PLU Prof Pens Definitive Book on College Debate

Forensics in AmericaForensics, in higher-education parlance, means competitive debate which equates to spirited intellectual aerobics. Pacific Lutheran University Professor, Michael D. Bartanen and Professor Robert S. Littlefield from North Dakota State University, have published the first comprehensive text on this innovative educational sport.

The authors are the experts in the field. This is the first comprehensive history of American forensics and I predict that it will stand as the history of forensics for the next one hundred years.”

~Prof. of Rhetoric at the University of Oregon, David A. Frank

Competitive speech and debate flourished in the twentieth century.  Famous college debaters include but are by no means limited to: John F. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Jane Pauley. This book, released on the occasion of the centennial celebrations of the National Communication Association and Pi Kappa Delta, the largest collegiate speech and debate honorary society, traces the major themes related to the pedagogy and practice of competitive forensics.

The authors have worked for seven years on this project to trace the intellectual and social factors that affected the craft, rather than simply listing relevant dates and events.  Their findings closely link the changes in forensics to the changes that influenced all of secondary and higher education during the century.



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