Theoretical topics addressed by 20th-century rhetorical critics. Varieties of rhetorical interpretation, from neo-Aristotelian to reader-response, postmodernist views of metaphor.
How are we persuaded? What is rhetoric? What is rhetorical criticism? What can rhetorical criticism do? How can it help us? In this course, we will explore the potential of rhetorical criticism. You will gain knowledge of rhetorical theory and rhetorical criticism, and you will gain experience and skill in practicing rhetorical criticism. “Consider rhetoric to be the ability to see, in each particular case, the available means of persuasion” (Aristotle). “Is not the art of rhetoric, taken as a whole, an art of leading the soul?” (Plato). “Rhetoric … to study discourse, even the discourse of truth, as rhetorical procedures, as ways of conquering, of producing events, of producing decisions, of producing battles, of producing victories” (Michel Foucault).
Theory/Rhetoric courses teach media theory, the major modes and schools of criticism and theory, and theories and techniques of reasoning, rational discourse, and argumentation.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
The interdisciplinary minor in Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reasoning offers students a coherent program of courses that strengthen students' abilities to write well, to speak effectively in public, and to think critically. This minor is built on courses in English, Writing, and Philosophy and is taught by professors from English, Philosophy, and the Honors College.
Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reasoning Certificate courses strengthen students' abilities to write well, to speak effectively in public, and to think critically. This certificate program is built on courses in English, Writing, and Philosophy and is taught by professors from English, Philosophy, and the Honors College.