PAC History

The Public Address Conference convenes national leaders in the study of political discourse to focus on a pressing issue of civic and intellectual significance. Held over three days, the event features a series of invited lectures, each of which is followed by formal responses from a select group of scholars, as well as extended periods of question and answer from attendees.

Conceived by internationally-renowned scholars Michael Leff and David Zarefsky, the conference is awarded on a competitive basis; it has met biennially at the nation’s premier sites of rhetoric study since 1988.


Recent Conferences

2012, On Civic Learning, University of Memphis (Tom Benson, honoree)
2010, Human Rights Rhetoric, University of Pittsburgh (David Zarefsky, honoree)
2008, Representing the Republic, University of Wisconsin (Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, honoree)
2006, Arts of Praise and Blame, Vanderbilt University (Bruce Gronbeck, honoree)
2004, Constituting Political Culture, University of Maryland (James Andrews, honoree)
2002, Discourses of Violence, Discourses of Community, University of Georgia (Robert Scott, honoree)
2000, Rhetoric and Public Discourse, Pennsylvania State University (Ed Black, honoree)
1998, Public Address in the Electronic Age, University of Iowa (Robert P. Newman, honoree)
1996, Rhetoric & Democratic Imagination in America (Robert G. Gunderson, honoree)
1994, Indiana University (Leland Griffin, honoree)
1992, University of Minnesota (Ernest Bormann, honoree)
1990, Northwestern University (Carroll Arnold, honoree)
1988, University of Wisconsin (Donald K. Smith, honoree)