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 on: February 05, 2019, 01:46:37 PM 
Started by sarahtp73 - Last post by sarahtp73
Dear Colleagues,

There was an error in the FRALB and SRALB due dates. Here is an updated list of approved dates from the NDT meeting in SLC. The only changes are that the FRALBs and SRALBs are due on Tuesdays (2-5 and 2-26). Please make every effort to apply for your FRALB today.  Contact me at if you cannot meet today's deadline. If you apply for a SRALB, please note they are due on Tuesday 2-26-19.


2019 Approved Dates
February 8   All teams attempting to qualify for the NDT must submit proof of eligibility to the Chair of the NDT Committee, Dallas Perkins.  Forms may be submitted via fax (617-876-1360), email to, mail (Dallas Perkins, 324 Franklin Street, Cambridge, MA 02139), or hand delivered to Dallas Perkins at Northwestern. (See details about proff of eligibility above).

February 5    First-Round At-Large Bids must be received by the committee.  Payment must be received by the application deadline or the bid application will not be considered by the committee.
February 7-10   Committee votes
February 11   Director Announces                        

February 12   Declaration of intent to attend districts due.
February 14   Announcement of preliminary district bid allocations.

February 26   Must be received by Committee Members    
February 28- March 3   Committee votes      
March 4          Director announces                                                 

NDT Registration: 3/21
NDT Tournament: 3/22-3/25

 on: February 05, 2019, 01:06:21 PM 
Started by BSteiner - Last post by BSteiner
Each year the Board of Trustees of the National Debate Tournament awards the Lucy M. Keele and George Ziegelmueller coaching awards. This year the Board is inviting nominations from active coaches in the NDT community.

The Lucy M. Keele Award
The Lucy Keele Award honors the former Director of Debate at CSU Fullerton and member of the Board of Trustees for many years. The award was created to recognize outstanding service to the Debate Community. The award recognizes individuals who have devoted time and effort to make the debate community a more enjoyable and productive experience for students.
Recent recipients of this award include: 2010 - Jim Hanson and Aaron Hardy; 2011 - Dallas Perkins; 2012 - Gary Larson; 2013 - Tim O’Donnell; 2014 – Sarah Partlow Lefevre; 2015 – John Fritch; 2016 – David Hingstman; 2017 – Michael Davis; 2018- Arnie Madsen & Cate Palezewski.

The George Ziegelmueller Award
Wayne State Debate Alumni endowed an award in honor of their coach, George Ziegelmueller, for his over 30 years of excellent coaching, timeless commitment to the activity and numerous contributions to the forensics community---not the least of which was saving the NDT in 1966. This award and is presented to a faculty member who has distinguished himself or herself in the communication profession while coaching teams to competitive success at the NDT.
Recent recipients of this award include: 2010 - Tim O'Donnell; 2011 - Gordon Stables; 2012 - Glen Frappier; 2013 - Ryan Galloway; 2014 – Michael Davis; 2015 – Jarrod Atchison; 2016 William Mosley Jensen; 2017 – Michael Hester, 2018- Jacob Thompson.

Please submit any nominations on or before February 28, 2019 to:
Ed Panetta

 on: February 01, 2019, 04:50:20 PM 
Started by whwatson - Last post by whwatson

Attached is the job posting for the head debate coach position at the University of Georgia in the Department of Communication Studies.

I will be at Northwestern this weekend and would be happy to chat about the position/answer any questions you might have.   

It's a great debate job in a great college town at a great public university - I hope that many of you will apply.

Hays Watson
University of Georgia

 on: January 31, 2019, 09:23:01 AM 
Started by katsulas - Last post by katsulas
As indicated in Dr. Partlow Lefevre's letter, schools are required to pay their AFA dues as a requirement for participating in the NDT.

You can pay your AFA dues by mailing a check made out to the American Forensic Association to this address:  AFA, P.O. Box 67021, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

You may also pay your dues using Pay Pal at the AFA website at this link:
Don't try to register as that function does not work.  Just go directly to buy the membership link.

As of today, I have the following schools as having paid:
Boston College
George Mason (lifetime membership)
Southwest Missouri State
U of Florida
U of Georgia
U of Mary Washington
U of Miami
U of Minnesota
Wayne State

If you have any questions, please contact me.

John Katsulas,
AFA Treasurer

 on: January 30, 2019, 10:34:34 PM 
Started by sarahtp73 - Last post by sarahtp73

Dear Colleague,

Plans are nearing completion for the 73rd National Debate Tournament to be hosted by the University of Minnesota.  Registration for the tournament will take place on Thursday March 21.  Competition will take place on Friday, March 22 through Monday March 25, 2019.  Registration will be at the tournament hotel.  All preliminary debates will be at The University of Minnesota Campus. The final day of elimination debates will be at the tournament hotel.

I have attached a letter that provides information on the tournament location, qualifying processes, eligibility certification, and entry for the tournament.

Please join us in Minnesota for the 73rd National Debate Tournament.


Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre, Ph.D.
Director, National Debate Tournament

 on: January 30, 2019, 08:00:11 PM 
Started by michael.ritter - Last post by michael.ritter
The NJSD's most recent issue is now available: "The Two Types of Debate Tabulation Software" By Étienne Beaulé, available at

 on: January 24, 2019, 11:54:23 AM 
Started by ceda - Last post by ceda
Final Call for the 2019 Alta Argumentation Conference

August 1-4, 2019

Snowbird Lodge

Dale Hample, Director <>

Marissa Fernholz, Editorial Assistant

This is the final call. It differs from the preliminary call because it says how to submit the paper and also has liberalized the length expectations for submissions.

Our keynote speaker will be Ron Greene. We will have a special session to commemorate Mal Sillars, one of the conference founders and a big Alta presence for decades, who has recently passed away. If you have stories or remarks to share about Mal, please contact me. We will also recognize others we have lost, including Bob Scott, John Reinard, Walt Fisher, and perhaps others. Please let me know who we should mention, and who might speak briefly.

Theme: Local Theories of Argument?

Though we know better when we stop to think about it, most of us casually think of ourselves as having inherited coherent traditions of rhetorical and argumentation theory. The combination of an Aristotelian idea with a remark by Kenneth Burke is received without blinking. The theme of this year’s conference is the possibility of local theories of argument, work that calls into question the historical and global coherence of the theories we work with. The idea is that it may be necessary to generate local theories – local to a particular time, or place, or group identity. That the content of rhetorical practice differed along those dimensions is obvious. The question we will confront is whether the ordinary understandings or formal theories of argument were different as well.

The simplest way to exemplify the potential issues is to consider vertical and horizontal coherence/incoherence. The vertical dimension is
historical: should we consider that we have had different theories over time, given similar geographic and linguistic circumstance? The horizontal dimension moves across cultures or groups in approximately the same time period. For instance, does it make sense to approximate Japanese rhetorical thought as a Western system? A scholarly showing that we have coherence over vertical or horizontal variance will be welcome, as will an argument suggesting that we need to acknowledge or develop local theories in respect of different histories or cultures.

Some vertical distinctions are well known. For example, Cicero gave considerable attention to the order of the parts in a speech, along with specific directions as to desirable argumentative content in each part. But when sermon models and instructions were written in the Middle Ages, quite a different pattern was specified.

What happened to Cicero’s organizational teachings, which were well known in Europe at that time? Closer to our own era, Richard Weaver contrasted the conciseness and simple expressiveness of then-current rhetorical practice with the expansiveness and “spaciousness” of American rhetoric from earlier times. He considered that one rhetoric could depend on an homogenized system of values and knowledge but the other could not, and that this generated different valuings of embellishment and reasoned celebration of the uncontroversial.

Examples of horizontal distinctions seem somewhat less common in our scholarly community, but we have several of those as well. Interest in Asian public talk has been both assimilated to and distinguished from modern Western rhetoric in book-length treatments by Robert T. Oliver and Xing Lu, as well as work by other scholars. Does Chinese argumentation theory differ from Western thought in kind or degree? Is it perceptive or presumptuous to call what the ancient Pharaohs did “rhetoric?” When we compare contemporary American and Lebanese orientations to interpersonal arguing, are we sure we are looking at the same phenomenon in both nations?

Horizontal distinctions might also be available when examining different identity groups within the same time and nation. Bowers and Ochs long ago distinguished between the rhetorics of agitation and control. Are the same base understandings of public argument used by opponents of different standings, or are they implicitly working from different rhetorical theories? Were Protestant and Catholic pamphlets in the early Reformation simply using different premises or did they have contrasting understandings of what would count as legitimate argumentation?

Another sort of horizontal analysis might focus on argument channels. Some scholars have already debated whether the explicit linear models appropriate to propositional verbal arguments are also suitable to what appear to be visual or narrative arguments. Should we apply the same argumentation theories to elaborate edutainment stories and to abrupt tweets? Should we have been theorizing mass/social media messages from unknowable sources in the same way we theorize the remarks of an easily identifiable public speaker or conversational partner? If we need channel-local theories of argument, how can we understand which features of a medium require such treatment?

If analysis supports our casual assumption of a coherent intellectual inheritance, that will be comforting. But if reflection and study suggest that we have more traditions than we commonly recognize, how can that be handled by our community? Can local theories of, say, Korean argumentation be generated by native Dutch, American, or Canadian scholars? If not, how can we recruit local scholars, with their intuitive appreciation of their own culture and history, to the intellectual projects that we value? Do we in fact need local theories, constructed by local scholars? Are we sure that they need them?

Contributors will probably find it most natural to apply historical and rhetorical methods to the vertical questions, but social scientific methods easily suggest themselves for contemporary horizontal questions. In any event, all of our methodologies are welcome in service to analysis of any of these issues. Nor should anyone feel constrained by this simple vertical/horizontal metaphor.

Naturally, some preference will be given to submissions that address the general theme. However, quality work using any methodology, on any aspect of argumentation, will be welcome, as it always has been.

Finally, here are two cautions for submitters: (1) Rhetorical theory is broader than argumentation theory.  Please remember that our community's special focus is argumentation.  (2) It will be natural for many Alta veterans to extract apparent theory from observed practice.  This is a reasonable methodology.  However, remember to emphasize the theory component in your paper.


We invite completed papers, panel proposals, and paper abstracts written from any of the available methodological approaches to argumentation.
Please indicate AV needs that you may require should your submission be accepted.

- Completed papers: Papers should not be longer than 3,000 words, excluding notes and references or no longer than 3,200 words, including notes and references.

- Panel proposals: Panel proposals should provide a title, names and addresses (including e-mail) of participants, an abstract of each paper, and a brief explanation of the importance of the panel (500 words or less).Given that the tradition at Alta is active member-presenter engagement, if respondents are included, then their role should be explained. Panel proposals with participants from multiple institutions are preferred.

- Paper abstracts: Extended abstracts of paper proposals (500 words or more) should be substantial enough to indicate the scope, direction, approach, and merit of proposed papers. Assessment will be based on the evaluators’ understandings of the projected paper as presented in the abstract.

*Submissions will be due February 28, 2019*. They will be evaluated by peer reviewers. For accepted proposals, full papers will be due on July 10, 2019, and these papers will again be peer reviewed, but for publication. In the early years of the Alta conference, virtually all presented papers were published in the proceedings, but this is no longer the case. For the last several conferences, we have published a volume of selected papers instead of proceedings.

Abstracts can be difficult to write. Sometimes smart people with good ideas still write weak abstracts. I have experience with evaluating abstracts for several argumentation conferences and I have noticed some common failings. First, some abstracts do not explicitly (or plausibly) say what the paper has to do with the conference’s content aims. Second, many abstracts promise attention to some theme or analysis of some artifact, but do not say how that will be accomplished or whether the work has started. Third, some abstracts do not mention any key literature, leaving reviewers to wonder if the author is well-read and up to date. Fourth, even if the author has in fact figured out generally what his/her conclusions will be, these are not mentioned or their evidence is left out. Fifth, sometimes the abstract contains simple errors of composition, leaving a poor impression about the author’s ability to carry out the project.

Eventual papers should be in a file format conveniently readable and editable in Microsoft Word. The *American Psychological Association’s style manual* should be used by everyone. Some of you may not realize that when Google Scholar gives an “APA citation,” it is never correct. For relatively unusual sources (e.g., blogs, films, photos, or songs) you may have to search a bit to find out how these are to be cited in APA.

*Submit your abstract, paper, or proposal to me as an email attachment*. Please use the conference email
<>. Please name your file this way, to facilitate our filing: YourName-PaperTitle-Date.So for example, perhaps we will receive Dumbledore-LogosAndOtherDarkArts-2-7-2019.docx.

Financial assistance is available on a competitive basis for papers solely written by graduate students. Please indicate to me if you qualify for consideration. We have sometimes been able to provide some support for international scholars as well.

Alta has always been a very open-minded intellectual community, welcoming to many theoretical and methodological approaches. We very much hope you will join us.

 on: January 24, 2019, 11:15:59 AM 
Started by JCTurner - Last post by JCTurner
I've posted the tab sheet and compiled ballots.  The formatting for the compiled ballots is...terrible.  However, it was the best I could do without spending way too much time.  Headings for each round - within that you'll just have to navigate the individual ballots.

 on: January 23, 2019, 03:35:41 PM 
Started by robertsk - Last post by robertsk
The Dial Center for Written & Oral Communication at the University of Florida, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, invites applications for a Communication Studies Lecturer, who will also serve as Assistant Director of Forensics, to begin no later than August 16, 2019. The position is a nine-month, renewable, non-tenure accruing lecturer appointment with an opportunity for advancement in UF’s lecturer track.

Responsibilities of the position include: Teaching two undergraduate courses per semester as staffing needs dictate, including foundational courses such as public speaking and other courses in the candidate’s area of specialty; working with the Speech and Debate Team from an educational and competitive perspective, recruiting students, coaching and traveling with students to regional and national tournaments, supervising graduate assistant coaches, and expanding alumni connections; and providing service to the department, the university, and the profession. Salary will be competitive, commensurate with qualifications and experience and include a full benefits package.

The ideal candidate will have: a Ph.D. in Communication Studies or a closely related field (M.A. will be considered if other qualifications are outstanding); demonstrated excellence as a teacher with evidence of a strong interest in experiential learning; a track record of teaching public speaking and other human communication courses; understanding of teaching and working with diverse populations; experience competing in and/or coaching intercollegiate speech and debate; proficiency in organizing, programming, and administering speech and debate events and activities including competitive forensics tournaments; competence with administrative tasks related to competitive forensics such as managing travel logistics and finances; and a record of scholarly research and conference presentation.
Please see (job #43185) to view the complete position announcement. For full consideration, applications must be submitted online and must include: (1) a letter summarizing the applicant's qualifications, statement of teaching philosophy, and interest in the Center along with a complete curriculum vitae, (2) recent course evaluations demonstrating excellence in teaching, and (3) names and email address for three references. An email will be sent automatically to your references, requesting them to upload their letters. Review of applications will begin on February 12, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled. You may send email inquiries about the position to Dr. Emily Rine Butler, Chair of the Search Committee (, but be aware that all materials must be submitted via the online application as outlined above.

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The Center is committed to creating an environment that affirms that diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We would welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service including women, members of minority groups, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities. The university and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activity, and social opportunities, including organizations that support the interests of people from varied backgrounds. To learn more about UF’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, see Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida's Sunshine Law. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352/392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800/955-8771 (TDD). Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida's Sunshine Law.

 on: January 23, 2019, 02:24:30 PM 
Started by jbruschke - Last post by jbruschke
Now is the time to review your seasonal results and bid sheets and let me know if there are any errors or omissions.

If you will be applying for a first round, getting this done before the NW results are in is especially helpful. 

I do wish to point out that many times a proposed correction really is a judgment call of the tournament or NDT committee, so if those come to my attention hours before the bid deadline is due there won't be time to check with other parties to get things figured out.  That's my blabberous way of saying that the sooner you can do this the better.

Good luck to all as we get to the home stretch!


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