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.


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


Required text:
Crowley, Sharon and Hawhee, Debra: Ancient
Rhetorics for Contemporary Students,
5th edition. Available at
UH bookstore.