[eDebate] MSU Wiki Project + JMU Backfile Project

William J Repko repkowil
Tue Apr 24 21:12:07 CDT 2007

Like a physics conference or football huddle, policy debate can sometimes be 
specialized and alienating (especially for high school students and new 
coaches). Lots of terminology, verbal shorthand, etc. 

MSU Debate is putting togther a Wiki desgined to assist someone that is 
confused by weird Kritik phrase or some bit of advanced cplan theory. The 
hope is that wiki entries will provide: 

 a) a concise definition of the item (i.e. "conditionality" or "Rights 
 b) a more in-depth explanation of BOTH SIDES of the debate argument.
 c) direction for where to find some basic cards on the subject (when 

The website will be up and running by June 10th, and the basic template can 
already be found at: 


The June deadline is set so that ALL STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS at a summer 
camp could have this reference material at their disposal should they wish 
to draw upon it. 


 a) The kid who can't attend debate camp -- but can still learn a little 
something about Agamben or write a conditionality block.
 b) The kid who is at debate camp -- but doesn't want to wait until lab to 
figure out what Bunker Busters are.
 c) The new coach that is a little overwhelmed by...all of it.
 d) The lab leader that is inundated by questions about the rhizome, homo 
sacer, and counter-perms.
 e) That lecture you have to give tomorrow and how handy it might be to run 
through a debate-glossary to make sure you didn;t forget about "textual 
comp" as part of the cplan discussion. 

In order to pull-off this deadline, I am requesting help from the community 
in one of two ways -- either: 

1. Look through the attachment and send me any phrases that you think may 
have been left out (specifically those items that students might find 

2. Volunteer to do *just a few* of the words in the attachment. Already, 
several schools have told me that they are going to make part of their 
summer assignments a request to have their debaters do 3-5 entries. 

In a strange way, I kind of think this could become part of our community's 
history. I think it would be interesting for students in 2010 to read about 
Tristan's "metaphorical condensation" entry, or the Nietzsche entry from the 
Oklahoma guys. Your entry today can teach people the basic tenets of an 
argument for years to come. 

The last thing I would like to mention is Andrew Barnes. In bouncing this 
idea around, Andrew and I thought it would be fantastic if this could become 
an extension of JMU's Backfile Project. 

Imagine the boost to a new high school program (or college program) if the 
"spanos" entry did more than simply explain the argument -- but went a step 
further and included a link to *just a few* cards on both sides of the 
issue. It would be a huge resource for block writing, comprehesion, etc. 

I will (certainly) accept entries without cards -- basically we'll take what 
we can get. But, the more materials the better. 

Anyway -- take a glance through these terms, and if you or your program is 
interested in participating please drop me a line. Some people have gone so 
far as to "call dibbs" to a few entries. I'd love to receive those 
backchannels as well. 

For the record, "Ashtar" is already taken... there are some entries Aaron 
Hardy cannot bear to delegate. 

I can be reached at repkowil at msu.edu 





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