News & Events Archive
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.
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.
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.
Schedule of Events
Tuesday, February 24
- To Speak or Not to Speak? A deliberation about free speech and national security, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 5-7 PM
- Social Media: Dividing or Bridging Town and Gown, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 5-7 PM
- Mental Health at Penn State: How Can We Better Support Individuals on Campus? Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 7:15-9 PM
- Higher Education in America: How do we make it affordable? Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 7-9 PM
- Under Pressure: An Open Discussion on Mental Health, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 7-9 PM
- A Conversation about Inoculation: Vaccination Decisions in an Increasingly Global World, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 7-9 PM
Wednesday, February 25
- U.S. Involvement in the World: How far should we go? Council Chambers, 3rd Floor State College Borough Building, 5-7 PM
- Capitalizing on Capital Punishment, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor State College Borough Building, 5-7 PM
- First-World Problem? Addressing America’s Role in International Aid, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor State College Borough Building, 5-7 PM
- Pennsylvania Stress University: Should Colleges that Induce Stress Reduce Stress? New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor State College Borough Building, 7-9 PM
- The Keystone: Pennsylvania and Our Energy, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor State College Borough Building, 7-9 PM
Thursday, February 26
- How can the U.S. achieve gender equality? Community Room, 201 State College Municipal Building, 1-2:15 PM
- What environmental policies should the U.S. support? Community Room, 201 State College Municipal Building, 2:30-3:45 PM
- State Patty’s Day: How Do We Contain the State? Community Room, 201 State College Municipal Building, 2-4 PM
- Equality ensured? Deliberating the standardization of education in the U.S. Community Room, 201 State College Municipal Building, 4-6 PM
- Pencils Down: Assessing the impact of high-stakes testing. Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, 5-7 PM
- Inequality of Primary Education: How is it Shaping America’s Future? Community Room, 201 State College Municipal Building, 6-8 PM
- Adderall for All? Leveling the Playing Field When it Comes to Study Drugs. Community Room, 201 State College Municipal Building, 6-8 PM
- Breaking News: Biased Information in the Lives of College Students. Community Room, 201 State College Municipal Building, 6-8 PM
- Get Schooled: Is College Really Working? Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, 7-9 PM
Friday, February 27
- Improving Community Police Relations, Common Place, 5-7 PM
- Dealing with Sexual Violence in our Community, Common Place, 5-7 PM
- How Should We Use Standardized Testing? Common Place, 7-9 PM
- Vacci-Nation! Common Place, 7-9 PM
Saturday, February 28
- Penn State and Alcohol: Who’s responsible for the party? Common Place, 1-3 PM
- State Patty’s Day: Bring Your Own Beliefs, Common Place, 1-3 PM
- Education: Right, Privilege, or Obligation? Common Place, 3-5 PM
- How do we address America’s illicit drug culture? Common Place, 3-5 PM
Sunday, March 1
- Deliberating the Learning Objectives of the Modern Classroom, Common Place, 1-3 PM
- Marijuana: Managing America’s changing attitudes, Common Place, 1-3 PM
- No Means No: Sexual Assault in State College, Common Place, 3-5 PM
- Honey, We Shrunk the Middle Class: Discussing Our Modern Economy, Common Place, 3-5 PM
- Racial Tension in Greek Life: What should be done?, Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, 4-6 PM
- Should Marijuana Be Legalized? Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, 6-8 PM
Monday, March 2
- Obesity in America: Weighing the Options, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 2:30-4:30 PM
- How Do We Deal with Heroin in PA? Common Place, 5-7 PM
- Fracking in our communities: How do we deal with it? Common Place, 5-7 PM
- We are…Voters: What role should young people play in politics? Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, 5-7 PM
- Sexual Crimes on Campus: How Can We Halt the Assault? Common Place, 7-9 PM
- “Blue” & White: Addressing Depression at Penn State Common Place, 7-9 PM
- How Do We Prevent Sexual Assault at Penn State, Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, 7-9 PM
Tuesday, March 3
- Fueling the Future: Deliberating Pennsylvania’s Energy Options, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor, State College Municipal Building, 9:30-11 AM
- How should the U.S. balance law enforcement/privacy rights? Thomas Building, PSU Campus, 1-2:15 PM, 110
- How should we reform secondary education in the U.S.? 222 Thomas Building, PSU Campus, 2:30-3:15 PM
- What role should ethnicity play in college admission? Mann Assembly Room, Pattee-Paterno Library, Penn State campus, 3-5 PM
- Higher Education Hysteria in the 21st Century: Is College Really worth It? Mann Assembly Room, Pattee-Paterno Library, Penn State campus, 3-5 PM
- #7 Party School: The Implications of the College Party Culture at Penn State, 208 Ford Building, Penn State campus, 6-8 PM
- Penn State Healthcare: The good, the bad, the reform? Mann Assembly Room, Pattee-Paterno Library, Penn State campus, 5-7 PM
Wednesday, March 4
- 50 Shades of Consent: Sexual Assault on College Campuses, New Leaf Initiative, 3rd Floor, State College Borough Building, 3-5 PM
Last weekend (Feb 14-15), the Penn State Speech & Debate Society hosted the Pennsylvania Forensics Association (PFA) state tournament. Qinglan Huang, a sophomore and second year member, was the 2nd overall speaker in Parliamentary debate, losing to a student from the University of Pennsylvania. David Zeng, a freshmen, and Melinda Formola, a senior, were semifinalists in Parliamentary debate. Collin Warren, a junior, was a finalist in Impromptu speaking. On their shoulders, Penn State took 2nd overall in the President’s Sweepstakes. This is the first time in decades that Penn State has placed in finals in any event at the state tournament according to PFA records.
The Penn State Speech & Debate Society would like to extend a huge thank you to Mark and Scott from West Chester and Lafayette for running tab, to our wonderful staff in Sparks for helping with logistics, and to the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences and the Center for Democratic Deliberation for their continued support.
The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, a fellow center of excellence with the CDD, has announced the spring speakers for its Media and Deliberation Series:
- Anne Helen Petersen of BuzzFeed News will be giving a talk on “Jennifer Lawrence and the Politics of Cool Girls” on Monday, February 2nd in Foster Auditorium (102 Paterno Library) at 4pm.
- Ian Spencer and Bret Jacobson, the founders of Red Edge, a digital-advocacy group for conservative causes, will be presenting a talk on "Conservative Advocacy for the 21st Century" on Tuesday, February 17th in Foster Auditorium (102 Paterno Library) at 4pm.
- Evgeny Morozov, a contributing editor at The New Republic and author of The New Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom and To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism, will discuss "An Internet for the 21st Century" on Tuesday, March 17th in Foster Auditorium (102 Paterno Library) at 4pm.
The Center for Democratic Deliberation, in partnership with the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, invite applicants for grants for graduate students to attend the seventh annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies at Tufts University in Medford, MA, June 15-27, 2015. The institute will be an intensive, two-week, interdisciplinary seminar bringing together faculty, advanced graduate students, and practitioners from many countries and diverse fields of study.
Organized by Peter Levine, Tufts University, and Karol Sołtan, University of Maryland, the Summer Institute features guest seminars by distinguished colleagues from various institutions and engages participants in challenging discussions such as:
- What kinds of citizens (if any) do good regimes need?
- What should such citizens know, believe, and do?
- What practices and institutional structures promote the right kinds of citizenship?
- What ought to be the relationships among empirical evidence, ethics, and strategy?
Applications for the institute need to include your resume, an electronic copy of your graduate transcript (if applicable), and a cover email about your interests. These should be emailed to Peter Levine at Peter.Levine@Tufts.edu. For best consideration, apply no later than March 15, 2015.
The CDD's grants can be used to defer the cost of travel, lodging, and other expenses for students accepted to the institute. Interested students should submit a brief (i.e. one-page) application with a paragraph summarizing their interest in the conference and a detailed budget, indicating the exact amount requested. Applications should be submitted to J. Michael Hogan (email@example.com) no later than March 9, 2015. Awards will be made pending acceptance to the institute.
For more information about the institute, please see http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/civic-studies/summer-institute/.
The Penn State Speech & Debate Society hosted the British national debate team on October 28, 2014 for a public debate on the topic, "Private political donations in the United States should be banned." Melinda Formola and Jordan Todd defended the resolution. Their arguments centered on the role money plays in influencing Congressional politics and how to make politicians more accountable to their constituents. Kate Brooks and Alice Coombes-Huntley, the British team, countered Penn State and contended that private donations allow individuals to select candidates with whom they shared interests.
Following an initial round of speeches from both sides, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions, moderated by Penn State debater, Louis Levin. A recurring theme during the audience discussion was comparing the United States political system to those around the globe and whether banning donations was the right solution. After another round of speeches from the debaters, the British team edged out Penn State in the audience vote. The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State and the Committee on International Discussion and Debate, which organizes the British tour.