Communication Arts & Sciences 503

Fall 2003

Monday-Wednesday 9:45-11:00 a.m.

309 Sparks Building

Listserv:



Thomas W. Benson
227 Sparks Building

(814) 865-4201

office hours: Monday and Wednesday 11-12; Wednesday 4-5; and by appointment

 

Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism

A graduate seminar in the practice of rhetorical criticism, with an emphasis on the working practices of critics of primarily oral, written, and media texts in the discipline of speech communication. Students will read widely in rhetorical criticism and interpretive theory and will write an extended seminar paper. The seminar is conceived as an intensive, advanced workshop in rhetorical criticism.


(1)

Wednesday

September 3

 


Introduction.

(2)

Monday

September 8

 

Preliminary Considerations: Theory, Scope, and Method in Rhetorical Criticism.

Read Benson, "Beacons and Boundary Markers: Landmarks in Rhetorical Criticism"; Herbert A. Wichelns, "The Literary Criticism of Oratory," in Benson, Landmarks; Medhurst, "The Academic Study of Public Address: A Tradition in Transition"; Donald C. Bryant, "Some Problems of Scope and Method in Rhetorical Scholarship." In Medhurst, Landmarks.

(3)

Wednesday

September 10


Loren D. Reid, "The Perils of Rhetorical Criticism," in Medhurst, Landmarks; Benson, "History, Criticism, and Theory in the Study of American Rhetoric," in Benson, American Rhetoric; Lawrence W. Rosenfield, "The Anatomy of Rhetorical Discourse," in Burgchardt, Readings; Stephen H. Browne, Reading Public Memory in Daniel Webster's Plymouth Rock Oration. Western Journal of Communication, 57, 464-477 (on electronic reserve); Black, Edwin. The Sentimental Style as Escapism, or the Devil with Dan'l Webster. Form and Genre: Shaping Rhetorical Action. Ed. Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Falls Church, VA: Speech Communication Association, (1978). 75-86 (on electronic reserve).

(4)

Monday

September15

 

Rhetoric as a Way of Doing: Rhetoric as situated, instrumental action.

Read Marie Hochmuth Nichols, "Lincoln's First Inaugural" in Benson, Landmarks.

 

(5)

Wednesday

September 17

 

Stephen E. Lucas, "Justifying America: The Declaration of Independence as a Rhetorical Document," in Benson, American Rhetoric; Barnet Baskerville, "Must We All Be Rhetorical Critics?"; Stephen Lucas, "The Schism in Rhetorical Scholarship," in Medhurst, Landmarks


(6)

Monday

September 22


Rhetorical Criticism and the Crisis of Neo-Aristotelianism
.

Ernest Wrage, "Public Address: A Study in Social and Intellectual History"; Wayland Maxfield Parrish, " The Study of Speeches"; Marie Hochmuth [Nichols], "The Criticism of Rhetoric"; Edwin Black, "The Practice of Rhetorical Criticism"; G. P. Mohrmann, "Elegy in a Critical Grave-Yard," in Medhurst, Landmarks; Carroll C. Arnold, "Lord Thomas Erskine: Modern Advocate," in Benson, Landmarks

 

(7)

Wednesday

September 24

 

Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, "An Exercise in the Rhetoric of Mythic America"; Forbes Hill, "Conventional Wisdom--Traditional Form--The President's Message of November 3, 1969"; Excerpts from Edwin Black, Rhetorical Criticism, in Burgchardt, Readings,; Edwin Black, "Ideological Justifications" (on electronic reserve); Benson, Thomas W. Another Shooting in Cowtown Quarterly Journal of Speech 67 (1981): 347-406 (on electronic reserve).

 

(8)

Monday

September 29

 

Public Address as a Field of Study and as a Field of Activity.

Read Thomas W. Benson, ed., Rhetoric and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century America, pp. 1-90.

 

 

(9)

Wednesday

October 1

 


Continued discussion of Rhetoric and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century America, pp. 91-183.

 

(10)

Monday

October 6

 

Rhetoric as a way of knowing.

Robert L. Scott, "A Rhetoric of Facts: Arthur Larson's Stance as a Persuader"; John Angus Cambell, "Darwin and The Origin of Species: The Rhetorical Ancestry of an Idea," in Benson, Landmarks.

 

(11)

Wednesday

October 8

 

Edwin Black "Gettysburg and Silence" (on electronic reserve); Michael Hyde, "Medicine, Rhetoric, and Euthanasia: A Case Study in the Workings of a Postmodern Discourse"; Michael Calvin McGee, "'The Ideograph: A Link Between Rhetoric and Ideology"; John Louis Lucaites and Celeste Michelle Condit, Reconstructing Equality: Culturetypal and Counter-Cultural Rhetorics in the Martyred Black Vision," in Burgchardt, Readings.

 

(12)

Monday

October 13

 

Ideology, Dramatism , Fantasy, Myth, and Narrative as ways of rhetorical knowing.

Kenneth Burke, "The Rhetoric of Hitler's Battle," in Benson, Landmarks.

 

 

(13)

Wednesday

October 15

 

Janice Hocker Rushing, "Evolution of the 'New Frontier' in Alien and Aliens: Patriarchal Evolution of the Feminine Archetype" (on electronic reserve); Philip Wander, "The Ideological Turn in Modern Criticism"; Raymie McKerrow, "Critical Rhetoric: Theory and Praxis," in Burgchardt, Readings.

 

(14)

Monday

October 20

 

Rhetoric as a way of being.

Read T. Benson, "Rhetoric as a Way of Being," in American Rhetoric; Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, "Stanton's "Solitude of Self": A Rationale for Feminism," in Benson, Landmarks; Sonja Foss and Karen A. Foss, "The Construction of Feminine Spectatorship in Garrison Keillor's Radio Monologues," in Burgchardt, Readings.

 

(15)

Wednesday

October 22

 

Edwin Black, "The Second Persona," in Benson, Landmarks; Maurice Charland, "Constitutive Rhetoric: The Case of the Peuple Québécois," in Benson, Landmarks; James Darsey, "The Legend of Eugene Debs: Prophetic Ethos as Radical Argument" (on electronic reserve); Thomas W. Benson, "Rhetoric and Autobiography: The Case of Malcolm X" (electronic reserve); Kenneth Burke, "Antony on Behalf of the Play" (electronic reserve).

 

(16)

Monday

October 27

 

Rhetoric, cultural politics, and the public.

Gerard Hauser, "Administrative Rhetoric and Public Opinion: Discussing the Iranian Hostages in the Public Sphere"; Richard B. Gregg, "The Rhetoric of Denial and Alternity," in Benson, American Rhetoric; Cindy Griffin, "Rhetoricizing Alienation: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rhetorical Construction of Women's Oppression," in Burgchardt, Readings.

 

(17)

Wednesday

October 29

 

Michael Calvin McGee, "In Search of 'The People': A Rhetorical Alternative" (on electronic reserve); Michael Calvin McGee, "Text, Context, and the Fragmentation of Contemporary Culture" (on electronic reserve); Michael Leff, "Interpretation and the Art of the Rhetorical Critic" (on electronic reserve); Michael Leff, "Rhetorical Timing in Lincoln's House Divided Speech" (on electronic reserve); Karen Altman, "Consuming Ideology: The Better Homes in America Campaign" (electronic reserve); Carole Blair, Marsha S. Jeppeson, and Enrico Pucci, Jr., "Public Memorializing in Postmodernity: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial as Prototype," in Burgchardt, Readings.

 

(18)

Monday

November 3

 

Genre, the constraints of form, and the rhetorical resources of language.

Lawrence W. Rosenfield, "Central Park and the Celebration of Civic Virtue," in Benson, American Rhetoric; Hermann G. Stelzner, "'War Message,' December 8, 1941: An Approach to Language"; Michael C. Leff and G. P. Mohrmann, "Lincoln at Cooper Union: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Text," in Benson, Landmarks.

 

(19)

Wednesday

November 5

 

Stephen E. Lucas, "Genre Criticism and Historical Context: The Case of George Washington's First Inaugural Address," in Benson, Landmarks; Michael Leff, "Textual Criticism: The Legacy of G. P. Mohrmann," in Medhurst, Landmarks; Martin J. Medhurst and Thomas W. Benson, "The City: The Rhetoric of Rhythm" (on electronic reserve); B. L. Ware and Wil A. Linkugel, "They Spoke in Defense of Themselves: On the Generic Criticism of Apologia" (on electronic reserve); Richard Fulkerson, "The Public Letter as a Rhetorical Form: Structure, Logic, and Style in King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'" (electronic reserve); Martin J. Medhurst, "The Politics of Prayer: A Case Study in Configurational Interplay," in Benson, American Rhetoric.

 

(20)

Monday

November 10

 

First draft of seminar paper due. No reading assignment for this class period--to give you a little extra time to work on your paper--but please do not miss class, as we will be exchanging drafts for peer review.

 

(21)

Wednesday

November 12

 

Interpreting the rhetoric of movements.

Read Carroll C. Arnold, "Early Constitutional Rhetoric in Pennsylvania," in Benson, American Rhetoric; Leland Griffin, "The Rhetorical Structure of Historical Movements" (on electronic reserve); Leland Griffin, "The Rhetorical Structure of the Antimasonic Movement"; Herbert Simons, "Requirements, Problems, and Strategies: A Theory of Persuasion for Social Movements," in Burgchardt, Readings.

 

(22)

Monday

November 17

 

The issue of theory in criticism; the criticism of politics; and the politics of academic gatekeeping.

James Darsey, "Must We All Be Rhetorical Theorists? An Anti-Democratic Inquiry" (on electronic reserve); Carole Blair, Julie R. Brown, and Leslie A. Baxter, "Disciplining the Feminine" (on electronic reserve); Roderick Hart, "Contemporary Scholarship in Public Address: A Research Editorial"; "Doing Criticism My Way: A Reply to Darsey"; "Theory-Building and Rhetorical Criticism: An Informal Statement of Opinion" (on electronic reserve).

 

(23)

Wednesday

November 19

Reading speaking.

Michael Leff, "Textual Criticism: The Legacy of G. P. Mohrmann"; Michael Leff, "Dimensions of Temporality in Lincoln's Second Inaugural"; Martin J. Medhurst, "Reconceptualizing Rhetorical History: Eisenhower's Farewell Address," in Burgchardt, Readings; Michael Leff, "Rhetorical Timing in Lincoln's House Divided Speech" (on electronic reserve).

 

(24)

Monday

November 24

 

Presentation of seminar papers

Casey Maugh

Brett Lunceford

Cyndi Boes

 

 

Wednesday

November 26

 

Thanksgiving Break - no classes.

 

(25)

Monday

December 1

 

 

Presentation of seminar papers:

Lisa Glebatis

Kate Morrisey


(26)

Wednesday

December 3

 

Presentation of seminar papers:

Jill Weber

Rebekah Ann Haynes

 

 

(27)

Monday

December 8

 

 

Presentation of seminar papers:

L. Sullivan Ross

Jennifer Biedendorf

Mike Tumolo


(28)

Wednesday

December 10

 

Presentation of seminar papers:

Melanie McNaughton

Jessica Sheffield

 

Monday

December 15

 

Final Exams begin. Term paper due. Department mailboxes are in 232 Sparks Building.

 

 

Seminar Papers

Seminar Papers: You are asked to prepare a major, article-length seminar paper--a rhetorical analysis of a single text or group of texts. Subject the text to a close textual analysis, situated in whatever contexts (theoretical, situational, historical) seem appropriate to support interpretive work. A central feature of the seminar will be the sequential preparation of the paper, followed by shared editorial consultation and thorough rewriting. The product will, it is hoped, be a manuscript that might be thought of as an "expanded" journal article, which, with some judicious cutting, could be submitted for publication review to a journal. The manuscript will be "expanded" in the sense that it will probably contain a more extended review of context and earlier scholarship, and perhaps more detailed description, than some editors would have space for in a journal.

Major dates for paper development (all these assignments are due, typed, double-spaced, one side of paper only, with a title page, on the dates indicated):

September 17. Topic due, in writing. Briefly identify the text(s) you wish to analyze and the central critical problems or questions you wish to investigate. What is the text? Where is it available? What, at this point, strike you as issues, questions, or problems worth investigating? (1-2 pages) It is strongly suggested that you talk with me before choosing a text for analysis. In any case, do not choose a text that you have written on for another class.

September 29. Research proposal. (2-4 pp.) A description of the topic you have chosen, the central question you will address in your analysis, the significance of your study, critical procedures that seem likely to be productive, relevant theoretical and methodological considerations, definitions of key terms, brief identification of the scholarly literatures most likely to contextualize your study (previous studies of your text, of similar texts, of similar questions, theoretical perspectives, descriptions of method or uses of methods similar to those you propose). Preliminary bibliography.

October 13. Review of literature. By this time you should have identified the scholarly literature (books, journal articles, and dissertations) bearing on (1) your research question, (2) the text you have chosen to analyze, (3) your mode of analysis, and (4) major theoretical issues, if any, that drive or are interrogated by your proposed analysis. Early in the semester, schedule a session with a research librarian at Pattee Library for advice on searching the literature bearing on your topic. You should be familiar with LIAS , with Dissertation Abstracts, and with various indices to scholarly literature that are available on CD-ROM. Be sure to consult standard bibliographies in the field, especially R. Matlon, Index to Journals in Communication Studies through 1990; for journals in speech communication since 1990, you may need to leaf through by hand; note that the Matlon Index is also available on CD-ROM as "Commsearch"--a copy is available in Pattee Library. In this paper (a revised version of which will become part of your final paper), "review" the literature so as to give both an overview of the literature and a focused account of how it bears on your own project. A careful review at this point will allow you to identify, in the final paper, the ways in which your own findings confirm, extend, modify, or contradict the existing literature, but it is not anticipated that this short paper will simply be dropped unmodified into the final draft.

October 22. Context--political, historical, organizational, ideological; production and reception. History and authenticity of the text. Just 2-3 pages for this assignment, though you will by this time have gathered much more than enough information than that, and may write at length on this subject in your actual paper.

November 10. First draft of paper due. A complete and finished version of the paper, suitable for formal review. Include title page, abstract, paper, endnotes if any, and list of works cited.

November 12-24. Editorial reviews of first draft. Each student will read and respond in writing to several other student papers with suggestions for revisions.

November 24 - December 10. Final oral reports to class.

December 10. Seminar paper due.

Paper Style. In preparing your paper, follow the style guidelines presented in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 4th edition; or Chicago Manual of Style A form; or APA style. If you use MLA style, you may use the citation method that employs a list of works cited and parenthetical references in the text, or an endnote style (in which case you should also include a bibliography). If you use commentative notes in addition, use endnotes rather than footnotes. It is a good idea for a writer to have a basic grammar reference handy; one widely used guide that I recommend is Diana Hacker, A Writer's Reference, 3rd ed. (New York: St. Martin's, 1995).

On-line participation


Electronic Mail and Class Discussion. The primary discussions in this seminar will be conducted face-to-face, on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and throughout the rest of the week on the computer. Although it is hoped that participation will be intense and ongoing, at least the following deadlines must be met: A contribution to discussion 24 hours before each class meeting, in which you offer some questions about the reading assignment for the next class (with supporting citations, thoughts, or suggestions) for possible discussion in class or on-line. You are also invited to participate in ongoing followup on-line conversations that extend some aspect of class discussion or raise an issue that did not make it into the discussion. In your contributions, please try to frame a proposition or question for discussion, relate it to some part of the readings, quote or paraphrase the relevant passage in the reading (including a page reference), and sketch a reasoned discussion-opener. In these conversations, your opinions are important, but we should also work beyond mere clash (or coincidence) of opinion to mutual enlightenment and a shared willingness to learn new ways of thinking. Send your notes for class discussion to the Listserv address L-CAS503-fa03@lists.psu.edu. If you use more than one e-mail account, I can list more than one address for you.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity. Submission of all written work in this course is taken to imply that the work is your own unless otherwise indicated. Please be careful to document the work of others where appropriate. Under no circumstances submit for credit in this course any work that has been submitted in other courses. In selecting a text for critical analysis for your seminar paper, do not write about a text that is part of the syllabus of other courses you have taken without special permission.

Grades

Grades. All elements of your work in this seminar will be considered in formulating a final grade for the course--participation (in class and on-line) 20%; written work (including first and final drafts of the seminar paper, progressive development of various stages of the paper, and editorial comments on peer reviewed papers) 80%.

Texts


Benson, Thomas W., ed. American Rhetoric: Context and Criticism. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989. [I will provide loan copies]

Benson, Thomas W., ed. Landmark Essays on Rhetorical Criticism. Davis, CA: Hermagoras Press, 1993.

Benson, Thomas W., ed. Rhetoric and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century America. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1997.

Burgchardt, Carl R., ed. Readings in Rhetorical Criticism. 2d ed. State College, PA: Strata, 2000.

Medhurst, Martin J., ed. Landmark Essays on American Public Address. Davis, CA: Hermagoras Press, 1993.

Electronic Reserves

A selection of readings in rhetorical criticism is available to registered students through the Penn State libraries electronic reserve system. The following works are on electronic reserve. You may link to the electronic reserves by clicking the "course reserves" link at Pattee Library. Go to the library web page, then click to log into the cat; from there you you find a button for course reserves


Altman, Karen E. Consuming Ideology: The Better Homes in American Campaign Critical Studies in Mass Communication 7 (1990): 286-307.

Benson, Thomas W. Another Shooting in Cowtown Quarterly Journal of Speech 67 (1981): 347-406.

Benson, Thomas W. Rhetoric and Autobiography: The Case of Malcolm X Quarterly Journal of Speech 60 (1974): 1-13.

Black, Edwin. Gettysburg and Silence. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 80, (1994): 21-36.

Black, Edwin. Ideological Justifications. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70, (1984): 144-150.

Black, Edwin. Secrecy and Disclosure as Rhetorical Forms. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 74 (1988): 133-150.

Black, Edwin. The Sentimental Style as Escapism, or the Devil with Dan'l Webster. Form and Genre: Shaping Rhetorical Action. Ed. Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Falls Church, VA: Speech Communication Association, (1978). 75-86.

Blair, Carol, Julie R. Brown, and Leslie A. Baxter. Disciplining the Feminine. Quarterly Journal of Speech 80 (1994): 383-409.

Browne, Stephen H. Reading Public Memory in Daniel Webster's Plymouth Rock Oration. Western Journal of Communication, 57, 464-477.

Burke, Kenneth. Antony on Behalf of the Play. The Philosophy of Literary Form. 3d ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973. 329-343.

Darsey, James. The Legend of Eugene Debs: Prophetic Ethos as Radical Argument Quarterly Journal of Speech 74 (1988): 434-452.

Darsey, James. Must We All Be Rhetorical Theorists?: An Anti- Democratic inquiry. Western Journal of Communication 58 (1994): 164-181.

Fulkerson, Richard P. The Public Letter as a Rhetorical Form: Structure, Style, and Logic in Kings Letter from Birmingham Jail.. Quarterly Journal of Speech 65 (1979): 121-136.

Gregg, Richard B. The Criticism of Symbolic Inducement: A Critical-Theoretical Connection. Speech Communication in the 20th Century. Ed. Thomas W. Benson. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985. 41-62.

Gregg, Richard B. The Ego-Function of the Rhetoric of Protest. Philosophy and Rhetoric 4 (1971): 71-91.

Griffin, Leland M. The Rhetorical Structure of Historical Movements. Quarterly Journal of Speech 38 (1952): 184-188.

Griffin, Leland M. The Rhetorical Structure of the Antimasonic Movement. The Rhetorical Idiom. Ed. Donald C. Bryant. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1958. 145-160.

Hart, Roderick P. Contemporary Scholarship in Public Address: A Research Editorial. Western Journal of Speech Communication 50 (1986): 283-295.

Hart, Roderick P. Doing Criticism My Way: A Reply to Darsey. Western Journal of Communication 58 (1994): 308-312.

Hart, Roderick P. Theory-Building and Rhetorical Criticism: An Informal Statement of Opinion. Central States Speech Journal 27 (1976): 70-77.

Hyde, Michael J. Medicine, Rhetoric, and Euthanasia: A Case Study in the Workings of a Postmodern Discourse. Quarterly Journal of Speech 79 (1993): 201-224.

Leff, Michael. Interpretation and the Art of the Rhetorical Critic. Western Journal of Speech Communication 44 (1980): 337-349.

Leff, Michael. Rhetorical Timing in Lincoln's House Divided Speech. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, 1984. pp.3-20. Published by Northwestern University's Department of Speech Communication.

Leff, Michael and Sachs, Andrew. Words the Most Like Things: Iconicity and the Rhetorical Text. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 54, 252-273.

Lucaites, John Louis, and Celeste Michelle Condit. Reconstructing : Culturetypal and Counter-Cultural Rhetorics in the Martyred Black Vision. Communication Monographs 57 (1990): 5-25.

McGee, Michael Calvin. The 'Ideograph': A Link Between Rhetoric and Ideology. Quarterly Journal of Speech 66 (1980): 1-16.

McGee, Michael C. In Search of 'The People': A Rhetorical Alternative. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 61 (1975): 235-49.

McGee, Michael Calvin. Social movement as meaning. Central States Speech Journal, 34 (1983): 74-77.

McGee, Michael Calvin. Text, Context, and the Fragmentation of Contemporary Culture. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 54 (1990): 274-289.

McKerrow, Raymie E. Critical Rhetoric: Theory and Praxis. Communication Monographs 56 (1989): 91-111.

Medhurst, Martin J., and Thomas W. Benson. The City": The Rhetoric of Rhythm. Communication Monographs 48 (1981): 54-72.

Rosenfield, Lawrence W. The Anatomy of Critical Discourse.Speech Monographs 35 (1968): 50-69.

Rosenfield, Lawrence W. The Experience of Criticism. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 60 (1974): 489-496.

Rushing, Janice Hocker. Evolution of 'The New Frontier' in Alien and Aliens: Patriarchal Co-optation of the Feminine Archetype. Quarterly Journal of Speech 75 (1989): 1-24.

Simons, Herbert W. Requirements, Problems, and Strategies: A Theory of Persuasion for Social Movements. Quarterly Journal of Speech 56 (1970): 1-11.

Wander, Philip. The Ideological Turn in Modern Criticism. Central States Speech Journal 34 (1983): 1-18.

Ware, B. L., and Wil A. Linkugel. They Spoke in Defense of Themselves: On the Generic Criticism of Apologia. Quarterly Journal of Speech 59 (1973): 273-283.



Additional Readings


It is expected that you will be reading widely in rhetorical criticism during the semester, particularly in areas that support the development of your seminar paper.

This syllabus may be accessed on the world wide web at http://www.personal.psu.edu/t3b

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