Speaking Like a Citizen
U.S. history has been shaped by those brave enough to use rhetoric in speech, writing, and protest to fight against social injustice. Through the semester students will explore the relationship between rhetoric and citizenship and learn to speak as citizens themselves. The course is, in part, historical, as we examine how rhetoric has shaped U.S. history and explore how differences in race, class, gender, and sexuality influence(d) how different movements use(d) rhetoric. Why, for example, did women seeking the vote utilize a particular “feminine style?” Or how does the mere presence of gay men at Red Cross blood drives challenge modern stereotypes of homosexuality? This course is also practical, as students will learn and practice the skills of rhetoric and public speaking, including organization, evidence usage, argumentation, audience adaptation, and delivery. Finally, this course is critical. Student will learn how to critique the language used by others, looking at effectiveness, social construction, adaptation to situation, and argument logic to determine the strength of particular pieces of rhetoric.