Dr. Inabinet's interests and activities are broad, as a product of a liberal arts education at Furman. His work is devoted to helping people live better in a public culture filled to the brim with images and words: persuasive symbols that try to steal attention away from things that really matter—living honorably within our means and conducting unique thought and action for the well-being of others.

Dr. Inabinet studies speech and visuals from the early U.S., especially the south, to understand what early generations of citizens have to say about the way we ought to conduct arguments and share ideas with one another. A book on early U.S. corporations and their influence on communication is currently underway. He also goes further back to ancient Greece and Rome to show how ancient Stoicism (channeled through Cicero) can provide a pathway to healthy speech and public living, especially through the Latin terms el oquentia and sapientia. Lastly, much of his work at Furman has been linked to environmental sustainability, and he researches contemporary rhetorical theory to propose advocacy for “intergenerational audiences.”

With his mind often in those three moments, Dr. Inabinent teaches courses and travels to many national and international conferences to get insight from students and colleagues in the humanities. He is one of the most active professors on Furman’s campus—talking with students whenever he gets the chance, helping lead the Phi Beta Kappa and other honors societies, and advising the university's Debate Society.

Name Title Description


Public Speaking

Study of the fundamental principles and strategies of informative, persuasive, and ceremonial speaking. Emphasis on how to research, organize, and deliver a speech. The ethical, political, and social character of public speaking is also examined. Students perform a variety of speeches and oral exercises and serve as speech critics and interlocutors.



Study of the precepts, theories, strategies, and ethics of argument. Students critically analyze arguments found in speeches, public debates and controversies, newspaper articles and editorials, television news programs, and scholarly texts. Students write argumentative essays, present argumentative speeches, and engage in class debates.


Introduction to Rhetoric

Topical survey of the major questions and controversies in rhetorical theory, criticism, and practice. Topics include: classical canons of rhetoric, rhetoric146s role in civic life, and rhetoric146s relation to power, politics, law, education, and ethics. Readings may include selections from Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Nietzsche, Burke, Toulmin, Perelmen, Habermas, Foucault, White, Allen, and others.


Rhetoric in the Ancient World

The history of rhetorical theory and practice from 500 BCE to 500 CE. Focus on Greek and Roman rhetorics' relation to politics, law, religion, philosophy, liberal education and culture along with an examination of ancient rhetorics' influence on medieval rhetoric. Readings include selections from the sophists, Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Tacitus, and Augustine.


U.S. Public Address 1630-1865

History and criticism of major U.S. speeches and rhetorical texts. Examination of a broad range of historical and rhetorical factors that influenced the construction and reception of speeches from the colonial period through the end of the Civil War. Focus on the political, religious, legal, and social exigencies to which the speeches responded, as well as the place of these rhetorical texts in U.S. public controversies.



Study of the history, theories, principles, and strategies of public advocacy in the process of social, political, economic, and legal change. Students examine case studies of advocacy campaigns, consider the ethical and ideological implications of such campaigns, and may engage in service-learning projects associated with a local integrated advocacy campaign.


Sustainable Advocacy

May Experience ONLY.


Sacred Rhetorical Traditions

Analysis of radical discourses and eloquence from divine or unspeakable truth. Emphasis is given to contemporary rhetorics that stem from mystic experiences, ancient contemplative practices, or prophetic traditions.


Communication Ethics

The ethical questions raised by the practice of human communication. The sources of ethical standards, methods of ethical criticism, and perspectives on the ethics of persuasion.


Lincoln Presidential Rhetoric

The public speeches of Abraham Lincoln are examined using close textual analysis and contextual history to understand persuasion, motives, and artistry in public discourse; to learn about Lincoln's life and times; and to understand his influence on slavery, the Civil War, and beyond.

  • "Sustainable Advocacy: Voice for and Before an Intergenerational Audience." With Jessica M. Prody as first author. In Voice and Environmental Communication. Edited by Jennifer Peeples and Stephen Depoe (Albany: SUNY press, forthcoming 2013)
  • "Democratic Circulation: Jacksonian Lithographs in U.S. Public Discourse." Rhetoric & Public Affairs 15, no. 4 (Winter 2012):659-666
  • "Who Wrote the Rhetoric? A Response to Brad McAdon." With Arthur E. Walzer as first author. Advances in the History of Rhetoric 14, no. 2 (2011): 166-190
  • "When Pastors Go Public: Richard Furman's Public Letter on Slavery." Southern Communication Journal 76, no. 3 (2011)
  • "The Stoicism of the Ideal Orator: Cicero's Hellenistic Ideal." Advances in the History of Rhetoric 14, no. 1 (2011), 14-32
  • "The American Scholar Lecture Revisited." The Key Reporter - Phi Beta Kappa's National Magazine (Fall 2012), 8. Full essay online at http://www.pbk.org/home/FocusNews.aspx?id=974
  • "The Long Farewell: Laurence M. Keitt's Eulogy on John C. Calhoun." Carologue – South Carolina Historical Society Magazine (Winter 2012), 17-22;
  • "Southern Honor and the Politics of Civility." Charleston Law Review 5, no. 3 (Spring 2011), 101-119.
  • Janice Hocker Rushing Early Career Research Award, 2012
  • Mellon Sustainability Faculty Fellow, 2011
  • Top Paper of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric, 2010
  • James L. Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric, 2006
  • Endel Medal and Bradshaw-Feaster Award, 2004
Northwestern University 2010
Northwestern University 2007
Furman University 2004

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