The seventh biennial Rhetoric Society of America conference came to Tucson, Arizona -- "les esperamos en Tucson." Held in the heart-of-the-desert Doubletree Hotel May 30-June 1 1996, the conference attracted some 325 participants at 83 panels. The twenty-fifth anniversary of Lloyd Bitzer and Edwin Black The Prospect of Rhetoric gave scholars and teachers in various disciplines from all over the country the opportunity to talk about new prospects for rhetoric.
The 1996 conference was chaired by RSA president, Carolyn R. Miller from North Carolina State University, assisted by the Program Committee: Gregory Clark from Brigham Young University, Susan Jarratt from Miami University, Edward Schiappa from the University of Minnesota, and Marie Secor from Penn State University. Local arrangements was my purlieu, and I gratefully acknowledge support from the Department of English and the College of the Humanities at the University of Arizona, the able assistance from Melody Bowdon, and the professionalism and grace of the Tucson Doubletree Hotel staff. I thank Roxanne Mountford and Carolyn Miller for peer reviewing the seventy submitted conference papers that prospected the past in order to gain new perspectives for rhetoric and from them selecting the twenty-four presented in this volume, and I am grateful to Bill Endres for coming up with a title that reflects the vision and content of the published conference proceedings. I especially thank Richard McNabb, associate editor of this volume, for his painstaking preparation of manuscripts for printing. Introducing you to the selected papers from the 1996 RSA conference is Roxanne Mountford's own essay, "Making and Unmaking the Prospects for Rhetoric."
Theresa Enos University of Arizona