The study of persuasion—rhetoric—has always
been linked, in the classical western tradition, to citizen participation in
the democratic enterprise. In this course students will begin by studying
historical underpinnings of rhetorical practice and study in classical Greece
and Rome and then expand their understanding of the art of persuasion by adding
two significant areas of study to this well-established and traditional
terrain: world rhetorics and contemporary digital, globlized rhetorics.
To begin to understand how the shape and
form of public debate is shifting under the pressures of new technologies,
social media, and globalization, students will read from and about historical
rhetorical traditions worldwide and about emerging new forms of on-line argumentation.
Students will respond to these readings in short papers. They will also perform
rhetorical analyses of new social media, formulating arguments about how these
emerging sites for the public consumption and production of argumentation,
interpretation, commentary, and information gathering/seeking are changing the
landscape of citizen participation and thus the democratic process. Assigned
readings and prior writing assignments will prepare students to collaboratively
produce a public e-zine which will feature their own argumentative essays.
Assignments will include weekly updates posted to our class’s
social networking site, short essays written in response to assigned readings,
a rhetorical analysis, and a public argument to be published on an e-zine that
will be produced by the class.
text: Crowley, Sharon and Hawhee,
Debra: Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary
Students,5th edition, as well as additional articles and
digital essays to be selected by students and/or the professor.