Through the support of the Brigance Forum, each year the Rhetoric Department is able to invite a prominent rhetorical scholar or public figure to deliver a campus lecture. We also use the occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of our senior Rhetoric majors and to provide our students with opportunities to interact with the visiting scholar through classroom and co-curricular activities.
Professor Robert Asen will present the 2013 Brigance Forum lecture on Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. in the Korb Classroom of the Fine Arts Center. His lecture is entitled “Education and Democracy: How School Boards Use Deliberation to Build Trust.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
Professor Asen teaches in the Communication Arts Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the connections between rhetoric and public policy, particularly in deliberative settings. His lecture will present on research he conducted as lead investigator for the Research on Education, Deliberation, and Decision-making (REDD) project, funded with a $448,000 grant from the William T. Grant Foundation. Professor Asen has previously published two books (on debates over welfare and social security reform), two co-edited books, and numerous articles. His book Invoking the Invisible Hand: Social Security and the Privatization Debates was recognized with three prestigious awards: the 2011 Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism; the 2010 National Communication Association Winans-Wichelns Award; and the 2010 National Communication Hochmuth Nichols Award. In addition to teaching and research, he is a Resident Fellow with the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin. We are excited to have Dr. Asen join us for this year’s Brigance Forum.
The Brigance Forum honors the legacy of W. Norwood Brigance. Professor Brigance educated generations of Wabash men during his tenure at the College (1922-1960). During that time he made an indelible mark in the classroom (“Room Filling Energy”!), was a forceful public speaker, an exemplar of the public intellectual, and a scholar of great renown. Among his many scholarly accomplishments was his work as editor of the pioneering two-volume set History and Criticism of American Public Address, editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, author of numerous textbooks on public speaking, and President of the Speech Association of America (forerunner to today’s National Communication Association). For these accomplishments, in 2007 Brigance was recognized as a Distinguished Scholar in Communication by the National Communication Association. And in 2010 his name was engraved alongside other prominent Montgomery County Writers on the exterior of the Crawfordsville District Public Library. In honor of his memory, family, friends and former students have made generous contributions to make the annual Brigance Forum lecture possible.
We hope to see you at this year’s lecture!