SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

Transcending the Game

Transcending the Game

Debate, Education, and Society

Add to Cart

Edited by Shawn F. Briscoe


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
232 pages, 6 x 9


Additional Materials

About the Book

A pathway to community, growth, and change 

This collection of inclusive essays explores the role of debate in understanding and critiquing injustice and inequality. Edited by Shawn F. Briscoe, these essays closely examine multiple approaches to debate, considering their respective merits and controversies. This detailed compilation analyzes how debate methodologies are useful in everyday life and whether certain approaches have any value at all.  

Briscoe provides an in-depth look into the varying styles of debate and contributes to a greater understanding of argument theory by discussing three stylistic approaches: audience-centered, technical/progressive, and nontraditional/performative. The book demonstrates that all three approaches offer students opportunity to engage in a socioemotional learning space, a discipline that prepares students for undergraduate and graduate work, a study that prepares participants for future careers, and a field that investigates current controversies and how to tackle them. Briscoe offers compelling narratives from BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and women authors that explore the personal impact of debate on social equality within this academic discipline, our educational system, and society. 

The diversity in gender and race of the contributing authors allows for a multitude of perspectives on the complex styles, benefits, and issues discussed in Transcending the Game. Briscoe peels back the mystery that shrouds the benefits of academic, competitive debate from outsiders and insiders alike. A myriad of personal narratives tell stories about the role of debate in their lives; challenge the unproductive discourse in debate, education, and society; and offer diverse insight into why we debate. 


Shawn F. Briscoe is the author of Policy Debate: A Guide for High School and College Debaters (SIU Press), lead author and editor of Why Debate: Transformed by Academic Discourse, and co-author of Companion Guide for Speech & Debate Coaches. With over 30 years of experience in competitive academic debate, Briscoe has been the recipient of numerous coaching awards and invitations to present at both national and international organizations.  


Transcending the Game is a unique work that highlights the perceived styles of competitive policy debate and the impact of these styles on lived experiences. The beauty of this book lies in its inclusion of diverse scholars and perspectives that help to detail the evolution of a perfectly imperfect activity.”—Shuntá Jordan, head coach, Georgia Debate Union at the University of Georgia

Transcending the Game offers readers an in-depth and up-close look into the life-changing potential interscholastic debate can afford its participants. The authors’ diverse perspectives take the reader through a compelling journey of thought-provoking, uplifting, and heart-breaking stories that each exemplify the power debate creates outside of the competitive arena. For anyone considering getting involved in the activity, this book is a must read.”—Dr. Michael Greenstein, director of debate, Glenbrook North High School, and former director of debate, Georgetown University

“Briscoe has an unparalleled ability to explain the oftentimes complicated and complex concepts of policy debate in a way that is easily understandable. Through his use of personal experience along with his explanation of the theory and idiosyncrasies of policy debate, he creates a space that makes debate open and accessible to all, regardless of background or experience. This text is extremely timely, relevant, and necessary to continue the longstanding tradition and evolution of policy debate.”—Nicole Freeman, associate professor of communication, University of Central Missouri