News & Events Archive
The Center for Democratic Deliberation and the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State have partnered with the Department of Communication at Ripon College to form the Emerging Scholar Apprenticeship Program. Ripon’s Communication Department recently won the 2014 NCA Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award for undergraduate education, and a number of Ripon alumni have studied at Penn State in recent years. The Emerging Scholar Apprenticeship Program was created to give graduate students at Penn State the opportunity to visit Ripon College for two days, participating in the academic life of the department and getting a feel for what it might be like to work and teach at a small private liberal arts program.
On March 24-26, Brad Serber, a Ph.D. candidate in Communication Arts & Sciences, traveled to Ripon College in Wisconsin as the first representative of the program. He met with faculty and administrators to discuss teaching in a liberal arts environment, delivered a guest lecture for an undergraduate class, and presented at the department's colloquium. Mr. Serber’s colloquium lecture, titled “Between Safety and Insecurity: The Preventative Paradox of School Shootings,” examined the ironic divisions between national eulogies and government agency documents on school shootings. Mr. Serber describes the program as a win-win situation for everyone involved: the undergraduates received an insider’s perspective on graduate school, the faculty were able to share their experiences and advice and to showcase the strengths of their program, and he saw this visit as a great opportunity to prepare for the job market and beyond.
On April 16, the Penn State Speech and Debate Society hosted the University of Pittsburgh for the 100th anniversary of the first debate between the two schools. Students from the two schools debated whether colleges should pay student athletes. The debate was part of a recently renewed rivalry between the two schools. “The debates between Pitt and Penn State have chronicled important points in history, and we need to continue this legacy, especially in this public forum,” said Jordan Todd, the society's president.
Two guest judges adjudicated the debate. Stephen F. Ross, professor of law, and R. Scott Kretchmar, professor of exercise and sport science, provided commentary about the debate and the broader issue surrounding student-athletes following the debate. They highlighted larger implications on Title IX, health concerns and competitive equity among schools. With the audience also voting, Penn State was successful and defeated Pitt on a 2-1 decision.
On October 7, the Center for Democratic Deliberation collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania’s Project on Civic Engagement to help stage a Keystone Radio Forum in Altoona. The theme, "Rust or Revival," focused on the tension in Pennsylvania cities that are "full of promise, but plagued with problems." Working with WPSU, the CDD provided moderators, consisting of affiliated faculty and graduate students, to guide deliberations with community members in a town-hall style forum. Kyle King, a former CDD research assistant and Ph.D. candidate in English, the the forum did a "great job of letting Altoona community members offer contextualized perceptions of themselves and their communities in the broader context of the state" and assisted "local media outlets toward the types of stories that are under-covered in their communities."
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.
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.
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."
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 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 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 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.”
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:
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.
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
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.