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Miller to discuss referendum system as part of Conversation Project

Jackson Miller, associate professor of communication arts, will present “The Voters Have Spoken: A Consideration of the Past Accomplishments and Present Challenges of Initiative and Referendum System in Oregon,” on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield College.

Miller will discuss the role of persuasion and communication in the political process. He will focus on issues that have been controversial to Oregon voters in particular.

Miller’s lecture is based on work he is doing with the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project. The project engages community members in thoughtful conversations about ideas critical to their daily lives and the state’s future, bringing people together to learn from an expert, share ideas and understand differing perspectives. Miller’s conversation will include various Oregon ballot measures of the past 15 years such as abortion, gay rights, medical marijuana and taxes. His conversation topics are tailored for his audience’s interests.

Miller, who serves as director of forensics at Linfield, conducts research on topics ranging from political rhetoric and performance theory to persuasive and intercultural communication. He has conducted extensive research on the ballot initiative process in Oregon, including campaigns on issues such as physician-assisted suicide, gay rights, medical marijuana, logging practices and land use regulations.

Miller earned his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. in speech communication from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. As a certified trainer for the International Debate Education Association, Miller has conducted debate-training seminars in Guatemala and Turkey. He also provided critical analysis of the 2008 presidential debates for the International Debate Education Association.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.