Instr. Ekaterina Haskins (Communication) has received the 1999 Dissertation Award from the American Society for the History of Rhetoric for her doctoral study, "Logos and Power in Isocrates and Aristotle."
The award is given each year by the academic society in recognition of the outstanding doctoral dissertation in the history of rhetoric, the study of persuasion. Haskins penned her dissertation on two ancient Greek rhetoricians this past spring at the University of Iowa before joining the BC faculty in September.
Colleagues said the award affirms the Communication Department's good fortune in landing one of the top prospects in the field. "Katya Haskins is maybe the best young scholar in rhetorical studies to have come out of graduate school this past year," said Assoc. Prof. Dale Herbeck, the Communication chairman.
"Ekaterina wrote a brilliant dissertation on the early history of rhetoric, based on the writings of Isocrates and Aristotle, read in the original Greek," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Joseph Quinn. "In the field of rhetorical studies, this is the top honor there is for a young scholar. We are very proud of Ekaterina and delighted that the Communication Department has brought her to Boston College."
The Russian-born Haskins, who plans to expand her dissertation into a book, said she would like to see a return to the Isocratic ideal of rhetoric as a valued pursuit in itself and restore rhetoric to the esteemed academic standing it held in ancient Greece.
"Rhetoric is thought of by non-specialists as a dirty word, as empty words as opposed to deeds," she said. "The work of communication departments is to bring the ancient idea of rhetoric - the Isocratic idea - back as a foundation of liberal education."
- Mark Sullivan
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