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Center for Democratic Deliberation

Rhetoric is never empty. Words always matter. Knowing how to use rhetoric effectively and responsibly—whether in speech, writing, or creative expression—is essential to healthy democratic deliberation. 

The Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD), founded in 2006, is a nonpartisan interdisciplinary center that promotes research and programming focused on rhetorical aspects of democratic deliberation. We study how people use language and communication, speaking and writing, argument and persuasion, or dialogue and debate to impact the quality of civic discourse.

The CDD thus advocates a variety of humanistic resources that encourage constructive norms of agreement and disagreement, of consensus and dissent, of civic engagement and decision-making. We invite you to learn more about our research and programming as one of two centers of excellence within the McCourtney Institute for Democracy.

Faculty Advisory Board

Members of the Faculty Advisory Board advise the Director, particularly on matters of programming. Members are invited to serve by the Director. Terms of service typically last two academic years.

Stephen H. Browne, Liberal Arts Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences (2017-19)

Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies (2018-20)

Rosa A. Eberly, Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and English (2017-19)

Jeremy David Engels, Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences (2018-20)

Michele Kennerly, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (2018-20)

John "Jack" Selzer, Liberal Arts Professor Emeritus, English (2018-20) 

Xiaoye You, Professor of English and Asian Studies (2017-19)