Gordon Stables

Gordon StablesGordon Stables plays a number of roles at the Annenberg School.  Since August 1, Gordon has served as the Interim Director of the Annenberg Journalism School. A Clinical Full Professor, Gordon has been a member of the Annenberg faculty since 2002.

First, he serves as the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. At Annenberg student affairs includes Advisement and Academic Services (for undergraduate and graduate students), Career DevelopmentInternational Programs and Civic Engagement. He supervises the professionals that comprise each of these teams. The goal of Annenberg’s student affairs programming is to help each student maximize their USC experience.

Second, he teaches a number of courses. Gordon embraces innovation in his classroom at USC as well. His teaching explores a range of approaches to the study of public argument. He teaches a rotation of courses that explore rhetoric, argumentation, debate, political communication, political deliberation, propaganda and global media.

During the summer Gordon directs the International Communication Studies (ICS) program. ICS is Annenberg’s oldest international program and it provides students with an opportunity to travel across Europe and North Africa and meet with executives from a wide range of communication, journalism and public relations professionals. Past programs have visited the BBC World Service, the OECD, Vatican Radio and TV, independent journalists in Turkey and the Czech Foreign Ministry.

Finally, he serves as the Director of Debate and Forensics for USC’s nationally recognized Trojan Debate Squad. Under Gordon’s direction the Trojan Debate Squad has developed into a program with three primary initiatives. Gordon oversees each of these efforts, directs the Trojan Debate scholarship program, and works with USC and Annenberg admissions to attract new students to USC.

USC’s historical strength has been intercollegiate competition and today USC continues to field one of the nation’s most competitive intercollegiate policy debate programs. USC holds several national records for intercollegiate competition and is the only university to qualify for the National Debate Tournament every year since 1964. In addition to intercollegiate competition, Gordon has encouraged the creation of two additional programs. Students involved with the debate squad support the Los Angeles Metro Debate League (LAMDL), a partnership of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues that helps to expand debate in Los Angeles public schools. USC is now also the only university in the nation with a research initiative devoted to the study of how the practice of debate will evolve in a digital era. ADDI (The Annenberg Digital Debate Initiative) reflects Gordon’s research and commitment to exploring how universities can lead in refashioning debate across society using digital tools and embracing digital skills. Today the USC debate squad competes in both policy and British parliamentary debate formats.

Gordon has served as a leading voice within the intercollegiate debate community for a number of years. He is the Vice President of the American Forensics Association, the professional association for intercollegiate speech and debate instructors. He has actively involved in each of the major policy debate organizations, including serving as the western regional representative to the National Debate Tournament for a decade. He is a past president of the Cross Examination Debate Association. He also co-chaired the last National Professional Debate Conference, which sought to develop an agenda for the next century of policy debate. He also served the co-editor of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate. He also served as the chair of the Topic Selection Committee for the Cross-Examination Debate Association from 2008-14. This committee is responsible for submitting proposals and ultimately framing the season-long intercollegiate topic for all intercollegiate policy debate. He has written numerous topic papers, including the paper that was selected for the 2011-12 national, considering the role of democracy assistance as a response to the Arab Spring.

Gordon’s outstanding contributions have been recognized through numerous service awards. In 2011, Gordon became the youngest debate professional (and only the 3rd person ever) to be recognized with the highest career service awards from both national debate organizations.

Gordon is also active with outside professional argumentation consulting. He has worked with several television productions of debate events and provides news commentary for political campaign debates. He has been involved in the planning, judging or implementation of public debates in a number of settings, including with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, UCLA’s Hammer Theater, General (Ret)Tommy Frank’s IDebate Initiative, the TNT program King of the Nerds.

Contact Stables at commlead@usc.edu.