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Living in a University Town: How Should We Ensure a Safe Community for All?

When Dec 01, 2017
from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where 233B HUB-Robeson Center at Penn State
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The Center for Democratic Deliberation is excited to host social studies students from the Delta Program High School for a public issues forum. The pilot course, “Problems that Persist: Deliberating Public Issues,” has immersed students in questions of local deliberation over the past few months. You can read more about their innovative activities here:

CDD is proud to host these students for an issues forum with University Park undergraduate students, faculty, and members of the State College community. The topic will be “Living in a University Town: How Should We Ensure a Safe Community for All?” Using a structured approach to deliberative dialogue modeled on materials from the National Issues Forums Institute, students will moderate small-group conversations around an “issue guide” that they have produced. The issue guide, which describes three different policy approaches for the community to consider, has been developed by students based on extensive input from community members and leaders.  

At the Intersections: Abolition and Suffrage in the U.S. (A Case Study for Democratic Dissent)

When Oct 24, 2017
from 03:00 PM to 04:30 PM
Where 102 Burrowes Building (Grucci Room)
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Kathryn Gines

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Founding Director of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers

This paper explores claims about the abolition and suffrage movements in the US made by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex (1949) as well as by Alva Myrdal in “A Parallel to the Negro Problem” (1944). Gines offers a more expansive counter-narrative with attention to the intersections of racism, sexism, abolition, and suffrage in the scholarship of Ida B. Wells (Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells), Angela Davis (Women, Race, and Class), bell hooks (Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism), and Paula Giddings (When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America).

Open House


Open House

FALL 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 3:30 – 5:00 P.M. 102 Burrowes Building (Grucci Room)

  • Introductions
  • Preview of Programming and Initiatives for 2017-18
  • Director’s Message
  • Voices of Democracy Roundtable - “Democratic Dissent”


Stephen H. Browne, Liberal Arts Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences

Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies

Abraham Khan, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Communication Arts and Sciences

Jack Selzer, Paterno Family Liberal Arts Professor

*Discussion and Refreshments

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CDD Open House

When Sep 26, 2017
from 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM
Where 102 Burrowes (Grucci Room)
Contact Name
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Please join us for the 2017-2018 Center for Democratic Deliberation Open House. The event will include introductions to the center's staff and affiliates; a preview of the center's programming and initiatives for the academic year; and a Voices of Democracy Round-table titled "Democratic Dissent," featuring faculty members from the Communication Arts & Sciences and English Departments.

Light refreshments will be served.

Linda M.G. Zerilli Delivers Kenneth Burke Lecture

On March 21st, the Center for Democratic Deliberation hosted the 25th annual Kenneth Burke Lecture. Linda Zerilli, the Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Chicago, presented "A Democratic Theory of Judgement." In her lecture, Zerilli explored the concept of “reflective judgment” and its implications for contemporary democratic theory and practice.

Us vs. Them Teach-In held in Foster Auditorium

On February 20th, faculty, staff, and students gathered in Foster Auditorium for the teach-in title "Us vs. Them: Racism, Islamophobia and the Politics of Division." The panel of presenters featured Gabeba Baderoon, Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African Studies and Affiliate Faculty in Comparative Literature, Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Democratic Deliberation, Zachary Morgan, Assistant Professor of Latin American History and African American Studies, and Cynthia Young, Department Head and Associate Professor of African American Studies. Joshua Inwood, Associate Professor of Geography and Senior Research Associate in the Rock Ethics Institute moderated the discussion with questions from the audience.

CDD graduate fellow receives support from Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

2015-2016 CDD Fellow Jessica A. Kurr has received a grant from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation for research on her book project, When the Fed Speaks. With the help of this grant, Jessica hopes to builds on research she conducted for her dissertation about the role of the Federal Reserve in economic policy debates. The project examines the differing rhetorical strategies of influential Fed chairs, including Marriner Eccles, William McChesney Martin Jr., Arthur Burns, Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke. The research grant from the Ford Presidential Foundation will provide Jessica the resources necessary to conduct research on Arthur Burns, who was Fed chair during the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations. In addition to contributing to public understanding of the changing role of the Fed in economic debates, Jessica hopes to illuminate the challenges involved in engaging the public in debates over complex economic policies.

Mary E. Stuckey Delivers Kenneth Burke Lecture

Mary E. Stuckey Delivers Kenneth Burke Lecture

Mary Stuckey Presents "The Art of Anger in US Presidential Elections" (Photo: Jarid Waniger)

On March 31st, the Center for Democratic Deliberation hosted the 24th annual Kenneth Burke Lecture. Mary E. Stuckey, Professor of Communication at Georgia State University, presented “The Art of Anger in U.S. Presidential Elections.” In her talk, Stuckey highlighted the way that anger has been used productively—and dangerously—in presidential campaigns; she focused in particular on the campaigns of Franklin Roosevelt, Barry Goldwater, and Donald Trump. Stuckey not only highlighted how anger can inspire confidence in voters because an angry candidate’s passion is obvious, but she also called attention to the vacuum anger can create, wherein voters’ emotions are heightened but there is no policy to support as an alternative to that anger.

Birkle Student Engagement Award Presented

Birkle Student Engagement Award Presented

Barry Bram, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs (left), with Emily McDonald and CDD Director Debra Hawhee. (Photo: Jarid Waniger)

Each year, the Center for Democratic Deliberation awards the Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award, established through the generosity of Gretchen A. Birkle. The award goes to at least two students in the College of Liberal Arts who have made significant contributions to public deliberation.

This year, the CDD awarded three awards. Jessica A. Kurr, Jeremy D. Johnson, and Jordan Todd won the Birkle Award for their work with the Penn State Debate Society. Emily McDonald won the award for her efforts to collaborate with student governments across Pennsylvania during her term as President of the University Park Undergraduate Association. Nathan Larkin won the Birkle Award for his work with Fossil Free PSU.

Read more about the award and this year's winners here.


CDD Dissertation Fellows Colloquium

When Apr 29, 2016
from 03:35 PM to 05:30 PM
Where 113 Carnegie
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Please join us for the 2015-2016 Center for Democratic Deliberation Fellows Colloquium. This year’s Dissertation Fellows will share their work and answer questions from attendees.


Laura Michael Brown, “Constructing Civil Rights Public Memory and Regional Identity in Greensboro”

Jeremy Cox, “Wreathed in Liberty: American Nationalist Rhetoric and the Greek Revolution, 1821-1829”

Claire M. Griffin, “Two Varieties of Truth Telling in the Gorgias”

Kyle King, “Sports Spectacle, Athletic Activism, and the Rhetorical Analysis of Mediated Sport”

Jessica A. Kurr, "When the Fed Speaks: A Rhetorical History of the Federal Reserve"


You can read more about the CDD Dissertation Fellowship Program here.