Course Descriptions

RHET 125 (CA) Creating Visual Rhetoric (1)

This is a project-based course in creating visual rhetoric. Looking at case studies of protest art, news images of 9/11, and advertising (political and product), students will explore how words and images interact in persuasive messages. As they create varied visual messages, students will consider what makes an image iconic, how visual and verbal elements contribute to meaning, and what role images play in news stories. Lab required.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Collins

RHET 231 Classical Rhetoric (1)

History and survey of principal theories of rhetoric including Plato, Aristotle and Cicero.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Collins

RHET 242 (EV) Rhetoric and Leadership (1)

This course explores the ways rhetoric can foster effective leadership. Topics include: an examination of the leader's symbolic action through credibility, identifications, persona, values and agency; an exploration of group culture and roles; and a consideration of the leader-group interaction in decision-making and ethics. The course includes a required practical component.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Examining Values
  • Offering: Alternating years
  • Instructor: Clark

RHET 319 Filming Conflict and Identity (1)

This course examines how national identity is structured and conflict is portrayed in film depictions of the disputed homeland of Israel/Palestine. Most films are by Israelis or Palestinians. This course will consider problems of documentary films, stereotyping, nontraditional narrative structure, and docu-animation within the contest of the religious, social and political tensions in the region. Subject films will range from archival footage and independent documentaries to major feature films.

  • Offering: Alternating years
  • Instructor: Clark

RHET 335 Dramatism (1)

An exploration of the dramatist theory expounded by Kenneth Burke, the most influential theorist in contemporary rhetoric. Drawing on a selection of texts, students will examine language symbol manipulation, identification, motive and pieties.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Collins, Douglass, Clark

RHET 341W Narrative Theory (1)

This course surveys significant developments in narrative theory. Narrative in this context is defined broadly, not only as a style or technique of writing, but as a paradigm for understanding human thought and communication at large. Attention is directed to particular case studies that illustrate characteristic functions of narration.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Collins, Douglass

RHET 360 Rhetoric of War and Peace (1)

This course examines conceptual and critical approaches to the study of war rhetoric. The first half of the course focuses on international participation in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. The second half of the course is a case analysis of US-Middle East war rhetoric. Students will explore media images opposing nations employ to characterize the other; strategic choices in public rhetoric that create and sustain the Cold War or acceptance of military intervention in the Middle East; and the literalized metaphors and ideological frames that characterize war rhetoric.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Collins

RHET 361 Visual Rhetoric: Memory and Memorials (1)

This project-based course explores the emerging and interdisciplinary investigation of visual culture and rhetoric. It begins with an overview of the relationship between words and images followed by case studies focused on memory and memorials. The course explores the visual rhetoric of witnessing by examining representation, war, the cultural trauma through the images of tragedy, photographs of war, and war memorials. The course will examine exhibitionary rhetoric through case studies of the role of memorials and reconciliation in Chile and controversial exhibitions in the U.S. Laboratory required.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Collins

RHET 362W Media Framing (1)

This course examines news accounts as they construct the meaning of the events they report. Students explore how reality is shaped when the media privileges a particular frame for the events; sketches familiar plotlines, characters, or ideologies; or gives authority to some voices and silences others. Finally, the course addresses the effect of media conventionalizing, in the symbolic complexes addressed and the formulaic stories they spawn, on both the range of interpretations and the range of topics that are publicly addressed. Closed to freshmen.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Collins

RHET 372W Metaphor and Communication (1)

This course is an exploration of what the use of metaphor does to and for us. The course covers two units roughly corresponding to the theory and criticism of metaphor. The first unit surveys a variety of scholarly attempts to define metaphor and explain metaphorical function. The second unit examines ways that metaphors can be evaluated and the reasons that they should be evaluated. Class periods will primarily be devoted to lecture, guided discussions and reports.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: RHET 231 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Douglass