Studies: Comp/Rhet/Language

Hawaiʻi Rhetorics of Place

News stories covering the kiaʻi stand at Mauna Kea and other public and legal responses to the building of the TMT telescope fill the media. Signs encouraging support or opposition of land development populate yards along Kamehameha Highway on the drive to the North Shore. Events, such as production of ‘AuaIa: Holding On, affirming Hawaiian ways of knowing and being garner public attention and attendance. Advertisements use Pidgin and other local discursive practices to appeal specifically to Hawaiʻi’s residents. These are just a few examples of rhetoric circulating as part of our public discourse in Hawaiʻi.  Place-based rhetorics can be defined basically as the communicative practices used by a group that identifies with a specific location and that reflect the cultural, social, political, and historical contexts of that place. In this course, our focus will be on the rhetorical texts we encounter in our everyday lives in this place, Hawaiʻi. Drawing from Indigenous, minority, and western classical theories of rhetoric, we will examine these rhetorical acts to determine their affect on those of us who encounter them. We will engage questions—such as: How is language used?; Are other sensory modes, such as color, art, or sound, used?; Through what medium is the message transmitted?—to determine how these elements impact the overt message and if they “work” on particular individuals and groups differently. Readings will cover both theory as well as texts that are produced specifically as rhetorical acts, but much of our work will also entail getting out into our communities and identifying the rhetorical texts we negotiate there.

Texts (this is tentative list):
Value of Hawaiʻi (Howes & Osorio);
Huihui: Navigating Art & Literature of the Pacific (Carroll, McDougall, & Nordstrom); Selections from The Rhetorical Tradition (Bizzell & Herzberg)
Selections from: Critical Rhetorics of Race (Lacy & Ono);
Selections from The Future of Whiteness (Alcoff)
Articles by: J. Byrd; S. Canagarajah, E. Cushman, S.R. Lyons, L. Mao, M. Powell, and M. Young

Possible Assignments:
Lead Class Discussion
Notes on Community Observations/Interviews (in process work for final project)
Mid-term analysis paper (which will be a scaffolded element of the final project)
Multi-media Final Project & Meta-commentary
Class Presentation on Final Project

This course is Writing Intensive, fulfills the 400-level studies course requirement or the 300/400 level elective requirement for majors, and is within the Composition, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy Pathway.