News & Events
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.