Fall 2014 Minor Courses

Note: All new students and transfer students who began their program of study at Hampden-Sydney College in the fall of 2013 must complete the new Rhetoric minor ONLY. The old minor or the "hybrid" old/new minor can be completed only by students who were enrolled at HSC before fall of 2013.


Rhetoric 301-1:  Creative Nonfiction
TR 10:00-11:20am
Dr. Rand  

Course Description: This course is a workshop/seminar that helps students refine their writing skills.  Students also read and analyze works of nonfiction prose in order to discover how one writes most effectively about complex issues and how writers develop a personal style and voice. Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Rhetoric 101 and 102  

Note: This course is part of the required sequence of courses that comprise the minor in Rhetoric-both the old version and the new version.    


Rhetoric 370-1: Rhetoric and Culture: On the Fringe: Ethnographic Studies of Co-cultures and Intentional Communities
TR 8:30-9:50am
Dr. Deal  

Course Description: This course investigates the ways in which definitions of our identity (including definitions tied to class, gender, race and ethnicity, religion, and technology, among others) acquire cultural significance through written and oral expression. Typically, the instructor of this course chooses a particular kind of identity within the culture to focus on, given that "culture" and "identity" are such broad terms.   In this section of Rhetoric 370, we'll explore cultural identity as expressed in various co-cultures, including co-cultures based on shared interests (Harley riders or Juggalos, for example) and shared ideals about community (The Beehive Collective in Machias, ME or Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, VA, for example).  Co-culture members are generally perceived to deviate from the standards of the dominant culture and are often viewed, both by members of the dominant culture and the co-culture, as disenfranchised and marginalized - cut off from the mainstream. We'll explore the rhetorical strategies members of various co-cultures and intentional communities use to define themselves both as individuals and as a collective. The readings in the course will consist of ethnographic texts and related forms of social documentary. Ethnography, a form of field-based research that uses "participant-observation" as the primary means to gather data, is the research method most often used for studying such cultures. Ethnographers gain understanding through direct experience, immersing themselves in the culture in order to understand it. Co-culture ethnographies provide readers with accessible, behind-the-scenes descriptions of communities. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Rhetoric 101 and 102  

This course will satisfy one of the requirements for the new rhetoric minor, but it will also count toward the "old" rhetoric minor (as a substitution) if you are pursuing that track.   


Rhetoric 310-1: Advanced Public Speaking
TR 2:00-3:20pm
Dr. Fenimore  

Course Description: This course, which builds on the foundation students acquire in Rhetoric 210, develops advanced students' ability to create and support sound propositions of fact, value, and policy.  Students learn to support and refute claims; to employ and evaluate scholarly evidence; to recognize and avoid fallacies in reasoning; and to deliver arguments with conviction and eloquence.  Prerequisite: successful completion of Rhetoric 210  

This course in public speaking is required for all students completing the "old" or "new" minor.  


Rhetoric 481-1: Capstone for Rhetoric Minors
Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30pm
Dr. Rand  

Course Description: This course is required for students seeking to complete a minor in Rhetoric; students must enroll in Rhetoric 481 during the fall or spring semester of their senior year.  Students discuss argument and persuasion and attend and evaluate events sponsored by the program (or other departments or programs) that focus on the act of writing or speaking in the public square.  During the semester, students demonstrate their own rhetorical skills by writing essays and by giving a speech in a public forum. 

This class enrolls only seniors who have declared a Rhetoric minor. This course is required for all students completing the new version of the minor.