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The Centre for Rhetoric Studies (CRhS) was founded in 1995 by the then Dean of Arts and current Director, Philippe-Joseph Salazar, as a University Research Committee centre. CRhS has been re-accredited since at each mandatory URC review. 

It is recognized as being unique on the African continent where it has pioneered the emergence of Rhetoric Studies (see Blackwell International Encyclopaedia of Communication), and since 2000 CRhS has been graduating M and PhD students in the field. Past graduates are employed in the high civil service across Southern Africa or hold academic positions in South Africa, Ghana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. 
CRhS concerns itself with multidisciplinary research in public rhetoric, deliberative democracy and argumentative culture. In addition to research projects, the CRhS engages in three main activities: hosting research fellows, organizing academic conferences and supervising postgraduate students (Masters and PhD). CRhS’s external website can be accessed at . CRhS publishes many of its findings through the open access journal African Yearbook of Rhetoric and encourages publications by graduates ( 

Until 2016 the A W Mellon Foundation provided substantial support in terms of scholarships (M and PhD) and postdoctoral fellowships (negotiations are underway to renew the grant). In late 2016, CRhS moved from the Humanities Faculty to the Faculty of Law in an affiliation with the Department of Private Law as a result of the Director of  CRhS  Distinguished Professor Philippe-Joseph Salazar joining the same Faculty.  From 2018, CRhS  offers an LLB elective course on Law, Rhetoric and Society (RDL4604S) as part of Private Law offerings in the LLB, as well as supervision by the director and co-director (Professor of Jurisprudence A J Barnard-Naudé) of LLB Independent Research Papers on appropriate topics related to law’s rhetoric as well as rhetoric at large. The Master of Laws in Rhetoric Studies and the Doctorate of Philosophy in Rhetoric Studies are already on offer and have registered students.

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Last update 24 August 2018