Rhetoric professor receives argumentation theory award

Robert Branham, professor of rhetoric and director of Bates’ Brooks Quimby Debate program, has received the latest Research Award of the American Forensic Association (AFA) for his 1994 article, “Debate and Dissent in Late Tokugawa and Meiji Japan,” which appeared in the journal Argumentation and Advocacy.

Awarded annually, the prize recognizes outstanding scholarship in argumentation theory, criticism, history or practice. The AFA is an organization of 600 argumentation scholars from six countries.

Branham was also recently named the Eastern States Representative to the Committee for International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) by the Speech Communication Asociation, a 5,000-member international organization of communication scholars.

CIDD, a five member committee that selects the U.S. national debating team each year and organizes and sponsors national debating tours in Russia, Great Britain, Japan and Israel. The organization also arranges for annual tours of the United States by the national teams of these countries.

Branham heads an intercollegiate debate program at Bates that is recognized as one of the best in the United States. He also teaches a course on documentary filmmaking that has produced such notable efforts as Roughing the Uppers: The Great Shoe Strike of 1937 and The Phantom Punch, about the heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in 1965.

The author of a number of scholarly articles and editor of several handbooks and tutoring aids for debaters, he graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College and earned master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of North Carolina and the University of Massachusetts respectively. He joined the Bates faculty in 1974.

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