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In The Bin

In The Bin

By In The Bin Podcast
THE podcast about debate, argument, and rhetoric heard worldwide and accepted by many as, indeed, a podcast!
We give you news, tips, and insight into how to improve your debates and arguments with others for the glory of the art of debate (and democracy).

We cover debate in all modes, types, formats, and places. Join us!

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Cover Photo by Siarhei Plashchynski on Unsplash
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Currently playing episode

Kenneth Burke's "The Virtues and Limitations of Debunking"

In The Bin

Kenneth Burke's "The Virtues and Limitations of Debunking"

In The Bin

Lessons Learned from Taking Intercollegiate Debate Online
In this episode Steve has a conversation with Will Silberman who tabs nearly every British Parliamentary (WUDC) format tournament in the United States about mistakes, missteps, and lessons learned from holding debate tournaments in the pandemic. What, if anything, was learned about how to hold debates during the past thirteen months?
March 30, 2021
Kenneth Burke's "Terministic Screens"
Dr. Dan O'Neil, Dr. Tim Barr and Dr. Steve Llano discuss Burke's idea of the Terministic Screen as well as chat about the Burkean Parlor.  Leave a comment or a message! We'd love to hear what you think.
March 25, 2021
Kenneth Burke's "The Virtues and Limitations of Debunking"
Dan and Steve discuss Kenneth Burke's essay "The Virtues and Limitations of Debunking" where Burke is highly critical of a form of argumentative practice that was as popular then as it is now: Totally taking out the other side so thoroughly there's nothing left. This is not a good practice, and we will chat about why. Leave us a voice message, a question or comment!
March 20, 2021
The Rhetoric of Free Expression
Steve talks to Dr. Joe Sery, Assistant Professor of Communication at Christopher Newport University who is an expert in First Amendment and Free Speech rhetoric, teaching and studying social movement discourse, rhetorical theory, and the rhetoric of the law. Leave a comment on Anchor for us!
March 18, 2021
The Teaching of Rhetoric and the Fallacies
In this episode, Dr. Dan O'Neill and Dr. Steve Llano discuss how the fallacies, and rhetoric, have been taught and perhaps provide some hints as to how speaking, writing, debating, and arguing should be taught.  Books mentioned in the episode: Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian Daniel E. Perdue, Debate in Tibetan Buddhism  Jeffrey Walker, The Genuine Teachers of this Art Herbert Fingarette, The Secular as Sacred
March 9, 2021
The Toulmin Model of Argument and its Influence
Steve welcomes Dr. Dan O'Neill to the Bin for a conversation about the influence of Stephen Toulmin's ideas on contemporary notions of debate, argumentation and rhetoric.  Please leave a voice comment or question and we'll take it up in a future episode!
February 26, 2021
French University Islamo-Leftism; Do Universities Really Restrict Debate? And the Manhattan DA Race Metric for Debate Participation
In this episode, Cate, Tim, and Steve discuss the recent French controversy on Islamoleftist thought in Universities, what the data says about the restriction of free and open debate at UK universities, and the 5 Boro Defenders recent qualification metric to determine who should participate in upcoming debates in the race to elect Manhattan's next DA.  You can leave a voice comment to any episode here. We'd love to hear from you!
February 21, 2021
When Should We Not Debate? A Not-Debate about Debate's Limits
Join Drs. Cate Morrison, Timothy Barr and Steve Llano as they talk about when and why it might be appropriate to choose not to debate. We talk about Team USA's refusal to debate a motion last November in a WSDC format tournament, as well as Heterodox Academy's ideas of what it means to be unable to debate. We also talk about debate pedagogy and process, and whether or not debating everything is a sign of knowing how to debate or just a sign of being a big old jerk.  In the episode we talked about the 1998 National Science Form, here are some relevant links for you to look at if you are curious about going deeper than our conversation: Editor's Introduction to the Forum Transcript of the Debate Content Overview of the Debate Reaction to the Debate by Two Rhetoric Scholars
February 13, 2021
Debate, Advocacy, The University, and Community with Matt Lavery
Matt Lavery and Steve talk about the role of debate at the university in pedagogy writ large and also in the popular idea of the advocacy or outreach speech and rhetoric center.  We discuss the tradition of debating and the needs of the university, offering a few ideas about how debate could serve students by helping to reimagine the university space.
February 13, 2021
Music and Argument
Can songs make arguments? What if you ignore the lyrics? And what about arguing about music - what's "good" and what's "bad" when it comes to the songs we like? We discuss that, and a lot more! Joining Dr. Llano are Dr. Cate Morrison, Director of Debate and Dr. Ian Reyes, Professor of Film and Media from the University of Rhode Island! 
January 15, 2021
Dealing with the Last Presidential Debate of 2020
Our fantastic panel reviews, chats, and discusses the low-lights and lower-lights of the final Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
October 23, 2020
Reaction and Response to the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate
Recorded immediately after the 2020 Vice Presidential debate, join a panel of debate teachers, rhetorical scholars, and one political consultant as we talk about the very sterile, boring, and perhaps too stale debate between the Vice Presidential candidates. Is this the debate we need or the one we deserve? 
October 8, 2020
Discussing and Disgusting: The First Presidential Debate of 2020 in Review
Join us for an in-depth discussion of a depth-free debate! We cover all aspects of it from top to the endless bottom. Was this good? Tolerable? What mattered about it for us? What does it say, or can it say, about debate? On the Panel: Steven D'Amico, President, D'Amico Strategy and Communications Professor Timothy Barr, Ph.D., Northeastern University Professor Cate Morrison, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island Professor John Patrick, Ed.D., California Polytechnic University Professor Rob Ruiz, Ed.D., Laverne University  George Fitzpatrick, M.A., former debate instructor at the University of Vermont Leave us your questions, thoughts, and comments!
September 30, 2020
the McGirt decision, Native American law, and Advocacy for Native People
This episode explores arguments about Native American law in the United States. We talk about the recent McGirt Decision, language and law surrounding native people, reservations, and rights. We talk about Neil Gorsuch - is he the kind of conservative we thought we were getting? Signs point to no. . . And our first listener question is finally addressed! Joining us on this episode is Emily Harwell and we are so grateful for her time and expertise on these questions.  Emily Harwell is a member of the Muskogee Creek Nation and is from the Sac & Fox Nation in Oklahoma. Emily received her Bachelors Degree from Dartmouth College where she served as co-chair of the Annual Dartmouth College Powwow and President of the Native Americans at Dartmouth. In 2014, she assisted with organizing a group of volunteers to work with the Denver American Indian community to establish gardens and garden spaces during Dartmouth’s Spring Break. Emily continues to give back to the Dartmouth Native community through serving as Treasurer of the Native American Alumni of Dartmouth. In 2019, Emily attended the American Indian Law Center’s Pre-Law Summer Institute for Indigenous law students. Emily is a rising second year law student at Cornell Law. She is the President of the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA). In her role as President, she is advocating for institutional changes in support of Native American and Alaskan Native students including the founding of an American Indian Law Journal, hiring of Indigenous faculty, and increasing availability of American Indian Law courses. This summer, Emily was a law clerk at the Native American Rights Fund and where she worked on voting rights litigation to mitigate institutional barriers to Native American voters. Emily is interested in civil litigation, jurisdictional matters, and the intersection of these issues with American Indian Law.
August 24, 2020
Our Favorite Fallacies
The fallacies probably have more written about them than good arguments do. In this episode - hopefully one of many to come - we talk about our favorite fallacies, explain them and consider whether or not they are as bad as their reputation. 
August 12, 2020
CEDA Debate Coaching Legend Jackie Massey, former Director of Debate at the University of Oklahoma
Dr. Steve Llano and the Bin Crew have a conversation about the past, present, and future of CEDA and NDT debate with 5 time CEDA National Championship Debate Director Jackie Massey, formerly of the University of Oklahoma. We talk about how debate was, where it's going, and what policy debate should keep and change as it gets ready for the future. Join us for a great conversation about debate with the one and only Jackie Massey. Jackie Massey is from Comanche, OK, Founder and former Director of Debate  at the University of Oklahoma.  2003-2016.  Worked with Dr. Alfred Snider at UVM. He was a student of Doug Duke, Roger Biles and Jeff Bile. He is the founder of Next Level Debate and works to prepare candidates for debates and town halls on the campaign trail. He currently resides in Pueblo, Colorado.
August 4, 2020
A Conversation with Argumentation, Debate, and Rhetoric Scholar Professor Justin Eckstein, Ph.D.
Join us for a fantastic conversation with Professor Eckstein who gives us his views on contemporary argumentation theory, debate pedagogy, rhetorical theory, and what it's like to be responsible for helping to set up the 2020 Gubernatorial debates for the State of Washington. Justin is a wonderful thinker and speaker, and we were so happy to get to chat with him about such great ideas! Justin Eckstein, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of communication and civic engagement at Pacific Lutheran University. He is the winner of the 2020 New Investigator Award from the National Communication Association. His new book, Cookery: Food Rhetorics and Social Production with co-author Donovan Conley entited has just been published by the University of Alabama Press and is available to buy here.
July 28, 2020
Analyzing the Harper's Letter: What is Free and Open Debate?
In this episode, the panel takes a closer look at the Harper's Letter demanding Open Debate. We cover why the signatories matter and how one of the largest professor unions in the United States dropped the ball on protecting free speech, the history of open debate in magazines like Harper's, and what the Harper's Letter can tell us about why Dr. DisRespect was banned from Twitch. 
July 21, 2020
A First Take on the Harper's Letter
The Bin will have a few takes on the now infamous "Harper's Letter" where luminaries from the world of the arts signed a letter calling for more open debate in society. Dr. Steve Llano is joined by Dr. Timothy Barr to give our response to the letter: What exactly does Harper's want here when they are calling for open debate? Timothy Barr, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Northeastern University in Boston. 
July 17, 2020
Debate Was a Very Negative Space, but We Stayed Anyway
This episode is a conversation between two recent university graduates and two former/current debate directors about how and why debate teams and programs become negative. We've all heard the stories about how bad it can be, but in this episode Dr. John Patrick and Dr. Steve Llano explore what would motivate people to stay and devote a lot of their spare time in college to participating in something negative. We welcome our guests,  Aurora and Nikkia who join us to talk about their debate experiences as undergraduates in California. It's a great conversation about leadership, mentorship, debate's connection to curriculum and the university, and how perspective shapes the debate experience.
July 14, 2020
Debate, Parties, Politics, and Elections: A Campaign Manager's View
During an election year, we argue with friends and family a lot more about candidates, campaigns and issues. But how do the people who manage campaigns, conduct research, and advise candidates see perusasion, argumentation, and debate? We are very happy to have Steve D'Amico, President of D'Amico Strategy and Communiations on this episode, who has worked on hundreds of Democratic candidate campaigns over the past 14 years to teach us how campaign managers debate and argue, what evidence they think is best, and whether or not Presidential debates are valuable.  We discuss what it means to persuade for political campaigns and how to support your candidate better in conversation. Everything you wanted to know about the inside view of American campaigns is in this episode! Our guest is Steve D'Amico who is a political strategist and consultant, and serves as president of D"Amico Strategy and Communications. SHOW NOTES The "Macaca" moment of the Allen/Webb Senate campaign can be seen here.
July 7, 2020
Creating Good Debate Topics
The best way to ensure a good debate is to come up with a good topic. The Bin offers our suggestions for creating a good debate topic for any occasion, whether it's a competition or a class exercise.  Dr. Cate Morrison, Professor of Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island and Rob Ruiz, Director of Debate at the University of Laverne join Dr. Steve Llano on this episode. SHOW NOTES Joseph J. Ellis, American Dialogue: The Founders and Us. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018. "Dissoi Logoi" in Sprague, Rosamond Kent (Ed). The Older Sophists. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., Inc., 1972. Bioedge is a journal of bioethics news and views available at
June 30, 2020
Debating COVID-19, Epidemics, Lockdown, and more with Data Analytics
Did the lockdown work? Was Sweden's strategy of doing very little effective in stopping COVID-19? We chat with Korey Stegared-Pace who lives and works in Stockholm about how these questions - and more about epidemics and public health - can be answered better with the use of data analytics. This conversation is essential for learning how to use the response to this pandemic to prove that your ideas would be better when you have to debate these issues. Join us! SHOW NOTES Why per capita is a bad way to view the data Bergstrom's image of regional infection, and how to use it: The Lancet paper by Dr. Wu on calculating the R(t) of COVID-19 Can we compare Sweden to New Zealand? Here's the live updates about the R(t) indicator which is the measure of human behavior in transmission, not the measure of how communicable the virus is. This measures human interaction with what is known about the virus:
June 23, 2020
How To Debate About Economics without Freaking Out
The frightening prospect of debating about economics has kept many a debater awake at night in fits of rhetorical dread. This episode is the first of a few that will try to make it a bit easier for you to debate economic motions by demystifying some of the concepts, terms, and some of the typical arguments you hear in an economic debate. 
June 16, 2020
Police, Protesting, and Persuasion: Debate's Role in Social Change
Are protests good, bad, neccessary, or a distraction? How can I tell my police department to stop being so police-y? We cover these questions, and a whole lot more in a fascinating conversation about community advocacy with Prof. Thomas Allison, Esq. Thomas Allison, Esq. is an assistant professor at the University of La Verne, licensed attorney, and president and founder of the Social Justice Advocacy Project, Inc. Thomas is completing his doctoral research on the role of community in shaping the attitudes of the voting body with regard to public policy, more particularly public health policy. SHOW NOTES You can directly email Thomas Allison at his website is Judith E. Innes and David E. Booher, Planning with Complexity: An Introduction to Collaborative Rationality for Public Policy London:Routledge, 2010.
June 11, 2020
The Bin Asks, "What's the 2020-2021 Debate Season Gonna Look Like?"
We know you are concerned. We thought we'd ask two debate directors - Matt Vazquez of Cape Cod Community College and Cate Morrison of The University of Rhode Island their thoughts about what debate might look like in 2020-2021. Will there be tournaments? Will there be funding? Will there be a future for debate program funding? Have a listen and see if you agree!
June 9, 2020
Episode 3: Wyoming debate legend Matt Stannard is In the Bin
A conversation with Matt Stannard, founder of the Wyoming Debate Cooperative and legendary coach of CEDA/NDT, NPDA, and NTPE champs. We cover everything from building a collective to Bertolt Brecht in this fantastic conversation. Do online debates have a future? What's the biggest issue when founding a collective? What's the biggest change debate's seen in the past 10 years? Listen and find out!
June 2, 2020
Episode 2: Assessing and Adapting Debate
The Double Steve Experience is back! Dr. Steve Llano (Associate Professor of Rhetoric, St. John's University) and Steve Johnson (Director of Debate, University of Alaska) discuss experiences in adapting debate for the sudden shutdown of spring activities in 2020. They discuss assessment and designing debate for the future, predicting what debate events will look like in the fall of 2020.
May 26, 2020
Episode 1: Back On the Air, and Back Against the Wall: Debate's In Trouble!
Dr. Steve Llano (Associate Professor of Rhetoric, St. John's University) and Steve Johnson (Director of Debate, University of Alaska) discuss the revalations about debate and debate's future that the quarantine has revealed.
May 20, 2020
The Bin Is Back
Trailer for the New and Not Improved In the Bin Podcast. For more information:
April 25, 2020