Rhetorical Studies



Daniel Brouwer


Daniel Brouwer, associate professor, investigates how individuals and groups draw attention to their political issues and make arguments about those issues through public communication.  He looks at, for example, how the concerned citizen offers an impassioned plea at a town hall meeting, the U.S. Senator argues for the urgent need for a specific policy, and social movement participants march in unison toward their destination.  Broadly, he examines how social and political inequalities shape different communication practices, how power is exerted or resisted through different types of communication, and how different means of public rhetoric might create better conditions for democratic life.

Professor Brouwer is particularly interested in how individuals and groups who perceive themselves as disadvantaged or alienated from public life create alternative forums and strategies for communication.  Alternative forums can include underground magazines, online communities, or oppositional political organizations.  Alternative strategies can include shocking bodily display, purposeful silence, or interruptions of "business as usual."


Clark Olson

Clark Olson, Ph.D., is an instructional professional who studies rhetorical irony and political widow rhetoric and has co-taught a graduate methods module on facilitating Civil Dialogue. He has participated in the design and development of Civil Dialogue, a format designed to foster civil communication when discussing controversial topics. In addition to facilitating Civil Dialogue events in public venues, he has introduced Civil Dialogue as an alternative to traditional debate in his argumentation classes at ASU. He is also the former director of the ASU Forensics Team (speech and debate).