I am honored to assume the role of President of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric at such an exciting time. ASHR has grown into an independent and strong organization, boasting hundreds of members, and is poised for further expansion. It has always been a place for younger scholars and established scholars to mix, and I am proud to be part of such a welcoming and rigorous group. Making the success of ASHR possible, of course, is the long line of dedicated leaders we’ve been lucky to have. Most recently, Ned O’Gorman, Dave Tell, Susan Jarratt, and Kathleen Lamp have all pushed ASHR to be an even better place to study the history of rhetoric.
Adding to the excitement is our journal, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, and its increasing visibility in the field of rhetorical studies. Our current editor, Art Walzer, has done a great job making this one of the best places to publish work on the history of rhetoric, setting up more growth under the incoming editor, Ned O’Gorman. I encourage all of those interested in the history of rhetoric to consider submitting work to this journal.
One of themes of my presidency will be to widen the scope of what we consider the history of rhetoric. ASHR has always operated under a pluralistic notion of the history of rhetoric, covering ancient to modern topics and figures, but we can do even more. What new ways of thinking about rhetoric and its values await us if we consider rhetoric as potentially a global phenomenon? How might wonderful work in the Greco-Roman tradition be supplemented by placing it next to work on communicative practices in other significant traditions, such as those hailing from ancient China or India?
To further affirm ASHR’s commitment to rhetoric across all important traditions, I have focused the 2018 ASHR Symposium on the theme of “Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions.” This event will feature keynote addresses from Molefi Asante on ancient Egyptian rhetoric, Xing “Lucy” Lu on Chinese rhetoric, and Kathleen Lamp on Roman rhetoric. We have received over 60 submissions, and we are excited about how the event is shaping up. Please attend this event if you are able, and I look forward to working with all of you to make ASHR the premiere place to promote and publicize the best work on the history of rhetoric.
Scott R. Stroud
Department of Communication Studies
University of Texas at Austin