Xiaoye You named director of Center for Democratic Deliberation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Xiaoye You, Liberal Arts Professor of English and Asian Studies, will become director of the Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD), effective July 1. He succeeds Brad Vivian, professor of communication arts and sciences, who has been the center’s director since 2016.

Xiaoye You, Liberal Arts Professor of English and Asian Studies, will become director of the Center for Democratic Deliberation July 1. Credit: Xiaoye YouAll Rights Reserved.

You served on CDD’s faculty advisory board from 2013 to 2019 and was part of the committee that established the center in 2006 as a means to foster collaboration between faculty in English and communication arts and sciences and advance scholarship in rhetoric at Penn State.

The CDD became part of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy in 2014 and expanded its reach to include undergraduate and graduate programming like Deliberation Nation, a partnership with the rhetoric and civic life course in the College of the Liberal Arts, and Penn State Deliberates, a student-run interview series about how the Penn State community engages in democratic deliberation.

As director, You plans to build on these efforts by bringing in multicultural perspectives and collaborating with African American Studies, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the World in Conversation.

“In an age of global connectivity and interdependence, as exemplified by the ongoing pandemic, the need to cultivate democratic citizens of the world is unequivocal,” You said. “I envision that the Center for Democratic Deliberation could more boldly champion a transnational orientation in its research and programming.”

You’s research focuses on rhetorical differences between eastern and western cultures, a theme that will become increasingly relevant as China’s position in the world continues to rise. He said he would like to convene a conference that would bring together scholars from across rhetoric and communication studies to discuss pedagogy and research around cultivating responsible global democratic citizens.

“These units share the goal of cultivating responsible global citizens who strive for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice through both words and actions,” You said. “I am excited about the possibility to contribute to this goal at Penn State.”

Vivian said You’s perspective will build on the work the CDD has done to expand research, education and outreach in rhetoric and democratic deliberation.

"The fate of modern democracy is not only a concern in the U.S., but an urgent international question,” Vivian said. “As its next director, You will further enhance CDD programming by promoting rhetorical resources for effective deliberation both within and across cultures. The McCourtney Institute and the entire Penn State community will benefit from his expertise and leadership."

McCourtney Institute for Democracy Director Michael Berkman said the Institute and the CDD will benefit from You’s perspective and his experience working with undergraduate and graduate students.

“As a research arm of the McCourtney Institute, the CDD is an essential part of our mission — supporting research in rhetoric and providing undergraduates the opportunity to practice the skills of democratic deliberation,” Berkman said. “Xiaoye presented a number of exciting ideas for the Center. We look forward to working with him as he develops them.”

You holds a doctorate in English from Purdue, and a master’s in linguistics and applied linguistics from Northwestern Polytechnic University in China. He joined Penn State’s faculty in 2005 and served as director of the honors program in English from 2015 to 2019.

Last Updated April 15, 2021