Department of Rhetoric & Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Writing

RHE 306 • Rhetoric And Writing

43080 • Sears, Joshua
Meets TTH 800am-930am MEZ 1.118
show description

Multiple meeting times and sections. Please consult the Course Schedule for unique numbers.

This does NOT meet the Writing Flag requirement.

This composition course provides instruction in the gathering and evaluation of information and its presentation in well-organized expository prose. Students ordinarily write and revise four papers. The course includes instruction in invention, arrangement, logic, style, revision, and strategies of research.

Course centered around the First-Year Forum (FYF) selected readings. Students focus on the foundational knowledge and skills needed for college writing. In addition, they are introduced to basic rhetoric terms and learn to rhetorically analyze positions within controversies surrounding the FYF readings.

RHE 306 is required of all UT students. Contact the Measurement and Evaluation Center, 2616 Wichita (471-3032) to petition for RHE 306 credit.


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Nature

43203 • RUSSELL, MATTHEW R
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 104
show description

While they frequently make use of direct political activism in order to effect change, environmentalists have often relied upon the power of the written word to transform society’s beliefs and behaviors towards the natural world. John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, evoked the wonders of California's Hetch Hetchy Valley in the hope that he could stop a dam with words. Another early environmental activist and “ecologist,” Aldo Leopold, summoned up a world made barren by the loss of predators in the hope that he could stop the slaughter of wolves. More recently, Rachel Carson, a marine biologist with a love for writing, described a world without wildlife in Silent Spring and altered the way Americans understood their impact on the landscape. Leopold and Carson were professional scientists, and like the other writers we will encounter this semester, they realized that they would alter the perceptions of their contemporaries only if they were able to transmit their knowledge in engaging, moving language that tapped into the ways in which nature, both as a refuge and wilderness, can both echo and exclude the concerns of the human world.

This semester, we will consider the ways in which writers from the British Romantic period of the early nineteenth century gave shape to the relationship of the natural world to humanity and then move on to strategies of popular science writers of the twentieth century like Lewis Thomas, David Quammen, Primo Levi, and Ursula K. LeGuin. We will also sample works by less well known geologists, hydrologists, forest rangers and biologists.

Students will have a chance to try out several ways of characterizing and analyzing the depiction of natural environments.  While the course focuses on the natural world, we will employ technological resources to display and make complex, evocative arguments about our relationship to nature.  For the final two units of the course, we will make use of the extensive archives and collections at UT (written and imagistic) to build multimedia works and curated collections/exhibits about historical periods or place-specific events. 

Assignments and Grading

  • Short Writing Assignments – 20 %
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay 1.1 – 10%
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay 1.2 – 10%
  • Multimedia Work 2.1 – 10%
  • Multimedia Work 2.2 – 10%
  • Curated Collection/Exhibit 3.1 – 15%
  • Curated Collection/Exhibit 3.2 – 15%
  • Final Presentation – 10%

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

  • Writing Nature, ed. Carolyn Ross.
  • Encounters with the Archdruid, John McPhee  
  • Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey
  • They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein.
  • Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, Andrea A. Lunsford.
  • Additional readings available in Canvas

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Protest

43205 • Picherit, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm FAC 9
show description

“Don’t Tread on Me,” “We Shall Overcome,” “We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Used to It,” “No Blood For Oil,” “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” “I Can’t Breathe”: protesters have shouted, chanted, sung, and hashtagged words like these from the beginning of our nation’s history to the present day. So what does it mean to protest, particularly when people have gone to extremes – hunger strikes, flag burning, sit-ins, occupations, risks of injury, beatings, arrests – to get their message across? What does it mean that others have gone to similar, if not even more violent, extremes to shut them down? What defines a protest – how do we know when protests are happening, what makes us want to join in, and how are they described after they have taken place?

In this class, we will examine the rhetorical stakes of protests and the tactics that protesters employ, from the tumultuous events that spark these social movements to the signs, songs, slogans, dress, physical performances, and locations that allow people to deliver their messages. In addition to examining the rhetoric that the protests themselves construct, we will also learn to analyze the rhetoric of the media, history, and activism that surrounds protests. Students will have the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge of a particular protest or protest movement of their choice by developing a research topic, drawing in part on historical and global examples that the class will explore together. Readings will potentially include selections from speeches, manifestos, pamphlets, photographs, artifacts, and recordings in the past (the Boston Tea Party, Tiananmen Square), the recent past (the Matt Shepherd funeral protests, Occupy Wall Street), and the present (the Arab Spring, Ferguson, and the “Umbrella Movement” in Hong Kong), amongst many others. Additional class readings will also be adapted according to students’ interests. The culminating project of this course will be the opportunity for students to design a protest according to their own activist agenda.

RHE 309K carries a writing flag, and as such, includes a substantial research, writing, and revision component. There will be three 5-7 pg. papers and a final presentation, in addition to six 2-3 pg. informal writing assignments and two discussion posts.

 

Assignments and Grading

  • Attendance and Participation – 10%
  • 6 Short Writing Assignments – 15%
  • Discussion posts and informal presentation – 5%
  • Paper 1.1 – 5%
  • Paper 1.2 – 10%
  • Paper 2.1 – 10%
  • Paper 2.2 – 15%
  • Paper 3.1 – 10%
  • Paper 3.2 – 15%
  • Final Presentation – 5%

Required Texts and Course Readings

  • Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers, Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker
  • Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, Andrea A. Lunsford

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Country Music

43210 • Hixenbaugh, Dustin
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm FAC 9
show description

Since its emergence in the early twentieth century, “hillbilly music,” as it was then called, has been the subject of debate, ridicule, and occasional disapproval. It has also proven extremely popular with audiences both domestic and international, and given rise to some of the US’s best-known celebrities—Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton to name just a few. But what is country music, and how has it changed in the past hundred years? How does it speak to, and for, the “country” for which it is named? What does it mean to be “country”? 

This class respects country music as a serious form of cultural expression. Through research and extensive listening, we will situate particular artists and albums within their historical and cultural contexts. Specifically, we will explore how country music has responded to events like the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, the feminist movement, the Vietnam War, and 9/11, and how its artists have contested the meaning of “country” by pursuing alternative sub-genres like honky tonk, the Nashville and Bakersfield “sounds,” and “outlaw” country. Though students are encouraged to research and write about artists they are interested in, the course will keep a tight focus on argument analysis—that is, how artists and audiences have argued through and about country music—and the development of students’ own research and writing skills.

Please note the course carries a writing flag and requires daily listening and reading assignments.

 

Assignments and Grading

In Unit 1, students will collaboratively research different country music movements before placing one song or album of their choice in its rhetorical context. Assignments include one 15-20 minute group presentation (5% of the final course grade), and one 4-6 page Context Analysis Essay (5% for the first draft, and 10% for the final). In Unit 2, students will conduct an extended rhetorical analysis of one album or song of their choice. Assignments include three Short Analysis Essays of 1-2 pages in length (15%), which they will then revise and combine into one 4-6 page Long Analysis Essay (15%). Lastly, in Unit 3, students will write one 4-6 page Final Argument Essay (10% for the first draft, and 15% for the final) in which they will explain how they see country music, as a genre, responding to a specific historical event or cultural trend.

Over the course of the semester, students will also write four 1-2 page Research Summaries (15%) and post weekly to the class’s Discussion Board (10%).

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

This course requires two textbooks:

Rhetorical Analysis by Mark G. Longaker and Jeffrey Walker (Longman, 2010); and

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference (4th ed.), by Andrea Lunsford (Bedford, 2009).

Students will also read excerpts from a number of other texts about rhetoric or country music. These will be made available on the online Canvas system and may include: They Say/I Say (2014), Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein; All That Glitters (1993), John Buckley; In the Country of Country (1997), Nicholas Dawidoff; Behind Closed Doors (2002), Alanna Nash; Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music (2012), Diane Pecknold; Rednecks and Bluenecks (2007), Chris Willman; and others.


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Seduction

43215 • Moore, Aaron
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 206
show description

In a world where sacred texts describe a God commanding humans to "be fruitful and multiply," the art of seduction seems the ultimate form of rhetoric. Seduction stories, and even how-to manuals, have been around almost as long as people have been writing. For instance, at the heart of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious narratives, the Book of Genesis explains the beginning of humanity with a tale of seduction: the wily serpent seduced Eve by persuading her to taste the forbidden fruit. In classical times, Ovid addressed his poetic seduction manual The Art of Love to “anyone here in Rome” who might “lack finesse at love-making, / Let him / Try me—read my book, and results are guaranteed! / Technique is the secret.” Whether we look to antiquity, or to the shelves in bookstores today, every age offers examples of seduction manuals and stories that stress Ovid’s point: when it comes to persuasion, it’s all about technique. But what techniques affect such persuasions? Do they really work on people? And if so, whom do they work on? How and why?

In this course, we will investigate the “rhetoric of seduction” through a series of three units, beginning with an introduction to rhetoric and how it relates to morality. Each unit requires regular reading, writing, and discussion, including two short and two longer writing assignments about a selection of essays and advertisements that encourage students to ask questions like: "what is rhetoric? What is its relation to "ordinary" or "true" language? Where are the boundaries (if any) between persuasion and manipulation, and what is the relationship (if any) between language and morality? Unit II will move into specific rhetorics of seduction, as we begin looking at seduction manuals, as well as examples of successful (and unsuccessful) seductions in a variety of textual media, including fables, plays, and poems. Students will observe the techniques of a variety of great seducers, including (but not limited to) Homer’s Sirens and Aphrodite, Shakespeare’s Cleopatra and Milton’s Satan, Byron’s and Moliere’s Don Juan; we will also look at some contemporary seducers, like the “Venusian” author Mystery, host of a VH1 show called The Pickup Artist. Unit III will build up to and prepare students for a final seduction essay, where each student will write a rhetorically seductive letter to a specific audience, complete with a rhetorical self-analysis of the argument, citing outside sources to provide rationale for the chosen means of seduction.

Texts

  • Graff and Berkenstein. They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing.
  • Robert Greene. The Art of Seduction.
  • Additional readings provided by instructor

Assignments and Grading

  • Essay 1.1 10%
  • Essay 1.2 10%
  • Essay 2.1 15%
  • Essay 2.2 15%
  • Essay 3.1 15%
  • Essay 3.2 15%
  • Short Essays (6) 20%

Final grades will be calculated on a 4 point scale, according to the +/- system.


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Action Films

43225 • Ptacek, Jacob
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 206
show description

From the iconic (“I’ll be back…”) to the ironic (“Go ahead—I don’t shop here, anyways!”), action films have shaped—for good and bad—the discourse of American culture for the past forty years.   And while often critically reviled, action films and franchises are one of the most profitable sectors of Hollywood’s film industry, both at home and abroad.  But action films are more than just an evening’s light entertainment.  They engage in political and cultural arguments from all sides of the spectrum, from the treatment of returning veterans (First Blood) to race relations (Lethal Weapon) to governmental surveillance of civilians (The Dark Knight).  They map shifting responses to, among others, urban fears (the Dirty Harry and Death Wish series), Vietnam (the Rambo films), the Cold War (the James Bondfranchise, Red Dawn),feminism (the Alien films, Speed) and terrorism (the Die HardSpider-Man, and Batman franchises,The Hurt Locker).  They often, quite literally, infiltrate contemporary political discourse: Reagan praising Rambo, Schwarzenegger as “the Gubernator,” Obama as a “socialist” Joker.  And of course, lots of things explode.

This course takes for granted, then, that action films are worthy of serious study; and our purpose will be to analyze the arguments that they make, both narratively and visually, through rhetorical strategies.  Because rhetoric depends on understanding speech as situated in a particular socio-historical context, our class will look not just at the films themselves, but also the historical moments from which they emerge, and how critics and others responded to them at the time.  As this is a course in rhetoric, and not in film, students need have no familiarity with traditional models of film analysis (camera angles, shot composition, mise-en-scene, suture theory), but rather an interest in what action filmssay: How do they respond to an historical event?  What kinds of arguments do they make, and for whom?  Is an argument the words the actors say, or the images the director presents, or some combination of the two? How do these films engage with political, social, scientific, and cultural ideas?  How do their arguments change over time?  How can we evaluate those arguments, and why should we? 

 

Grading:

Five short writing assignments (one-page, single-spaced; the lowest grade will be dropped): 15%

Paper 1.1: 5%

Paper 1.2: 10%

Bibliography Assignment: 10%

Paper 2.1: 10%

Paper 2.2: 15%

Paper 3.1: 10%

Paper 3.2: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

 

Required Texts:

Picturing Texts by Faigley, George, and Palchik

Everything’s an Argument by Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz

Additional short pieces may be assigned through Blackboard (film reviews, critical articles, etc.)


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of The Cia

43230 • Leisner, Keith
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm FAC 7
show description

On June 6th, 2014, the CIA tweeted, “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” While the CIA’s possession of a social media account seemingly contradicts its image as a secret organization, the flurry of articles the tweet caused speculating about the CIA’s reasoning for it or tracing the history of the phrase can neither confirm nor deny evidences an enduring cultural fascination with the CIA and the language used to talk about classified information. (Note: This course may contain discussion about the language used to describe torture.) This fascination raises several questions about the image of the CIA and the effects of intelligence agencies on society. How does our perception of the CIA differ from its real identity? How does the CIA influence this perception and paradoxically shape its image as a secret organization with forms of communication like social media? And how do intelligence agencies control the ways we access classified information, which consequently affects the very way we think about it? Even though this course mainly uses examples about the CIA to promote understanding of its goals, you may choose to explore topics connected to the course’s theme. Some recent possibilities are the controversy over Edward Snowden’s leaking classified NSA documents; accusations Samsung committed corporate espionage in its development of a cell-phone line to compete with the iPhone; and the Department of Justice’s inadvertent collection of citizens’ cell phone data with “dirtboxes,” small planes disguised as cell phone towers intended to collect data from criminals’ cell phones.

Whatever your interest, as a member of a post-9/11 society, you will be asked to think deeply about the rhetoric surrounding intelligence and the agencies that gather and control it. Accordingly, this course is divided into three units. In Unit I, you will be asked to locate, summarize, and synthesize factual and fictional representations of the CIA across different media in order to establish a realistic understanding of what the CIA is and does. Having established this foundational understanding, in Unit II, you will then select one fictional representation from Unit I and rhetorically analyze it to determine how it affects our perception of the CIA. Finally, drawing on the skills learned in Units I and II, in Unit III, you will argue your position on a classified topic and/or conspiracy theory connected to the CIA with the aim of demonstrating how the control of information shapes the presentation, evaluation, and treatment of that information by the public. In addition to small writing assignments, these goals will be achieved by unit papers that must be revised to pass the course. This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the communication component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core course objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility.

 

Assignments and Grading

  • Small Writing Assignments - 20%
  • Paper 1.1 - 5%
  • Paper 1.2 - 10%
  • Paper 2.1 - 10%
  • Paper 2.2 - 15%
  • Paper 3.1 - 10%
  • Paper 3.2 - 20%
  • Participation - 10% (Note: Participation will be quantified by “badges” on Canvas.)
  • Peer Reviews - Mandatory

Required Texts and Course Readings

  • Critical Situations: A Rhetoric for Writing in Communities with Additional Material (custom edition for UT) 
  • Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects (7th edition)
  • Secrets
  • Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
  • The Good Shepherd
  • The Bourne Trilogy

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Seduction

43235 • Moore, Aaron
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 304
show description

In a world where sacred texts describe a God commanding humans to "be fruitful and multiply," the art of seduction seems the ultimate form of rhetoric. Seduction stories, and even how-to manuals, have been around almost as long as people have been writing. For instance, at the heart of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious narratives, the Book of Genesis explains the beginning of humanity with a tale of seduction: the wily serpent seduced Eve by persuading her to taste the forbidden fruit. In classical times, Ovid addressed his poetic seduction manual The Art of Love to “anyone here in Rome” who might “lack finesse at love-making, / Let him / Try me—read my book, and results are guaranteed! / Technique is the secret.” Whether we look to antiquity, or to the shelves in bookstores today, every age offers examples of seduction manuals and stories that stress Ovid’s point: when it comes to persuasion, it’s all about technique. But what techniques affect such persuasions? Do they really work on people? And if so, whom do they work on? How and why?

In this course, we will investigate the “rhetoric of seduction” through a series of three units, beginning with an introduction to rhetoric and how it relates to morality. Each unit requires regular reading, writing, and discussion, including two short and two longer writing assignments about a selection of essays and advertisements that encourage students to ask questions like: "what is rhetoric? What is its relation to "ordinary" or "true" language? Where are the boundaries (if any) between persuasion and manipulation, and what is the relationship (if any) between language and morality? Unit II will move into specific rhetorics of seduction, as we begin looking at seduction manuals, as well as examples of successful (and unsuccessful) seductions in a variety of textual media, including fables, plays, and poems. Students will observe the techniques of a variety of great seducers, including (but not limited to) Homer’s Sirens and Aphrodite, Shakespeare’s Cleopatra and Milton’s Satan, Byron’s and Moliere’s Don Juan; we will also look at some contemporary seducers, like the “Venusian” author Mystery, host of a VH1 show called The Pickup Artist. Unit III will build up to and prepare students for a final seduction essay, where each student will write a rhetorically seductive letter to a specific audience, complete with a rhetorical self-analysis of the argument, citing outside sources to provide rationale for the chosen means of seduction.

Texts

  • Graff and Berkenstein. They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing.
  • Robert Greene. The Art of Seduction.
  • Additional readings provided by instructor

Assignments and Grading

  • Essay 1.1 10%
  • Essay 1.2 10%
  • Essay 2.1 15%
  • Essay 2.2 15%
  • Essay 3.1 15%
  • Essay 3.2 15%
  • Short Essays (6) 20%

Final grades will be calculated on a 4 point scale, according to the +/- system.


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Laughter

43245 • Zacks, Aaron S
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

Laughter can be a powerful, rhetorical tool, but intentionally harnessing and leveraging its power to make clear, persuasive arguments – this is tricky business.

What makes us laugh? What doesn't make us laugh? How do we laugh? How does our laughter sound? When do we laugh, and when do we hold laughter back? Why do we laugh? What does it mean when we laugh, or don't laugh? From a rhetorical standpoint, what work can laughter perform in conversations about issues both trivial and important? Also, why does laughing make us feel good? (Is that feeling, itself, an argument?! To whom? From who?)

In Rhetoric of Laughter, we will address these and other questions through personal reflection on contemporary, laughter-inducing texts before mulling over laughter's role in public discourse.

 

Major Assignments and Grading:

  • HW - 15%    
  • DE - 15%
  • A1: Analysis I - 5%
  • A2: Analysis II - 10%
  • A3: Analysis III - 15%
  • Argument (Research Project) - 40%

 

Required Texts:

  • They Say/I Say (TSIS). Third Ed. Graff and Birkenstein, 2014. (Amazon)
  • Easy Writer (EW). Fifth Ed. Lunsford. Longman, 2014. (Amazon)

All other course content will be made available via Canvas and e-books available through UT Libraries.

 

Example Readings:

  • Gervais, Ricky. Extras (2005-07), The Invention of Lying (2009)
  • Judge, Mike. Silicon Valley (2014-)
  • Kroll, Nick. Kroll Show (2013-15)
  • Texas Travesty, The (1997-)
  • Watterson, Sam. Calvin and Hobbes (1985-95)

RHE 309K • Rhet Of Young Adult Fiction

43250 • Cotter, Erin
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A209A
show description

Are you a teenager, or an adult? How do we decide when someone has transitioned from adolescence to adulthood? What does it mean that young adult (YA) books and movies such as Harry PotterThe Hunger Games, and The Fault in our Stars are wildly successful among adults and teenagers alike? Is there something immature about adults who consume texts targeted at teenagers? The vast growth of the YA industry parallels our growing cultural anxiety about determining the parameters of adolescence. Terms such as “extended adolescence” and “delayed adulthood” frame the public discussion, but how do popular texts influence these debates about contemporary adolescence? This course seeks to explore the ways in which adolescence is rhetorically structured and imagined in popular YA texts.

As a class, we will explore numerous approaches to the question of YA’s “worth” for modern social relations. Students will begin the class by researching how a public controversy is discussed both outside of and within a YA text of their choice. They will then examine individual reactions to YA texts ranging from formal reviews to fandoms, “hatedoms,” and debates within online fan communities. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of YA’s engagement with public debates, experience with multiple modes of discourse, and an understanding of rhetorical strategies, students will finally make the case for the “worthiness” or “unworthiness” of a particular YA text to contemporary society.       

 

Assignments and Grading

  • Paper 1.1 - 5%
  • Paper 1.2 - 10%
  • Paper 2.1 - 10%
  • Paper 2.2 - 10%
  • Paper 3.1 - 15%
  • Paper 3.2 - 20%
  • Short Writing Assignments - 20%
  • Presentation - 10%
  • Participation - Invaluable

Required Texts and Course Readings

  • Everything’s an Argument by Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz
  • EasyWriter by Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Supplemental readings to be provided by instructor. Potential readings include, but are not limited to the following: “What are YA books? And who is reading them?” by Imogen Russell Williams, “Introduction: Theorizing Fandom: Fans, Subculture, and Identity” by Cheryl Harris, “The Ongoing Problem of Race in YA,” by Jen Doll, and The New York Times’ Room for Debate Series “The Power of Young Adult Fiction.”

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Lgbtq Politics

43255 • Egan, Jessica
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A216A
show description

In this course, we will examine the rhetorical strategies that LGBTQ activists and writers use to construct personal identities and to mobilize diverse communities. Our readings will attend in particular to the often-messy overlap between sexual orientation and other historically marginalized identities. While the course’s primary focus is on past and present controversies in the LGBTQ community, we will also ask how studying a small group of Americans can shed light on the rhetorical construction of broader concepts like citizenship and civil rights. Questions we will consider include: What is the connection between sexuality, protest, and political change? Why should straight people study queer politics? How have queer writers sought to link sexual orientation with non-white, working-class, disabled, or other identities? Lastly, we will explore the problem of evidence in the LGBTQ political context, in part by thinking about how our authors navigate between personal experience and scholarly argument. If supposedly neutral institutions like medicine and the law have historically discriminated against sexual minorities, how do we begin assessing what makes a speaker credible or an argument “true”? Throughout the semester, we will repeatedly return to such questions, asking ourselves how to research, speak, and write responsibly about marginalized communities—even, or especially, if we do not belong to them ourselves.

All students are welcome, regardless of background or familiarity with the topic. RHE 309K carries a writing flag, and as such, includes a substantial research, writing, and revision component.

Assignments and Grading

  • Attendance and Participation - 5%
  • Weekly Blog Posts - 20%
  • Annotated Bibliography - 20%
  • Short Critical Analysis Papers (2 total) -20%
  • Critical Analysis Paper Revision (1 total) - 10%
  • Final Project and Reflection Paper - 20%
  • Final Presentation - 5%

Required Texts and Course Readings

  • Longaker, Mark. Controversies.
  • Lunsford, Andrea. Easy Writer: A High School Reference.
  • Texts through Canvas: Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, Adrienne Rich, Eve Sedgwick, Michael Warner, Cathy Cohen, bell hooks, the ACT UP Oral History Project, Dorothy Allison, Julia Serano, and the Queer Zines Archive Project. 

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Cyborgs

43260 • Smith, Daniel
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 103
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

RHE 309K Rhetoric of Cyborgs 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 309K • Rhetoric Of The New Yorker

43265 • VOSS, PETER J
Meets MW 200pm-330pm FAC 7
show description

The New Yorker is a highbrow magazine that’s been around since the 1920s. Published weekly, the magazine regularly offers various forms of cultural commentary, from fiction submitted by respected authors, to investigative journalism written by first-rate essayists, to cartoons composed with unfailingly witty captions in mind. Each issue contains calendars highlighting upcoming social events across Manhattan. Quite often longer content in the magazine relates to current events outside of New York City, and increasingly outside of the United States. This course will examine all the various rhetorics that surround the magazine. We will consider each week’s cover and the various rhetorical strategies therein at play. We will read several famous articles from the magazine’s past, as well as current articles commenting on the world in which we live. Ultimately, we will consider the various ways in which arguments in the magazine are made.

Regular reading of The New Yorker will guide us as we practice research and writing over the course of the semester. Students will pick a controversy towards the beginning of the semester and, in addition to our reading from the magazine, research a particular topic that interests them. The goal of this research will be for students to produce a New Yorker-style essay by the end of the semester.

 

Assignments and Grading

  • Paper 1.1                     5%
  • Paper 1.2                     10%
  • Paper 2.1                     10%
  • Paper 2.2                     15%
  • Paper 3.1                     15%
  • Paper 3.2                     15%
  • Research summaries     20%
  • Reading Quizzes          10%
  • Peer reviews                Mandatory      
  • Participation                Invaluable

 

Required Texts

  • New Yorker subscription
  • “They Say / I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (with readings) – Graff, Birkenstein, and Durst
  • Easy Writer – Andrea Lunsford

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Power

43270 • Moore, Aaron
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm JES A218A
show description

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone,

“it means just what I choose it to mean—nothing more nor less.”

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."

--Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

What is Power? We have all heard it said that “knowledge is power,” but what do we mean by that? In the words of Michel Foucault, “there is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time power relations.” But what, exactly, does power have to do with knowledge?

In this class, we will sharpen our reading and writing skills as we explore the meaning and function of “power,” paying specific attention to the ways it relates to knowledge, as presented in a series of essays, each of which correspond to specific units that explore the intersections of power and such issues as: language; education; the body; race; gender. Working with a selection of sophisticated and often challenging texts, students will be encouraged to learn new ways of reading—such as “against the grain” or with it, re-reading, employing different ways of approaching different types of texts. In so doing, students will gain interdisciplinary skills that promise to strengthen their powers of persuasion and textual interpretation, thereby benefitting them in their various academic disciplines, as well as future careers and personal lives.

 

Reading List (by unit):

Power and Language

  • Nietzsche, Friedrich. “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense.”
  • Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.”

Education
 

  • Freire, Paulo. “The Banking Concept of Education.”

The Body

  • Foucault, Michel. “Panopticism,” from Discipline and Punish.


Gender and Sexuality


  • Bordo, Susan. “Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body.”

  • Butler, Judith. “Your Behavior Creates Your Gender” [video interview].

Masculinity

  • Geertz, Clifford. “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight,” from Interpretation of Culture.


Race


  • Baldwin, James. “Notes of a Native Son.”
  • Rodriguez, Richard. “The Achievement of Desire.”

 

Coursework and Grading:

Grades will depend on the following assignments:

  • Paper 1.1 -  5%
  • Paper 1.2  -  10%
  • Paper 2.1
 -  10%
  • Paper 2.2
 -  15%
  • Paper 3.1  -  15%
  • Paper 3.2  -  15%
  • Research
Summaries  20%
  • Class Contribution 10%

  • Peer reviews Mandatory

Grades will be derived mostly from student performance on 12 written assignments:
six longer and six shorter essays. The six longer essays are actually three essays, each one with a required revision. So 1.2 will be a revision of 1.1, 2.2 will be a revision of 2.1, etc. On these major essays, students will be encouraged to write about topics of their choice, arguing and supporting a specific thesis concerning some point of controversy generated or inspired by the readings and class discussions thereof. The six shorter essays will be like research summaries—each one a précis of one of our reading assignments— and will all factor together into a single grade worth 20%. The 10% class contribution grade will award students who attend regularly, participate in peer editing, discussion, and other simple daily graded activities that signify a reasonable level of personal engagement with the class.


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Cyborgs

43275 • Smith, Daniel
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

RHE 309K Rhetoric of Cyborgs 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 AnthropologyA 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 309K • Rhetoric Of Satire

43280 • Zacks, Aaron S
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 6
show description

With the bountiful and diverse new media at their disposal in the 21st century, satirists are playing an increased, and increasingly mainstream, role in world culture. Satire’s diversity—of subject-matter, genre, tone, and humor—helps it to cross national and language boundaries, so that a satirical argument about gets picked up quickly by news outlets and spreads, meme-like, among various rhetorical contexts. A few years ago, a Danish newspaper published a collection of cartoons depicting the prophet of Islam Muhammed in a variety of controversial scenarios. The subsequent public debate, centering around freedom of speech and religious sensitivity, was taken up briskly by pundits of all kinds, earnest and satirical, from CNN to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and inspired a two-part South Park episode representing the debate in its characteristically zany but targeted brand of argument-making. More recently, during the 2012 US Presidential election process, satire outlets such as The Colbert Report and Saturday Night Live brought political issues to a wide audience by supplying an alternate, satirical version of the news cycle. Back in 2004, Ted Koppel admitted, albeit lamentably, that “a lot of television viewers...get their news from the Comedy Channel.”1

Surely that number has grown dramatically in the past eight years. With viewership comes legitimacy, and whether or not the satirist wants to be taken seriously ceases to a matter under his or her control. Unevenness of audience expectations produces a complex rhetorical situation, especially in response to the most serious of world events, most recently Hurricane Sandy and the Sand Hook tragedy. On other, bizarre occasions, we have seen satire misread as earnest argument, such as this past December, when a Chinese news outlet reported that The Onion had named North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jung-un the “Sexiest Man Alive in 2012.” When utilized effectively, satire speaks truth to power through the indirect strategy of irony—saying the opposite of what one means—and can, perhaps, encourage useful public debate. It is also entertaining and, when done well, tremendously funny. This is the central irony of satirical rhetoric that we will dwell on in this course.

What role does satire play in our culture? How are satirists utilizing new media and technology to infiltrate spaces usually reserved for earnest argument? Can satirical argument produce measurable change in the world like other rhetorical modes, such as political speech and news broadcasts? What role do we, as engaged citizens, expect satire to play in our lives? How does satire meet or challenge those expectations? And what on Earth does it mean that a portion of our country believes Jon Stewart is more reliable a reporter than Wolf Blitzer? And, for starters, what is satire, anyway? We will engage these and many other questions over the course of the semester through studying satirical arguments about various subjects (music, sports, politics, etc.) in a wide variety of genres (television, internet, poetry, video games, radio, etc.). Students will apply concepts of rhetorical analysis in our discussions of these texts and learn to move deftly between different media. We will study some classic rhetorical texts, such as Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal (1729) and Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary (1906), but, because satire is, above all, topical, most of the course content will be contemporary. As with all rhetorical study, the underlying aim of this course is to hone our sensitivity to the arguments surrounding us, making us more careful interpreters of our society and cultures. This course is writing-intensive and revision-intensive; students will produce and revise approximately 30 pages of original writing over the course of the semester. This course also requires active participation in class discussions and one or more presentations. In the final weeks of the semester, students will produce a piece of satire, in the genre of their choice, accompanied by an essay describing their use of rhetorical strategies.

1 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27439-2004Aug23.html

Assignments and Grading

  • Research Summaries                            10%
  • Annotated Bibliography                      10%
  • Essay 1.1 (Rhetorical Analysis)           10%
  • Essay 1.2 (Revision)                            15%
  • Essay 2.1 (Persuasive Essay)               10%
  • Essay 2.2 (Revision)                            15%
  • Final Project and Essay                       15%
  • In-Class Writing                                  5%
  • Homework                                          10%
  • Peer Review                                        Mandatory

 

Required Texts

  • Course Packet (available the first week of the semester from Speedway Copy in the Dobie Mall)
  • Gray, Jonathan, Jeffrey P. Jones, and Ethan Thompson. Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era (2009)
  • Scharton, Maurice and Janice Neuleib. Things Your Grammar Never Told You: A Pocket Handbook (2nd Edition, 2001)

Sample Satirical Texts

  • Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil’s Dictionary (1906)
  • Colbert, Stephen, et al. The Colbert Report (2005-)
  • Judge, Mike. Office Space (1999)
  • Kafka, Franz. “A Hunger Artist” (1924)
  • Melville, Herman. “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” (1853)
  • Onion, The (1988-)
  • Stewart, Jon, et al. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1999-)
  • Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal (1729)
  • Tomorrow, Tom. This Modern World (1988-)
  • Travesty, Texas (1997-)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Sustainability

43285 • Oxford, Robert
Meets MW 330pm-500pm GAR 2.112
show description

How do we define sustainability? How do we decide whether a commodity is sustainable or not? From coffee shops to global energy, sustainability has become a frequent and important rhetorical signifier of the twenty-first century. This class will read texts from corporations, cooperatives, activists and governments to explore the different rhetorical claims for sustainable resources. Students will also observe how the University of Texas adopts the rhetoric of sustainability in fulfilling its education mission on campus. Throughout the class, the goal is to question how sustainability influences our life, work and community and to note how various institutions and groups use this phrase to advance their own goals and agendas.

Assignments and Grading

  • Minor Writing Assignments - 15%
  • (Reading/Viewing Responses, Research Reports)          
  • Unit I Essay - 5%
  • Unit I Revision - 5%
  • Unit II Essay - 15%
  • Unit II Revision - 15%
  • Unit III Position Paper - 15%
  • Unit III Position Paper Revision - 20%
  • Peer Reviews - Mandatory
  • Participation - Invaluable

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein.

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, Andrea A. Lunsford.

All other readings will be uploaded to Canvas as a reading packet. These include:

  • Excerpts from Onward: How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Howard Shultz, 2012)
  • Excerpt chapter from New Paradigms in Global Supply and Demand: Coffee Markets (World Bank, 2004)
  • Seeking Sustainability: COSA Preliminary Analysis of Sustainability Initiatives in the Coffee Sector (Daniele Giovannucci, Jason Potts et al., 2008)
  • Coffee Worker Justice Initiative: US Labor Education in the Americas Project
  • Excerpts from Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation: Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 
  • Excerpts from 2011 Corporate Citizenship Report (ExxonMobile)
  • Bill McKibben, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” Rolling Stone (July 19, 2012)

RHE 309S • Crit Read/Persuasive Writ-Hon

43300 • Longaker, Mark Garrett
Meets MW 930am-1100am FAC 7
show description

In this course, we will pursue two goals. We will try to become:

(1) more proficient users of language, and

(2) more critical users of language.

To do so, we will study argumentative forms, practice their use in particular situations for specific groups of people, and we will analyze the potential effects (social, political, economic) of language. The big question that we will encounter is this: how do the available arguments at a given moment shape a conversation and make (im)possible certain actions?

Students will write short (one-page) papers on a weekly basis and several long arguments (5-7 pages) as well. All long arguments will be peer-reviewed and revised according to peer and instructor feedback.


RHE 309S • Crit Read/Persuasive Writ-Nsds

43305 • Buckley, Tom
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 308
show description

THIS COURSE IS RESTRICTED TO NATURAL SCIENCE DEAN SCHOLARS

The aim in this course is to develop a better understanding and mastery of rhetoric-the art of persuasion-an art that's essential not only for your college work, but also for your participation as a citizen in a democracy. You already know this art instinctively: every day, all day, you're immersed in rhetoric. But our goal in this course is to become more consciously and effectively rhetorical.

To accomplish this goal, we'll use a number of approaches. We'll complete a number of assignments addressed to specific audiences for specific purposes; we'll engage ourselves in additional assignments involving analysis and evaluation; we'll read rhetorically, with a critical awareness of the techniques and strategies adopted by writers; and we'll involve ourselves in discussions about what we read.

The course-and its assignments-will challenge you to think differently, to question age-old assumptions, and to engage in argument as part of a larger community. This course isn't for the faint of heart. If you're not prepared to be challenged in your thinking, or if you're not comfortable participating in conversations with others, you best not sign up. But if you're a hard worker, you like to share your thoughts, and you're open to a slightly different approach to learning, then this is the place for you.


RHE 310 • Intermed Expository Writing

43306 • Charney, Davida H
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm FAC 9
show description

In this intensive writing workshop, you will learn to recognize, evaluate, and produce stylish prose, the kind that is used in academics, journalism, and public forums. Many undergraduates start off with writing that is overly "loose," "vague," "wordy," "chatty," and "student-y." Others have writing that can only be described as "dense," "turgid," or "convoluted." In either case, you will learn how to create "tight," "concise," "pointed," and "confident" prose. 

The class will analyze and produce two types of short texts: vignettes describing daily life in a city or community and letters to the editor.  For both types of texts, you will analyze and evaluate many published examples before producing your own.  The class will select the best student-authored submissions to edit, refine, and revise and publish on a class blog.

Draft Vignettes: 25%

Draft Letters to Editor: 25%

Revising/Editing Blog Posts: 10%

Exercises: 25%

Quizzes: 15%


RHE 315 • Intro To Visual Rhetoric

43308 • THAIN, LAURA E
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm FAC 7
show description

Kenneth Burke famously defined rhetoric as “the use of language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols.”  Although the use of visual rhetoric in mass media has an extensive history, the development of new visual networks in the 20th century changed the face of mass communication: film, television, and the world wide web all rely heavily on the interplay between visual and linguistic information. Inverting Burke’s definition of rhetoric, this class will analyze how symbols work as a linguistic means of communication.  The images of our everyday life—from memes, Instagram, and Vine to film, tv, and photojournalism—will serve as our primary texts as we explore the fascinating landscape of 21st century visual rhetoric.

            As we work together to expand our understanding of this rhetorical landscape, we will practice three basic approaches to reading images: visual rhetoric as a way to do something, visual rhetoric as a way to know something, and visual rhetoric as a way to be or become something.  We will begin by examining how images function as public address. How do we communicate with each other using images?  What are these images meant to signify, and how is communicating with images different than communicating with spoken or written language alone?  We will build on that understanding by looking at what sorts of assumptions and understandings different media rely on.  How do the codes, clichés, and conventions of the visual communicate to an audience via a system of informal logic?  Finally, we will read visual rhetoric as not only descriptive but also constitutive in the composition of our every-day lives.  How does visual rhetoric shape our perceptions, our identities, and our communities?  To answer these questions, we will produce both visual and written compositions that help us further our understanding of how visual rhetoric functions as a powerful communicative force in our society.

 


RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

43310 • Charney, Davida H
Meets MW 200pm-330pm FAC 9
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, ethospathoslogos, 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 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

43315 • Ferreira-Buckley, Linda
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 208
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, ethospathoslogos, 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 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 325M • Advanced Writing

43320 • Ruszkiewicz, John J
Meets MW 200pm-330pm PAR 104
show description

Rhetoric 325M is an advanced-level workshop in writing and editing. Its goal is to make already skilled writers more polished and publishable. The standards are high: the course will focus intensely on editing individual projects with everyone in the class having access to the drafts of their colleagues' work. Specifically, course goals are the following:

  • To help you handle grammar, mechanics, and usage correctly and confidently.
  • To make you aware that written claims must be specific and supported by logical reasons and reliable evidence. 
  • To prepare you for a job market that rewards clear, efficient, and stylish prose—the kind that audiences read willingly. 

 

Course Requirements

Members of the class will write two short papers and three longer ones. Many course sessions will focus on drafts, with students in the class routinely showcasing their work-in-progress.

 

Grading Policy

Literacy biography / 5%; 
Book review / 15%; 
Major Project 1 / 25%; Major Project 2 / 25%; 
Major Project 3 / 25%; Editing / 4%; Perfect Attendance / 1%. This formula presumes satisfactory attendance and the completion of all assignments (including editing assignments) on time; participating in group work; reviewing classmates' materials regularly, and so on

 

Texts

John Trimble, Writing With Style / 3rd edition


RHE 328 • Magazine Writing/Publishing

43325 • Buckley, Tom
Meets W 500pm-800pm PAR 101
show description

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the magazine field from the perspective of both writers and editors. The course offers a broad core of practical knowledge while also exploring issues related to the field. In the first part of the course, students will learn how to generate story ideas; research appropriate magazine markets to pursue; conduct interviews; sell their ideas (and themselves) in query letters; develop the best format for presenting their information; and, finally, organize the materials, write, and revise the article itself, and send it off for publication.

 

In the second half of the course, students will publish an issue of a magazine, acting as writers, editors, and designers responsible for its content – and beholden to a publisher. They'll identify a niche audience, formulate an editorial vision, and write, revise, edit, fact-check, and generally take part in all aspects of the publication. In short, they'll perform all the editorial functions of a magazine staff. They'll work individually and in teams, devising departments, assigning stories, gathering art, selling ads. They'll write headlines and captions, crop pictures, fit copy, and design layouts. And they'll engage in discussions about issues of advertising, media ethics, and publisher control.

 

No previous journalistic experience is necessary.

 

Course Requirements

Three articles during the first half of the course (profile, issue of conflict, feature); various tasks associated with publishing a magazine in the second half of the course. During the second half, students will also continue to revise the three articles from the first half of the course.

 

Grading Policy

  • Three articles, with revisions: 25% each
  • Shorter exercises: 15%
  • Participation in second half of the course: 10%

 

Required Texts

  • Writer's Market 2010, Robert Lee Brewer (Editor)
  • Writing for Magazines: A Beginner's Guide, Cheryl Sloan Wray

RHE 328 • Writing For Nonprofits

43330 • Zacks, Aaron S
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 6
show description

Can you see yourself working for an organization whose main purpose is to raise awareness about an important issue and make a difference in people’s lives? Bring your passion to the classroom in this service-learning writing course, in which you’ll practice supporting a nonprofit by harnessing your language and digital media skills.

Nonprofits do a lot of good in their communities, but their survival depends on how well they do two things:

1) promote their mission; and

2) create opportunities for people to support it.

  

Writing plays a crucial role in achieving these goals. In this class, you will learn to:

- Understand the rhetorical situation inherent to nonprofit work;

- Assess an organization’s needs;

- Think critically about an organization’s precepts and opportunities for engagement;

- Prioritizing the use of an organization’s resources;

- Construct innovative messages in support of cause;

- Use the internet and print sources to research and assess potential donors;

- Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to write a compelling grant proposal;

- Collaborate with like-minded, busy, students and professionals.

 

This course provides you the opportunity to work directly with local non-profit agencies and create materials their directors can use for publicity and fundraising. The materials you’ll create for class will be the kind that employees of nonprofits create on a daily basis. Students will work in groups to research and write a grant proposal directed at a particular foundation. Independently, students will write a feature article and design a project that meets the needs of one of our partner organizations or another local nonprofit.

We will have several guest speakers from local nonprofits. Some will invite your help fulfilling specific writing needs; others will share some of their hard-won experience in the nonprofit realm and field your questions about nonprofit careers.  

 

Texts

  • Strategic Communications for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide to Working with the Media by Kathy Bonk (print or Kindle)
  • Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals by Tori O'Neal-McElrath (print or Kindle)
  • The Future of Nonprofits by David J. Neff and Randal Moss (print or Kindle)
  • Selected readings (see “Files” in Canvas)

 

Grades

This course has five major projects:

  • Project 1: Analyzing a nonprofit’s needs (10%)
  • Project 2: Analyzing a nonprofit’s current communication strategy (20%)
  • Project 3: Researching a foundation (15%)
  • Project 4: Writing a grant to a foundation (25%)
  • Project 5: Writing a feature article for a nonprofit (25%)

RHE 330C • Digital Self And Rhetoric

43335 • Boyle, Casey A
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 104
show description

A chief concern for today’s networked age is how we develop, present, and manage our identities in digital spaces. We find easy examples for this concern in our understanding of how companies track our buying habits for precisely targeted marketing campaigns; in our fearing that our identities can be stolen for someone else’s financial gain, in our increasing awareness that security agencies monitor our activities. In each of these examples–and in many others we could list–our anxiety can be traced to not knowing what information we are producing and, further, not knowing who can access that information we produce. In short: we need to know more about how we are known.

While these concerns have intensified through the rise of digital networks and our increasing use of those networks, the underlying problems reach at least as far back as the birth of the western tradition.  In the long rhetorical tradition, concerns over self-presentation and practices for establishing good character have provided an ongoing task for becoming effective and engaged public citizens. As such, this course will draw heavily from rhetorical understandings of ethos–character, credibility, ethics–to develop an understanding of self-construction and self-presentation through digital media and online networks. The course, then, will be an opportunity to develop an understanding for and facility with how digital media can produce, collect, share, and shape identities and how we might use those digital media to further manage our online selves for academic, professional, and public purposes.

 

Assignments

Reading Responses – 10%

  • These will be ongoing short, focused video/audio responses to our readings and will serve as conversation starters for our class discussions.

Case Study – 20%

  • Each student will be responsible for presenting one extended case study that analyzes a recent case/event relevant to our courses readings for that day/week.

Off Grid Analysis – 30%

  • This assignment will include a short multimedia essay that analyzes your gameplay for Off Grid, a game designed to teach its player about metadata and information security.

Quantified Self(ie) – 40%

  • This is a semester long data collection and presentation project that asks you to record and present an (reasonable) account of your own activities in and through digital media. This assignment will include: a brief proposal; a short presentation; and a final report that uses information visualization techniques to present a coherent story of complex data.

NOTE: Many of our assignments will be opportunities for us to research, collect, and present many examples of the kinds of media we will be reading about. We will make use of free and easily accessible software applications to accomplish these tasks (i.e. video editing, information visualization, document design). No prior knowledge of these applications will be required, but students must be willing to explore and practice the software introduced in the course.

 

Required Texts and Materials

  • Marwick, Alice E. Status update: Celebrity, publicity, and branding in the social media age. Yale University Press, 2013.
  • Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor. Delete: the virtue of forgetting in the digital age. Princeton University Press, 2011.
  • Rainie, Harrison, and Barry Wellman. Networked: The new social operating system. MIT Press, 2012.
  • Rettberg, Jill Walker. Seeing Ourselves Through TechnologyPalgrave Pivot, 2014.
  • Rudder, Christian. Dataclysm: Who We Are When No One is Looking. Crown Publishers, 2014.
  • Vaughn, Brian K.  and Marcos Martin, The Private Eye, Panel Syndicate, 2014. 
  • Off Grid, Semaeopus Games, 2014.

Several other readings will be made available via course site may include: Aristotle, On Rhetoric (selection); Jim Corder (selected essays); Michel Foucault, “Self-Writing”; Isocrates, Antidosis (selection); Nigel Thrift, “Lifeworld, Inc.”; Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory(selections).


RHE 330C • Writing With Sound

43340 • Boyle, Casey A
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

This course will examine recording, editing, and distribution of sound as a form of writing. In a contemporary world where writing is mostly digital, we often overlook the presence of sound—music that accompanies video, voice published as podcasts, noise remixed into an ambient art form. In order to understand the rhetorical effects of sound compositions, this course will read and discuss important works in the field of sound studies and offer an introduction to using open source digital audio editing tools for writing with sound.

Note: This course will be organized as a project-based workshop (especially in the second half of the semester). In addition to readings and discussions, several of our class meetings will be opportunities for hands-on practice with digital audio tools that will involve your classmates and the instructor. Please be advised that such work demands regular attendance and requires active participation.

Texts and Materials

 

Additional essays and articles will be provided on the course site

Assignments

Reading Responses (20%)

  • 8 written responses to required readings posted to our course site (300-500 words posted in Canvas). Responses will be opportunities to critically and creatively engage course readings and case studies as well as provide the starting point for much our class discussion. In the first week, I will provide a more detailed assignment sheet for how to organize the responses.

Soundscape Analysis (15%)

  • Students will script and compose a 4-5 minute analysis that examines and reenacts the various sonic dimensions of a chosen location.

Sonic Remediation (25%)

  • This assignment asks students to select a print-based writing–a short essay or article from/related to our course readings–to remediate into a sound essay.

Podcast Series (40%)

  • This final assignment will include a short proposal, three podcast episodes, and a brief prospectus that outlines a digital distribution plan. Of your three podcasts, one will include a site recording, one an interview, and one studio recording.

RHE 330C • Networked Writing

43345 • Spinuzzi, Clay
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm PAR 6
show description

Writing is perhaps our most flexible tool. Since its invention in 3200 BCE, this tool has been used for a remarkable range of activities—and has been combined with other technologies to shape what is possible in different societies and contexts. And the current information and communication technologies—such as social media, instant messaging, and collaborative writing spaces—are certainly making their mark, changing how we read, write, compose, and argue.

 

In this class, we’ll examine writing as a tool that interacts with various information and communication technologies, and we’ll try out various information and communication technologies to better understand how they interact.

 

Assignments and Grading

Project 1: Offline writing. (20%)

Not only has writing been offline for almost all of its history, it has been done in specific media: fired clay, bones, papyrus, marble, paper, sticky notes. In fact, it’s hard to go an hour without encountering some kind of offline writing. As Karlsson shows in her article, even trades that seem to have nothing to do with writing actually involve writing. In a highly literate society, writing is applied to most of our problems.

 

Find and analyze four pieces of offline writing that are related to each other in a specific activity. Examples might include:

  • a shopping list, a printed circular for a grocery store, a sticker on an apple, and a sign advertising a sale.
  • a flyer for a Greek event, a ticket for the event, a sign at the event, a t-shirt commemorating the event.
  • a course syllabus, course notes, an assignment for the course, a picture of the whiteboard during a lecture.
  • the Starbucks menu, a chalkboard showing today’s specials, a receipt, a paper coffee cup with the customer’s name written on it.

 

Analyze the pieces of offline writing in these terms:

  • Purpose. What does each piece of writing do within the activity? What role does it play in comparison with other examples of writing?
  • Medium. Why is each piece of writing in this medium rather than others? How does this medium help it to achieve its purpose?
  • Links. How does this piece of writing link up with other pieces? For instance, the barista may take a name for the receipt, but also may write it in marker on a Starbucks cup. In what ways do these pieces of writing become associated?
  • Strengths and weaknesses. In becoming associated, these different texts may reinforce each others’ purposes or roles in the activity. but they may also undermine them. Discuss some ways in which the four pieces of writing reinforce or undermine each other.

Include pictures or scans of each piece of writing, either as embedded figures or as separate uploads.

Project 2: Social writing. (25%)

We’ve done offline writing for a long time, but two trends—universal literacy and widespread access to digitally based information and communication technologies—have radically increased both the variety and the interactivity of writing. We can now keep in close, interactive contact with a variety of relationships via social networking (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus) and messaging (e.g., SMS/texting, instant messaging, GroupMe, Skype, Google Hangouts). And as the Haas et al. piece illustrated, this new (historically speaking) affordance has led to behavior that older people might find bizarre—such as texting someone who is in the same space.

 

How have information and communication technologies changed the nature of relationships, either close or distant? Write a paper that explores this question. For this paper:

  • Interview 2-3 people who has grown up with, and uses, social media or messaging. Specifically, find people who have used social media or messaging since high school (at the latest). Discuss the following:

○      What do they use social networking or messaging to do? Under what conditions? Ask for specific examples that you can capture, either via screen capture or by writing verbatim.

○      How do they use social networking or messaging to interact? For instance, do they comment on others’ status? Do they monitor how others feel or what others are doing?

  • Interview 1-2 people who did not grow up with social media or messaging. These could be relatives, employers, professors, etc. Discuss the following:

○      Do they use social media or messaging? If so, how do they use it? If not, why not?

○      What have they found most counterintuitive about social media?

 

Based on the research above, write a paper that compares and contrasts the expectations of the two groups. Compare both sets of expectations to your own.

 

Project 3: Collaborative writing. (30%)

 

Collaborative writing has become increasingly important in endeavors from entertainment to business to education, helped along by new and powerful ways to collaborate. As Zachry et al. show, publicly available online services have created an additional collaborative layer over businesses; as Sherlock demonstrates, collaborative texts such as wikis are key to making certain activities in World of Warcraft happen. And of course Wikipedia is the poster child for massive collaboratively written endeavors.

 

This project involves examining such collaborative writing spaces, but it also involves using them.

 

In groups of 3-4 people, select a collaboratively written text to examine and evaluate. You might consider texts such as

  • a wiki for an online game or a Wikipedia page
  • a Google Doc for an open source software project
  • a piece of documentation in a content management system

 

As you examine the text, you’ll collaborate on an evaluation of the text. Specifically, you’ll look at features such as:

  • Identity. Are collaborators identified? How are they identified—with full names, pseudonyms, etc.?
  • History. Does the system show the history of changes? How do you get to it, and to what degree does it show the changes?
  • Controls. Who controls the text? What levels of control are embedded in the software? What roles are established? How do people move from one role to another?
  • Contributions. What features allow people to make contributions? Are these features easy or hard to use? Speculate on how the qualities of these features affect the quantity and quality of the contributions.

 

Collaboratively write a paper based on the evaluation.

  • Use collaborative writing software (such as Google Docs, a wiki, or a content management system) to write and submit the paper..
  • Use a project management tool (Basecamp, Asana, Wrike, Google Sheets, etc.) to plan, track, and adjust writing tasks.’

 

Project 4: Networked writing and alliances. (25%)

 

In their book The Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico, Ronfeldt et al. describe how the Zapatistas took advantage of relatively new information and communication technologies (new in 1998, anyway) to network different actors with different agendas, resulting in alliances that quickly changed the dynamics of revolution. We see similar tactics being used with more recent actions leveraging more recent technologies: the Arab Spring used Facebook and Twitter; Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party use social media and discussion boards; the Syrian rebels use Skype; Anonymous uses a variety of channels.

 

Select one instance—possibly from these, possibly from other instances—and research it. Specifically, examine how entities with different agendas meet and network those agendas via information and communication technologies.

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

Baten, J., & Van Zanden, J. L. (2008). Book production and the onset of modern economic growth. Journal of Economic Growth, 13(3), 217–235.

Bender, E. M., Morgan, J. T., Oxley, M., Zachry, M., Hutchinson, B., Marin, A., Zhang, B., et al. (2011). Annotating Social Acts : Authority Claims and Alignment Moves in Wikipedia Talk Pages. LSM  ’11: Proceedings of the Workshop on Languages in Social Media (pp. 48–57). Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics.

Ferro, T., Divine, D., & Zachry, M. (2012). Knowledge Workers and Their Use of Publicly Available Online Services for Day-to-day Work. SIGDOC  ’12:Proceedings of the 30th ACM international conference on Design of communication (pp. 47–53). New York: ACM.

Hutchins, E. (1995). How a cockpit remembers its speeds. Cognitive Science, 19(3), 265–288.

Karlsson, A.-M. (2009). Positioned by Reading and Writing: Literacy Practices, Roles, and Genres in Common Occupations. Written Communication, 26(1), 53–76. doi:10.1177/0741088308327445

Law, J. (1986). On the methods of long distance control: Vessels, navigation and the Portuguese route to India. In J. Law (Ed.), Power, action and belief: A new sociology of knowledge? (pp. 234–263). Boston: Routledge.

Morgan, J. T., & Zachry, M. (2010). Negotiating with angry mastodons. In Wayne Lutters & Diane H. Sonnenwald (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th ACM international conference on Supporting group work - GROUP  ’10 (pp. 165–168). New York: ACM.

O’Leary, M., Orlikowski, W., & Yates, J. (2002). Distributed work over the centuries: Trust and control in the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1670-1826. In P. J. Hinds & S. Kiesler (Eds.), Distributed Work (pp. 27–54). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Oxley, M., Morgan, J. T., Zachry, M., & Hutchinson, B. (2010). “What I Know Is …”: Establishing Credibility on Wikipedia Talk Pages. WikiSym  ’10: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (pp. 2–3). New York: ACM.

Ronfeldt, D., Arquilla, J., Fuller, G. E., & Fuller, M. (1999). The Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.

Sherlock, L. (2009). Genre, Activity, and Collaborative Work and Play in World of Warcraft: Places and Problems of Open Systems in Online Gaming. Journal Of Business And Technical Communication, 23(3), 263–293.

Schmandt-Besserat, D., & Erard, M. (2008). Origins and Forms of Writing. In C. Bazerman (Ed.), Handbook of research on writing: History, society, school, individual, text (pp. 7–22). New York: Erlbaum.

Smart, G. (2008). Writing and the social formation of economy. In C. Bazerman (Ed.), Handbook of research on writing: History, society, school, individual, text (pp. 123–135). New York: Erlbaum.


RHE 330D • Deliberating War

43350 • Roberts-Miller, Patricia
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 206
show description

Thucydides' Pelopponesian Wars tells the story not only of the war that Athens fought with Sparta (off and on from 431 to 404 B.C.), but of how Athenians came to various decisions along the way. How were they persuaded to get into the fight in the first place? How did political figures keep the Athenians' spirits up, including during a horrific plague that devastated the city? How did they persuade allies to join them? How did political figures persuade the citizens to restart the war, to treat enemies, and to engage in some highly questionable tactics?

In other words, Thucydides recognized something slightly paradoxical – war depends on rhetoric. His history of the war is as much a history of rhetoric as it is a history of military tactics. And Thucydides has a clear argument: that certain ways of deliberating enabled the Athenians to come to good decisions, but other ways caused them to come to bad ones. For that reason, his book is a good place for this course to start, as the central topic of the course is the one raised by Thucydides: what approach(es?) to rhetoric helps a people come to a good decision, and what approach(es?) contributes to their getting into a horrible mess?

Like Thucydides' book, this course is not a military history course – we will rarely (if ever) discuss the tactical and logistical issues of any particular conflict. Instead, we'll focus on the rhetorical questions about persuasion and decision-making.

The first unit will focus on Thucydides' book. The second will look at World War II, and the rhetoric and deliberation on the part of Hitler, FDR, and Churchill. All three leaders had relentlessly pro-war rhetoric, but of very different kinds, and with very different consequences. The third unit will focus on The Pentagon Papers, which is the Department of Defense's 1971 assessment of the history of public rhetoric and semi-public decision-making over the Vietnam conflict.

 

Assignments and Grading:

Students will write and substantially revise three medium-length (five to ten page) researched papers that will count for 90% of the final grade. Various short assignments will count for 10% of the grade. Depending on student performance, there may be a midterm or final examination.

 

Texts:

  • Pelopponesian Wars by Thucydides
  • The Pentagon Papers
  • Course Packet, including writings by Hitler, Churchill, FD Roosevelt, and others

RHE 330D • Rhet Inventd/Revised/Retold

43355 • Diab, Rasha
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 2.112
show description

In this course, we will examine how rhetoric has been theorized, taught, practiced and revisited. Throughout its history, different voices have shaped what rhetoric is and its function in a community. At times, these different understandings of rhetoric expanded and at others narrowed rhetorical territory. Moreover, social, political, intellectual, historical changes can facilitate and mandate a revision and a retelling of rhetoric.

In this course, we will revisit and critically engage the contribution of key figures exemplifying rhetoric in antiquity; medieval; renaissance; enlightenment periods. We will also explore modern times, needs and challenges, studying how the work of, for example, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Jacquline Royster and others impact our conception of rhetoric today.

Focusing on how rhetoric is revisited and retold, we will explore some influential revisions of rhetoric. These revisions continue to expand rhetoric’s territory beyond that conceived in antiquity. We will investigate revisions that uncovered women’s rhetorical contributions (Royster; Glenn); different rhetorical traditions; the intersections of culture, race, nation, etc. and rhetoric. For example, we will explore how scholars continue to shed light on the nuances of rhetoric especially when it intersects with facets of our experiential, relational and material lives including culture, ability, race, etc.

 

Assignments and Grading

Students’ performance will be assessed based on an achievement rubric detailed at the beginning of the semester.   

Major assignments will include:

  • Two researched, peer reviewed, and substantially revised research papers
  • Short assignments
  • Participation (class participation, oral report/leading class discussion/individual or group presentation)
  • Attendance (attendance policy detailed at the beginning of the semester)

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

  • A history of rhetoric book
  • A course reader including selections from Cheryl Glenn’ s Rhetoric Retold, Andrea Lunsford’s Reclaiming Rhetorica, Molly Wertheimer’s Listening to Their Voices, Carol Lipson and Roberta Binkley’s Ancient Non-Greek Rhetoric and Rhetoric Before and Beyond the Greeks.

RHE 330E • Rhetoric And Narrative

43360 • Smith, Daniel
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 103
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 330E • Comparative Rhetoric

43365 • Diab, Rasha
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 304
show description

What does culture have to do with rhetoric? This question taps into a crucial force that impacts rhetorical practices and scholarship, and this intersection of rhetoric and culture has attracted the attention of scholars especially since second half of the 21st century, resulting in the development of comparative rhetoric. In this course we will study the conception, development and practice of rhetoric in different and mainly non-Western cultural traditions. For example, we will survey research on rhetorical traditions like ancient Indian, Egyptian, and Rhodian, demonstrating how they predate, relate to and differ from those in Greece and Rome. We will also discuss the objectives, achievement, and potential of research in comparative rhetoric as well as challenges posed by this kind of research. 

 

Course Requirements, Assignment and Grade Distribution

Class Activities and Discussions (20%)

  • Participating in and/or leading class discussion
  • Peer review workshops
  • Oral report/presentation of research
  • Short Assignments

Short Papers (20%)

  • Writing five short response/reflection papers to further explore and engage topics and questions addressed in class.

Two Research Papers (30% each)

  • Further explore and reflect on issues raised by the course drawing on outside research.  Both papers will involve producing multiple drafts.

 

More detailed instructions, expectations and grading criterion will be provided at the beginning of the semester, and might be modified based on students’ performance.

 

Attendance

Attendance policy will be detailed at the beginning of the semester.

Potential Texts

  • Selections from George Kennedy’s Comparative rhetoric (1998)
  • Selections from Carol Lipson and Roberta Binkley’s two edited collections titled Rhetoric before and beyond the Greeks (2004)and Ancient Non-Greek Rhetorics (2009)
  • Packet of readings

RHE 360M • Rhet/Writ For Teachers Of Eng

43370 • Buckley, Tom
Meets TTH 800am-930am PAR 304
show description

Designed for students planning a career teaching English, this course will introduce you to scholarship in composition that informs the teaching of writing today. Theories will be examined in terms of their assumptions about the nature of language and learning. Among the topics we'll discuss are the writing process; the rhetorical situation; the relationship between language and identity; the place of grammar and usage; curriculum for basic and developmental writers; collaborative learning; and creating and evaluating assignments.

Although this isn't a methods course, it will have a practical orientation: we'll discuss the implications of each approach for designing courses and for evaluating writing. In addition to reading about writing, you'll write about writing. You'll compose a number of writing assignments, each to be revised after receiving written critiques both from me and from your peers. You'll also write critiques of your peers' work as a way to sharpen your own analytical abilities and to develop the ability to offer writers detailed, pointed, tactful advice. Additionally, you'll keep a reading journal; do writing, style, and grading exercises; and investigate a contemporary educational debate on the issue of your choice. A mid-term exam will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the information studied.

This class is not for the timid or narrow-minded. Participation is a must as we try to hash out in a conversational setting important questions about contemporary education.


RHE 366 • Internship In Rhetoric & Writ

43375
Meets
show description

This course provides an academic foundation and practical support for upper-division students working in DRW-approved internships.

It is designed to help students 1) recognize how rhetoric is applied in the workplace environments, and 2) apply their training and skills in rhetoric and writing professionally.

To meet these objectives, students will participate in a variety of activities: assigned readings, class discussions (in class and online), journal reflections on their workplace experience, university-sponsored workshops about job searching and workplace protocol, and in-class workshops and peer critique sessions designed to further develop their writing skills.

Students will produce 20 pages of writing (which may include Discussion Board assignments and journal entries at an instructor’s discretion) by the end of the semester. Because the amount of on-the-job writing students do will vary per internship, students will consult with the instructor at the beginning of the semester to determine the types of writing they will produce.

This course is offered on a pass/fail basis. It does not count toward the rhetoric major.

It may be repeated once for credit when the internships vary.

Prerequisites

Consent of supervising instructor must be obtained. Upper-division standing and twelve semester hours of work in Rhetoric & Writing are required.

Texts

A course packet

Others TBA


RHE 368C • Writing Center Internship

43380 • Ruszkiewicz, John J
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm PAR 104
show description

RHE 368C is a course designed to prepare undergraduates to serve as peer tutors in the Undergraduate Writing Center (UWC). During the first part of the term, students will study issues related to writing center theory and practice. They will analyze the goals and practices of writing centers, examine elements of contemporary rhetorical and composition theory (including the writing process), survey typical course syllabi and assignments, and review basics of grammar, mechanics, and usage. Later in the term, they will work under supervision for six hours a week as a consultant in the Undergraduate Writing Center.

Course Requirements

Coursework includes a variety of writing assignments (including a literacy biography and an argument), quizzes on grammar and mechanics, observations of UWC tutoring sessions, participation in mock UWC tutorials, midterm and final self evaluations, and supervised tutoring in the UWC itself. Students will download all written assignments to the Blackboard course site or course where classmates may read and comment on them. Instructor's permission is required for registration in RHE 368C.

Grading Policy

Literacy Biography: 5%

Argument: 20%

Midterm self-assessment: 15%

Grammar quizzes: 20%

UWC Observation reports: 15%

Mock Tutorial report: 5%

Class participation and attendance: 5%

Final self-assessment: 15%

Texts

Gillespie and Lerner, The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring / 2nd edition

Ruszkiewicz, Friend, Hairston, The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers, 8th edition


RHE 368E • Grammar: Writ/Editors/Tchrs

43385 • Henkel, Jacqueline M
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.120
show description

Students in Grammar for Writers, Editors, and Teachers will study the grammar or structure of written English; assess grammatical issues, handbooks, and controversies; and apply grammatical knowledge in composing, rewriting, and editing exercises.  They should expect to learn traditional grammatical vocabulary and also to critique it; to learn about different approaches and attitudes toward “correctness”; to look carefully at the structure of written English; and to edit effectively.

This course is meant for students who:

- want to become more conscious and confident about their own sentence-level editing choices.

- want to know which “rules” to follow and which not.  (If the New York Times can split infinitives, why can’t you?)

 -want to develop grammatical knowledge and conquer “grammar anxiety.” 

- will need to teach grammatical lessons but are unsure of their own knowledge.

(Note:  Students need not begin the course knowing grammatical terminology.)

Assignments and Grading

Minimum requirements are:  1) satisfactory performance both on unannounced and announced quizzes or problems; 2) satisfactory work on writing exercises (1 paragraph-1 page each); 3) satisfactory text analyses (1-2 pages each); 4) effective peer review and workshop participation in class; 5) discussion informed by familiarity with the required readings; and 6) regular attendance. Note that these are minimum requirements.

Grades are based on quizzes and problems (30%); writing exercises (30%); text analyses (10%); peer review, discussion, and workshop performance (30%).  Attendance and courteous classroom behavior are considered essential, and unsatisfactory marks in these areas are deducted from the final average.

Final course grades are assigned relative to the overall performance of the class; in other words, scores are "curved" rather than absolute.  Final grades include "plus" or "minus" grades.  Final class scores may be rounded up or down, according to students' class participation and performance on minor and ungraded assignments.

A grade of C will indicate work that meets all the basic course requirements; A's and B's are honors grades, designating work of some distinction.  Grades are based only on work assigned to everyone in the class; no extra credit work can be accepted.

Required Texts and Course Readings

Kolln, Martha J., and Loretta Gray.  Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects, 7th ed., 2012.

Scharton Maurice.  Things Your Grammar Never Told You:  A Pocket Handbook, 2nd ed., Longman, 2001.

David Crystal, The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left, Oxford UP, 2008.