Robert Asen

Robert Asen's picture
  • Professor
  • Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture
Office Hours:
  • Currently on leave
Expertise and Activities: 

Robert Asen conducts research and teach in the areas of public policy debate, public sphere studies, and rhetoric and critical theory. Asen focuses on the ways that political, economic, and cultural inequalities interact with relations of power to shape public discourse. He considers how powerful individuals and groups use discourse to maintain their privilege and how marginalized people seek to overcome exclusions to represent their needs, interests, and identities in the public sphere. Asen understands discourse as an ameliorative social force that may build community and promote justice as well as an oppressive force that may divide people and perpetuate cruelty.

Education

  • B.A. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1991
  • M.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1994
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University, 1998

Honors/Awards

  • Daniel Rohrer Research Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Argumentation , American Forensics Association , 2001
  • RCT New Investigator Award , National Communication Association , 2004
  • Resident Fellow , UW Institute for Research in the Humanities , 2012
  • Vilas Associate , UW Graduate School , 2013
  • James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address , National Communication Association , 2010
  • Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Public Address , National Communication Association , 2010
  • Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism , Michigan State University , 2011
  • Principal Investigator, How School Boards Weigh Research Findings in Policymaking , William T. Grant Foundation , 2009

Books

  • 2001. Counterpublics and the State (edited volume). Albany: State University of New York Press .
  • 2002. Visions of Poverty: Welfare Policy and Political Imagination. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press .
  • 2009. Invoking the Invisible Hand: Social Security and the Privatization Debates. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press .
  • 2010. Public Modalities (edited volume). Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press .

Articles

  • 2004. ""A Discourse Theory of Citizenship"." Quarterly Journal of Speech , (90): 189-211 .
  • 2010. ""Reflections on the Role of Rhetoric in Public Policy"." Rhetoric and Public Affairs , (13): 121-43 .
  • 2011. ""'The Research Says': Definitions and Uses of a Key Policy Term in Federal Law and Local School Board Deliberations"." Argumentation and Advocacy , (47): 195-213 .
  • 2012. ""Lyndon Baines Johnson and George W. Bush on Education Reform: Ascribing Agency and Responsibility through Key Policy Terms." Rhetoric and Public Affairs , 289-318 .
  • 2009. ""Ideology, Materiality, and Counterpublicity: William E. Simon and the Rise of a Conservative Counterintelligentsia\"." Quarterly Journal of Speech , (95): 263-88 .
  • 2000. ""Seeking the 'Counter' in Counterpublics"." Communication Theory , (10):424-46 .

Courses

  • CA 360 - Introduction to Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • CA 969 - Theories of the Public Sphere
  • CA 967 - Rhetoric and Public Policy
  • CA 969 - Rhetoric and Critical Theory
  • CA 571 - Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
  • CA 610 - Democratic Deliberation and American Education
Curriculum Vitae: