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Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric



The Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric (COR) was established in 2010 in order to foster research in the  art of persuasion from the Graeco-Roman antiquity until the twenty-first century. It is the only Research Centre of its kind in the UK and its distinctiveness lies in the fact that it places its primary emphasis on the practice of oratory as distinct from the theory of rhetoric.

A key aim is to make COR a hub for an interdisciplinary study and research into Oratory and Rhetoric, ancient and modern. It currently brings together three members of staff in the Department of Classics (see People) whose expertise and research interests fall in the area of Graeco-Roman Oratory and is establishing an extensive research network of scholars in the UK, Europe and the US. A number of PhD students (see People -> Students) are already carrying out research on topics in this area and the centre is welcoming applications from prospective research students.

Since its establishment, COR has organized a number of international conferences, workshops and colloquia, which have led to a number of edited volumes, and has hosted visiting researchers from the UK and abroad. Finally, COR staff along with Associates have offered an innovative MRes in Rhetoric programme, the only one of its kind in the UK (details here).

Research Events (in brief)

News and EventsThe launch event of the Centre, a colloquium entitled "Actio - Hypokrisis - Delivery" took place in London on 27 November 2010 (see programme and publication). It brought together experts from the UK, Europe and the US. It focused on aspects of oratorical performance in Greece and Rome and also examined the role of oratory in modern British advocacy. This is only the first of a number of future events currently in the planning process. One international conference in 2013, on the theme of speech-writing ancient and modern, has brought together classicists, modern historians and modern practitioners of political speechwriting. The international conference, "From Thucydides to Twitter: Towards a History of the Soundbite" took place in April 2016 (see details here) and a publication with conference paper is now being prepared. In November 2017, we are organizing a workshop on the rhetoric of the prosecution speeches at the International Military Tribunal in Nürnberg (1945-1946). Details can be found here

Further detais about forthcoming and past events can be found on the News and Events page. 

"Profession and Performance" volume now freely available as an e-book. 

We are pleased to announce that our volume "Profession and Performance" which arose from our 2010 colloquium "Actio, Hypocrisis, Delivery" is now available as a free e-book. Download it from Humanities Digital Library


Recently Published: 


Now available as a free e-book! 

Hellenistic oratory cover 



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