Professor Emeritus David Zarefsky
Northwestern University, USA

“Rhetorical Studies in the United States: Borrowed, Transformed, and Reimagined”

Professor Zarefsky will trace the development of rhetorical studies in the United States, emphasizing the classical Greek and Roman influences on early rhetorical study. He will explore the development of rhetoric within the disciplines of English and Communication, the separation of these fields in the early 20th century, and the contemporary interdisciplinary nature of rhetoric. He will explain some of the common subfields within rhetoric (such as history of rhetoric, argumentation, rhetorical criticism, rhetoric of science, rhetoric and the public sphere, and others), will discuss the relationships among theory, practice, criticism, and pedagogy, and will identify several U.S. colleges and universities with different approaches to rhetorical studies. Finally, he will discuss the creation and growth of the Rhetoric Society of America as the leading academic organization for rhetorical studies, and he will promote its upcoming conference on 23-26 May in San Antonio, Texas.

CV: David Zarefsky is the Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Argumentation and Debate, and Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. He is the author of books on the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the rhetoric of President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty," as well as textbooks in public speaking and debate, collections of speeches and essays, and over 100 scholarly articles in professional journals. He is a former president of both the National Communication Association and the Rhetoric Society of America (twice), and the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards. He has been named a Distinguished Scholar by both the National Communication Association and the American Forensic Association, and is a Fellow of the Rhetoric Society of America. In addition to his university teaching, he has produced two commercially available audio- and video-courses, one on argumentation and one on the speeches of Abraham Lincoln.

Rhetoric in Athens

Conference on Rhetoric