ENGL 354 Modern Rhetorical Theory
ENGL 354 Modern Rhetorical Theory

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ENGL 354 Modern Rhetorical Theory

Course Description

This course studies the return of interest in rhetorical theory and rhetorical training in the 20th century. There are three units: 1) we explore various texts that situate modern life (cities, cars, and mass media, especially) as a problem that rhetoric can solve; 2) we look at some theories of persuasion that respond specifically to these various challenges; 3) we use these theories to explore a rhetorical case study.

This semester, the case study will be on rhetoric and food.

Course Overview

Welcome to Modern Rhetorical Theory.

In this class, we will be exploring the development of rhetorical thought in the twentieth century. Specifically, we will be studying the return of rhetoric as a major focus of study. For those of you who have taken 353 (the history course), you already know that with the arrival of the scientific revolution and the emergence of logic as a tool for investigating the world, rhetoric was seen as unimportant. The twentieth century, however, represents a flowering of rhetorical thought on par with (and perhaps exceeding) the birth of the discipline in Ancient Greece.

Additionally, as a writing intensive course, we will be studying the role of the critic in this conversation and what it means to engage in a scholarly conversation.

Syllabus Highlights

  1. Readings are listed on the schedule page. Please read the indicated reading before class on the day on which it is listed.
    • If a reading is not a link, it will be posted as a PDF on eCampus.
    • If a link does not work for you, email me.
  2. Instead of taking attendance, you will complete a participation card before each class.
    • If you cannot attend class, for any reason, please send me the make-up participation card via email to get credit for that class period.
  3. If you email me 24 hours before an assignment is due, I will grant you an extension. Please include when you would like to turn in the assignment in the initial email.
  4. There are no required books in this class.
  5. There is no final exam in this class.

Office Hours

Hours for Spring 2019: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:45-2:15

My office is LAAH 417, which is in the northwest corner of the building. Office hours are your time to ask for any help you may need in the course. If you are unsure of an assignment, if you would like me to look at a draft of an assignment to see if you are on the right track, if you have questions about how class relates to your other interests, or if you want to chat about something else I’ve said in class, office hours is your time to ask for that help. Office hours are generally student-directed, in that it is often easier if you come prepared with questions to ask me, but I can also ask you questions if you prefer. Please take advantage of this time; I do not schedule anything else during office hours because it is your time, so dropping by will not bother me.