Stephen Llano studies rhetorical theory and criticism within the
contexts of argumentation, the practice of competitive debating,
and pedagogy. His specific research interests include the
work of Kenneth Burke and Jacques Lacan. He also studies the
rhetoric of Buddhism and its application to the pedagogy of
argumentation through the practice of intercollegiate debating.
Professor Llano is the director of the St. John’s University
Debate Society, an international debating team that specializes in
the British Parliamentary debate style. The team regularly competes
nationally and internationally and is open to all St. John’s
Llano has been involved in debate since he was 15 years old,
participating in high school policy debate in the great state of
Texas. He attended Texas A&M University and helped to found
their NPDA program.
After graduating with a B.A. in History from Texas A&M
University, Steve became the Director of Debate at A&M
Consolidated High School where his students achieved success
debating at the state and national level, qualifying for the
T.O.C., NFL Nationals, and winning the Texas state championship in
cross examination debate.
Steve served as assistant debate coach at the University of
Rochester where in 2002 the team took first in the NDT sweepstakes
rankings. He has also worked as an assistant coach at the
University of Pittsburgh, and as a faculty member at the World
Debate Institute at the University of Vermont.
Stephen Llano holds a Ph.D. in communication from the
University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. in rhetorical studies from