English 700: Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition

Professor: Jim Brown
Class Meeting Place: 7105 Helen C. White
Class Time: Wednesday, 1:00pm-3:30pm
Office: 6187E Helen C. White
Office Hours: M/W 11:30am-1:00pm [Make an Appointment]
Email: brownjr [at] wisc [dot] edu

Course Goals:

  • Cultivate strategies for analyzing and synthesizing scholarly arguments
  • Understand the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary debates in rhetorical theory and composition studies
  • Develop sustainable reading and writing processes

Required Texts:

  • Aristotle. On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Trans. George Kennedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
  • Emig, Janet A. The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders. Natl Council of Teachers, 1971. Print.
  • Fleming, David. From Form to Meaning: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957-1974. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011. Print.
  • Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print.
  • Plato. Plato: The Republic. 1st ed. Ed. G. R. F. Ferrari. Trans. Tom Griffith. Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.
  • Shipka, Jody. Toward a Composition Made Whole. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011. Print.
  • Wysocki, Anne. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State University Press, 2004. Print.

Texts Available for Download via Dropbox:

  • Crowley, Sharon. Composition In The University: Historical and Polemical Essays. 1st ed. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998. Print. (excerpt)
  • DeKoven, Marianne. Utopia Limited: The Sixties and the Emergence of the Postmodern. annotated edition. Duke University Press Books, 2004. Print. (excerpt)
  • Greenbaum, L. “The Tradition of Complaint.” College English 31.2 (1969): 174–187. Print.
  • Harris, J. “After Dartmouth: Growth and Conflict in English.” College English 53.6 (1991): 631–646. Print.
  • Marwick, Arthur. The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, C.1958-c.1974. First Edition. Oxford University Press, USA, 1998. Print. (excerpt)
  • McHale, Brian. “1966 Nervous Breakdown; or, When Did Postmodernism Begin?” Modern Language Quarterly 69.3 (2008): 391-413. Web. 20 Aug. 2012.
  • Poulakos, T., and D. J Depew. Isocrates and Civic Education. Univ of Texas Pr, 2004. Print. (excerpts)
  • Shor, Ira. Culture Wars: School and Society in the Conservative Restoration. University Of Chicago Press, 1992. Print. (excerpt)
  • Smit, David William. The End Of Composition Studies. SIU Press, 2004. Print. (excerpt)
  • Trimbur, John. 2000. "Composition and the Circulation of Writing." CCC 52: 188-219.
  • Yancey, Kathleen Blake. 2004. "Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key." CCC 56: 297-328.

Course Work
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, two seminar members presents a review in class. Presentations are informal and should be brief (no longer than 5 minutes). Reviewers are not required to complete a Microtheme, but they are expected to read both the assigned text and the text they are reviewing.

  • CCC Article Remix (Various Media)
    In groups, students will remix College Composition and Communication articles. These remixes can take any form, and groups will determine what they want to create (this may or may not involve text), the purpose of the composition, the processes and procedures used, the materials necessary, and the conditions under which the audience should experience that composition. In addition to creating this remix, each group will compose a short explanation of that remix.

The grade breakdown will be as follows:

  • 15% Attendance and Participation
  • 15% Weekly Microthemes
  • 20% Microtheme Synthesis
  • 20% Book/Article Reviews
  • 30% Article Remix

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.

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