The Voices of Democracy project promotes the study of great speeches and debates in U.S. history. The emphasis of the project is on the actual words of those who have defined the country’s guiding principles, debated controversial social and political issues, and shaped the identity and character of the American people. With a view toward reinvigorating the humanistic study of U.S. oratory, the Voices of Democracy project aims to foster understanding of the nation’s principles and history and promote civic engagement among scholars, teachers, and students.

On this site, you will find scholarly articles offering critical analyses of significant speeches, curriculum units designed for undergraduate teachers and students, lesson plans for high school and middle school teachers, and a blog with brief commentaries on speeches and pedagogical issues.

The Voices of Democracy publishes an online, refereed, blind-reviewed journal of original scholarship focusing on the study of U.S. oratory. These essays are also included in the Curriculum Units, along with an authenticated text of the speech and other materials.

Voices of Democracy features a growing collection of curriculum units focusing on significant speeches in U.S. history. Those units, which are designed for college-level teachers and students, include a link to lesson plans for teaching the speech at the high school or middle school level. VOD’s curriculum units are organized by Theme, Chronological Period, Speaker, and Author.

Spotlight on Oratory reflects on the historical significance of key speeches for contemporary issues and controversies, or provide tips for educators teaching about particular speeches on the VOD site.

Pope Francis and Dorothy Day

On September 24, 2015, Pope Francis I addressed a joint session…

“A Whole Europe, A Free Europe”

On May 31, 1989 President George H.W. Bush delivered a major…