ENGL 353 The History of Rhetoric

Course Description

The History of Rhetoric is designed to introduce students to the study of rhetoric from the clasiccal period until the end of the 19th century.

Course Overview

This course is designed to instruct you in the history of rhetoric up to the 20th century. This is a very large topic, so we will be reading widely and moving fairly rapidly. Additionally, this course will take a specific idea as it’s focus: we will look at how rhetoric served as a key concept in the emergence of The Enlightenment in Europe only to be abandoned once a discourse of scientific rationality was created to replace it.

Meeting Location / Time

LAAH 372, TR 12:45 pm-02:00 pm


Junior or senior classification.

Learning Objectives

In this course, students can expect to learn:

  1. The history of rhetoric and the development for eloquence and persuasion related therein.
  2. The relationship between persuasion and democracy, as well as the relationship between persuasion and emerging technologies (writing, printing, etc.).
  3. The ways in which rhetorical practices can benefit them in their everyday lives.

eCampus Site

This course has an eCampus site on which you will turn in all your papers (read more on the assignments page). The “Information” navigation link contains information I give you (such as this syllabus) while the “Content” navigation link contains stuff you will provide me (papers and reading journal entries).

Technology Assumptions

I assume you are familiar with sites like eCampus and the library. If not, please contact me via email or visit me in office hours to discuss any problems you are having.