Randall Lake
Associate Professor


Communication Ph.D Program




ASC 206C

Office Hours

Summer: by appointment

More Randall

Words to live by

"Happiness is a warm puppy." --Charles Schultz


Argumentation and Advocacy
Native American Studies
Public Communication
Race and Ethnicity
Social Movements

I research and teach primarily in the areas of rhetorical theory, history, and criticism; rhetoric and culture; argumentation; and movements for political, social, and cultural change. I am particularly interested in the communicative dynamics of public controversies; the roles of gender, race, and ethnicity in these controversies; and the efforts of subaltern communities to make their voices effective in the public sphere. Historically speaking, I study controversies and movements from the 19th century to the present. My work on Native American protest is particularly well-known. I also created and maintain "She Flies with Her Own Wings": The Collected Speeches of Abigail Scott Duniway, devoted to the most prominent 19th-century woman's rights advocate in the Pacific Northwest and one of the most controversial nationally, due to her forceful opposition to the equal suffrage movement's embrace of prohibition. My current projects include studies of the Custer and Indian Memorials at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument; the role of epideictic in woman suffrage rhetoric; and the relevance of 1970s antifeminist discourse after Roe v. Wade to the current "war on women."

My research has appeared in national and international journals including The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Monographs, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Argumentation, Argumentation and Advocacy, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. It has appeared in books including Argumentation Theory and the Rhetoric of Assent (Williams and Hazen, Alabama, 1990); The Ethical Nexus (Conrad, Ablex, 1993); Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook (Campbell, Greenwood, 1993); and American Voices: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Orators (Duffy and Leeman, Greenwood, 2005). It has been reprinted in anthologies including Readings on the Rhetoric of Social Protest (Morris and Browne, Strata, 2001, 2006, 2013); Readings in Political Communication (Sheckels et al., Strata, 2007); and The Routledge Reader in Rhetorical Criticism (Ott and Dickinson, Routledge, 2012).

I have received the National Communication Association's Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, for the most outstanding article in the discipline, and the American Forensic Association's Daniel Rohrer Research Award, for the most outstanding essay in argumentation studies (1998). Long ago and far away, my dissertation (University of Kansas, 1982) received the National Communication Association's Outstanding Dissertation Award. I was associate editor of Disturbing Argument (Routledge, 2014); Reasoned Argument and Social Change (National Communication Association, 2012); and Argument and the Post-Modern Challenge (Speech Communication Association, 1993). I am a former Editor-in-chief of Argumentation and Advocacy: The Journal of the American Forensic Association. I have served on the editorial boards of Argumentation and Advocacy, Communication Theory, The Quarterly Journal of Speech, The Western Journal of Communication, and Rhetoric Review, among others.

I am the Director of the 19th Biennial NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation, which will take place July 30-August 2, 2015, in Alta, Utah, and Editor of Recovering Argument, a selection of conference papers to be published by Routledge in 2016.

Among many professional service commitments, I have chaired the National Communication Association's Committee on International Discussion and Debate and the American Forensic Association's Publications Committee. I am a former President of the Western Forensic Association. I also am a former director of the Trojan Debate Squad at U.S.C. and of the Annenberg doctoral program.

I am a dog person! My spouse, Dr. Colleen M. Keough, and I currently are owned and operated by a precocious black cocker spaniel puppy named Samamari & April's The Dark Knight, a.k.a. "Gotham."

Course Titles

Recently Taught:


  • Argumentation and Advocacy
  • Communication and Social Movements
  • African American Rhetoric and Image
  • Environmental Communication


  • Classical Rhetorical Theory
  • Rhetorical Criticism
  • Social Movements as Rhetorical Form
  • Rhetorical Theory and Culture
  • American Public Address
  • Argumentation
  • Rhetoric, Memory, and Place
  • Writing and Publishing Communication Research