Susan Romano, professor emerita of English, received the 2011 Kneupper Award for best article in the 2010 volume of the Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Her article is titled "'Grand Convergence' in the Mexican Colonial Mundane: The Matter of Introductories."
Romano said that the article has its roots in New Mexico. "In 2002, when I was visiting the Quarai Ruins Museum, I spotted a copy of an eighteenth-century, bilingual sacrament manual owned by the National Park Service and housed in the Spanish Colonial Research Center, in Zimmerman Library. The manual describes an experiment whereby Amerindian midwives were trained in Latin pronunciation so that they might perform Catholic rites of baptism on newborns. The midwives refused. In my article, I use the passage not to discuss midwifery or conversion or refusal, rather to design a critical framework for Anglo-oriented rhetoric scholars working on Latin American rhetoric."
Members of the committee found this essay to be "extraordinary," "potentially transformative," and "startling," noting that it "identifies a question central to rhetorical studies" and serves as "a model of what great rhetorical scholarship can be—specific and abstract, drawing canonical theorists together with non-canonical texts, and pushing the field in a genuinely new direction."
This award is given each year in memory of Charles Kneupper, 1949–1989, who initiated and organized the earliest biennial Rhetoric Society of America conferences at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he taught. Charles was an active member of RSA and mentor to many graduate students in rhetoric.
This announcement appears also in the spring issue of Rhetoric Society Quarterly (41:2).
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