Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
rhetoric masthead rhetoric masthead
Jeffrey Walker, Chair PAR 3, Mailcode B5500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6109

Daniel Smith

Lecturer

Contact

RHE 309S • Crit Read And Persuasive Writ

44720 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WEL 3.266
show description

RHE 309S is designed for students who have earned credit by examination for RHE 306 – Rhetoric & Writing. Like RHE 306, RHE 309S teaches students how to analyze and write arguments, but it also introduces you to rhetoric as a civic art, one that prepares you to write to and for the public. RHE 309S is designated a writing flag course.

This section will focus on reading and writing political arguments in the American public sphere. Students will have the opportunity to research topics of their own choosing, but all individual work will share a common focus on partisanship. Students will consider how the rhetoric of public figures is constrained by party-line expectations and norms, as well as the ways such norms are used by public figures to define audiences and dictate terms of debate. By analyzing specific rhetorical situations, students will consider the exigencies that give rise to and sustain partisanship, its uses and abuses by politicians and commentators, and its ultimate impact as a productive and/or destructive force on national, state, and local political stages.

Students will learn skills such as how to:

  • Analyze issues and arguments, and the rhetorical situations (or public spheres) in which they are embedded
  • Understand public writing
  • Read texts and images critically
  • Discover, evaluate, construct, and organize effective, original arguments
  • Conduct research, use it effectively in argumentation, and document sources properly
  • Produce a clear and supple style that is adapted to particular rhetorical situations
  • Edit and proofread their own and others’ prose

Main Texts

Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee

Brief Penguin Handbook, Lester Faigley

Major Assignments and Grading

Unit One: Analysis of a Public Debate

Students will read and discuss materials related to the debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (a.k.a. Obamacare). They will then write an analysis identifying major stakeholders and examining their party affiliations, their target audiences, and their preferred forms of evidence and persuasion.  (20% of grade) 

Unit Two: Partisanship and Audience

Students will choose and research a political controversy, focusing on the relationship between partisanship and audience. In the course of their research, students will identify two specific arguments made for audiences on the same general stage (national, state, or local), but from opposing political perspectives. Students will analyze the ways speakers use party affiliations, evidence, and emotional appeals, to both define and respond to specific audiences. (25% of grade)

Unit Three: Speaking to the Crowd

In this unit students will consider ways to make responsible AND effective arguments in a partisan landscape. Building on their research from the previous unit, students will craft an “internal” policy statement for an imagined politician about a particular issue. This statement will focus on logical evidence and clearly defined ethical values (though not the student’s own, “real” values or beliefs). They will then craft a fully developed argument for this politician’s use, targeting a specific, clearly defined, and partly hostile audience. In doing so, they will consider and respond to both the rhetorical limitations and possibilities provided by their audience and the speaker’s respective political affiliations, and strive to have real impact on the audience without ignoring OR pandering to these elements of the rhetorical situation. (30% of grade)

Other grade elements

Shorter writing assignments, quizzes, and participation in class discussion and critique will make up the remaining 25% of the grade.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44750 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 101
show description

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an SWC/writing flag course.

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

RHE 330D • Philosophy Vs Rhetoric

44810 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 208
show description

This course will survey major concepts and figures in the history of rhetoric in Western culture, with an emphasis on its classical and “modern” eras. We will orient ourselves to the history of rhetoric by examining its relationship to philosophy and their respective ideas and ideals. In so doing, we will explore the question of whether the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric is intrinsically oppositional—as it has been traditionally understood—or socio-historically constituted as such. Some of the other questions we’ll engage together include: How do the status, meaning, and operations of concepts such as truth, belief, knowledge, and education (among others) “work” to shape how we live as individuals and communities? What relationships are there, if any, between language and and knowledge and thought? What are the differences between ancient and contemporary conceptions and practices of rhetorical education? And do those differences matter in any significant way in the domains of our personal, professional, and civic lives? What does it mean to say that a person is rhetorically capable and responsible?

Assignments and Grading

10 Short Response Papers (250 words): 25%

1 Rhetorical Analysis Paper: 25%

1 Research Paper and Brief Oral Summary: 30%

Preparedness, Participation, and Attendance: 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Course Packet, which will include readings by ancient and contemporary authors such as Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Cicero, John Quincy Adams, Debra Hawhee, Barry Schwartz, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Edwin Black, and Thomas Farrell (among others).

Other Media – textual, visual, and oral compositions via the internet.

RHE F330D • Philosophy Vs Rhetoric

87260 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm CLA 0.106
show description

This course will survey major concepts and figures in the history of rhetoric in Western culture, with an emphasis on its classical and “modern” eras. We will orient ourselves to the history of rhetoric by examining its relationship to philosophy and their respective ideas and ideals. In so doing, we will explore the question of whether the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric is intrinsically oppositional—as it has been traditionally understood—or socio-historically constituted as such. Some of the other questions we’ll engage together include: How do the status, meaning, and operations of concepts such as truth, belief, knowledge, and education (among others) “work” to shape how we live as individuals and communities? What relationships are there, if any, between language and and knowledge and thought? What are the differences between ancient and contemporary conceptions and practices of rhetorical education? And do those differences matter in any significant way in the domains of our personal, professional, and civic lives? What does it mean to say that a person is rhetorically capable and responsible?

Assignments and Grading

 10 Short Response Papers (250 words) - 25%

1 Rhetorical Analysis Paper - 25%

1 Research Paper and Brief Oral Summary - 30%

Preparedness, Participation, and Attendance - 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Course Packet, which will include readings by ancient and contemporary authors such as Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Cicero, John Quincy Adams, Debra Hawhee, Barry Schwartz, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Edwin Black, and Thomas Farrell (among others).

Other Media – textual, visual, and oral compositions via the internet.

RHE 309S • Crit Read And Persuasive Writ

45065 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm FAC 9
show description



RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

45090 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 103
show description

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an SWC/writing flag course.

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

45095 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 308
show description

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an SWC/writing flag course.

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

RHE 309S • Crit Read And Persuasive Writ

44785 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.120
show description

RHE 309S is designed for students who have earned credit by examination for RHE 306 – Rhetoric & Writing. Like RHE 306, RHE 309S teaches students how to analyze and write arguments, but it also introduces you to rhetoric as a civic art, one that prepares you to write to and for the public. RHE 309S is designated a writing flag course.

This section will focus on reading and writing political arguments in the American public sphere. Students will have the opportunity to research topics of their own choosing, but all individual work will share a common focus on partisanship. Students will consider how the rhetoric of public figures is constrained by party-line expectations and norms, as well as the ways such norms are used by public figures to define audiences and dictate terms of debate. By analyzing specific rhetorical situations, students will consider the exigencies that give rise to and sustain partisanship, its uses and abuses by politicians and commentators, and its ultimate impact as a productive and/or destructive force on national, state, and local political stages.

Students will learn skills such as how to:

  • Analyze issues and arguments, and the rhetorical situations (or public spheres) in which they are embedded
  • Understand public writing
  • Read texts and images critically
  • Discover, evaluate, construct, and organize effective, original arguments
  • Conduct research, use it effectively in argumentation, and document sources properly
  • Produce a clear and supple style that is adapted to particular rhetorical situations
  • Edit and proofread their own and others’ prose

Main Texts

Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee

Brief Penguin Handbook, Lester Faigley

Major Assignments and Grading

Unit One: Analysis of a Public Debate

Students will read and discuss materials related to the debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (a.k.a. Obamacare). They will then write an analysis identifying major stakeholders and examining their party affiliations, their target audiences, and their preferred forms of evidence and persuasion.  (20% of grade) 

Unit Two: Partisanship and Audience

Students will choose and research a political controversy, focusing on the relationship between partisanship and audience. In the course of their research, students will identify two specific arguments made for audiences on the same general stage (national, state, or local), but from opposing political perspectives. Students will analyze the ways speakers use party affiliations, evidence, and emotional appeals, to both define and respond to specific audiences. (25% of grade)

Unit Three: Speaking to the Crowd

In this unit students will consider ways to make responsible AND effective arguments in a partisan landscape. Building on their research from the previous unit, students will craft an “internal” policy statement for an imagined politician about a particular issue. This statement will focus on logical evidence and clearly defined ethical values (though not the student’s own, “real” values or beliefs). They will then craft a fully developed argument for this politician’s use, targeting a specific, clearly defined, and partly hostile audience. In doing so, they will consider and respond to both the rhetorical limitations and possibilities provided by their audience and the speaker’s respective political affiliations, and strive to have real impact on the audience without ignoring OR pandering to these elements of the rhetorical situation. (30% of grade)

Other grade elements

Shorter writing assignments, quizzes, and participation in class discussion and critique will make up the remaining 25% of the grade.

RHE 330D • Philosophy Vs Rhetoric

44850 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 208
show description

This course will survey major concepts and figures in the history of rhetoric in Western culture, with an emphasis on its classical and “modern” eras. We will orient ourselves to the history of rhetoric by examining its dis/connections to philosophy and their respective ideas and ideals. In so doing, we will explore the question of whether the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric is intrinsically oppositional—as it has been traditionally understood—or socio-historically constituted as such. Some of the other questions we’ll engage together include: How do the status, meaning, and operations of concepts such as truth, belief, knowledge, education, identity, and communication (among others) “work” to shape how we live as individuals and communities? What relationships are there, if any, between language and other modes of communication and knowledge, thought, emotion, and experience? What are the differences between ancient and contemporary conceptions and practices of rhetorical education? And do those differences matter in any significant way in the domains of our personal, professional, and civic lives? What would it mean to say that a person is rhetorically capable and responsible?

Assignments and Grading

10 Short Response Papers (250 words) -  25%

1 Rhetorical Analysis Paper - 25%

1 Research Paper and Brief Oral Summary - 30%

Preparedness, Participation, and Attendance - 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Course Packet, which will include readings by ancient and contemporary authors such as Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Cicero, John Quincy Adams, Debra Hawhee, Barry Schwartz, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Edwin Black, and Thomas Farrell (among others).

Other Media – textual, visual, and oral compositions via the internet.

RHE 330E • Rhetoric And Narrative

44875 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 308
show description

The study and practice of rhetoric often focuses on the dynamics of argument as a mode of influence.  That is, practices of communication that attempt to demonstrate why one should think, feel, act, or live in specific ways.   There’s no doubt that demonstrative rhetoric is a prominent part of our personal, professional, and civic lives.  However, argument—modes of demonstrative communication that can influence people in specific ways—is not the only way that rhetoric operates and circulates among us.  In other words, there are “non-demonstrative” modes of communication whose influence upon how we think, feel, act, and live is just as significant as argument, if not more so.  Among these non-demonstrative forms of rhetoric, narrative is probably the most common and, perhaps, the most influential of all. 

This course will challenge students—through readings, discussion, research, and writing—to explore and examine the pervasiveness of narrative and its rhetorical dynamics.  Some of the questions students will engage include: What is narrative?  What forms do narratives take?  Aren’t narratives ‘just stories’? How are narratives rhetorical?  How do narratives ‘in-form’ human communities, identities, institutions, and practices?  What role do narratives play in culture, politics and other domains, such as work and citizenship?  Are we hard-wired for narrative?  Is narrativity more fundamental than rationality for understanding how we think, feel, act, and live?  How can we examine and analyze the rhetorical dimensions of narrative?  And what can we learn from and do with such analyses?

Assignments and Grading

Mid-Term Exam - 30%

Research Paper - 30%

Multimedia Rhetorical Analysis of Narrative (composed via Storify) - 20%

Reading Quizzes, Brief Response Papers, Class Participation - 20%

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will develop and be capable of demonstrating:

  • an elementary understanding of narrative modes and their rhetorical dynamics
  • an ability to engage and discuss the rhetorical dynamics of narrative critically and analytically
  • competence in researching, assessing, and using relevant information and multimedia re/sources
  • proficiency in exploratory, expository, and argumentative writing

Required Texts and Course Readings

Bruner, Jerome. “The Narrative Creation of Self.” In Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life (Harvard UP 2003).

Card, Orson Scott. “Stories.”

Fisher, Walter. “The Narrative Paradigm.”

 ___________. “The Narrative Paradigm: An Elaboration.”

Horsdal, Marianne. “Learning from Vicarious Experience: The Role of Mirror Neurons and Narrative.”

Kreiswirth, Martin. “Merely Telling Stories? Narrative and Knowledge in the Human Sciences.”

McClure, Kevin. “Resurrecting the Narrative Paradigm: Identification and the Case of Young Earth Creationism.”

Miller, Frank (author) and Klaus Janson (illustrator). Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DC Comics, 10th anniversary ed., 1997).

Naugle, David. “Narrative and Life: The Central Role of Stories in Human Experience.”

Scholes, Robert and James Phelan. “Narrative Theory, 1966 – 2006: A Narrative.” In The Nature of Narrative (Oxford UP, 2006).

Suzanne Keen, “A Theory of Narrative Empathy.”

Thiele, Leslie Paul. The Heart of Judgment: Practical Wisdom, Neuroscience, and Narrative (Cambridge UP, 2006).

Weber, Samuel. “Networks, Net-War, and Narratives.”

RHE S330D • Philosophy Vs Rhetoric

87675 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm BEN 1.124
show description

This course will survey major concepts and figures in the history of rhetoric in Western culture, with an emphasis on its classical and “modern” eras. We will orient ourselves to the history of rhetoric by examining its dis/connections to philosophy and their respective ideas and ideals. In so doing, we will explore the question of whether the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric is intrinsically oppositional—as it has been traditionally understood—or socio-historically constituted as such. Some of the other questions we’ll engage together include: How do the status, meaning, and operations of concepts such as truth, belief, knowledge, education, identity, and communication (among others) “work” to shape how we live as individuals and communities? What relationships are there, if any, between language and other modes of communication and knowledge, thought, emotion, and experience? What are the differences between ancient and contemporary conceptions and practices of rhetorical education? And do those differences matter in any significant way in the domains of our personal, professional, and civic lives? What would it mean to say that a person is rhetorically capable and responsible?

Assignments and Grading

10 Short Response Papers (250 words) - 25%

1 Rhetorical Analysis Paper - 25%

1 Research Paper and Brief Oral Summary - 30%

Preparedness, Participation, and Attendance - 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Course Packet, which will include readings by ancient and contemporary authors such as Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Cicero, John Quincy Adams, Debra Hawhee, Barry Schwartz, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Edwin Black, and Thomas Farrell (among others).

Other Media – textual, visual, and oral compositions via the internet.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Cyborgs

44220 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 2.102
show description

Cyborgs, or cybernetic organisms, are beings whose mode of existence involves a synthesis of biology and technology.  Fictional cyborgs have been part of popular culture for at least a half-century.  Consider, for example: Tony Stark (Iron Man,1962); Steve Austin (The Six Million Dollar Man, 1975); Darth Vader (Star Wars, 1977); T-800 (The Terminator, 1984); Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell, 1989); the Borg (Star Trek TNG, 1990); Jack (Tekken, 1993); Del Spooner (I, Robot, 2004); Adam Jensen (Deus Ex: Human Revolution, 2011)—to name only a few.

There are those, however, who contend that actual cyborgs currently outnumber their fictional counterparts.  At the heart of this claim is the controversial view that bio-technical synthesis is not definitive of a cyborg existence, but rather that it is a matter of degrees of bio-technical connectivity and co-evolution.  Among the implications of this view is the idea that we can better understand ourselves and the communities in which we live if human beings, especially those living in technologically-saturated cultures, are seen primarily as networked cybernetic organisms rather than anthropocentrically conceived Homo sapiens.

Using the lens of rhetoric, students in this course will explore, examine, and assess—via reading, discussion, research, and writing—a variety of cultural texts and contexts that inform this provocative idea, which might otherwise be called the “cyborg hypothesis.”  The course’s aim is not to determine whether or not we are actually cyborgs, though questions about the truth of this notion may be engaged as part of class discussions.  Rather, we will focus on this controversial topic as a way of understanding and questioning doxa—or common beliefs—about human being(s) and, in so doing, develop abilities that characterize rhetorically attuned and “response-able” individuals.  That is, skills of inquiry, evaluation, interpretation, invention and communication operating in concert with and expressing thinking that is informed, logical, critical, analytical, and ethical.

Assignments and Grading

Response Papers and Reading Quizzes - 20%

Survey Essay 1.1 - 15%

Survey Essay 1.2 (substantive revision and extension) - 20%

Rhetorical Analysis 1.1 - 15%

Rhetorical Analysis 1.2 (substantive revision and extension) - 20%

Class Participation - 10%

Required Texts

Course Packet, which will include excerpted readings from the works of:

Andre Leroi-Gourhan, Gesture and Speech (aka Le Geste et la Parole, Vol. 1: Technique et Langage; Vol. 2: La Mémoire et les Rythmes)

Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto”

David Gunkel, “Ecce Cyborg”

Marge Piercy, He, She and It

Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio, Robo-Sapiens: Evolution of a New Species

Chris Gray, The Cyborg Handbook

Arne De Boever et al (eds.) Gilbert Simondon: Being and Technology

Adrian Mackenzie, Transductions: Bodies and Machines at Speed

Amber Case, An Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology: A Field Guide to Interface Culture

(Available for Digital Download: http://cyborganthropology.com/store/)

Watch Amber Case’s TED talk, “We are All Cyborgs Now,” here: http://www.ted.com/talks/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.html

Lunsford, Andrea. Easy Writer (4th edition)

RHE 330D • Philosophy Vs Rhetoric

44410 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 208
show description

This course will survey major concepts and figures in the history of rhetoric in Western culture, with an emphasis on its classical and “modern” eras. We will orient ourselves to the history of rhetoric by examining its dis/connections to philosophy and their respective ideas and ideals. In so doing, we will explore the question of whether the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric is intrinsically oppositional—as it has been traditionally understood—or socio-historically constituted as such. Some of the other questions we’ll engage together include: How do the status, meaning, and operations of concepts such as truth, belief, knowledge, education, identity, and communication (among others) “work” to shape how we live as individuals and communities? What relationships are there, if any, between language and other modes of communication and knowledge, thought, emotion, and experience? What are the differences between ancient and contemporary conceptions and practices of rhetorical education? And do those differences matter in any significant way in the domains of our personal, professional, and civic lives? What would it mean to say that a person is rhetorically capable and responsible?

Assignments and Grading

10 Short Response Papers (250 words) - 25%

1 Rhetorical Analysis Paper - 25%

1 Research Paper and Brief Oral Summary - 30%

Preparedness, Participation, and Attendance - 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Course Packet, which will include readings by ancient and contemporary authors such as Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Cicero, John Quincy Adams, Debra Hawhee, Barry Schwartz, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Edwin Black, and Thomas Farrell (among others).

Other Media – textual, visual, and oral compositions via the internet.

RHE 330D • Rhetorical Knowledge

44415 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.216
show description

This course will survey major concepts and figures in the history of rhetoric in Western culture, with an emphasis on its classical and “modern” eras. We will orient ourselves to this history by exploring the relationship between rhetoric and knowledge. Underlying most conceptions of rhetoric is the idea that language and other modes of communication (can) work to shape people’s beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, and actions. But how, if at all, does this “shaping” affect or perhaps even constitute knowledge? Is knowledge distinct from our beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, and actions? What is knowledge anyway? Is knowledge restricted to ideas, concepts, or what’s “in our heads”? Is it correct belief? Can we separate knowledge from how we live, and thus the cultures and communities in which we live? This course invites students to engage these and other questions while developing a basic understanding of the history of rhetoric.

Assignments and Grading

10 Short Response Papers (250 words) - 25%

1 Rhetorical Analysis Paper - 25%

1 Research Paper and Brief Oral Summary - 30%

Preparedness, Participation, and Attendance - 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Course Packet, which will include readings by classical and contemporary authors such as Gorgias, Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Cicero, Peter Ramus, Friedrich Nietzsche, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (among others).

Other Media – textual, visual, and oral compositions via the internet

RHE 330D • Philosophy Vs. Rhetoric

44235 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 208
show description

This course will survey major concepts and figures in the history of rhetoric in Western culture, with an emphasis on its classical and “modern” eras. We will orient ourselves to the history of rhetoric by examining its dis/connections to philosophy and their respective ideas and ideals. In so doing, we will explore the question of whether the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric is intrinsically oppositional—as it has been traditionally understood—or socio-historically constituted as such. Some of the other questions we’ll engage together include: How do the status, meaning, and operations of concepts such as truth, belief, knowledge, education, identity, and communication (among others) “work” to shape how we live as individuals and communities? What relationships are there, if any, between language and other modes of communication and knowledge, thought, emotion, and experience? What are the differences between ancient and contemporary conceptions and practices of rhetorical education? And do those differences matter in any significant way in the domains of our personal, professional, and civic lives? What would it mean to say that a person is rhetorically capable and responsible?

Assignments and Grading

10 Short Response Papers (250 words) - 25%

1 Rhetorical Analysis Paper - 25%

1 Research Paper and Brief Oral Summary - 30%

Preparedness, Participation, and Attendance - 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Course Packet, which will include readings by ancient and contemporary authors such as Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Cicero, John Quincy Adams, Debra Hawhee, Barry Schwartz, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Edwin Black, and Thomas Farrell (among others).

Other Media – textual, visual, and oral compositions via the internet.

bottom border