From its beginnings in 5th century BC, rhetoric was the foundation of education for public citizenship. While in contemporary times rhetoric is commonly misunderstood as “mere style” or a slur meaning “empty of content,” the study of rhetoric is an investigation of the working of language and communication; it can be defined as the study of how to do things with language. In our course, we will survey a variety of areas in which contemporary rhetorical theory and practice influences writing, including: composition theory, religion, literature, politics, race, disability, and gender. Significant attention will be paid to technology and the role of rhetoric theory in writing for digital and visual media.
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