Randall Lake
Associate Professor of Communication


Communication (B.A.)
Communication (Ph.D.)




ASC 206C

Office Hours

Fall 2018: 2:00-3:00 Th, and by appointment

More Randall

Words to live by

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


Argumentation Studies
Climate Change Communication
Critical Thinking
Discourse Analysis
Gender Studies
Native American Studies
Public Communication
Race and Ethnicity
Rhetorical Criticism
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 activism is particularly well-known. I also created and maintain "She Flies with Her Own Wings": The Collected Speeches of Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915), 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; artists' visual rhetoric of truth and reconciliation between the Canadian government and First Nations; 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 and 2016). 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 directed the 19th biennial NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation (2015), and am Editor of Recovering Argument (Routledge, 2018), a selection of conference papers.

I am a faculty affiliate of the USC Race and Equity Center.

Among many professional service commitments, I have chaired the National Communication Association's Committee on International Discussion and Debate, Diamond Anniversary Book Award Committee, and Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Dissertation Award Committee; the American Forensic Association's Publications Committee; and the Western States Communication Association's Finance 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, OHBIS OHBISS CH CT Samamari N April's The Dark Knight VCD1 BN RN TDU CGC. "Gotham" earned both his conformation and tracking championships before his second birthday. He is the youngest Champion Tracker in the history of the breed and earned all five American Kennel Club tracking titles more quickly (in nine months and one day) than any other dog in history, all breeds. He also is the second-youngest to earn all five titles (all breeds), the youngest male, and the youngest with nontracking titles; a Dutch shepherd bitch was about two months younger, but she focused solely on tracking, while Gotham split time, also earning his breed championship and other titles in obedience and rally. In conformation, he has an owner-handled Best in Show to his credit and currently is the #4-ranked owner-handled black cocker in the United States. He is a member of the American Spaniel Club's Tracking Hall of Distinction, and the inaugural recipient of its prestigious Bentley Award. And these accomplishments don't even reflect his best qualities!


Course Titles

Recently Taught:


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


  • 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