English 3120/6120: Intro to Rhetorical Theory
: Dr. Michael Rifenburg
: 206C Dunlap Hall
M, W, F 8:00a.m.-10:00a.m. and by appointment
Bizzell and Herzberg, eds.
The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Rhetoric to the Present
ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2001.
Additional readings provided by the instructor
3 ring binder
Designed primarily to help students develop a historical perspective of the relationship between rhetoric, language, literacy, and knowledge,
(ENGL3120)explores the key figures and texts, theories and practices, and intellectual andeducational problems that have shaped rhetorical theory and practice from the classicalera to the present, with a special interest in understanding the continuities anddiscontinuities between classic and contemporary traditions. Focusing on rhetoricaltheory during the classical and medieval periods, the initial half of the course examinesthe work of Plato, Isocrates, Gorgias, Aristotle, Quintilian, Augustine, and Ramus. Thelatter half of the semester emphasizes the rhetorical approaches outlined throughout theeighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century, especially those forwarded by Blair,Stewart, Hill, Bakhtin, Burke, Foucault, and Anzaldua, and then focuses on more recentextensions of rhetorical theory to extracurricular spaces.Frequent informal writing tasks throughout the semester will help participants come toterms with the key issues, themes, questions, and debates raised in the course readings.The final paper provides participants with the opportunity to employ their developingknowledge of rhetorical theory to analyze issues of language, literacy, and knowledge ina particular community.
This course has four key learning objectives:
To develop a firm understanding of the major theorists and texts that haveshaped and continue to shape our understanding of rhetorical practice and itsrelevance to knowledge, language, and literacy.