Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Bjørn Stillion Southard

Associate Professor
Director of Debate

Contact Info

603 Caldwell Hall

Dr. Bjørn Stillion Southard is an Associate Professor and Director of Debate in Communication Studies. He holds a PhD and MA from the University of Maryland. Bjørn is interested in early U.S. Public Address, particularly in discourses concerning race and law. His first book, Peculiar Rhetoric: Slavery, Freedom, and the African Colonization Movement (University Press of Mississippi, 2019), explored the tenuous middle ground constructed and contested by white and Black people in the United States. His research has appeared in Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Argumentation and Advocacy, and elsewhere.

Bjørn has also published or edited numerous works on public speaking. He edited the open educational resource textbook for the UGA public speaking course, titled The Art and Craft of Public Speaking. He has also written three books on presentations in professional settings (with Christine Clapp). The most recent work is Presenting Now: A Guide to Public Speaking and Leadership Communication Online, in Person, and Beyond (2022). Bjørn's previous collaborations with Christine were Presenting Virtually: A Guide to Public Speaking in Online Contexts and Presenting at Work: A Guide to Public Speaking in Professional Contexts. With Christine and Dallas-based civil rights attorney David Henderson, Bjørn co-hosts the podcast Let 'Em Speak, which explores issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in professional communication.


Bjørn Stillion Southard recently published, "Frederick Douglass: A Speaker on the Move," in the volume, A Rhetorical History of the United States, Volume 4: Public Debate in the Civil War Era, edited by David Zarefsky (Michigan State University Press).


Events featuring Bjørn Stillion Southard
Caldwell Hall 502

Dr. Bjørn Stillion Southard, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, will present The Great Form of Frederick Douglass: Ring Compositions and the Memory of Abraham Lincoln

My Graduate Students

Cecilia Cerja

PhD Candidate

Support our Department

We greatly appreciate your generosity. Your gift enables us to offer our students and faculty opportunities for research, travel, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Support the efforts of the Department of Communication Studies by visiting our giving section.

Learn More