Justin Kirk
Assistant Professor of Practice, Associate Director of Speech & Debate, Head Coach of Debate, Rhetoric & Public Culture Communication Studies

Dr. Justin Kirk, Assistant Professor of Practice, Associate Director of Speech & Debate, Head Coach of Debate, Rhetoric & Public Culture, publishes and teaches courses in public speaking, debate, and civic engagement, with an emphasis on presidential rhetoric, public policy, and public debates. Justin's research focuses on the intersections of ideological commitment, public policy, and the rhetorical presidency. Specifically, he is concerned with the impact of ideological and partisan commitment in shaping how citizens view public policy debates. His dissertation research examined three major eulogies delivered by President Obama in the wake of mass shootings across the United States. Justin has coached intercollegiate debate since 2004 for the University of Texas-Dallas, the University of Kansas and Pepperdine University.




Kirk, J. W. (forthcoming). Local Symbols as Grounds for Policy Change in Mass Shooting Eulogies. In Proceedings of the 21st ALTA Argumentation Conference. Routledge.

Kirk, J. W. (2018). Logically Incomplete but Persuasive Appeals to Ideology in the Second Presidential Debate of 2012. In E. Hinck (Ed.) Televised Presidential Debates in a Changing Media Environment. Santa Barbara: Praeger.

Kirk, J. W. (2018). Barack Obama’s Mass Shooting Eulogies: Tucson, Newtown, and Charleston as moral guideposts for a nation in crisis (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Kirk, J. W. (2016). Mitt Romney in Denver: “Obamacare” as ideological enthymeme. Journal of Argumentation in Context, 5, 227-248.

Kirk, J. W. (2015). Mitt Romney and Ideological Enthymeme in Denver: ‘Obamacare’ and its Functions. In Garssen, B.J., Godden, D., Mitchell, G. & Snoeck Henkemans, A. F. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 679-689.


Ph.D., Communication Studies
University of Kansas, 2018

M.A., Communication Studies
University of Kansas, 2013

M.A., Arts and Humanities
University of Texas-Dallas, 2007

B.A., Government and Politics
University of Texas-Dallas, 2004