Course Title and Number: Histories of Rhetoric ENGL 5203
Prerequisites: Graduate classification.
- Asante, Molefi Kete. The Egyptian Philosophers: Ancient African Voices from Imhotep to Akhenaten. African American Images, 2000. ISBN: 9780913543665.
- Astell, Mary. Some Reflections Upon Marriage, Occasion'd by the Duke and Dutchess of Mazarine's Case; Which is Also Consider'd. (Any copy; available http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/astell/marriage/marriage.html)
- Augustine, of Hippo. On Christian Doctrine. (Any copy; available http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1202.htm)
- Averröes, Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd. Three Short Commentaries on Aristotle's “Topics,” “Rhetoric,” and “Poetics.” (Available http://www.newbanner.com/AboutPic/athena/raphael/IbnRushd/shrt-com.pdf)
- Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. (Any copy; available http://web.archive.org/web/20080928090040/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/DouNarr.html)
- The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists. Trans. Robin Waterfield. Oxford, 2009. ISBN: 0192824546.
- Glenn, Cheryl. Rhetoric Retold: Regendering the Tradition From Antiquity Through the Renaissance. Southern Illinois UP, 1997. ISBN: 9780809321377.
- Knechtges, David, and Eugene Vance, eds. Rhetoric and Discourses of Power in Court Culture: China, Europe, and Japan. U of Washington P, 2004. ISBN: 0295984503.
- Léon-Portilla, Miguel. Fifteen Poets of the Aztec World. U of Oklahoma P, 1992. ISBN: 0806124415.
- Lipson, Carol S., and Roberta A. Binkley, eds. Ancient Non-Greek Rhetorics. Parlor, 2009. ISBN: 1602350949.
- ---. Rhetoric Before and Beyond the Greeks. SUNY, 2004. ISBN: 0791460991.
- Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government (1680-1690). (Any copy; available http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm)
- Plato. Gorgias. (Any copy; available http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/gorgias.html)
- ---. Menexenus. (Any copy; available http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1682/1682-h/1682-h.htm)
- Wiethoff, William E. The Insolent Slave. ISBN: 9781570034145.
Articles and Book Chapters
- Linda Bannister and James E. Hurd, Jr. “Recovering the Voices of the Florida Turpentine Slaves: A Lost Rhetoric of Resistance.” Agency in the Margins: Stories of Outsider Rhetoric. Fairleigh Dickenson UP, 2008. 39-67.
- Janet Bately. “The Nature of Old English Prose.” The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge, eds. Cambridge UP, 1991. 71-87.
- Kermit E. Campbell. "Rhetoric from the Ruins of African Antiquity." Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 24.3 (2006): 255-274.
- Robin R. Clair. “Organizing Silence: Silence as Voice and Voice as Silence in the Narrative Exploration of the Treaty of New Echota.” Western Journal of Communication 61.3 (1997): 315-337.
- Helen Cooper. “Translation and Adaptation.” A Concise Companion to Middle English Literature. Marilyn Corrie, ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
- Jay T. Dolmage. “Metis, Mêtis, Mestiza, Medusa: Rhetorical Bodies Across Rhetorical Traditions.” Rhetoric Review 28.1 (2009): 1-28.
- Philip Halldén. "What Is Arab Islamic Rhetoric? Rethinking the History of Muslim Oratory Art and Homiletics." International Journal of Middle East Studies 37.1 (2005): 19-38.
- Susan C. Jarratt. "The First Sophists and the Uses of History." Rhetoric Review 6.1 (1987): 67-78.
- Walter Mignolo. “Genres as Social Practices: Histories, Ekyclopaideias, and the Limits of Knowledge and Understanding." The Darker Side of the Renaissance. U of Michigan, 1995. 171-216.
- Malea Powell. “Rhetorics of Survivance: How American Indians Use Writing.” College Composition and Communication 53.3 (2002): 396-434.
- Rocío Quispe-Agnoli. “Spanish Scripts Colonize the Image: Inca Visual Rhetorics.” Rhetorics of the Americas: 3114 BCE to 2012 CE. Damian Baca and Victor Villaneuva, eds. Palgrave MacMillan, 2009. 41-67.
- Mark Schaub. "Rhetorical Studies in America: The Place of Averroës and the Medieval Arab Commentators." Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 16 (1996): 233-254.
- Harold Stone. "Why Europeans Stopped Reading Averroës: The Case of Pierre Bayle." Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 16 (1996): 77-95.
- Gerald Vizenor. “Double Others.” Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. U of Nebraska P, 1999. 45-62.
- John Ward. “Women and Latin Rhetoric From Hrotsvit to Hildegard.” The Changing Tradition: Women in the History of Rhetoric. Christine Mason Sutherland and Rebecca Sutcliffe, eds. U of Calgary P, 1999. 121-132.
- Robert Yagelski. “A Rhetoric of Contact: Tecumseh and the Native American Confederacy.” Rhetoric Review 14.1 (1995): 64-77.
Excerpts and Essays/Speeches
- William Apess, “An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man”
- Christine de Pizan, from The Book of the City of Ladies
- Cicero, from On the Ideal Orator
- Rene Descartes, Second Meditation
- Dhoda, from the Handbook for William
- Philip Sidney, The Defense of Poesy
- Sojourner Truth, two versions of “Ain’t I a Woman?”
Catalogue Description of Course:
3 Hours. This course is designed to focus study on ancient and early rhetorics, the Greco-Roman traditions, Medieval and Renaissance rhetorics, and into the 19th century. Emphasis will be placed upon the ways in which these foundational thinkers and scholars impact the study of writing and rhetoric today.
Students will read critical texts that represent various major concerns of rhetorical studies in the ancient, premodern, and Enlightenment-era periods. Students will examine the ways in which ingrained perceptions about rhetoric inform literacy and composition studies as well as contemporary views of culture, gender, and power. Beginning with the more familiar timeline of Greek rhetorical history, students will then learn about alternative histories, schemes, and ethical systems through the study of prominent non-Greek rhetorics including those of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Student Learning Outcomes:
After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- demonstrate oral and written knowledge of diverse theories, methodologies, and critics pertaining to the study of diverse histories of rhetorical studies;
- appreciate how past authors theorize about rhetoric in their own writing and practices;
- recognize the ethical and political dimensions of rhetorical and compositional practices as situated within particular cultures;
- analyze how standard histories of rhetoric influence, construct, and/or stabilize contemporary notions of communication, and how new and current findings problematize these histories;
- produce original academic work appropriate to their classification that corroborates their engagement with the material discussed.
Socratic seminar-style class discussion of the materials assigned will compose the majority of the course’s delivery method, and students are expected to maintain a log of discussion throughout the semester. Discussions will cover all assigned readings, as well as tangential information stemming from said readings. In addition, the instructor may provide lecture, take-home assignments, and in-class assignments as necessary to ensure satisfactory student advancement. Tests and quizzes may also be used to monitor student progress.
Semester grades will be determined by:
- One seminar paper (15 pages): 30%
- One in-class article review/analysis presentation: 15%
- Consistent participation in class discussion: 15%
- Three-page reading responses (4): 40%
Return to main Syllabus page.