Advanced Level Courses: Advanced level courses are characterized by original research and theorizing. Students will learn to engage primary source material in both theory and criticism and to produce new insights into the texts that they select as artifacts for examination as well as contribute to the broader scholarship in rhetorical studies. Papers produced in these contexts will be of high quality, possess substantial literature reviews, utilize original theoretical approaches to texts, and illustrate an awareness of the role of rhetoric within the intellectual history. These classes will prepare students to excel in their comprehensive exams as well as possible graduate training by providing them with the knowledge to speak critically and to view themselves as part of a larger scholarly community with which they are in dialogue.
Advanced Courses—Literature/Fine ArtsRHE 320 Classical Rhetoric
This course focuses on the origin and development of rhetoric and rhetorical theory during the classical period. The course begins in the pre disciplinary stage of Homer and the Sophists and examines such works as Homer’s Iliad, Gorgias’ Encomium of Helen, and Isocrates’ Antidosis. The course then moves to Plato’s Gorgias and Phaedrus) and the “disciplinizing” efforts of Aristotle ( On Rhetoric). Finally, the course examines the efforts of Cicero (On Invention, Orator, and On the Orator), Quintilian ( Institutes of Oratory), and Augustine (On Christian Doctrine) to reunite philosophy and rhetoric and include ethics within the realm of rhetoric. Students learn how rhetorical theories are generated out of the specific needs of particular political and social contexts. In addition, students examine the influence of literacy on human interaction and the study of rhetoric in particular. Finally, students trace the relationship between rhetoric and philosophy from pre-Platonic unity, through Plato’s bifurcation, and finally to the attempts at reunification by Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. This course is offered in the fall semester.