Faculty Publications

Critical Race Theory Interventions for Public Speaking

Document Type

Book Chapter

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Routledge Handbook of Public Speaking Research and Theory

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Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an approach to understanding the dynamics of racism in the United States-one that is often maligned by right-wing and white supremacists in the media and the government. We argue that CRT provides an invaluable corrective to mainstream understandings of the racial history of the US (e.g., that the Civil Rights Movement fixed racism). More specifically, public speaking pedagogy in the US is dominated by a white, masculinist perspective (i.e., Quintilian’s notion of “The good man speaking well”), which is to the detriment of students, particularly students of color. As such, we use this chapter to describe the tenets of CRT, explain its necessity in public speaking pedagogy, and envision a public speaking pedagogy that is grounded in the principles of CRT. In this chapter, we conceptualize a public speaking teaching practice based on the CRT concept of counterstories. We also identify steps for integrating counterstories into the development and performance of public speaking.


Department of Communication and Media

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