Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 Summer Doctoral Seminar at Wayne State University

**2012 Summer Doctoral Seminar at Wayne State University**
May 30 - June 2, 2012 with distinguished guest scholar Dr. John Gastil

Talking about elections increasingly means exchanging anecdotes,
recalling potent slogans, comparing outsized personalities, and
dissecting carefully crafted campaign strategies. In contrast, weighing
arguments, scrutinizing facts, and judging value conflicts occurs less
frequently in the public sphere. This seminar focuses on revitalizing
deliberative discourse in the American electoral process to generate
more substantive adversarial clash and, on occasion, encourage a sense
of common purpose. We will examine how candidates campaign and voters
vote in local, state, and federal elections, and we will evaluate
reforms - real and theoretical - that could make for a more constructive
and democratic electoral process in the United States.

John Gastil (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Professor and
Head in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at The
Pennsylvania State University. He published Democracy in Small Groups
(New Society Publishers) in 1993 and has since continued to explore
democracy and deliberation at different levels of analysis in By Popular
Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy through Deliberative
Elections (University of California, 2000), The Deliberative Democracy
Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First
Century (co-edited with Peter Levine, Jossey-Bass, 2005), and Political
Communication and Deliberation (Sage, 2008). He also returned to the
study of group behavior in The Group in Society (Sage, 2009) and
co-authored The Jury and Democracy: How Jury Deliberation Promotes Civic
Engagement and Political Participation (Oxford, 2010). The National
Science Foundation has supported numerous large-scale research programs
in which Gastil has served as a principal investigator. He has also
managed campaigns for public office in California and New Mexico.

Application Information
All Ph.D. students interested in being exposed to leading communication
research and theory are encouraged to apply. Most expenses for accepted
candidates will be paid by the Department of Communication at Wayne
State University. Covered expenses for domestic students include
airfare, lodging and meals, and course materials. An opening reception
and other social events will give participants an opportunity to get to
know each other and exchange ideas. A small group of doctoral students
will be selected to join this unique program.

Application Procedure
To apply, you will need to complete an online application form, and
submit an essay and vitae by email. The essay should be approximately
500 words that provides information about your area of Ph.D. study as
well as a brief description of your research interests, describing how
the seminar is relevant to your program of study and/or how the seminar
will advance your dissertation project. The vitae should be current.
When the essay and vitae are ready, you can proceed to the online
application form available at:
After completing the form, send a follow-up email to
with your essay and vitae attached.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2012

For more information you may contact the Summer Seminar Committee chair:
Pradeep Sopory at

A flyer promoting the summer seminar is available at:

Some highlights from previous doctoral seminars are at:

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