SUU Inauguration Week: Panel to Discuss Presidential Rhetoric

Published: September 06, 2007 | Read Time: 2 minutes

With President Michael T. Benson’s upcoming inauguration, SUU academics felt it only fitting to examine scholarly perspectives on leadership. To that end, President Benson will join three respected academics on Wednesday, September 19 in a panel discussion on rhetoric in politics.

The event, which will take place in SUU’s Sharwan Smith Center Living Room at 9 a.m., will allow each speaker to examine the communication between certain American Presidents and their constituents.

President Benson will investigate the life of Harry S Truman. Benson wrote his dissertation at the University of Oxford on the former U.S. President, which was published as a book titled, “Harry S Truman and the Founding of Israel.”

The University of Southern Mississippi Professor of Speech Communication Keith V. Erickson will examine the Presidency from the perspective of performance. Specifically, he will note how the White House stages the President’s activities. Erickson has studied presidential rhetoric for the past thirty years, and has authored several essays, books and scholarly articles.

SUU Professor of Communication Stan Gwin will examine Presidential Inaugural Addresses. Gwin has published several articles, book chapters, and has read competitive papers along with researching political rhetoric.

SUU Associate Professor of Communication Matt Barton will discuss his studies on Presidential apologia, specifically, President Clinton on his moral diversions. Barton has published work in Communication Education, Politics & Religion, and Presidential Rhetoric & Popular Culture.

The discussion chair will be Professor Suzanne Larson, who is the graduate director of the Master of Professional Communication program at Southern Utah University.

With such a broad range of interests and expertise, this academic discussion is expected to be humorous yet insightful, and is free and open to the public.

-About Inauguration Week-

SUU’s Inauguration Week will last from September 17-21. Throughout the week, there will be open events honoring President Michael T. Benson. For more details, visit the inauguration website at

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