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. In 2004 the Centre underwent a formal Review which recommended its continuation. Since 2007 the Centre is affiliated to the Centre for Film and Media Studies.

The Centre offers a MPhil in Rhetoric Studies made up of graduates courses in rhetoric administered from the Centre for Film and Media Studies, a MPhil in Rhetoric Studies by dissertation alone and the degree of PhD. For registration enquiries contact the Administrative Assistant.  Visit the Centre for Rhetoric Studies website.