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.