Rhetoric and Public Culture

R546 — Fall 2019

Robert E. Terrill
Days and Times
11:15a – 12:30p TR (4 CR.)
Course Description

We will treat the course title as a question: What is the relationship between rhetoric and public culture? Of course, that is a question with various and multiform answers, and we will draw upon theory and criticism with roots in both “communication” and “English” traditions as we survey the ways that academic rhetoricians have described, analyzed, enacted, critiqued, and advocated for some of them. Among the humanities, rhetoric always has had a particularly explicit relationship with the world outside the academy, but we also will think more broadly about some of the ways that academic humanistic study has contributed to public culture and might continue to do so. Necessarily, because rhetoric is foundationally a teaching tradition, some of our attention will be focused on the ways that scholars have suggested that rhetoric might be taught. And we also will attend to the books and journal articles that we read as themselves rhetorical artifacts and in particular as inventional resources that demonstrate the scholarly practices through which we may contribute to and participate in academic conversations. We should emerge with both a critical understanding of the discipline(s) of rhetorical studies and an appreciation for some of the academic forms through which the discipline(s) are constituted. Readings will be drawn primarily from relatively recent work.

Assignments, in addition to the weekly readings, may include facilitation of class discussions and short response papers. The semester will culminate in a paper suitable for presentation at an academic conference.

Please contact Robert Terrill for more information.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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