The Freedom to Listen

The Freedom to Listen

Beyond recognizing the inherent importance of public discourse to democracy, a reckoning must be made that listening itself constitutes discourse as much as does speech -- that in formulations such as free expression, the incessant equation of speech with discourse, conversation and discussion, obscures the fact that there is no speaking without listening. To listen is to participate in politics, to cooperate with diverse others and bend one’s ear in order to listen. In this historical moment, at a time of ceaseless violence and rising authoritarianism, speech without listening is increasingly dangerous. Without actual listening, the ability for engaged deliberation erodes and our capacity to discern a common good disappears. How do we get there from here?

Meet the Faculty: Amanda G. McKendree

Amanda G. McKendree
Associate Teaching Professor of Management and Arthur F. and Mary J. O’Neil Director of The Eugene D. Fanning Center for Business Communication, Department of Management & Organization

Dr. Amanda G. McKendree teaches business communication, strategic communication, and corporate communication at the University of Notre Dame. Professor McKendree’s research examines crisis communication, conflict communication, and the influence of rhetoric on organizational identity. She is published in the SAGE Encyclopedia of Identity, Business Communication Quarterly, Teaching Ideas for the Basic Communication Course, Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, and Review of Communication. She is a coauthor of Conflict Between Persons: The Origins of Leadership (2018).

She is a member of the Arthur Page Society, Management Communication Association, National Communication Association, Eastern Communication Association, and Pennsylvania Communication Association.  She currently serves as First Vice President of the Eastern Communication Association and is a past Chair of the Communication Ethics Division of the National Communication Association and past President of the Pennsylvania Communication Association.  She is also a member of the executive committee for the Midwest Regional Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Consortium. She is the recipient of the 2018 Carroll Arnold Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Communication Association and the 2019 Faculty Service Award for the Department of Management & Organization, Mendoza College of Business.

When not serving her students and the discipline, she dedicates her time to Strikeout PSP, an awareness and fundraising initiative for progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative brain disease. Based in southwestern Pennsylvania, Strikeout PSP was founded by Amanda in 2017.

Meet the Guest: Lisbeth Lipari

Lisbeth Lipari
Professor, Department of Communication, Denison University

Dr. Lisbeth A. Lipari is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Denison University.She joined the faculty at Denison in 1998. Her research and teaching focus on the relationship between language, politics, and ethics. Central to her work are questions involving the role of public communication in the creation of equitable and just democratic political practices.

As a scholar, Dr Lipari’s work on listening draws on both European phenomenological and dialogic philosophies and Indian Buddhist and language philosophies in order to develop a theoretical perspective on listening as an ethico-political communicative praxis. Among other things, her work centers of the interplay of alterity and ethics and the ways in which listening acts as a form of communicative conjuring that is nascent to the ethical relation. Much of her work is involved in developing new concepts and a theoretical vocabulary for understanding listening from humanistic perspectives. She has also published scholarship involving rhetorical history, which concerns the work of civil rights playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry, as well as critical political communication, which concerns the ideologies of public opinion polling.

As a teacher, Dr Lipari approaches the classroom as a student-centered interactive learning community where students and professor work collaboratively to apply, analyze, create, critique, and extend knowledge. Her teaching is embedded in interdisciplinary perspectives that help students draw distinctions and make connections across a variety of epistemic frameworks. Because of the centrality of communication to all aspects of our shared social world, students are encouraged to develop the habits of mind needed to fulfill their many life goals. In short, Dr. Lipari’s courses invite students to recognize and cultivate their own intellectual abilities, values, and goals so that they may contribute meaningfully to the communities they inhabit.

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Featured Speakers: 

  • Amanda G. McKendree, Associate Teaching Professor of Management and Arthur F. and Mary J. O’Neil Director of The Eugene D. Fanning Center for Business Communication, Department of Management & Organization, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr. Lisbeth A. Lipari, Professor in the Department of Communication, Denison University

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