerth (English); Jeanne Fahnestock (English); Robert Gaines (Communication); Melanie Kill (English); James Klumpp (Communication); Shirley Wilson Logan (English); Michelle Murray-Yang (Communication); Shawn Parry-Giles (Communication); Trevor Parry-Giles (Communication); Damien Pfister (Communication); Vessela Valiavitcharska (English); Scott Wible (English); Carly Woods (Communication).

For more information contact: Jessica Enoch and Kristy Maddux (RhetSA@umd.edu)