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David Zarefsky is Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Argumentation and Debate, and Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, at Northwestern University, where he served as Dean of the School of Speech from 1988 through June 2000. He also has held other administrative appointments, including Director of Forensics (1970-75), Chair of the Department of Communication Studies (1975-83), and Associate Dean of the School of Speech (1983-88). He retired from the full-time faculty and achieved Emeritus status in 2009. Dr. Zarefsky’s research and teaching are in the areas of rhetorical history and criticism, argumentation and debate, and forensics.  He is the author, co-author, or editor of nine books and the author of more than 100 articles in books and professional journals. Two of his books have won the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Winans-Wichelns Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address: President Johnson’s War on Poverty: Rhetoric and History (University of Alabama Press, 1986) and Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate (University of Chicago Press, 1990). A former NCA President, Dr. Zarefsky was named in 1994 to the ranks of NCA Distinguished Scholars and in 2015 he was named the Douglas Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar. He is also a former President of the Rhetoric Society of America.

Curriculum Vitae