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RSA 2020 Philadelphia

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
The Notary Hotel

2–4 April 2020

View the Annual Meeting Program

Conference hashtag: #RenSA20

Conference details:
Annual Meeting program
Acceptance timeline
RSA 2020 Philadelphia registration
Conference hotels
Volunteer to chair a session
Special events
Book exhibit and advertising
Teaching the conference
Travel, diversity, and on-site care grants
Annual meeting policies
Professional conduct policy


Annual Meeting sponsors

Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania

Annual Meeting program

The RSA 2020 Philadelphia Annual Meeting program is now available to view online. RSA members can sign in to the program website to save sessions to their personal schedule for future reference.

The full listing of Annual Meeting sessions is available for download as a PDF file. This iteration of the Annual Meeting program is accurate as of 14 February 2020. The most up-to-date version of the program is always available online.

If you need to a request a change to the program, please submit this form.

Acceptance and travel grant timelines

Annual Meeting acceptance decisions were sent out to all submitters via email on Friday, 1 November 2019.

The application deadline for conference grants was 3 December 2019. We expect to notify all grant applicants of their status by 31 January 2020.

RSA 2020 Philadelphia registration

Registration for RSA 2020 Philadelphia is now open. Log into your RSA member account and register by 31 January 2020 to receive the best rates.

The RSA is pleased to announce that registration rates have not increased for the Philadelphia conference. In order to make the conference more accessible to our members, Annual Meeting registration rates have been frozen for the past five years.

  until 31 January 2020 from 1 February 2020 to 4 April 2020, including on site
Regular Member Rate $185 $235
Reduced Member Rate – students, independent scholars, adjunct instructors, part-time instructors, unemployed non-students, and retired scholars $120 $145
Non-member $330 $370

Accepted presenters are required to be current members of the RSA and to register for the conference by 31 January 2020; after this date, unregistered presenters will be permanently removed from program. For details on RSA member benefits and a full list of dues rates please visit our Join RSA page.

By registering to attend the conference, you agree to the Participant Disclaimer, Release and Indemnification and to abide by the RSA Professional Conduct Policy.

Graduate students may sign up to work one shift at the conference registration desk to receive complimentary conference registration. Space is limited; sign-ups are taken on a first come, first served basis. To sign up, visit this page and complete the linked form.

Conference hotels

We have booked accommodations and meeting rooms at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and the Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection, both of them a short walk from the famed Reading Terminal Market and City Hall. The Philadelphia Historic District, which was the first World Heritage city in the US, is also within walking distance or accessible by a short cab, bus, or subway ride. The Library Company of Philadelphia houses collections on American society and culture dating from the seventeenth century. The majestic Philadelphia Museum of Art, originally chartered for the Centennial Exposition in 1876, with its main building on Fairmont Hill completed in 1928, has pay-as-you-wish evening hours on Wednesdays and evening hours on Fridays as well.

Hotel rooms with one bed

Rooms in our block at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown may be reserved for $229 per night (plus taxes and fees) for a standard room with one bed. Reservations can be made by booking online at our reservation mini-site. If you prefer to book using the telephone, please call the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown at 1-800-320-5744 or The Notary Hotel at 1-800-266-9432 and identify yourself as a member of the Renaissance Society of America. You must cancel at least 72 hours prior to arrival to avoid a fee equal to one night's room and tax.

Hotel rooms with two beds

Rooms with more than one bed are no longer available for reservation in the RSA 2020 Philadelphia hotel block. For assistance with booking a room with two beds that is outside of our hotel blocks due to lack of two-bed inventory, please contact Jay Pierce of Connections Housing, our hotel booking partner, at Please note that help finding rooms outside of the RSA blocks is offered as a service to members and those rooms are not subject to the special rate or benefits we have negotiated.

Volunteer to chair a session at the conference

There are a number of sessions on the program in need of volunteer chairs to introduce the presenters and help facilitate the discussion following their paper presentations. A list of sessions in need of chairs is available on this page. You can learn more about the sessions by searching for them by title in the online conference program

Please complete this online form to indicate your interest in chairing a particular session or multiple sessions at the Philadelphia conference. A member of the RSA staff will confirm your chair role via email. 

Guidelines for conference chairs and other Annual Meeting participants are available on this page. A completed Ph.D (or terminal degree in your field) is required to chair an RSA Annual Meeting session.

Special events

The Josephine Waters Bennett Lecture will be presented by Jill Bepler, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, and the Society for Renaissance Studies (UK) keynote will be presented by Nandini Das, University of Liverpool.

The Closing Reception will take place on Saturday, 4 April, from 6:30–8:00 p.m., in the Level 5 Salons of the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Find more information on the special events page.

The Day of Digital Learning will take place on Sunday, 5 April. Registration for these events is now open

View the list of special events happening before, during, and after the conference.

View the list of local exhibitions taking place during the conference that may be of interest to RSA members.

Book exhibit and advertising

Registration for RSA 2020 Philly book exhibitors and advertisers is now open. Read our letter on the conference-related promotional opportunities this year and reserve your space by submitting an order form.

Current list of RSA 2020 Philadelphia exhibitors

Teaching the conference

Attending the conference can be a useful educational tool for undergraduates and beginning graduate students who are interested in learning about Renaissance studies or the academic profession generally. Professor Christopher Carlsmith wrote about his experience bringing undergraduates to the 2016 Annual Meeting in Boston. 

Please contact to request more information on bringing students to the Annual Meeting as a pedagogical tool.

Travel, diversity, and on-site care grants

RSA members were invited to apply for travel, diversity, and on-site care grants for the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Each grant had a separate application with different requirements. The deadline for all grant applications fell on December 3, 2019. For more information on eligibility and the grants application process, see the Conference grants page.

New: grants will be awarded only to those applicants who have not won a conference travel grant in the past three years. 2019 (Toronto), 2018 (New Orleans), and 2017 (Chicago) grant winners are not eligible to win an RSA 2020 Philadelphia Travel or Diversity Grant. Past winners may apply for an On-Site Care Grant.

Applicants should be aware that there is a high demand for travel grants and funding available for only a limited number of grants. The acceptance rate for travel grants is 15%.

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