Spring 2013 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Redman, Tim
Discipline and Number
HUSL 6385 Section 001
W Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Classical Rhetoric

Description of Course:

Classical Rhetoric might be the single most useful graduate course that you take. Rhetoric is the use of all available means to persuade. It has been studied for more than 2000 years; its history reaches back to the Greeks. Aristotle offered the first comprehensive and scientific study of rhetoric. The quarrel between rhetoric and philosophy goes back to Socrates.

Although it began as the study of effective oratory and is associate now with writing, rhetoric is truly interdisciplinary in nature. There is a rhetoric of painting (think of Picasso's Guernica), a rhetoric of music (think of marches or national anthems), a rhetoric of advertisement (naturally), a rhetoric of preaching, etc. According to Kenneth Burke there is even a rhetoric of motives. Graduate students from all the tracks of the School of Arts and Humanities can find uses for the study of rhetoric.

Required Texts:

Edward P.J. Corbett and Robert J. Connors, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, 4th edition (required), Oxford University Press.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, edited by Elizabeth Ammons, Norton Critical Editions, 2nd edition (required).

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students will do a project broken down as follows: a venue (where will your project be presented or published?) worth 10%; a preliminary bibliography for your project (10%); a project proposal plus bibliography (projects applying rhetoric in the classroom are welcome) worth 20%; your draft project (20%); your final project (20%). There will also be a weekly quiz consisting of 5 short-answer questions. The top ten grades will be added and curved (20%).

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