[eDebate] New debate scholarship
Tue Jul 11 13:31:33 CDT 2006
The three-year research project featuring former college debaters and
coaches Rodger Payne (Kansas - early 1980s); Tom Goodnight (Kansas and
Northwestern - 1970s-80s); Dan Reiter (Northwestern - late 1980s); and
Robert Newman (Pittsburgh - 1950s-60s) is now complete.
Hitting First: Preventive Force in U.S. Security Strategy is in press
(scheduled release date September 2006) and is currently on deep (37%)
prepublication sale at Amazon.com:
Also out in the Quarterly Journal of Speech this week is the first
publication vetted through the Schenley Park DAWG (Debate Authors
Working Group), a nine-person collaborative of argumentation scholars
based in Pittsburgh, PA:
The impetus for formation of the DAWG came from our observation that as
the academic debate activity evolves on a trajectory roughly mirroring
intercollegiate athletics, scholarly publications on academic debate
have thinned out and migrated to specialty venues.
The sportification of intercollegiate debate presents exciting
opportunities (e.g. the recent contract with Cable Sports Network), but
also imperils key foundations of the activity. One of those foundations
is the tradition of academic scholarship in debate, forged
energetically in the early days of the speech communication field, but
eroded recently by various factors making the publication of scholarly
work on academic debate for a general readership difficult.
During the past year, we have been meeting (in Pittsburgh's beautiful
Schenley Park) to generate publications that weave together forensics
praxis, argumentation theory and social criticism, consistent with the
? DAWG scholarship thematizes academic debate (in its various forms) as
an object of study. Academic debate can either be a point of departure,
or an arrival point, of analysis.
? DAWG scholarship frames discussion of academic debate in expansive
terms that are understandable to those not trained in the activity.
Complex ideas and concepts can still be drawn from academic debate
settings, but they need to be unpacked and explained in a way that is
understandable for a general scholarly readership.
Last month at the International Society for the Study of Argumentation
conference in the Netherlands, Pittsburgh's John Rief made the first
public presentation of DAWG scholarship on a convention panel. His
paper, "The Reflexive Turn in Academic Debate: Issues for the NDT
Community and Argumentation Theory" reconsiders pragma-dialectical
argumentation theory's concept of "higher order conditions" in light of
recent trends in intercollegiate debate praxis:
Come join us in Pittsburgh and help unleash the Schenley Park DAWG!
* * *
Gordon R. Mitchell
Associate Professor of Communication / Director of Debate
University of Pittsburgh
CL 1117, 4200 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: (412) 624-8531
Fax: (412) 624-1878
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