Amogh Dendukuri ParadigmLast changed 2/25 8:54A PDT
ABOUT ME: I debated policy for 4 years at Milpitas (CA) and am currently the president of speech and debate team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I compete and coach NFA-LD and NPDA-Parli formats of debate.
I coached the policy debate team Woodlands MR (TX) from 2017-2019 who ended up earning 4 bids to the TOC and winning the Michigan RR their senior year. I currently coach the policy debate team Hebron BS (TX) and the LD debater Evergreen Valley SS (CA)
Please put me on the email chain – firstname.lastname@example.org – feel free to email me with any questions you might have before or after the round. If there's anything I can do to make this round more accessible, please let me know!
GENERAL VIEWS: My debate career and involvement as a coach has been almost exclusively invested into kritikal and/or performative styles of advocacy, but I actively try to not have any fixed biases that cannot be changed with good debating. I won't have a problem understanding or evaluating most traditional arguments, but this is an area of debate that I do not have too much personal investment in. I tend to get preffed for Policy vs. K (on either side) and K vs. K debates. If your idea of an ideal debate is a nitty-gritty Policy vs. Policy round, I'm a competent flow judge to have in the back of the room but you should still probably pref me mid/lower. With all that being said, I will do my best to evaluate any argument you want to make without any preconceived biases as long as it isn't problematic.
**If this is a Novice or JV round, I would much rather you stick to arguments that you are comfortable with than try to poorly adapt to what you think I'll want to hear.
TLDR: I am more familiar with and invested in the kritikal side of debate, but you do what you do best and I'll do my best to evaluate it objectively. Regardless of what you choose to defend, specificity and depth are key to my ballot.
WHAT I LOOK FOR IN (GOOD) DEBATES:
- I generally believe that tech > truth.
- Organization, specificity, evidence comparison and argument interaction are key to amazing debates.
- Framing (at every level) is crucial in my decision-making process. Tell me how I should view the debate and why.
- The debate is not determined by evidence in a vacuum; it's up to YOU to explain (or spin) warrants, regardless of how amazing (or unfortunately terrible) your cards may be.
- Cross-x is an underutilized art. Destroy your opponents with precision. Be one step ahead. Be a witty asshole.
POLICY AFFS: Not the types of affirmatives I read, but I'm open to evaluating them. I appreciate well thought out and creative approaches to the topic (if I wanted to listen to uninspired garbage every round, I would probably be judging public forum). I would much rather you read one or two well developed and strategic advantage(s) than several mediocre ones. I've noticed a troubling trend of terrible/outdated evidence in the policy rounds I've had the opportunity to judge – I appreciate teams that put in the effort to utilize and debate out the merits of evidence. I don't default to any particular framework when evaluating the round – it's up to the debaters to tell me what is important and my ballot ought to prioritize.
Because the policy rounds I judge usually end up being versus the K, here's some specific thoughts on those debates:
- Defend your affirmative - while a certain degree of adaptation/pivoting can be strategic, you're probably better off sticking to your guns. Avoid resorting to vague permutations and shifty link defense.
- Utilize/Apply the affirmative - take the time to make specific link/impact turn arguments.
- I have a high standard for perm articulation from the Aff and link articulation from the Neg -- that means in addition to not letting lazy K teams get away with bad link analysis, you need to do the work to truly explain how the permutation functions.
- Substantive 2AC framework arguments are more likely to influence my decision than whiny procedural stuff.
KRITIKAL AFFS: These are the types of affirmatives I am most familiar with and find most interesting. I strongly believe that there is a level of investment with the literature and knowledge about debate as an activity necessary for successful execution of kritikal affirmatives – while I fully encourage you to experiment and go for whatever you'd like (in the pursuit of creativity and education), just know that I will not uncritically vote for you just because of your choice or style of argumentation.
I've debated, written, and judged a variety of kritikal Affs (both on the level of form and content), so you do you. I tend to think that the most interesting and strategic K-Affs are unique to the resolution in some way (whatever that may mean to you). If you're looking for an idea of literature bases I'm most familiar with, look to the "Kritiks" section of my paradigm below.
I think that taking the time to make smart and offensive application of your Aff's criticism and explaining the unique friction between your methodology and the Neg's argumentation is a necessary component of effective K-Aff execution – supplement your blocks and cards with smart in-round analysis and contextual application of your theory.
KRITIKS: My favorite argument in debate – most of my debate career consisted of various 1-Off K strategies.
I have a general understanding of most K's read in debate, but my personal knowledge and interest lies in criticisms dealing with identity and/or structural positionality (various branches of theory dealing with Anti-blackness, Asian/Indian American Identity, Necropolitics, Settler Colonialism, Feminism, Queer/Quare/Kuaer-ness, Disability...etc). If the edgy and unintelligible works of old/dead white dudes is your cup of tea, I'm not a terrible judge for you either – feel free to read your post-modern sludge in front of me, but I'm going to hold you to a higher standard for explanation and contextualization (due to the often dense nature of these works).
Regardless of what I'm familiar with in terms of literature bases, if YOU understand your criticism and YOU do the work to explain and contextualize your offense, you'll probably be fine.
Specificity and depth are key to good K debates – you can probably make generic link arguments and still get me to vote for you, but the best debates happen when you generate unique links to the Aff and are able to reference specific warrants or lines in your opponents' argumentation and evidence. I appreciate creative link stories. I'm down to listen to long overviews. You don't always need an alternative if you win your framing. I will reward you generously with speaks if you are really well versed in your literature and are able to demonstrate your knowledge by making smart analytic claims and arguments in your speeches and cross-x. I value 2NC/1NR's that are less card-intensive and more focused on explanation and contextualization.
DISADS/COUNTER-PLANS: Although I didn't personally go for these types of strategies during my high school career, I have no problem evaluating them. I don't have too many thoughts on these debates – the more specific and less generic your strategy is, the happier I will be. I'm a computer science student whose involvement in debate revolves mostly around critical theory – this means that I may not be super familiar with any specific political terminology of scenarios you may be talking about, so be sure to explain things and be precise. It would make me happy to not have to listen to politics-esque DAs unless you genuinely believe your evidence is hyper-specific or hyper-recent – I'll evaluate them to the best of my ability, but I think they're incredibly boring and often a product of ridiculous assertions/terrible evidence.
TOPICALITY: I have and will vote on well developed and impacted out topicality arguments. If you're reading T as an aimless timesuck argument, I will probably know and be very salty that I'm having to waste a perfectly good sheet of paper. I expect both sides to be taking the time to do real comparative work on the level of interpretations and standards.
I am more than excited to listen to any innovative or unconventional topicality arguments about identity, body politics, agency, boredom, death, simulation, education...etc.
FRAMEWORK (VS. K-AFFS): Despite almost always being on the other side of this argument, I see the value of Framework arguments and find the clash of civilizations debate to be an enjoyable one to evaluate.
For decision-making purposes, I evaluate these debates as a question of competing models for debate on the level of form AND content. My ideal Framework debates consist of well-executed procedural offense supplemented with tailored methodological arguments about institutional knowledge/political engagement. Explain to me what your model looks like in the context of the affirmative's criticism. I find well developed TVA and SSD arguments to be very persuasive and an easy place to vote neg in procedural debates. The TVA probably has to solve the Aff or at least be comparatively better (but I'll leave it up to the debaters to tell me what "better" really means).
Framework can get really stale, so I appreciate specificity and innovative approaches to the argument (Street-T, Black Framework, Embodiment, Counter-Tactics, Materiality, Utopianism...etc).
THEORY: Not really a big fan of most conventional theory arguments, but if it seems particularly strategic or necessary in your round, feel free to go for it.