Friday, September 7, 2007

WDI Sponsors International Debate Conference in 2008

Last year's version of this conference, once again sponsored by WDI, had 120 attendees and over 80 academic papers.


2nd International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment
11-12-13 April 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The conference begins with registration at 1200 11 April 2008.
The conference ends with the closing ceremony at 1500 13 April 2008.



The World Debate Institute at the University of Vermont USA, the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia and ZIP, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga/ Pro et contra Institute for culture of dialogue Slovenia invite all scholars and practitioners of argumentation, rhetoric, debate, and educators using deliberative education methodologies to the International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment -- THINKING AND SPEAKING A BETTER WORLD, 11-13 April 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The conference will welcome scholars and educators from diverse fields for vigorous dialogue and exchange. This conference will unite scholars of argumentation and rhetoric, teachers, and organizers of local, national and international debating networks to discuss critical thinking and advocacy discourse through pedagogy. We intend for the conference to welcome all who are involved in public discussions and debates about different issues.

This conference is extremely timely. A global information society which seeks reasoned solutions to problems through broad citizen involvement needs to develop and refine techniques for criticizing and validating ideas through discourse and then impart these to new generations of citizens if we are to create a better future and avoid looming crises. This conference represents a unique opportunity to share ideas, network and cross-fertilize with global critical thinkers.

The conference will generate a proceedings volume in the form of a book with completed papers. Submissions will be selected from the papers available at the conference.

The program for the conference will have three themes. Submissions are encouraged to center their work on one of the three themes and to submit proposals to the appropriate conference division. Interdisciplinary work that might fit into more than one category is welcome.

Argumentation and rhetoric. The use of logic and reason to criticize and analyze ideas through communication. Those interested in research on argumentation theory, criticisms of communication acts and scholarship on argumentation practice are encouraged to submit to this division.
Debate. The use of formal argumentation forums to educate and empower citizens. Those interested in work on the practice and theory of debate competition, public debates, research on the impact of debate for participants, and theorizing about debate paradigms are encouraged to submit to this division.
Critical thinking/pedagogy. Teaching and the methodology of teaching in the active classroom. Those interested in using debate, discussion and argumentation in classrooms, discussion of experiences and teaching lessons relating to communication and critical thinking are encouraged to submit to this division.

Paper proposals (a less than one-page abstract) should be submitted as soon as possible but not later than 15 February 2008. The committees will evaluate proposals in hand each month and inform those submitting papers of the committee's decision. Full copies of papers should be provided electronically by the beginning of the conference. ALL PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS MUST BE IN ENGLISH.

Format for papers will be that of the Modern Language Association. For information, see . You can download a copy of the guidelines at .

A committee of conference organizers and scholars will examine submissions to each division.

The members of the argumentation division committee are:
David Williams, Florida Atlantic University, USA
Frans van Eemeren, Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, University of Amsterdam (invited)

The members of the debate division committee are:
Bojana Skrt, ZIP Slovenia.
Sam Nelson, Cornell University, USA
Loke Wing Fatt, SAID, Singapore

The members of the pedagogy division committee are:
Alfred Snider, University of Vermont USA
Zora Rutar, National Education Institute, Slovenia
Maria Wolrath Söderberg, Department of Rhetoric, Södertörn University College, Sweden

Proposals and full papers for argumentation should be sent to David Williams at
Proposals and full papers for debate should be sent to Bojana Skrt at
Proposals and full papers for pedagogy should be sent to Alfred Snider at

Those wishing to attend the conference without submitting a paper are very welcome but must register.

The Conference will be held at various venues in Ljubljana. The participation fee is 65 Euros and covers the conference sessions, reception, coffee breaks and materials as well as a banquet. The participants will be accommodated in different locations in Ljubljana, depending on the budget option they choose. There are different accommodations possible, from low cost high school dormitory to moderate hotels in Ljubljana to the best hotels in Ljubljana. Low cost accommodations must register through Bojana Skrt, while all others must be booked by the attendees. We will be supplying a list of suggested hotels soon. The conference is a non-profit project and all organizers are unpaid. The participation fee is designed to cover costs only.

Please note that registration for admission to the conference and low cost housing must be coordinated through Bojana Skrt Registration deadline is 15 March 2008.

The payment for the participation fee should be transferred to ZIP bank account by March 15 2008 or in cash on arrival. All inquires about application, payment and other information should be sent to Bojana Skrt at

Travel to Ljubljana is possible through many forms. Regular air service from most European cities is available, including on a number of discount airlines such as Easyjet. Train and bus service is convenient with arrivals at the city center. We will not be arranging pick ups from arrival points because it is quite easy. We will be publishing low cost options for airport pick up.

Ljubljana travel guides can be found at:

Organizing committee:
Bojana Skrt, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga, Slovenia
Alfred C. Snider, World Debate Institute, University of Vermont, USA

No comments:

Post a Comment