Sunday, August 05, 2007

DAWGS, Moose & Mountains

"DAWG Power: The Synergy of Writing in Packs" has been presented at the 15th NCA/AFA Alta Argumentation Conference, with the manuscript submitted for possible publication in the conference proceedings. You may note a DAWG first in the acknowledgment section, where the animals below are thanked:

During the panel Q&A, there were two questions that came our way. Tom Goodnight asked a two-parter: 1) What topics are best?; 2) How about institutional support for co-authorship? In my answer to this, I went big picture, arguing that complexification of society creates an exigence for interdisciplinary research. I forgot about the obvious answer, that our DAWG picks topics by looking for issues that originate in the intercollegiate debate community and have relevance for wider society, or in the other direction, are big society questions that come home to roost in intercollegiate debates (remember this for job interviews!). Goodnight followed up by saying that he is currently involved in a big interdisciplinary, international research project covering China and economics.

Rae Lynn Schwarz-DuPre asked whether the NEH grant concept (briefly floated in the conclusion) might invite a backlash in the debate community. She signaled that maybe it would be better to organize competitive DAWGS in summertime, outside of the competitive tournament grid. I responded with: 1) Yes, more meetings would be great; 2) Schenley Park DAWG pushes back against sportification, so it is understandable that there would be resistance. Then I asked her what she thought the elements of resistance might be, and she explained that she foresees opposition from undergraduate debaters and debaters who resent top shelf judges being pulled out of the judging pool to participate in scholarly research endeavors. My response was that I am eager to hear conversations between those advocates of sportification and the grad students who won funding to have time for scholarly research at debate tourneys.

Others in an audience of about 20 included Robert Rowland, Chair at Kansas; John Katsulas, Director of Debate at Boston College; Cate Palczewski, Director of Debate at the University of Northern Iowa, and James Klumpp, Chair at Maryland. Congrats to each of the co-authors for their excellent work on this fun paper, which I think will provide good long-term momentum for our project.

Before signing off, here's another Moose video, shot two days later, right in front of the Rustler lodge, where argumentation scholars almost committed a dangerous fallacy: Argumentum Ad Trampulum!