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People  •  Dean's Office, Communication Studies  •  Assoc. Dean for Undergrad Programs, Teaching Prof

Michael Hoppmann

Michael J. Hoppmann is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. Previous to joining Northeastern University Dr. Hoppmann worked at the University of Tuebingen, designing the curriculum for a Masters program for rhetoric trainers, and teaching classes in Classical Rhetoric and modern Argumentation Theory.

Dr. Hoppmann studied classical Rhetoric and Philosophy at the Universities of Tuebingen and Barcelona. In 2003 he received his M.A. with highest honors.

During his undergraduate time he also founded one of Germany’s first debating clubs, won a number of regional and national competitions and went on to write the first German debating textbook and train younger debaters, among them later German champions.

In 2008 he was awarded a Dr. phil. degree summa cum laude based on his work on modern stasis theory. Dr. Hoppmann has since worked as an Academic employee, Postdoc and Lecturer at the University of Tübingen and Northeastern University.

His research interests center around three areas: Classical Rhetoric, Modern Argumentation Theory and Applied Rhetoric. In Classical Rhetoric he focuses most on historical argumentation models and structures (stasis theory, enthymeme) in Greek and Latin Rhetoric. In Modern Argumentation Theory he is interested in Argument Schemes, Argumentative Deconstruction and Critical Questions. In Applied Rhetoric he tries to bridge the gap between rhetorical theory and practice and is mainly concentrating on the development and implementation of rhetorical training forms such as debate, declamation and disputation.

Dr. Hoppmann is author or co-author of five books, including A Synoptic History of Classical Rhetoric (4th edition, forthcoming), Handbook of Rhetorical Training (Trainingsbuch Rhetorik, 3rd edition 2012), Argumentative Competence (Schluesselkompetenz Argumentation, 2nd edition 2012) and Argumentative Defense (Argumentative Verteidigung, 2008).

Dr. Hoppmann sees his main tasks as a rhetorician in attentively observing verbal conflicts, analyzing the structures of its underlying reasoning (Argumentation Theory), learning from the most experienced rhetorical grand masters about human persuasion (Classical Rhetoric) and developing tools for the effective teaching and training of rhetorical skills (Rhetorical Training).

Find more on Dr. Hoppmann, his research and teaching, including a list of publications and talks on his website.


Dean's Office, Communication Studies

Research Focus

  • Classical Rhetoric
  • Modern Argumentation Theory
  • Applied Rhetoric