The DCI and Davidson College Writing Program were pleased to host Debra Hawhee, McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation at Penn State University, for a guest lecture series March 8-11, 2021. In addition to an informal chat about her work on climate rhetoric and deliberation in the Penn State curriculum, Professor Hawhee delivered two lectures: “Imagining Our Shared Future: Rhetoric, Deliberation, and Democratic Life,” and “The Original-Scholar Athlete: Athletics and Rhetoric in Ancient Greece.”
“Imagining Our Shared Future: Rhetoric, Deliberation, and Democratic Life”
In her keynote address, Professor Hawhee presented deliberation as an art of imagining shared futures together. She spoke about Aristotle’s On Rhetoric, the relationship between deliberative dispositions and feelings, and her work on deliberation during crisis at Penn State. Professor Hawhee infuses her approach to deliberation with insights drawn from humanities and the arts, insights drawn from her training in rhetoric (the art of effective communication) and her experience incorporating deliberation into an integrated speaking and writing course at Penn State. This approach emphasizes imagination, listening, and attention to dispositions.
“The Original Scholar-Athlete: Athletics and Rhetoric in Ancient Greece”
In her second lecture, Professor Hawhee shared the curious early connections between athletic and rhetorical education, connections that she first noticed as she was finishing up her career as a basketball player at the University of Tennessee. Professor Hawhee explored the layout of the ancient Greek gymnasium and the expectation that individuals be trained in both bodily and mental arts.