Studies in Debate and Oratory
Welcome to Studies in Debate and Oratory.
Oratory and debating have historically been considered crucial approaches to conveying ideas and motivating action. Oratory’s relationship to persuasion extends from ancient times to the present, and debate has traditionally been associated with the intense examination of propositions to discover the most cogent or best paths of action available to us. Both activities have played a central role in the development of communication studies over the past century but currently exist at the margins of scholarship in that discipline and beyond. This journal proposal begins from the assumption that the practice, performance, and role of oratory and debate, taken from many different methodological and epistemological positions, should play a more significant role in ongoing conversations about interdisciplinary approaches to civic education and action. Indeed, as practices, oratory and debating cannot be fully examined via theory. Nor can they be understood by simply practicing them. Studies in Debate and Oratory considers both arts under the rubric of praxis, that is, action that emerges from theoretical insight. Practices refine theory, and theory keeps practice focused and productive. Debating can not only reveal but can create knowledge. Oratory not only changes minds but opens the orator to changing their mind just as ideas change when articulated. The question of what sort of research can be produced through debating and speaking is ripe for scholarly interrogation and will frame the editorial mission of this journal.