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CAS 315 - Debate and Civic Life

Debate has been a vital part of democratic engagement in the United States since the founding of the country. This course explores the role debate has played in our nation’s history, focusing primarily on debate practices in the 20th and 21st century. Course material will expose students to theories and practices of debate including the history of important debate moments in the United States, analysis of contemporary political debates, and practical debate techniques inside the classroom and in a public setting.

Course Objectives

  • Students will explore the role debate plays in our society in three facets:
  • Historical: Students will learn the role that debate has played in political and civic culture in the United States since the early twentieth century.
  • Theoretical: Students will learn argumentative theory and debate theory.
  • Practical: Students will plan and host, with the aid of the instructor, a public debate on campus at the end of the semester.