Rhetoric and Power


The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts, is perhaps more relevant today, in a world where diverse opinions reverberate 24/7 from television and the internet, than in ancient times when rhetors invented arguments to help people choose the best course of action when they disagreed about important political, religious, or social issues. How do we make our voices heard? How can we invent and present compelling written discourse? This course will introduce students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and compositional studies. Assignments in this class include rhetorical exercise in invention and craft, imitations, and varied compositions, ranging from the personal to critical, from the biographical to argumentative. We will examine rhetorical principles (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) that are employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, and science. We will aim for a mastery of craft and a refinement of thought. Prerequisite: Writing 1. This course does not count toward the Creative Writing Concentration.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM