ENGL487 - Foundations of Rhetoric

This course introduces participants to the history of rhetorical theory and to fundamental principles of rhetorical analysis. We will read Aristotle's Rhetoric in full as well as texts by Cicero, Quintilian and other classical theorists. We will then sample other rhetoricians across the centuries who adapt the principles of rhetoric to new settings and purposes. At every step we will try to apply the advice offered in these texts to contemporary examples of persuasive texts. Finally, we will assess recent revisions of rhetorical theory that adapt it to inclusive practices, current genres and mass communication settings. Course requirements include short analyses, a group project, one final researched investigation, a mid-term and a final.