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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35665 MW
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
MEZ 1.104

Course Description

CLASSICAL RHETORIC (THROUGH THE CENTURIES) This course will examine the classical rhetorical tradition, with an eye to its contemporary uses. The first half of the course will focus on classical (ancient) rhetoric per se, while the second half will rapidly overview (some of) its post-classical iterations and modifications  e.g., in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Modernist eras  depending in part on student interests and projects. Within the general overview, possible foci will include: relations between rhetoric and poetics (rhetoric as poetics, poetics as rhetoric, rhetorical poetics); rhetoric and technology (orality/literacy, etc.); the rhetorical paideia (rhetorical pedagogy and the liberal arts); rhetoric, politics, and practical wisdom (phronêsis); rhetoric, philosophy, and the "regime of Truth"; rhetoric and/as critical hermeneutics. Primary readings in classical rhetoric are likely to include: the fragments of the early sophists; Isocrates; Plato (Gorgias, Phaedrus, Protagoras, Ion); Aristotle (Rhetoric, Poetics); Cicero (De Oratore); Quintilian; Dionysius of Halicarnassus; Hermogenes; Longinus On the Sublime; Augustine (De Doctrina Christiana); and rhetorical handbooks (technai; artes). Readings from later periods may include selections and extracts from Medieval and Renaisssance artes, Erasmus (De Copia), Sidney (Apology for Poetry); Neoclassical and Romantic lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres; Nietszche; and such modernist figures as I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, and Wayne Booth. Recommended secondary readings will include general histories of rhetoric and rhetorical education (e.g., Kennedy, Conley, Bizzell/Herzberg), as well as studies of particular periods and/or figures (e.g., Schiappa, Pernot, Marrou, Cribiore, Murphy, Lanham, Sloane); an extended bibliography will be provided. Requirements probably will include: several brief oral presentations (discussion openers, reports); a conference-paper-length oral presentation on the student's chosen research/writing project; and an expanded (up to article-length) seminar paper on that project.


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