web tracker Gordon R. Mitchell

Research by Gordon Mitchell

Gordon R. Mitchell is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he has worked since 1995 (from 1985-1994 he debated and coached at Northwestern, Wake Forest and Louisville). His research program focuses on public argument, rhetoric of science, and social movements, while his feet gravitate toward salsa dancing, stone skipping, and sweep rowing on Pittsburgh's resplendent three rivers.


Electronic copies of documents are provided for individual use for private study or research. To reproduce these publications, permission should be sought unless stated otherwise. Links are welcome.

Books and edited volumes (click thumbnails to magnify)



Journal articles

Ridgway Center

As a research associate (2002-2006) and deputy director (2007-2008) of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, I convened working groups such as the Working Group on Preemptive and Preventive Military Intervention, supported Ridgway Center programming, and supervised Security Sweep, Ridgway's weblog (hosted jointly with the Ford Institute for Human Security) Documents relating to the Ridgway Center's Working Group on Preemptive and Preventive Military Intervention are here:

Briefing papers

Newspaper and magazine articles

Schenley Park Debate Authors Working Group (DAWG)

For more on this group, visit the DAWG Blawg. Relevant documents:

Selected public debates directed

Commentary on the 2004 presidential election debates

Commentary on September 11 and beyond

Other assorted publications

Argumentative agency in action

In 1998, I laid out a research program for 'argumentative agency in academic debate.' Debaters occasionally quote my work to leverage their critiques of contest round pedagogy, but as this conference paper from the 2004 Tokyo Argumentation Conference explains, I have no truck with the 'preparatory pedagogy' of switch-side tournament debating, so long as it is leavened meaningfully with applied collaborative projects in public advocacy, public debate, primary research and debate outreach. Such dual level pedagogy checks the 'spectator politics' mentality instilled by an exclusive diet of tournament competition. This view draws from the vision of a 'total forensics program' sketched in Douglas Ehninger and Wayne Brockriede's 1969 classic, Decision by Debate. Below are selected materials on recent collaborative efforts to hone debaters' 'argumentative agency,' - their capacity to contextualize and employ the skills and strategies of argumentative discourse in fields of social action, especially wider spheres of public deliberation:

Miscellaneous debate tidbits

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