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Allan Louden

Department Chair and Professor of Communication

Louden is an expert in political communication, presidential rhetoric and argumentation theory.

Biography

Allan Louden is professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Wake Forest University. His research focuses on Argumentation Theory, Political Communication (Political Spots and Political Debates) and debate. He has published in several journals in the field. He has worked on political campaigns as a consultant and is a frequent commentator for TV and Newspapers during election cycles. He directs the US State Department grant: Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Read More »

Allan Louden is professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Wake Forest University. His research focuses on Argumentation Theory, Political Communication (Political Spots and Political Debates) and debate. He has published in several journals in the field. He has worked on political campaigns as a consultant and is a frequent commentator for TV and Newspapers during election cycles. He directs the US State Department grant: Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Initiative hosting students from 50 countries each summer. He directed the Wake Forest Intercollegiate Debate program for 30 years, retiring from that position in 2007. In “debate retirement” he edits Contemporary Argumentation and Debate Journal for the Cross Examination Debate Association and served on the Board of Trustees for the National Debate Tournament, and edited the book Navigating Opportunity: Policy Debate in the 21st Century developed from the National Developmental Debate Conference he chaired.

Media Appearances

Border tax showdown comes amid lobbying frenzy

Bloomberg BNA

May 23, 2017

It’s unusual to produce ads about tax issues for a national audience, said Allan Louden, a professor specializing in political communication at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Commercials against the tax, such as the OxiClean parody, don’t have a clear target audience, he said. “But does it change public opinion? It’s possible. Most people don’t really know what a BAT is, and I don’t either, to tell you the truth,” Louden told Bloomberg BNA. “It changes public opinion without people knowing what they are talking about.”

Reaction to Gov. Pat McCrory's concession speech reflects entrenched positions by supporters and critics

The Winston-Salem Journal

December 6, 2016

McCrory’s concession video on YouTube “was at once gracious, congratulatory and cooperative, and (yet) intensely political, bridging the last campaign into a clarion call for 2020,” said Allan Louden, chairman of the communications department at Wake Forest University. “His concession adds evidence to the notion we’re in an era of the continual campaign.”

Candidates launch final political ad drives in Iowa

The Wall Street Journal

January 30, 2016

The Republican candidates seem to be in a fight over who can appear the most conservative and most religious. Allan Louden, a political communications professor at Wake Forest University says it is more overt than usual. “They are wrapping themselves in the Bible,” Mr. Louden said.

Cruz, GOP candidates step up complaints about media bias as Iowa approaches

Sinclair Broadcast Group

January 25, 2016

"I don't think he's totally wrong in some of the things he's saying," said Allan Louden, chair of the communication department at Wake Forest. However, he sees the media's bias as favoring conflict and drama more than promoting liberal ideology. "They're not mutually exclusive," he added. "Both can be true. Bias is a beholder's phenomenon," Louden said.

TV networks likely to push back against Republican debate demands

Variety

November 2, 2015

“Candidates and networks should neither be fully in control. One seeks status and scoops, the other control and predictability,” said Allen Louden, chair of communication at Wake Forest University, where he teaches classes in Presidential rhetoric...

Is Ben Carson's new campaign ad so bad it's good?

The Guardian

October 27, 2015

Despite the simple nature of the ad, Allan Louden, a professor of communication at Wake Forest University, believes that it “fits the moment”...

If you’re in this debate, you may have already lost

The Washington Post

September 15, 2015

So how in the world do you win a debate for losers? “Don’t go,” said Allan Louden, a debate coach, a professor at Wake Forest University and an occasional adviser to political candidates. “I’m serious.” On Wednesday evening, four long-shot Republican candidates will step onstage and into one of the weirdest — and most difficult — moments in the history of presidential debates. There will be no way for them to confront the front-runner face to face, the usual tactic of an underdog. Donald Trump won’t even appear until after they’re finished, to face 10 other candidates in the night’s main event.

Articles

A meta‐analysis of the impact of forensics and communication education on critical thinking

This meta‐analysis considers the impact of various methods of improving public communication skills on critical thinking. The results indicate that communication instruction improves the critical thinking ability of the participants (longitudinal designs r=. 18, cross‐ ...

Audience recall of issues and image in congressional debates

A focal point of research and corresponding argument surrounding political debates concerns what the voters learn from the viewing experience. In academic circles and among practitioners, the controversy regarding the worth of political debates remains intense...

Effectiveness of adwatch formats in deflecting political attack ads

This investigation examined the effectiveness of three distinct television news “adwatch” formats in deflecting the influence of targeted political attack ads during the 1992 North Carolina gubernatorial campaign. The study featured three treatment groups and ...

Jurisdiction and the Evaluation of Topicality

Analyzes the present nature of topicality argumentation. Argues for an alternative view of topicality as jurisdiction, balancing resolutional ground and focusing debaters' attention and arguments on central substantive policy issues implied by the resolution under consideration. Concludes with an application of the jurisdiction analogy to contemporary topicality argumentation...

Expert Pitches

Trump surpasses expectations in address to Congress

March 1, 2017

Wake Forest's Allan Louden, an expert in political communication, presidential rhetoric and...

Tactics, tantrums, train wrecks? Debate insights from WFU experts

September 16, 2016

Wake Forest University communication and debate experts offer insights into the upcoming...

WFU Expert: Trump campaign shake ups and advertising

August 17, 2016

Communication Professor Allan Louden talks about Trump campaign shake ups and advertising.

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More Information

Areas of Expertise

  • Rhetoric
  • Debate
  • Political Consulting
  • Political Campaigns
  • Political Adverstising/Marketing

Education

University of Southern California: Political Communication, Ph.D.

The University of Montana: Master's Degree, Communications, General

Montana State University-Bozeman: Bachelor's Degree, American Government and Politics (United States)

Contact

Television Studio

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