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ECA 2013 - Argumentation & Forensics Interest Group Members Reminders

Dear ECA Argumentation & Forensics Interest Group Members,

Spring has sprung, which can only mean that the annual ECA convention is around the corner! As you make final preparations for this year’s event, I wanted to flag the six exciting Argumentation & Forensics panels that are included in the program:

Thursday, April 25 | 10 – 11:15 am | Oliver

Contributed Papers in Argumentation & Forensics

Argumentation and Forensics, as a subfield of the Communication discipline, features a wide variety of scholarly interests, spanning different research areas, methodologies and theoretical frameworks. This panel will explore the confluence of these areas by examining the range of research taking place throughout the sub-discipline.

Thursday, April 25 | 1 – 2:15 pm | Parkview East

The Forensic Burke: A For(u)mative Member of the Parliament

Though Kenneth Burke passed away nearly twenty years ago, he continues to trundle much of the unending conversation about speech communication today. In this panel, we illustrate the formative impact of competitive forensics on speech communication’s most influential voice. Though Burke has been reviewed, investigated, and researched for over ninety years, Burke’s forensic experiences have gone unnoticed. As such, this panel is heuristically provocative.

Friday, April 26 | 12:30 – 1:45 pm | Carnegie III

Assessing the Arguments in the 2012 Presidential Debates

Although scholars disagree on the extent to which presidential debates matter during elections, debates nevertheless provide interesting fodder for scholarly discussion. The 2012 presidential debates were no exception. In this session, panelists will explore which arguments put forth in these debates they found most interesting and provide their insights about what we can learn from these arguments.

Saturday, April 27 | 8 - 9:15 am | Parkview West

Creating, Remembering or Forgetting: Public Places as Confluence of Memory or Amnesia

What is it about place that makes us remember – or forget? According to the idea of genius loci, or “the distinctive character or atmosphere of a place,” place creates powerful impressions on people. Sometimes place becomes a site of memory and healing like the various memorials commemorating 9/11. Sometimes place is where you go to talk with the dead; like Lily Dale in New York. Sometimes place is forgetting as some residents of Cambridge, MD, have tried to do. This paper session looks at these three places and how they create confluences of memory or amnesia.

Saturday, April 27 | 1 – 2:15 pm | Phipps

Do Presidential Debate Formats Matter? A Public Debate

Having viewed the three 2012 Presidential Debates and those from previous elections, the participants in this session will engage in a public debate centered on the following proposition: “Resolved: Communication was the key in the 2012 presidential election.” Following a 40-minute debate, audience members will be invited to ask questions and engage panelists on the advantages and drawbacks of various approaches to Presidential Debates.

Saturday, April 27 | 2:30 – 3:45 pm | Shadyside

Political Communication in the States: Arguments & Strategies

Political communication on the state or local level can be both a fascinating study in itself and a testing ground of theories derived from national campaigns or rhetorical theory. United States Senate races in Massachusetts and Virginia warrant study, so do campaigns concerning higher education in Pennsylvania and casino gambling in Maryland. Together, the presentations survey the “ECA Region,” identifying the “backyard” campaigning and arguing that should interest ECA political communication and argumentation scholars.

In addition to these scholarly contributions to this year’s convention, I hope you’ll join us for our annual business meeting on Saturday, April 27 from noon to 1 pm in Riverboat. There, we’ll be electing a new Interest Group Vice Chair (who will plan the 2014 convention in Providence) and a new Interest Group Secretary. If you have any items for the Business Meeting Agenda, please send them to me via email by Friday, April 19.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. I look forward to coming together with all of you in Pittsburgh in two weeks!

All my best,


Sean Luechtefeld

Interest Group Planner | ECA Argumentation & Forensics Interest GroupDoctoral Candidate | Department of CommunicationUniversity of Maryland | 2100 Skinner | College Park, MD 20742850.714.3131 [cell] | 301.405.8976 [office]