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Kenneth Burke Lecture Series

Mary E. Stuckey presents the Kenneth Burke Lecture

(Photo: Jarid Waniger)


Mary E. Stuckey

Professor of Communication at Georgia State University

On March 31st, the Center for Democratic Deliberation hosted the 24th annual Kenneth Burke Lecture. Mary E. Stuckey 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.


David Zarefsky

Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Argumentation and Debate and Professor Emeritus Communication Studies at Northwestern University

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 talk examined how President Lincoln used hedging terms to leave three important questions unanswered: (1) What caused the war? (2) Who is to blame? (3) Why has it been so brutal? Zarefsky 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. 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


Meira Levinson

Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Meira Levinson delivered a talk entitled "Teaching as Moral Injury: The Ethics of Educational Injustice." Her talk explored how educators are responsible for enacting injustice, and oftentimes experience moral injury, the trauma of doing moral wrong toward others in situations where there are truly no just options. Levinson, a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, is author of the award-winning book, No Citizen Left Behind. Her work on civic education draws on scholarship from many disciplines and eight years of teaching in Atlanta and Boston public schools. A national leader in civic education, she has served on the advisory boards of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, CIRCLE, Generation Citizen, the National Action Civics Collaborative, and the Civic and Moral Education Initiative at Harvard University. 


Sanford Levinson
W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair and Professor of Government at the University of Texas-Austin

Sanford Levinson delivered a talk entitled "Four Tropes of the Federalist: What Meaning do They Have for Us Today." His lecture examined the arguments presented in Publius’ work The Federalist alongside the possible tensions between the four tropes of reflection, choice, crisis, and veneration. In addition, the talk explored whether or not the four tropes can coexist, and to what extent we should accept the arguments presented by Publius in today’s modern society.


Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Lenore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center

Kathleen Hall Jamieson delivered a lecture entitled, "Patterns of Deception in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential Campaigns: How Language Does Our Thinking For Us." Jameison’s work focuses on presidential rhetoric and communication, especially during campaigns, as well as the integrity of information provided by the news and media.  She has authored a number of works including Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment and unSpun: Finding Facts in a world of Disinformation.


Bryan Garsten

Professor of Political Science at Yale University

Bryan Garsten lecture, "Anger and Trust," examined the promises and limitations of rhetoric’s public power by reflecting on the way that rhetoricians have thought about the political emotions of anger and trust throughout history.


Philippe-Joseph Salazar

Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Director of the Centre for Rhetoric Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; Oppenheimer Fellow

Philippe-Joseph Salazar’s talk, "Managing the Public: Melancholy Remarks on Rhetorical Technologies," offered an explanation of how rhetoric deals with public, persuasive proposals and constructs public values and knowledge through the use of persuasive "technologies."


George Lakoff

Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley

George Lakoff’s lecture, "Beyond Rhetoric: The Central Role of Language and the Brain in Politics and Ethics," investigated how new understandings of the brain, language, and ethics have contributed to a recent reconstitution of democracy.


Krista Ratcliffe

Professor of English and Chair of the English Department at Marquette University

Krista Ratcliffe delivered a talk entitled, "Rhetorical Listening from a Multiethnic Subject Position: Agency and Troubled Identifications." Ratcliffe developed the concept of rhetorical listening as a strategy for negotiating difference. Expanding upon this concept, Ratcliffe’s lecture argued for the creation of "troubled identifications" across difference, and for the exploration of our own identities as multiethnic, as a crucial component of rhetorical listening.