IAICS Conference 2018 > Conference Program > Frank-Bio

David Frank

David Frank
David Frank is professor of rhetoric at the University of Oregon and served dean of the University of Oregon Clark Honors College from 2008-2013. He will serve fall semester 2018 as the Ngee Ann Kongsi (NAK) Distinguished Visiting Professor in the National University Scholars program at the National University of Singapore.

His research and teaching interests feature what James Crosswhite has recently termed “deep rhetoric,” the study and practice of reason expressed in argumentation seeking justice. His research collaborations with colleagues on rhetoric, violence, and nonviolence have won awards from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Korean Research Foundation. He was also selected by the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs as a Global Ethics Fellow.

His book, with Robert Rowland, on Israeli-Palestinian rhetoric, won the prestigious Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism, and his article on the “new rhetoric” was awarded the Journal of Communication and Religion’s “Article of the Year.” He has delivered keynote lectures at the University of Oxford and Peking University and has published six books, 13 book chapters, and 40 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

Keynote Address:  What is the Promise of Intercultural Communication? Arguments, Counter-Arguments, Red America - Blue America, and the Temple Mount/ Haram al-Sharif

Abstract:  I invite for your consideration my argument: A host of empirical studies suggest violence has been declining for centuries, a trend that has continued through the twentieth century and will do so now and into the future because of reason-based intercultural communication.  Here is a first counter-argument:  A host of empirical studies, plus common sense, suggest the world has been and is moving rapidly toward an apocalypse, aided and abetted by toxic expressions of intercultural communication.

Here is yet a second counter-argument that joins my argument with the first counter-argument: A host of empirical studies support the claim violence has been declining for centuries, most notably since the end of World War II because of reason-based intercultural communication, but this long peace of 65 years is now yielding to the toxic consequences of climate change and the rhetoric of dehumanization, with Armageddon now on the immediate horizon. The first argument gives birth to optimism, the second to pessimism, and the third to a form of opti-pessimism.

I advocate and will defend my argument in this address, while honoring and interrogating my argument with the strongest versions of counter-arguments one and two. In so doing, I enact the promise of intercultural communication to offer reason rather than violence as a response to disagreement. I support my argument with two case studies based on my research: the promise of intercultural communication to bridge the divide between “Red” and “Blue” America and the role intercultural communication has played to sustain a challenging “Status Quo” agreement allowing Muslims, Christians, and Jews to share the Temple Mount in Jerusalem/al Quds.​