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Political rhetoric to be explored at upcoming events

October 09, 2008

A pair of Arizona Communication Association (ACA) events framed around political communication will be presented by Arizona State University’s Department of Communication Studies on October 15-16 at the West campus.

The kickoff event, “Political Communication and Arizona Politics,” takes place in La Sala A in the University Center Building (UCB) from 7-9 p.m. on October 15.  One night later, David Zarefsky, the Owen L. Coon Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, will present “Re-Examining Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” from 7-9 p.m. in La Sala A.

“These events are designed and meant to engage the public in discussion about political concerns in general and political rhetoric specifically as we approach the national election,” says Jeffrey Kassing, department chair.  “On our first night, there will be great opportunities for interactive discussion and a chance to hear what students are saying about the political concerns that impact our state and the nation.”

The events precede an annual ACA conference being held at the West campus on October 18.

The October 15 kickoff event is a panel and audience discussion on Arizona political issues.  In addition to presentations authored by students enrolled in ASU faculty associate Moya Ann Ball’s political communication course, Lauren Kielsmeier, education policy advisor to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano’s office, will share a special proclamation from the Executive Office of the Governor.  Ball will serve as moderator of the evening’s discussion, which will cover topics ranging from immigration to the exploitation of Native American tribes.

One night later, Zarefsky, a nationally renowned scholar in presidential rhetoric, will use Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address to help attendees better understand current political rhetoric.  Lincoln’s speech, delivered on March 4, 1865, as the Civil War was nearing an end, is widely acknowledged as one of the most remarkable documents in American history.

The October 15 and 16 events are free to the public.  ASU’s West campus is located at 4701 West Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Kassing at

October 15 Presentations:

“Acknowledging the Other: A Critical Examination of Immigration and Acceptance of the Other,”  Amber Acosta

“Immigration Rhetoric: Governor Napolitano’s Address to the National Press Club,” Heather Johnson

“A Comparison of Political Messages Concerning Building the Border Fence and Building the Berlin Wall,” Clint Martinez

“Reservation Shopping: The Exploitation of Native American Tribes,” L. Raven Ross