The Centre was founded in 1995, as an academic response to the establishment of democracy in South Africa, and in the wake of a large international conference on Persuasion and Power held in July 1994. The Centre is unique on the Continent and concerns itself with multi-disciplinary research in public rhetoric, deliberative democracy and argumentative culture. Its pioneering role is recognized by the International Encyclopedia of Communication (Blackwell, 2008).
In 2010 the Centre consolidated its staff with the appointment of a postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Sergio Alloggio. Its sustained activities included several NRF-funded projects in international rhetoric (details available at http://www.rhetoricafrica.org).