CRS Professor Wins Distinguished Service Award from the Rhetoric Society of America

Kendall Phillips
Kendall Phillips

Kendall Phillips, professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies (CRS) and interim director of Syracuse University’s Lender Center for Social Justice, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award from the Rhetoric Society of America (RSA). 

The Yoos Award recognizes an RSA member whose contributions advanced the organization. Recipients are automatically conferred to the status of RSA Fellow. 

The selection committee specifically cited Phillips’ scholarly impact, nurturing of the CRS master’s degree program, mentorship and leadership within the RSA. 

“Professor Kendall Phillips has made a deep scholarly impact within rhetorical studies through a rich, interdisciplinary and transnational body of award-winning scholarship that includes 11 books and 35 articles and chapters,” writes the selection committee. “His intellectually rigorous teaching has also been recognized with distinction, and his work to grow the Syracuse University M.A. in communication and rhetorical studies has helped to establish it as one of the top Ph.D. feeding programs within the field.” 

Phillips’ research focuses on controversies and conflicts arising around topics like public memory, popular film and popular culture. He has published several books, including “A Place of Darkness: The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema” (University of Texas Press, 2018); “Controversial Cinema: The Films that Outraged America” (Praeger, 2008); and “Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture” (Praeger, 2005). His essays have appeared in such journals as Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Monographs and Philosophy and Rhetoric, and he is co-editor for the book series “Horror and Monstrosity Studies” at the University Press of Mississippi and “Rhetoric, Politics, and Society” for Palgrave Macmillan. He previously served as president for the RSA. 

“With his generous mentorship, Professor Phillips has helped to foster the careers of several rhetoric and communication scholars currently working within the discipline,” the selection committee writes. “For these accolades, in addition to his innovative leadership within RSA by way of organizing the 2014 Biennial Conference, serving on the RSQ [Rhetoric Society Quarterly] editorial board and the Board of Directors, and chairing the Society’s Development Council, the selection committee is pleased to announce Professor Kendall Philips as the recipient of the 2024 George E. Yoos Award.”