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Forensics as Scholarship: Testing Zarefsky's Bold Hypothesis in a Digital Age

Goodnight, GT and Mitchell, GR (2008) Forensics as Scholarship: Testing Zarefsky's Bold Hypothesis in a Digital Age. Argumentation and Advocacy, 45 (2). 80 - 97. ISSN 1051-1431

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The tables of contents from the 1915–1917 volumes of the Quarterly Journal of Public Speaking reveal how the field of communication's academic lineage can be traced back to the forensic debating tradition. In the U.S., that tradition's practical roots were established by hundreds of contracts between universities to hold intercollegiate debates for public audiences. Later in the 20th century, the advent of organized debate tournaments turned forensics into a specialized laboratory for argumentation, where contest round practice yielded first a stock-issues model of argument, followed by multiple debate paradigms, and then a series of critical rhetorics. We envision a next evolutionary step where forensics moves to seize novel opportunities offered by the digital age to refresh its practice as a “participatory culture. “Key to this evolution is recognition of David Zarefsky's insights into the relationship between argument, criticism, and judgment. We illustrate the potential of debate to model strategies of new media literacy through adaptation of his hypothesis-testing model of argument to digital contexts.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Goodnight, GT
Mitchell, GRgordonm@pitt.eduGORDONM
Centers: University Centers > University Center for International Studies (UCIS)
Date: 1 January 2008
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Argumentation and Advocacy
Volume: 45
Number: 2
Page Range: 80 - 97
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/00028533.2008.11821699
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Clinical and Translational Science
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1051-1431
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 15:15
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 01:55


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