Aaron M Duncan Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Aaron M Duncan

Director of Speech & Debate and Assistant Professor of Practice
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Aaron Duncan Ph.D. is the Director of Speech & Debate and an Assistant Professor of Practice in the department of communication studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interest include gambling, political communication, public speaking, the American Dream, and popular culture.


I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I received my undergraduate degree in political science and communication at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Masters in communication from Kansas State University, and my Ph.D. in communication  from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a specialization in rhetoric and public culture.  I have been the Speech & Debate coach at UNL since 2005 and have been involved with speech and debate for over twenty years.


    Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
    M.A. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
    B.A. Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Communication studies, public speaking, gambling, political communication, the American Dream

Personal Interests

    Traveling around the world, playing golf whenever I can, going for the occasional run, and playing with my crazy dog.  



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Gambling with the Myth of the American Dream: Duncan - 1st Edition book cover


The Conversation

The World Series of Poker’s Colossus event and America’s obsession with risk

Published: Nov 13, 2015 by The Conversation
Authors: Aaron Duncan

In America, there’s a sort of colossus taking place: a poker tournament. Created as a new event in the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), the record-breaking (and aptly named) “Colossus Event” featured 22,374 players, who paid US$565 apiece to participate in the largest live poker tournament in history.

The Conversation

The US won the World Cup—not the Women’s World Cup

Published: Nov 13, 2015 by The Conversation
Authors: Aaron Duncan

The ratings success of the World Cup demonstrated that women’s sports can be commercially successful. Some of the reasons for this success include the way the tournament was framed by the media and the way the US Soccer Federation (USSF) presented its women’s team. Perhaps other athletic leagues and media outlets can take a page from the USSF, as there’s still a huge discrepancy between how men’s and women’s teams are regularly portrayed.

Western Journal of Communication

Reimagining the Self-Made Man: Myth, Risk, and the Pokerization of America

Published: Nov 12, 2015 by Western Journal of Communication
Authors: Aaron Duncan
Subjects: Sports and Leisure, Communication Studies

This article examines the remaking of the self-made man in modern America. I contend that the rise of the risk society has resulted in significant alterations to this myth. I examine ESPN's coverage of the World Series of Poker and its use of the myth of the self-made man. I conclude that gambling both critiques and reinterprets the myth of the self-made man by putting emphasis on the importance of luck and risk management and deemphasizing the Protestant ethic social and individual virtue.

National Forensics Journal

Antidosis for a Forensics Life: An Isocratic Defense of Modern Practices of Comp

Published: Nov 12, 2015 by National Forensics Journal
Authors: Aaron Duncan
Subjects: Classical Studies, Communication Studies

As coaches It is important that we as coaches defend and justify the value of speech and debate. Despite his prominence in his own time and his influence over the development of rhetoric, the work of Isocrates has not been utilized to craft a defense of forensics. Similar to the situation we face today, Isocrates also had to defend his practices as a teacher of rhetoric. Using his works Antidosis and Against the Sophist, I craft a defense for the practices of the modern forensics community.