New Book: Speech and Debate as Civic Education

Announcing the publication of the book Speech and Debate as Civic Education, edited by J. Michael Hogan, Jessica A. Kurr, Michael J. Bergmaier, and Jeremy D. Johnson, with a Foreword by David Zarefsky.

From the publisher:

In an era increasingly marked by polarized and unproductive political debates, this volume makes the case for a renewed emphasis on teaching speech and debate, both in and outside of the classroom.

Speech and debate education leads students to better understand their First Amendment rights and the power of speaking. It teaches them to work together collaboratively to solve problems, and it encourages critical thinking, reasoned and fact-based argumentation, and respect for differing viewpoints in our increasingly diverse and global society. Highlighting the need for more emphasis on the ethics and skills of democratic deliberation, the contributors to this volume—leading scholars, teachers, and coaches in speech and debate programs around the country—offer new ideas for reinvigorating curricular and co-curricular speech and debate by recovering and reinventing their historical mission as civic education.

Combining historical case studies, theoretical reflections, and reports on programs that utilize rhetorical pedagogies to educate for citizenship, Speech and Debate as Civic Education is a first-of-its-kind collection of the best ideas for reinventing and revitalizing the civic mission of speech and debate for a new generation of students.

In addition to the editors, the contributors to this volume include Jenn Anderson, Michael D. Bartanen, Ann Crigler, Sara A. Mehltretter Drury, David A. Frank, G. Thomas Goodnight, Ronald Walter Greene, Taylor W. Hahn, Darrin Hicks, Edward A. Hinck, Jin Huang, Una Kimokeo-Goes, Rebecca A. Kuehl, Lorand Laskai, Tim Lewis, Robert S. Littlefield, Allan D. Louden, Paul E. Mabrey III, Jamie McKown, Gordon R. Mitchell, Catherine H. Palczewski, Angela G. Ray, Robert C. Rowland, Minhee Son, Sarah Stone Watt, Melissa Maxcy Wade, David Weeks, Carly S. Woods, and David Zarefsky.

You can find Speech and Debate as Civic Education on the Penn State University Press web site at this URL:

Take 30% off with code HKBJ17 when you order through

NCA 2017 Schedule

NCA_Schedule2017 PDF

Wednesday, November 15

NIET Business Meeting
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Majestic 4, Thirty-seventh Floor, Sheraton

Thursday, November 16

National Parliamentary Debate Association Business Meeting
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM Plaza Ballroom C, Third Floor, Marriott

The Legacy of Forensics: How Forensics Educators Utilize Their Coaching Skills to Lead Study Abroad Programs
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Alsace, Third Floor, Marriott

Who, or What, is the Intercollegiate Debate Judge?
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Champagne, Third Floor, Marriott

American Forensic Association Business Meeting
3:30 PM – 4:45 PM Plaza Ballroom C, Third Floor, Marriott

Friday, November 17

Our Legacy and Relevance: A Conversation about POC Mentorship in Forensics
Co-sponsored with: African American Communication and Culture Division, Asian/Pacific American Caucus, Black Caucus, La Raza Caucus, National Forensics Association, Pi Kappa Delta
8:00 AM – 9:15 AM Normandy A, Third Floor, Marriott

Critical Studies in Argument: Past to Futures
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM Plaza Ballroom C, Third Floor, Marriott

Building Debate into the College and University Culture: Strategies for Growing Teams across Campus and Curricula
3:30 PM – 4:45 PM Plaza Ballroom A, Third Floor, Marriott

Saturday, November 18

Mentor and Mentee Dialogue: Asking About the Foundation of our Forensics’ Teams Values and Philosophies
8:00 AM – 9:15 AM Plaza Ballroom C, Third Floor, Marriott

National Debate Tournament Board of Trustees
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM Champagne, Third Floor, Marriott

National Debate Tournament Committee Meeting
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Plaza Ballroom C, Third Floor, Marriott

Our Legacy as Competitors, Our Relevance as Critical Educators: Toward a Coaching Pedagogy in Collegiate Debate
3:30 PM – 4:45 PM Nice, Third Floor, Marriott

Sunday, November 19

“Do We Have to Speak Like That?” Potentials and Pitfalls of Forensics in the Basic Course
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM Pearl 1, Second Floor, Sheraton

An Open Letter to American Forensic Association’s (AFA) Members Schools, Faculty, Coaches and Students

An Open Letter to American Forensic Association’s (AFA) Members Schools, Faculty, Coaches and Students, September 18, 2017

Amidst the backdrop of a great deal of national, state, and local controversy, the opening of the 2017-18 speech and debate competition season is a welcome return to routine. Our competitive seasons are not insulated from the broader controversies facing our nation. At this moment, it is important for the AFA, as the sanctioning organization for so much of collegiate forensics, including the National Individual Events Tournament and the National Debate Tournament, to reaffirm our values that serves as a guidestar to our member programs and competitions.

The AFA supports and sanctions forensics competition because the free expression of ideas is essential to all forms of speech and debate education. The centerpiece for this creed is a commitment to fair and respectful treatment of each participant. The AFA Code of Standards notes that, “The AFA recognizes that behaviors which belittle, degrade, demean, or otherwise dehumanize others are not in the best interest of the activities sponsored by the AFA. Such behaviors interfere with the goals of forensic education.” Each student has the expectation that they can participate in forensics competition free from discrimination regardless of future policy interpretations of Title IX. Furthermore, the AFA code provides a formal review and adjudication process to evaluate such matters.

The AFA strongly endorses the American Association of University Professor’s statement that the diversity of our faculty and students is one of the most important strengths of American higher education. Every student at our member schools deserves the opportunity to participate in forensics education, regardless of their immigration status.

As a collection of forensics programs, our primary means of support are the resources provided through our home institutions. For example, students at risk by the removal of DACA status, many of our campuses are already providing free legal expertise and support. Similarly, our affiliate organizations include anti-harassment policies that complement the policies at each of our member institutions.

As policies evolve, the AFA will continue to support its member schools and their students. We invite our faculty, coaches and students to engage with us directly if they experience situations that are at odds with our Code of Standards and cannot be addressed utilizing campus and NIET or NDT/CEDA procedures. We wish you the best for the 2017-18 academic year and competition season.

Gordon Stables, President – American Forensic Association


On behalf of the AFA Executive Committee