Announcing ASHR’s Douglass Day 2023 Video Series // Today Featuring Dr. Bjørn Stillion Southard

Dear ASHR members:

Long-time and now former treasurer of ASHR, associate professor of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia, and award-winner author of Peculiar Rhetoric: Slavery, Freedom, and the African Colonization Movement, Dr. Bjørn Stillion Southard inaugurates our two-week amplification of the Douglass Day transcribe-a-thon with a short video about the power of transcribing documents pertaining to the freedom struggle of 19th-century African Americans.

This year, the event, organized by faculty and students affiliated with Penn State’s Center for Black Digital Research, is centering the recently digitized papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, who, among other accomplishments, was one of the first Black women to start a newspaper. In fact, Provincial Freeman was digitized recently by Penn Libraries and is open to all.

If you’d like to participate virtually in the transcribe-a-thon, please register with the Douglass Day organizers!


ASHR’s IDEA Committee


ASHR encourages members to participate in the 2023 Douglass Day Transcribe-a-Thon on February 14, 2023! Virtually and digitally join other scholars, activists, students, and members of the public as they work to transcribe the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary. More information is below.

NCA 2022 is approaching!

NCA 2022 is just around the corner. Don’t miss an exquisite series of ASHR panels at this year’s convention in New Orleans. More information is available here. We hope to see you there!

Room Location Update

Please note that the room for today’s ASHR Symposium panels has been changed. We will no longer be meeting in the Raven room but, instead, in Essex A-B-C.

NCA 2022: ASHR’s Call for Papers (CFP) is Available!

ASHR has released it’s call for papers for this November’s NCA conference in New Orleans, LA, USA. This year’s submission deadline is Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 11:59 pm (PST). We welcome individual paper submissions, paper sessions, and panel discussions. More information is available in the linked CFP. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Jamie Downing, ASHR NCA 2022 Unit Planner at

ASHR Mourns the Death of James J. Murphy

ASHR, like many others in the Rhetorical Studies community, is mourning the recent death of James J. Murphy. On behalf of the organization, Richard Leo Enos, ASHR Past President, has composed a touching remembrance of Murphy and his contributions to our organization. It is attached here.

Please join all of us in remembering the life of James J. Murphy. He will be missed.

ASHR is Pleased to Announce Its 2021 Award Winners: Dr. Andre E. Johnson, Dr. Florianne “Bo” Jimenez, and Jennifer Woolley

The three 2021 Award Selection Committees of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric delight in sharing the outcome of their deliberations and in inviting you to attend the ASHR Business Meeting on Saturday, November 20, from 11-12:15, in Issaquah AB (third floor), to celebrate the winners.

Outstanding Mentor Award

Prof. Andre E. Johnson, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Memphis, has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the ASHR Outstanding Mentor Award. The selection committee praised Prof. Johnson’s record of engaged and proactive mentoring, noting how he extends his mentorship to students and colleagues even before they recognize their own need and staying with them for the long haul. The committee noted the broad and positive effects that Prof. Johnson’s mentoring has had on the study of rhetorical history, even at this relatively early stage in his career. Prof. Johnson’s mentorship has already and will continue to promote research on histories of rhetoric that have been previously neglected. Prof. Johnson himself is a catalyzing figure, attracting diverse voices to ASHR and to rhetorical studies more broadly. Agreeing with nominators who wrote, “Truly, his students, colleagues, and community are better because of his dedication and talents,” the selection committee is pleased to honor Prof. Johnson and recognize the community that he creates and sustains through his mentoring.

Outstanding Dissertation Award

Dr. Florianne “Bo” Jimenez, author of ““Echoing and Resistant Imagining: Filipino Student Writing Under American Colonization,” has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 American Society for the History of Rhetoric Outstanding Dissertation Award, which honors a dissertation of especial significance to the Society’s mission defended in the past year. The selection committee was particularly impressed with Dr. Jimenez’s treatment of an era of US colonialism rarely discussed in the discipline of Rhetoric, as well as the nuanced integration of texts, critical theory, and methodological choices. (Several committee members noted that they found themselves so engaged that they wanted to read the entire dissertation.) The dissertation was completed under the directorship of Dr. Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Jimenez is now Assistant Professor of English and Co-Director of the Writing Center at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Honorable Mention went to Dr. Misti Yang for “Code Me a Good Reason: Joseph Weizenbaum and the Rhetoric of AI.” Dr. Yang is currently a Mellon Assistant Professor of the Public Communication of Science and Technology at Vanderbilt, having defended in August 2021 under the directorship of Dr. Damien Smith Pfister, in the department of Communication at the University of Maryland.

Outstanding Student Paper Award

Jennifer Woolley, a PhD student at Ohio University, is being recognized for “Complicating Culpability: Planned Parenthood’s Historical Apologia on Margaret Sanger.” The selection committee was particularly impressed with how her analysis of apologia in Planned Parenthood’s centennial discourse can help rhetoricians understand the obligations involved in addressing our own institutions’ problematic pasts. If you are attending NCA, you will be able to hear this paper on Thursday, November 18, on the 2-3:15pm panel in Issaquah AB (third floor).

Honorable Mention went to Caroline Koons, PhD candidate in Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University, for “Parrhesiac Voice: Freedom Riders, Singing Dissent, and Parchman Prison”

ASHR Steering Committee member Dr. Christa Olson chaired the Outstanding Mentor and Outstanding Student Paper selection committees. Thanks to Dr. Derek Handley, Dr. Melba Vélez Ortiz, and Dr. Mary Stuckey for serving on the former, and Dr. Ira Allen, Dr. Ben Crosby, and Dr. Miriam Fernández for serving on the latter. ASHR Steering Committee member Dr. Jamie Downing chaired the Outstanding Dissertation committee. Thanks to Dr. Nicole Allen, Dr. René De los Santos, and Dr. Elizabeth Miller for serving on that committee.

Congratulations to the winners and to those nominated. Gratitude to everyone who wrote nomination materials.