Call for Nominations: 2021 ASHR Outstanding Dissertation Award

American Society for the History of Rhetoric
Outstanding Dissertation Award

Call for Nominations

The American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) invites submissions for its 2021 Outstanding Dissertation Award.

The ASHR Outstanding Dissertation Award honors a dissertation of especial significance to the Society’s mission and defended between September 11, 2020, and September 10, 2021. ASHR encourages a rich and pluralistic conception of the history of rhetoric. The selection committee hopes to see dissertations treating histories of rhetoric around the world, from any time period, and drawn from varied archives—formal and informal. We welcome historical work on rhetoric informed by a diversity of theoretical and methodological traditions.


Non-members may be nominated or self-nominated for the award. ASHR will sponsor membership at the student rate for one year for the winner.

A dissertation may only be nominated for the Award once even if its date of defense would qualify it in two years.

Each nomination packet for the Award must include:

  1. A 1-2 page dissertation abstract;
    1. The dissertation’s table of contents;
    1. The introduction and one chapter (more may be requested of finalists);
    1. A letter of recommendation from the dissertation advisor or a committee member. The letter must include the date of dissertation defense.

The selection committee will use the following criteria to determine the recipient of the Award:

  1. Significance of the dissertation’s contributions to the study of rhetorical history / histories of rhetoric (e.g., expanding, synthesizing, correcting, and/or re-directing previous scholarship);
    1. Effective, generative use of methodological and/or analytical tools;
    1. Engagement with primary and secondary texts demonstrating depth and breadth of knowledge about subjects or objects and their contexts;
    1. Clear, accessible, engaging prose and style;
    1. The dissertation’s contribution to the Society’s commitments to diversity, equity, and access through topic, content, citational choices, and/or framing.

Please submit all materials via email (MS Word or PDF) to the selection committee co-chair, Dr. Jamie Downing, at (.)

The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2021.

For more on ASHR awards, including a list of past winners, click here.

Dr. Jamie Downing
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric
Department of Communication
Georgia College