Randall Lake
Associate Professor of Communication


Communication (BA)
Communication (PhD)




ASC 206C

Office Hours

Fall 2019: TBA

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; 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, Journal of Multicultural Discourses, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. It has appeared in books including Networking Argument (C. Winkler, ed., Routledge, 2019, in press); Decolonizing Native American Rhetoric: Communicating Self-Determination (C. R. Kelly and J. E. Black, eds., Lang, 2018); Communication for the Commons: Revisiting Participation and Environment (M. S. Meisner et al., eds., International Environmental Communication Association, 2015); Disturbing Argument (C. H. Palczewski, ed., Routledge, 2014); Critical Problems in Argumentation (C. A. Willard, ed., National Communication Association, 2005); American Voices: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Orators (B. K. Duffy and R. W. Leeman,eds., Greenwood, 2005); Arguing Communication and Culture (G. T. Goodnight, ed., National Communication Association, 2002); Argument at Century's End (T. A., Hollihan, ed., National Communication Association, 2000); Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook (K. K. Campbell, ed., Greenwood, 1993); The Ethical Nexus (C. Conrad, ed., Ablex, 1993); Argument and the Postmodern Challenge (R. E. McKerrow, ed., National Communication Association, 1993); Argumentation Theory and the Rhetoric of Assent (D. C. Williams and M. D. Hazen, eds., Alabama, 1990); Spheres of Argument (B. Gronbeck, ed., Speech Communication Association, 1989); Argument and Social Practice (J. R. Cox et al., eds., Speech Communication Association, 1985); and Argument in Transition (D. Zarefsky et al., ed., Speech Communication Association, 1983). It has been reprinted in anthologies including Readings on the Rhetoric of Social Protest (C. E. Morris, III, and S. E. Browne, eds., Strata, 2013, 2006, 2001); The Routledge Reader in Rhetorical Criticism (B. L. Ott and G. Dickinson, eds., Routledge, 2012); and Readings on Political Communication (T. F. Sheckels et al., eds., Strata, 2007).

I have received the National Communication Association's Golden Anniversary Monograph Award (1998), for the most outstanding article in the discipline ("Argumentation and Self: The Enactment of Identity in Dances With Wolves"), and the American Forensic Association's Daniel Rohrer Memorial Outstanding Research Award (1997; 2016), for the most outstanding essay in argumentation studies ("Argumentation and Self: The Enactment of Identity in Dances With Wolves"; "Oppositional Memory Practices: U.S. Memorial Spaces as Arguments over Public Memory"). Long ago and far away, my dissertation, The Ethics of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Ethics in the Abortion Controversy (University of Kansas, 1982), received the National Communication Association's Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. I was associate editor of Disturbing Argument (Routledge, 2014); Reasoned Argument and Social Change (National Communication Association, 2012); and Argument and the Postmodern Challenge (Speech Communication Association, 1993). I am a former Editor-in-chief of Argumentation and Advocacy. 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, and have reviewed for 17 academic journals on an ad hoc basis.

I directed the 19th biennial National Communication Association/American Forensic Association 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 Doctoral 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 Forensics and Argumentation Association. I also am a former director of the Trojan Debate Squad at USC 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, BISOH BISSOH GCH CH CT Samamari N April's The Dark Knight VCD1 BN RN TDU NF 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 also was earning his conformation championship and other titles in obedience and rally). In conformation, he has an owner-handled Best in Show to his credit and, in very limited showing, finished 2018 as the #7-ranked owner-handled black cocker in the United States. He has been inducted into the American Spaniel Club's Tracking Hall of Distinction and is the inaugural recipient of its prestigious Bentley Award. More importantly, he is intelligent, sweet, goofy, and--as the breed standard emphasizes--above all, merry.






Course Titles

Recently Taught:


  • Argumentation and Advocacy
  • Rhetoric and the Public Sphere
  • Communication and Social Movements
  • African American Rhetoric and Image
  • Decolonizing Communication: Native Voices in Modern Society
  • 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