10:00-11:20TTh, RCH 204
Randy Harris, conductor—particulars, and contact information
Office Hours (HH247): 1:00-2:00 TW
Syllabus and class schedule—

The objectives of 309C are the ongoing objectives of liberal arts education generally, and rhetorical education specifically: the enhancement of critical thinking in both the private sphere (exercising judgement) and the public sphere (engaging society and culture). If we both work hard at it, you should gain considerable knowledge about the analytic instruments and theoretical perspectives of rhetoric developed in the contemporary period. If we work even harder, you should gain a fuller understanding of contemporary life, and your place in it, through the application of those instruments and the trying on of those perspectives. If we work in the right way, your writing and your reasoning should improve as well.

"An examination of contemporary rhetorical theory and its relationships to criticism, interdisciplinary studies and computer applications." That's the way the calendar puts it.

But what's the point of contemporary rhetorical theory in the first place? —Where there are organisms, there is mutual influence; where there are humans, there are symbols; where there are influence and symbols, there is rhetoric. Aristotle would tell you that, and tell you that where there is rhetoric there damn well better be judgement, too. But it takes the twentieth century to realize the full diversity of symbolic modes, to invent the elaborate symbolic distribution networks, and to develop the theoretical instruments, necessary to see the truly inescapable, mind-bending, person-forming, culture-saturating nature of rhetoric.

I am a critic because I feel that rhetoric should move a society forward rather than backward, that it should open and not close the public sphere, that it should make people generous and not craven.  I am a critic, ultimately, because I am a citizen.
Roderick Hart

An "ideology" is like a spirit taking up its abode in a body: it makes that body hop around in certain ways; and that same body would have hopped in different ways had a different ideology happened to inhabit it
Kenneth Burke

The question is not "Who am I?" but "Who are we?"
Wayne Booth

Midterm, 25% (18 June, in class)
Multiple choice, short answer, fact-based.

Final, 25% (when and where they tell us)
Multiple choice, short answer, fact-based; critical essay questions.

Essay, 35% (23 July, digital submission required)
3,000 words, ±250
Research both a topic and a theoretical approach, develop an argument, follow proper citation practices.

proposal (one-page, 9 June)

Being Rhetorical, 15% (all the livelong day)
Participate actively in the life of the course.

Where's the rhetoric in this clip from the movie, Gandhi? Watch it, then click here.

Come to class prepared, contribute to discussions, participate in the building and the development of the course. In particular, think reflectively about all the readings, and think publicly.

Ways to get a good grade: ask relevant questions, make salient observations, look for and point out connections in the material, provide helpful analyses of arguments that come up, ...; be an upstanding 309C citizen.

Ways to get a mediocre grade: come to class, sit in your seat, say nothing, avoid eye contact with the professor, ...; be a disengaged 309C citizen.

Ways to get a poor grade: stay away from class, or come and make long irrelevant commentaries, or treat your fellow students with extravagant disrespect while they are commenting to class, read your e-mail, text your friends and enemies, review the calls on your cell phone, have a sandwich and a thermos of soup, ...; be a lousy 309C citizen.

By the way, I am almost impervious to arguments that third-year university students, in a rhetoric programme, destined for careers involving the professional use of language, should not 'be required to talk in class'.

Do the readings before the assigned class; often, it is advisable to do them again after the class as well.

If you have any questions, please make sure you ask them.

Familiarize yourself with Policy #71, especially as to plagiarism and other forms of cheating.

Information about, and policies regarding, academic integrity in general, including your right to appeal or file a grievance, is available here.

The late policy is simple: don't be. If personal concerns, including health issues, prevent you from meeting a deadline, contact me ahead of time to make arrangements; if unforeseen circumstances prevent you from meeting a deadline, contact me when you are able and we can work something out. Please note that bad planning, conflict with assignments in other courses, and video-game addictions (to list a few attested reasons offered by students in the past) are not interpretable as personal concerns.

Bitzer, Lloyd F. "The Rhetorical Situation." Philosophy and Rhetoric 1.1 (1968): 1-14. (pdf)

Booth, Wayne C. "The Rhetorical Stance." College Composition and Communication 14.3 (1963): 139-145. (pdf)

Booth, Wayne C. "Censorship and the Values of Fiction." The English Journal 53.3 (1964): 155-164. (pdf)

Burke, Kenneth "Psychology and Form." The Dial 79.1 (1925): 34-46. (pdf)

Campbell, John Angus. "The Invisible Rhetorician: Charles Darwin's 'Third Party' Strategy." Rhetorica 7.1 (1989): 55-85. (pdf)

(Report linkrot or suggest other sites here)

Silva Rhetoricae (especially good for figuration)

American Rhetoric

Michael Gilbert's Argumentation Theory page

OneGoodMove Fallacy list

The Guardian's Greatest Speeches of the 20th Century

Omri Ceren's Mere Rhetoric

Wayne Booth Page