Essay contest encourages college students to discover civil rights rhetoric

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. – A new essay contest sponsored by the Center for Democratic Deliberation will award over $ 1,000 in prizes for essays examining speeches, writings, and other civil rights artifacts.

The competition is open to all Penn State students and is coordinated by Jack Selzer, Professor Emeritus of Literature for the Paterno family and principal researcher on the Civil Rights Movement Rhetoric project.

To take part in the competition, students were asked to write an academic analysis of a piece from the rhetoric of the civil rights movement or the research collaboration Voices of Democracy. Essays should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words long and serve as the authoritative source for the selected rhetoric.

The first prize in the competition is $ 1,000. The authors of the second and third place essays will each receive $ 250. Essays must be submitted to [email protected] by March 15.

The Civil Rights Movement Rhetoric project and essay contest emerged from Selzer’s teaching and research and were supported by the work of many Penn State colleagues. He made the project’s website available to the public this summer as he saw a better understanding of the civil rights movement and the main arguments that animated it.

“It’s a pretty unique and ongoing struggle to create a national community, even a national identity, through people of different races, religions and cultural backgrounds. And this fight was fought with rhetorical means, ”said Seltzer.

For more information on the essay contest, visit the McCourtney Institute for Democracy website or contact Selzer at [email protected].

Last updated on December 9, 2020

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