Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Final Workshop in a Workshop: Roger Solt, University of Kentucky

To conclude the "workshop-in-a-workshop" format at the Miami Debate Institute, Roger Solt, legendary debate coach at the University of Kentucky made a two-day visit to Oxford this past week. He lectured and conducted strategy exercises covering advanced theory issues and also how to defeat critical arguments. Roger should know, he's been one of the top college coaches for over twenty years, having coached 5 NDT Top Speakers, a NDT National Champion and in 2003 an NDT runner-up.

Roger’s initial lecture on theory outlined the development of theory as a debate argument. He then tied this lesson into practical advice on topics such as conditionality. Roger then developed a comprehensive take on dispositionality, including a theory that constructed an “affirmative dispositionality” and “negative dispositionality”.

The lecture on winning against critical arguments covered the different theoretical strategies the affirmative can employ against kritiks - on such topics as permutations, fiat, conditionality of alternatives, and advocacy-inclusion theory. Using examples from the civil liberties topic, Roger illustrated how an affirmative could use their case for link-turning, permuting, or impact-turning kritikal arguments.

Each of the institute participants then prepped and gave an extensive speech responding to the negative Critical Legal Studies kritik (a common kritik on this year’s topic). These speeches were delivered in the Miami Institute small-group Speaking Clinic format. The workshop then reconvened as a whole as all the lab leaders and Roger provided insight and feedback.

Roger’s lecture concluded the workshop in a workshop series at the Miami Debate Institute. We would like to extend thanks to Roger, Will Repko and Dallas Perkins for helping the Miami Debate Institute become the first institute with a unique “workshop in a workshop” format.


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