This course introduces students to critical traditions and techniques in the analysis of a wide variety of texts, including those produced in professional, academic, and domestic settings. Central to this analysis will be consideration of the historical contexts in which these texts are created and experienced, and the people and tools involved in these processes. Students enrolled in the course will gain insights to the rhetorical dimension of communication by examining how texts composed in various media – oral, written, visual, blended – are produced, responded to, circulated, and adapted to new purposes. Students will be required to produce texts using various sorts of media.
ENGL 493/631 African American Rhetoric
This course explores the intersections of race, ethnicity, discourse, media, and communication systems. In addition to introducing students to social theories, cybercultures, and other aspects of digital communication, students will explore issues of representation, identity, education, justice, inequality, and power. Students will also grapple with the impact of digital media on social movements, such as Black Lives Matter, as well as its impact on more traditional African-American rhetorical themes (racial uplift, the African-American Jeremiad, etc.) and rhetorical practices (call and response, signifying, African-American Vernacular English, etc.) in conjunction with online networking activity (Black Twitter) and the creation and maintenance of Black public spheres. Students will engage and compose a variety of multimodal texts with attention to the evaluation and application of rhetorical theory to digital media and communication technologies.