First, let me say that Rowan is doing fine. She's sort of rejecting the concept of sleep today (its 11:30 and still no nap--a very bad sign), but otherwise o.k.
In Marc news--official Marc C. Santos news--I've been asked to design an undergraduate course in Rhetorical Theory. I spend some time Googlin' around the net to see what I could find, and basically saw two approaches. The first relied heavily on either Bizzell or Hawhee; these courses offered a pretty broad/historic survey. The second approach was heavily (heavily) steeped in 20th century pomo--but often looked more like a literary/cultural studies theory course than a rhetorical theory course. I'm going to try to split the difference (which means I bound to fail) and go for something like this:
- Week One: Plato's "Gorgias," Republic VII (emphasis: the split between rhetoric and dialectic, rhetoric is too risky)
- Week Two: Aristotle's Rhetoric, Books I and II (emphasis on traditional appeals, relation to the audience, kairos)
- Week Three: Cicero selections from De Oratore (emphasis: defense of rhetoric, response to Plato) and De Inventione (stasis)
- Week Four: Lanham, "The Q Question," Nussbaum intro to Cultivating Humanity, Jarrett intro to Rereading the Sophists
- Week Five: Paper Week One
- Week Five: Kenneth Burke selections from Permanence and Change (piety, perspective by incongruity); Blakesley's Elements of Dramatism Chapter 1 (pentad)
- Week Six: Kenneth Burke Rhetoric of Motives 17-65 (identification); "Definition of Man" essay; Corder's "Argument as Emergence" (rhetoric as narratology, not persuasion)
- Week Seven: Rhetoric (returns to?) Composition: Bitzer "Rhetorical Situation," Ede and Lunsford "Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked," something by either Toulmin or Lauer on invention (not sure yet--might do both).
- Week Nine: Paper Week 2
- Week Ten: Grassi, "Philosophy as Rhetoric"; Levinas "The Thinking of Being and the Question of the Other"; Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa"
- Week Eleven: Derrida "At this very moment in this work here I am" (ethical relation between writer, audience, and knowledge) and Learning To Live Finally (pomo relation to audience)
- Week Twelve: Ulmer, selection from Heuretics or Internet Invention; Davis, "Preambulatory Emmissions from Breaking Up [at] Totality
- Week Thirteen: Rickert, "In the House of Doing: Rhetoric and the Kairos of Ambiance, "Edbauer "Unframing Models of Public Distribution: From Rhetorical Situation to Rhetorical Ecologies," Hawk "Toward a Rhetoric of Network (Media) Culture: Notes on Polarities and Potentiality" (pomo complexification [sic] of r/c bedrock)
- Paper Week 3
- Week Fourteen: Rheingold selections from Smart Mobs, Porter, "The Chilling of Digital Information: Technical Communicators as Public Advocates"
- Week Fifteen: Projects
- Week Sixteen: Projects
I've taken the "paper weeks" from Rickert who took them from Frank who took them from ????: on a paper day, everyone in the class distributes a short paper and reads it to the class. I'm interested in this pedagogically in terms of delivery and kairos--two elements that are often a bit more muddled (Rickert might say) in traditional academic [for class] writing.
As far as the final project, I believe this will be on a per-student basis. I will allow traditional papers, disciplinary annotated bibliographies, wikipedia projects, multimedia projects (perhaps something out of Ulmer)--just about anything the students can offer.
I've still got to write up the course description, but I know I'll be leaning toward providing students with a thorough understanding of the history of rhetoric and of the principle rhetorical concepts and techniques. Such historic understanding should help them to understand the fundamental positions underlying the work they do as technical writers. Familiarity with traditional rhetorical concepts and conventions should help all facets of their writing process, from invention to revision. I'll have to clean this up and look at the other new course proposals in my department to get a sense of length/depth/sophistication. But I think I've got a legitimate course brewing here...