ENGL776 - Seminar in Modern Rhetorical Theory

Restriction: Permission of ARHU-English department. Additional information: May fulfill seminar requirements for MA in English with Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition.

Seminar in Modern Rhetorical Theory. Theories and trends in twentieth and twenty-first century rhetorical theory

Rhetoric and The Public

Professor Scott Wible (swible@umd.edu)

“The Public” has been a central epistemological and ethical concern for modern rhetorical scholars and practitioners: Who constitutes “the public”? How do “publics” form, and how do they operate rhetorically?  How do cultural, linguistic, and political differences shape the identities of and activities within and between publics? What are the relationships between discourse and “publics”?  What are appropriate topics of consideration for public deliberation? How are public issues and matters mediated in face-to-face and variously mediated relationships? How have contemporary political and economic formations reshaped conceptions of “the public good” and the rhetorical possibilities for “public” deliberation? And what methodologies have rhetorical scholars developed and deployed in order to study public rhetorics? These questions will focus our reading, speaking, listening, and writing in this course, as we aim to develop more theoretically, historically, and pedagogically informed understandings of the relationship between rhetoric and “the public.” Students will compose weekly discussion board posts and also work through a scaffolded series of assignments that culminate in a research-based seminar paper, digital project, or pedagogical portfolio.

Meets the MA Lit Critical Theory, Genre, or Rhetoric Requirement