English 700: Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition
Professor: Jim Brown
Class Meeting Place: 7105 Helen C. White
Class Time: Wednesday, 9:00am-11:30am
Office: 6187E Helen C. White
Office Hours: T/W 12pm-3pm [Make an Appointment]
Email: brownjr [at] wisc [dot] edu
- Develop strategies for analyzing and synthesizing scholarly arguments
- Understand the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary debates in rhetorical theory and composition studies
- Develop a process for composing and revising a conference presentation
- Aristotle. On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Trans. George Kennedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
- Berlin, James. Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900-1985. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1987. Print.
- Burke, Kenneth. A Rhetoric of Motives. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969. Print.
- Davis, Diane. Inessential Solidarity. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010. Print.
- Hawk, Byron. A Counter-History of Composition: Toward Methodologies of Complexity. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007. Print.
Texts Available for Download via Dropbox:
- Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric of Rhetoric. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. Print (excerpt)
- Enculturation, “Rhetoric/Composition” Issues
- Jeanne Fahnestock. "Aristotle and Theories of Figuration." Rereading Aristotle’s Rhetoric. Eds. Gross, Alan G., and Professor Arthur E. Walzer. 1st ed. Southern Illinois University Press, 2008. Print.
- Fulkerson, Richard. “Four Philosophies of Composition.” College Composition and Communication 30.4 (1979): 343-348. Print.
- ---. “Composition Theory in the Eighties: Axiological Consensus and Paradigmatic Diversity.” College Composition and Communication 41.4 (1990): 409-429. Print.
- ---. “Composition at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century.” College Composition and Communication 56.4 (2005): 654-687. Print.
- Geisler, Cheryl. "How Ought We to Understand the Concept of Rhetorical Agency?: Report from the ARS." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 34.3 (2004): 9-18. Print.
- ---. "Teaching the Post-Modern Rhetor: Continuing the Conversation on Rhetorical Agency." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 35.4 (2005): 107-14. Print.
- Gross, Alan. G. "What Aristotle Meant by Rhetoric." Rereading Aristotle’s Rhetoric. Eds. Gross, Alan G., and Professor Arthur E. Walzer. 1st ed. Southern Illinois University Press, 2008. Print.
- Harman, Graham. Tool-Being. Chicago: Open Court, 2002. Print. (excerpt)
- Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Print. (excerpt)
- Lundberg, Christian, and Joshua Gunn. "Ouija Board, Are There Any Communications?' Agency, Ontotheology, and the Death of the Humanist Subject, or, Continuing the ARS Conversation." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 35.4 (2005): 83-106. Print.
- Nancy, Jean-Luc. “Of Being-in-Common.” Community at Loose Ends. Ed. Miami Theory Collective. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991: 1-12. Print.
- Syverson, Margaret. The Wealth of Reality. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999. Print. (excerpt)
- Walker, Jeffrey. "Pathos and Katharsis in 'Aristotelian' Rhetoric: Some Implications." Rereading Aristotle’s Rhetoric. Eds. Gross, Alan G., and Professor Arthur E. Walzer. 1st ed. Southern Illinois University Press, 2008. Print.
All writing for this class will be submitted via shared folders in Dropbox.
- Weekly Microthemes (500 word maximum)
These short papers are turned in 48 hours before class meets and are shared electronically with all seminar members. Seminar members spend time reading these short papers prior to class, and the papers provide fodder for class discussion.
- Weekly Microtheme Synthesis (750 word maximum)
Each week, one student will be responsible for synthesizing these microthemes, presenting their synthesis at the beginning of class, and launching class discussion. This synthesis should locate common questions and topics raised by the microthemes and should serve as a launching point for the week’s discussion.
- Book/Article Review (1000-1500 words)
Once during the semester, each student will review an article or book that is cited by the central text of a unit (for instance, during Unit 2 a student would choose a text that is cited in Davis’ Inessential Solidarity). Reviews are 4-6 pages and are shared with seminar members. Each week, a different seminar member presents a review in class. Reviewers are not required to complete a Microtheme, but they are expected to read both the assigned text and the text they are reviewing.
- Conference Paper (1750-2500 words, submitted twice)
This paper is 7-10 pages and is written in response to a particular conference's call for papers. Papers should address the CFP and should incorporate some of the works we’ve read in class. This paper is submitted twice, once at the midterm and once at the end of the semester, so that students get an opportunity to revise.
The grade breakdown will be as follows:
- 15% Attendance and Participation
- 15% Weekly Microthemes
- 15% Microtheme Synthesis
- 15% Book/Article Review
- 40% Conference Paper
With the exception of Microtheme assignments, I will provide letter grades on each assignment and a letter grade for your final grade. Microthemes will receive a grade of "Credit" (C) or "No Credit" (NC).
Below are the grade criteria I will use when providing letter grades:
- A: This is graduate level work. The grade reflects work that is the result of careful thinking. This grade also reflects work that effectively contributes to a scholarly conversation.
- AB: This is graduate level work, but there are minor problems with your argument and/or with your execution. This grade means that the work would need some revision in order to effectively contribute to a scholarly conversation.
- B: This is not graduate level work, and there are significant problems with your argument and/or your execution. This grade means that the work has serious flaws or would need significant revision before effectively contributing to a scholarly conversation.
- BC or below: This is not graduate level work, and there are major problems with the argument and the execution. This grade means that the work does not effectively contribute to a scholarly conversation.