The major in rhetoric offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human communication.
Students complete a series of core courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, history of public address, and film and television studies, complemented by courses on language, media, and communication drawn from the curricula of other departments. All students complete a senior thesis.
Department of Rhetoric
Goals and Objectives
Goal: Students will understand the role of language and visual media in creating and defining reality and identity.
- Students will identify and describe different theoretical approaches to discourse including rhetorical, film/screen, and interdisciplinary perspectives.
- Students will learn how to use theoretical frames as a means of understanding texts differently, and in multiple ways.
Goal: Students will hone their critical thinking skills through the study, and analysis, of argument.
- Students will evaluate written, spoken, and visual arguments for validity and effectiveness.
- Students will learn appropriate use of evidence, how to test evidence and source material, and how to identify fallacies within arguments.
- Students will understand public texts as expressions and arguments about identity, experience, and power.
- Students will explore multiple ways of reading texts, and recognize the complex forces of text, context, author, and audience in making meaning.
- Students will learn how the social/political/cultural context both creates and confines the possibilities of authors and the reception of texts.
Goal: Students will gain communication competence.
- Students will learn how to assess and utilize appropriate presentational strategies and technology based on situation, topic, and audience.
- Students will utilize these skills in informal as well as formal presentations.
Goal: Students will learn the art of criticism.
- Students will learn to combine creative thinking with research and analysis to produce insightful, and useful, criticism.
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