Post-Grant Reports


Difficult Dialogues in Debate and Theater

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Critical and Cultural Studies | Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies


The “Difficult Dialogues in Debate” portion of the project focused on work related to the enhancement of debate and critical thinking at Chinese universities as well as ongoing efforts to teach argumentation in prisons. The work in China was funded by a three-year, $2.3 million dollar grant from the Open Society Foundation (OSF) that was a cooperative effort by six institutions in the United States. I was a contributing author and the principal investigator for the $230,000 Linfield College portion of this grant. Over the course of the year on sabbatical, I led workshops on debate and critical thinking for more than 500 individual students and faculty members representing more than 30 different universities in China. I also completed two book chapters for a forthcoming book on debate specifically written for use by Chinese faculty and university students. My work with the facilitation of argumentation programs in prisons included teaching two eight-week debate courses for inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary and organizing and running a one-day tournament inside the prison for participants from nine different universities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The “Difficult Dialogues in Theater” portion of the project involved some new work and training in Augusto Boal’s forum theater techniques, as well as victim advocacy training in the area of sexual assault response. Specifically, I trained to become a facilitator for an interactive program about sexual assault prevention created by the InterACT Performance Troupe from California State University, Long Beach. Over the course of the year, I helped to facilitate more than 70 interactive trainings about sexual assault prevention for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps at military bases in the United States and at various locations throughout the world. I also completed more than 40 hours of victim advocacy training, and I worked with InterACT to present their program for audiences at two different college campuses.


This research was conducted as part of a sabbatical leave in 2014-2015.

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