Randall Lake researches and teaches primarily in the areas of rhetorical theory, history and criticism; rhetoric and culture; argumentation; and movements for political, social and cultural change. He is 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. He is a faculty affiliate of the USC Race and Equity Center.
Lake’s research spans controversies and movements from the 19th century to the present. His award-winning work on Native American activism is particularly well-known and has been reprinted often. He also created and maintains “She Flies with Her Own Wings”: The Collected Speeches of Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915), a digital archive devoted to 19th-century woman's suffrage rhetoric, particularly the advocacy of the most prominent suffragist in the Pacific Northwest, whose emphatic opposition to the equal suffrage movement’s embrace of prohibition made her highly controversial.
His 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, and in several books. He directed the 19th biennial National Communication Association/American Forensic Association Summer Conference on Argumentation (2015), and is the editor of Recovering Argument (Routledge, 2018), a selection of conference papers.
He has 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. He is a former president of the Western Forensics and Argumentation Association and a former director of the Trojan Debate Squad and the USC Annenberg doctoral program.
Awards and honors:
Order of Attainment, Pi Kappa Delta (2019).
Daniel Rohrer Research Award (Article of the Year), American Forensic Association (2016).
Golden Anniversary Monograph Award (Article of the Year), National Communication Association (1998).
Daniel Rohrer Research Award (Article of the Year), American Forensic Association (1998).
Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Dissertation Award, Speech Communication Association (1982).
Recovering Argument, editor (Routledge, 2018).
Networking argument, chapter: “Networked reconciliation,” co-author (Routledge, 2020).
Decolonizing Native American rhetoric: Communicating self-determination, chapter: “Decolonizing reconciliation: Art and conciliation from the ground up among Canadian Aboriginal peoples,” co-author (Peter Lang, 2018).
Communication for the commons: Revisiting participation and environment, chapter: “Negotiating the apocalypse in climate change rhetoric: Skepticism, science, and controversy,” co-author (International Environmental Communication Association, 2015).
Disturbing Argument, chapter: “Argumentative trajectories in the ‘war on women’,” co-author (Routledge, 2014).
“Hegemony, dissent, and legitimation: A companion reading of Breaking the Silence,” author (Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 2018).
“Oppositional memory practices: U.S. memorial spaces as arguments over public memory,” co-author (Argumentation and Advocacy, 2015).
“‘Enduring’ incivility: Sarah Palin and the Tucson tragedy,” co-author (Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 2014).
COMM 598: Global Communication Thesis
COMM 620: Studies in Communication Theory