High Theory Brief


High Theory Brief


NSD's High Theory Brief includes these three essays:

Rosi Braidotti by Grant Brown

Queerness and the Death Drive in Debate: A Psychoanalytic Approach by Sam Gustavson

Crossing the border with Anzaldua by Dino De La O

Each article will walk you through an argument, explain the function of the argument in the larger narrative or syllogism, and give a defense of the argument against possible objections. Additional resources, such as bibliographies and evidence, are also provided to assist you in constructing the position.

To best maximize the potential of the positions advanced in this brief, you should keep in mind that the purpose of the brief is to provide you with an introductory understanding of certain theories and their possible applications in debate. We highly recommend for our readers to experiment with constructing their own versions of the positions and to use our brief as an assistant in understanding the original sources.

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Featured in this Brief

Rosi Braidotti” by Grant Brown

“This article discusses the work of Rosi Braidotti, a philosopher whose work traverses the intricacies of postmodernity. It specifically isolates her work on the issue of subjectivity, Deleuze and Guattari, politics, and posthumanism. These ideological categories are analyzed, explained, and then expanded to be connected to their strategic value as arguments in Lincoln-Douglas debate.”

“Queerness and the Death Drive in Debate: A Psychoanalytic Approach” by Sam Gustavson

“The focus of the paper will center on the scholarly production and rhetorical defense of queer pessimism as a field of study and strategy in debate. By queer pessimism, this paper is referring to an analysis of American civil society as being necessarily tied to a heteronormative project of reproduction and order.”

“Crossing the border with Anzaldúa” by Dino De La O

“This essay will introduce the “Borderlands Kritik”, commonly associated with the work of Gloria Anzaldúa. The Borderlands K will argue that dualisms are epistemically flawed and create the conditions for oppression. The alternative will defend Mestiza Consciousness, or an epistemological strategy to engage with the world. This will allow you to develop a solid kritik against identity politics, social ontology, state action, or anything that replicates dualistic modes of thinking.”

Authors of this Brief

Grant Brown

Grant Brown debated for a year locally at Ralston High School and three years nationally at Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the team president and has accumulated twelve career bids while qualifying thrice to the Tournament of Champions, reaching quarterfinals his junior year, and twice to NSDA Nationals clearing to elimination rounds both years. Grant reached elimination rounds of numerous bid tournaments including Dowling, Iowa Caucus, Valley, Harvard, The Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, and Blake. Most notably Grant was a Nebraska State Champion, quarterfinalist twice at Valley and top speak his senior year, semifinalist at Apple Valley, and two time champion of Dowling Catholic. Grant plans to study Religion, Anthropology, and Sociology.Debate Interests: Postmodernism, specifically Deleuze/Guattari and spirituality, nuanced philosophically influenced positions, and experimental performativity and aesthetics within academic debate.  


Sam Gustavson

Sam Gustavson debated four years for C.E. Byrd high school where he qualified for the Tournament of Champions twice, reaching the quarterfinals in 2014, as well as winning the 2013 Louisiana state policy debate tournament. Sam went on to debate at Baylor University where he was a qualifier for the 2016 National Debate Tournament, also clearing at major tournaments such as Kentucky, Wake Forest, USC, and Cal Fullterton. Sam also coached the 2015 Baker Award winners for high school, Caddo Magnet Conner/Martin, as well 2016 Tournament of Champion finalists Little Rock Central Williams/Woods.


Dino De La O

Dino De La O debated locally and nationally for four years at Law Magnet in Dallas, Texas, graduating in 2016. As a competitor, Dino qualified to the TFA State Tournament and advanced to elimination rounds 3 years in a row. He also qualified to the TOC his junior and senior year, receiving 7 bids his senior year. Dino championed the University of Houston Tournament, was the top speaker and semifinalist at the Grapevine and Strake Jesuit tournaments, and advanced to the elimination rounds of every octos bid tournament he attended his senior year. As a coach, Dino has taught at major national summer camps such as NSD and TDC, and his students have received 7 bids, won the Sunvitational, and won top speaker awards at the UT Austin Invitational and the UH Invitational. Currently, Dino is studying anthropology at the University of Houston and enjoys reading a wide variety of philosophy.