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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 The deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 5pm.

For further information, contact J. Michael Hogan (

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.