Note of Condolence Dr. James (Jerry) Murphy From His Chinese Colleagues
It’s with deep sorrow that I’m writing this note of mourning for the loss of Dr.
James (Jerry) Murphy, a dear friend to the Global Rhetoric Society, one of the founders of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, and an old friend as well as a treasured colleague of mine.
Throughout my years of acquaintance with Jerry, he sought to build bridges between American rhetoric scholars and their Eastern colleagues. He encouraged many American researchers to visit Chinese universities and give lectures to craft strong scholarship connections between American and Chinese scholars in the field of rhetoric.
Jerry organized the Interactive Symposium on Rhetoric in the 21st Century in July 2012. This was a seminar with great historic importance. For the first time, scholars representing different rhetorical traditions gathered to “express, challenge, reject and accept assumptions and commonplaces” of each other’s rhetorical heritage.
My doctoral students completed the Chinese translation of his best-selling book The Debator’s Guide June 2021. I can still remember the great joy and excitement flowing in his reply email after I informed him of the book’s publication. He was overjoyed that his book might prepare future generations of Chinese students to debate in the public sphere.
I and all Chinese scholars in the field of rhetoric, including members of our Global Rhetoric Society, will remember Jerry, not only for his contribution to the field of rhetoric, but also for his role as a bridge between Chinese rhetoric scholars and our Western colleagues. We’ll cherish the memories of our beloved friend and colleague.
May he rest in peace.
The Global Rhetoric Society President
James J. Murphy: emeritus professor and former dean of Communication Department of UC Davis, University of California, Davis. Doctor of philosophy of Stanford University (1957), once worked in UC Davis Department of communication and taught rhetoric courses for many years. He compiled and published 17 Monographs on rhetoric and writing teaching. Previously, Professor Murphy was the general debate director of the Debate Association of Stanford University and Princeton University, and the first president of the Debate Association of Northern California (NCFA).