Holder Lecture

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English Department
Stephanie Loos, Staff Assistant
Old Main, Room 102
Lincoln, NE 68504
(402) 465-2343
sloos [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (sloos[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)

Holder Lecture

Each Spring semester, the Kenneth R. Holder Memorial Lecture brings a scholar in language theory, writing, or education to meet with classes and to deliver a lecture open to the public.

The Holder Lecture was established in 1991 by the Department of English to honor the life of Dr. Kenneth R. Holder, Professor of English and Provost at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Dr. Holder joined the faculty in 1972, and served as Provost from 1987 to 1991. His specialties in the English Department were linguistics—which he introduced as a course to the department—history of English, writing, and English Education. As Provost, he focused on strengthening instructional practices through technology and writing among the faculty.

Spring 2024 Holder Lecture

Head shot of Dr. Barry Kroll

On April 25 at 4:30 p.m., Dr. Barry M. Kroll, Professor Emeritus from Lehigh University, will speak on the topic “Learning to Argue Differently” for the Kenneth R. Holder Memorial Lecture.

Dr. Kroll served as the Robert Rodale Professor of Writing at Lehigh University from 1995 to 2022 and is currently Professor Emeritus of English. Previously he held faculty positions at Iowa State University and Indiana University. During his academic career, Kroll has investigated the development of writing abilities in children, explored patterns of writing and reflective thinking in adolescents, and, most recently, developed an innovative approach to teaching argument for college students. In The Open Hand: Arguing as an Art of Peace (2013), he explains how the body movements of aikido as well as practices of mindfulness meditation can support a transformative approach to arguing with adversaries. He’s taught a wide range of courses in writing and contemporary literature, including one on the Vietnam War in Literature that was the subject of his book, Teaching Hearts and Minds (1992). Most recently, he’s focused on teaching courses in Outdoor Literature, and has been working with first-year students during a semester-long program of study in the American West.

The lecture will be held in Callen Conference Room located on the 1st floor of the Smith Curtis building at Nebraska Wesleyan University. The event is free and open to the public.

Past Holder Lecturers

2022-23Twyla Hansen
independent writer and speaker
“Nibbling at the Edge of Something Vast”
2021-22Douglas Hesse
professor of writing in the Department of English at the University of Denver
“The Creative Coordinates of Contemporary Nonfiction: Matters for Readers and Writers”
2020-21Daniel Willingham
professor of psychology at the University of Virginia
"Digital Technology and the Future of Education"
2018-19K. David Harrison
associate provost, professor of linguistics, Swarthmore College
"Endangered Languages"
2017-18Ben Crystal
Actor, author and producer
"Spehk thuh speech uh press yuh Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation"
2016-17Tessa Jolls
President and CEO of the Center for Media Literacy
“Powershift: Redefining our Media Relationships and Culture”
2015-16Dr. Stephen Buhler
University of Nebraksa – Lincoln
“Eloquence in Action: Rhetorics of Response in Shakespeare”
2014-15Joan Hughes
University of Texas – Austin
“iPads and Their Impact on Literacy”
2013-14Carole Levine and Patricia Sullivan
University of Nebraska and State University of New York, New Paltz
"Powerful Women in the Renaissance and Today: The Rhetoric of Queen Elizabeth I and Hillary Clinton"
2012-13Malea Powell
Michigan State University
“Rhetorical Powwows: Making American Indian Rhetorics”
2011-12LuMing Mao
Miami University
“Beyond Bias, Binary, and Border
Enacting a Discursive Third in Comparative Rhetoric”
2010-11Maha Baddar
Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
“From Athens (Via Alexander) to Baghdad: Medieval Arabic Rhetoric as Dialogic”
2009-10Jennifer Cognard-Black
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
“Eat My Words: Teaching Writing through the Literatures of Food”
2008-09Sid Dobrin
University of Florida
"Ecoseeing: Rhetoric, Writing, Images, and Nature”
2007-08Jeffrey Hammond
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
“Hugging the Shore: Reflections on Creative Nonfiction”
2006-07John McWhorter
Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow in Public Policy Contributing Editor to City Journal
“Language is a Lava Lamp”
2005-06Daryl Baldwin
Miami University
“The Myaamia Project: Language and Culture Reclamation”
2004-05Robert Jensen
University of Texas – Austin
“The Myth of Neutrality: Journalists, Academics and Power”
2003-04Susan Swan
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
“Civic Engagement and Rhetorical Praxis: Strategies for Making Social Justice Work”
2002-03Jan Swearingen
Texas A&M University
“Rhetorical Traditions and the Contemporary Academy: the Past Meets the Present, Once Again”
2001-02Peter Vandenberg
DePaul University
“Intentions in Tension: Advanced Composition As Literate Practice”
2000-01William Thelin
University of Cincinnati
“Issues of Class and Composition Theory”
1999-00Mary Rose O’Reilley
Saint Thomas University
“Taking the Moi Out of Memoir”
1998-99Richard Leo Enos
Texas Christian University
“Recovering the Lost Art of Researching the History of Rhetoric”
1997-98Jim Corder
Texas Christian University
"How Many Rhetorics Can Dance on the Head of a Pin?”
1996-97Andrea Lunsford
The Ohio State University
“Women and the Rhetorical Tradition”
1995-96Jeanne Gunner
Chapman University
“The Story of Basic Writing”
1994-95Cynthia Selfe
Michigan Technological University
“The Practice, Instruction, Politics, and Study of Literacy in Computer Supported Environments”
1993-94Christina Murphy
Texas Christian University; now Marshall University
1992-93Fern Kupfer
Iowa State University, with husband Joe Geha
1991-92Joy Ritchie
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1990-91Les Whipp
University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Inaugural Lecture