You are here: Home / News & Events / News & Events Archive

News & Events Archive

CDD Hosts Conference on Speech & Debate as Civic Education

CDD Hosts Conference on Speech & Debate as Civic Education

Professor Craig Smith delivers the keynote address. Photo Credit: Ben Firgens

Last weekend, the Center for Democratic Deliberation along with the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences hosted the Speech and Debate as Civic Education conference at the Nittany Lion Inn on March 5-7, 2015. The conference featured a keynote address by former debater and presidential speechwriter, Craig R. Smith, along with a luncheon address by another former debater, David Zarefsky, dean emeritus of the School of Communication at Northwestern University. Over 70 published scholars and leaders in the debate community attended the conference, representing 43 institutions ranging from major research universities (e.g. Northwestern, USC, Kansas) to small liberal arts colleges (e.g. Wabash, Mary Washington, Davis & Elkins) and even high school debate programs. Participants also came from a HBCU (Howard), charter schools that emphasize debate education, and one international debate organization (the National High School Debate League of China). Featuring a mix of invited plenary panels and competitively selected papers, the conference explored a variety of topics, including the history of debate education, debate across the curriculum, connections between competitive debate and civic culture, and international and intercultural debate.  The conference was supported by an Advancing the Discipline grant, courtesy of the National Communication Association.

David Zarefsky Delivers 23rd Annual Kenneth Burke Lecture in Rhetoric

On Tuesday, April 14, Dr. David Zarefsky, Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Argumentation and Debate and Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, delivered the 23rd Annual Kenneth Burke Lecture in Rhetoric, entitled “Somehow, May, and If: Key Terms in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.” His research and teaching are in the areas of rhetorical history and criticism, argumentation and debate, and forensics. He is the author of over 100 articles in professional journals and the author, co-author, or editor of nine books, two of which won the Winans-Wichelns Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, an award of the National Communication Association. He is one of only four individuals to have won this award twice. In 1994 he was named to the ranks of NCA Distinguished Scholars. He has served as president of both the National Communication Association and the Rhetoric Society of America.

Cox Wins 2015 Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric

Cox Wins 2015 Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric

2015 Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric winner Jeremy Cox accepts his award presented by CDD Affiliate John J. Jasso (Photo credit: Jarid Waniger)

The Center for Democratic Deliberation offers an annual Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric, awarded to the best essay written by a graduate student in one of Penn State’s liberal arts disciplines on the subject of rhetoric in its many forms—as historical, critical, or theoretical discourse.

The CDD is pleased to announce the 2015 winner of the Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric, Jeremy Cox.  He is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and won the prize with his essay entitled “'They Died the Spartan’s Death': Historical Allusion, The Alamo, and Tropes of Public Memory."

CDD Announces 2015 Birkle Student Engagement Award Winners

CDD Announces 2015 Birkle Student Engagement Award Winners

2015 Birkle Award Winners: Kaitlyn Patia (left) Lauren Lewis (center), and Abigail Kennedy (right) (Photo credit: Jarid Waniger)

Through the generosity of Gretchen A Birkle ('86), each year the Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award recognizes undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts who have made significant contributions to public deliberation and debate by “speaking out” about important political or social issues, or by promoting more informed or productive public deliberation on the Penn State campus, in the State College community, or in the nation and world beyond.

The 2015 Birkle Award Winners were announced at the 23rd Annual Kenneth Burke Lecture in Rhetoric.  The Center for Democratic Deliberation congratulates the recipients:

Abigail Kennedy
Abigail Kennedy is a sophomore majoring in English. She is being honored with this year’s Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award for co-authoring Madam President: Five Women Who Paved the Way with Dr. Nichola Gutgold and using that book as platform to raise awareness about gender equality. Abigail says discussing the book at public events allows her to “expand the realms of possibilities in the minds of girls and boys by informing them of incredible women who’ve run for the presidency.” Dr. Gutgold, who nominated her for the award, noted Abigail’s drive to find platforms to engage other individuals about the nature of women in politics, where Abigail uses an illustrative analogy to describe their message. “If striving for gender equality is like opening a series of difficult pickle jars, then opening the lid of the presidency is the stickiest for women,” Abigail explains, “However, Just knowing women have loosened the lid already by running changes public opinion, making the jar easier for future women to open.” The Center for Democratic Deliberation is proud to honor Abigail with the Birkle Award for raising awareness about gender inequality in politics and for loosening the jar for future activists.

Lauren Lewis
Lauren Lewis is a senior majoring in Print Journalism and minoring in International Studies, French and Francophone Studies, and Communication Arts & Sciences. She is being honored with this year’s Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award for her leadership in “We Are … Taking a Stand,” a group formed in aftermath of the Kappa Delta Rho scandal, and for raising awareness about sexual assault and violence at Penn State. Beginning with a peaceful rally outside Old Main, Lauren’s efforts have continued to influence not only the State College community but also the state as well. Lisa Hogan, who Lauren assisted teaching in a Women’s Studies class, Lauren embodied “the spirit of the great female activist [she] had studied in class” by arranging the protest and subsequent rallies and her “efforts reflect the values and traditions associated with democratic deliberation and serve as a model for other students.” The Center for Democratic Deliberation is proud to honor Lauren with the Birkle Award for speaking out about such a pervasive issue. She has pledged to continue “to work with leaders and representatives from the campus and local community to ensure that we can STAND as a united front.”

Kaitlyn Patia
Kaitlyn Patia is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences and a student affiliate with the CDD. She is being honored with this year’s Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award for organizing Deliberation Nation, a series of fifty student‐led public deliberations held throughout State College over a two‐week period. According to Jessica O’Hara, the Acting Director of Rhetoric and Civic Life, who nominated Kaitlyn for the Birkle award, “She has been an enthusiastic supporter of our outreach and instructional efforts to foster deliberative dialogue.” Kaitlyn also had students participate in the Centre County Public Issues Forum, as well as helping one of her students publish an op-ed in the Centre Daily Times. The Center for Democratic Deliberation is proud to honor Kaitlyn with the Birkle Award for encouraging her students to tackle tough issues, as she wrote, “it was heartening to hear one of them say, to a chorus of agreement, that without the space of this class to discuss issues such as racism or rape culture, they likely wouldn’t even notice such happenings in the world.”

CDD Fellow Craig Rood Wins Graduate Exhibition Award

CDD Fellow Craig Rood Wins Graduate Exhibition Award

Craig Rood, 2014-2015 CDD dissertation fellow

Craig Rood, a 2014-2015 CDD dissertation fellow, won an award at the 2015 Penn State Graduate Exhibition. His video, "Deliberating in the Aftermath of Mass Shootings," won first place in the new "video option." Contestants were asked to describe their research to a general audience in two minutes or less. Submissions were judged on how students captured the importance and value of their scholarly work. His video is available her:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOdzHqNyknc

Craig Rood is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, where he specializes in communication ethics, public memory, and public deliberation. His dissertation examines ascriptions of blame in the aftermath of mass shootings and how those ascriptions call for, or imply, changes in values, practices, and policies. The four case studies analyze the blame not only of shooters, but also of guns, mental health, citizenship, and the “culture of violence.” Rood’s prior research on deliberation has been published in Voices of Democracy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric Review.

David Zarefsky to Deliver Twenty-Third Annual Kenneth Burke Lecture in Rhetoric

David Zarefsky headshot

The Center for Democratic Deliberation is pleased to announce the twenty-third annual Kenneth Burke Lecture in Rhetoric, featuring David Zarefsky, Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Argumentation and Debate and Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. His talk, “Somehow, May, and If: Key Terms in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address,” will be held Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in Foster Auditorium in the Paterno Library, University Park Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Abstract: Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address has been called his greatest speech. Yet the speech violates both the conventions of the genre and the likely expectations of the audience, since it addresses neither the progress of the war nor Reconstruction. How can this be, and what does Lincoln do instead? He addresses three main questions: (1) What caused the war? (2) Who is to blame? (3) Why has it been so brutal? In each case he almost arrives at an answer, only to use a hedging term to distance himself from that answer. Leaving the questions in limbo affects Lincoln’s view of what the next steps should be. The lecture will explore these issues, illustrating the value of Kenneth Burke’s advice to notice “what goes with what” and “what opposes what.”

David Zarefsky is the Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Argumentation and Debate, and Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, at Northwestern University, where he served as Dean of the School of Speech from 1988 through June 2000. He retired from the full-time faculty and achieved Emeritus status in 2009. His research and teaching are in the areas of rhetorical history and criticism, argumentation and debate, and forensics.  He is the author, co-author, or editor of nine books and the author of over 100 articles in professional journals.  His most recent book is Political Argumentation in the United States (John Benjamins, 2014), a collection of essays.  Two of his books have won the Winans-Wichelns Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, an award of the National Communication Association: President Johnson’s War on Poverty: Rhetoric and History (University of Alabama Press, 1986) and Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate (University of Chicago Press, 1990).  He is one of only four individuals to have won this award twice.  In 1994 he was named to the ranks of NCA Distinguished Scholars.  He has served as president of both the National Communication Association and the Rhetoric Society of America.

---------------

Co-sponsors of the Twenty-Third Annual Kenneth Burke Lecture in Rhetoric include: George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, McCourtney Institute for Democracy, Schreyer Honors College, and University Libraries

CDD Seeks Dissertation Fellows for 2015-2016 School Year

The Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) is pleased to announce the 2015-16 Dissertation Fellows Program, in conjunction with the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the Humanities Initiative Dissertation Release program (see attached for information about other fellow programs in the College of Liberal Arts).  These awards provide a one-semester release from teaching or related service and a research grant to humanities graduate students in CLA who are supported on assistantships. Awardees will have the title of CDD Dissertation Fellow.

CDD Dissertation Fellows will continue to receive their regular assistantship stipend. They will also receive a $1000 research fund provided by the CDD to use for equipment, supplies, travel, or other expenses related to the dissertation project. While the course release is for one semester, the award term is the whole academic year. Under the sponsorship of the CDD, Dissertation Fellows will have access to office space for the academic year in 210 Sparks. They also will participate in a faculty-led Dissertation Writing Group and present their research at a public colloquium during the spring semester.  CDD Fellows are expected to remain in residence at University Park during the period of the Dissertation Fellows Program and to participate in the activities of the Center.

Applicants should send one PDF copy of their application materials to Keshia Kennelley at kak43@psu.edu. The deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 5pm.

For further information, contact J. Michael Hogan (jmh32@psu.edu)

Call for 2015 Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric Essay Submissions

Penn State’s Center for Democratic Deliberation offers an annual Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric, awarded to the best essay written by a graduate student in one of Penn State’s liberal arts disciplines on the subject of rhetoric in its many forms—as historical, critical, or theoretical discourse.

Papers might address pedagogical methods or issues; offer textual criticism (“rhetorical analysis”) of significant documents; offer theoretical or historical insights on items in the rhetorical tradition; discuss rhetoric as an organizing principle for English, Communication Studies, the liberal arts or the contemporary university; or consider rhetoric in relation to African-American studies, cultural materialist critiques, feminism, post-colonial criticism, science and technology, etc. Papers written for seminars or conferences, or composed specifically for the Burke Prize, are all welcome. The essays, which should have been composed for the most part during the calendar year, will be judged on the basis of their scholarship, significance, and rhetorical artistry. (Essays submitted previously for the prize should not be resubmitted.) A prize of $500.00 will be awarded to the winning graduate student.

Essays are due Wednesday, April 1. For additional details, and to download the 2015 Kenneth Burke Prize in Rhetoric call for submissions, please click here.

Call for 2014-2015 Birkle Student Engagement Award Nominations

Each year, the Center for Democratic Deliberation offers the Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement award for students who help to advance the Center's mission of promoting engaged citizenship and public deliberation.

Through the generosity of Gretchen A. Birkle ('86), the Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award recognizes at least two students in the College of Liberal Arts--either graduate or undergraduate students--who have made significant contributions to public deliberation and debate, either by "speaking out" about important political or social issues, or by promoting more informed or productive public deliberation on the Penn State Campus, in the State College community, or in the nation or world beyond.

Stephen Llano to Run International Debate Workshop

Stephen Llano to Run International Debate Workshop

Stephen Llano

The Penn State Speech & Debate Society will be hosting Stephen Llano, the Director of Debate at St. John's University, for a workshop on argumentation and debate on Wednesday, March 4 at 6:00pm in 209 Willard. If you are interested in learning how teams from Britain, France, China, Japan, and many other countries debate, as well as participating in the Speech & Debate Society, please invite your students to come and attend what should be a fun and engaging event.

Dr. Llano is a frequently requested media commentator on civic debate issues, including the United States Presidential debates, as well as issues facing competitive debate globally. His pieces can be read on his academic blog (www.progymnasmata.net) and seen in the top debate publications in the world such as the Monash Debate Review and Achte Minute. He has been invited to teach and lecture on rhetoric and debate in several countries including Hungary, Ukraine, and Japan. He also assisted in the founding of other debating societies such as the debate society at Adelphi University and The King’s College Debate Society, both in the New York City area.