Fall 2014 Rhetoric 102 Course Descriptions


All Rhetoric 102 sections are designed primarily to teach students to use language clearly and effectively in order to analyze texts, to argue logically, and to use research methods and materials, and all sections require that students write a minimum of 7500 words in essays, including two research papers. However, professors use a variety of readings and thematic focuses to accomplish these goals. We offer below course descriptions to the various sections of Rhetoric 102 available this semester so as to give students extra information as they choose a section in which to enroll. Students are not in any way obliged to remain with their Rhetoric 101 professor; instead they should select a section of Rhetoric 102 that piques their interest. All sections of Rhetoric 102 are limited to a fourteen-student maximum enrollment.

RHETORIC 102 01  TR 10:00 - 11:20 AM PROF. ROBBINS
RHETORIC 102 02  TR  12:30 - 1:50 PM PROF. ROBBINS
RHETORIC 102 03 TR  2:00  -  3:20 PM PROF. ROBBINS

This course, like all Rhetoric courses, is based on a faculty resolution that states, "All Hampden-Sydney graduates will write competently."  This statement implies that students will know how to research topics and present their ideas and the evidence that they have gathered. Because fiction can offer insights into our society, we will use a collection of short fiction from contemporary writers to find topics for research. There are six short research papers required on a variety of topics, and a longer one at the end of the semester.  All the papers show that the student constructed clear arguments and gathered evidence to support them.

RHETORIC 102 05 TR 12:30 - 1:50 PM  PROF. FRANK
RHETORIC 102 09 TR 2:00 - 3:20 PM  PROF. FRANK

Memory and the Holocaust

This Rhetoric 102 course focuses on improving one's written style, making cogent arguments, and honing one's skills in documenting research sources. Each Rhetoric 102 student writes two research papers plus shorter essays that will total a minimum of 7500 words. The theme for these sections is "Remembering the Holocaust." Students will read and analyze various formats in which individuals recall the slaughter of almost 12 million people by Nazi Germany, including autobiographical accounts, films, museums, photographs, drawings, and cartoons. While the artifacts we will examine are about the Holocaust, our focus will be on how rhetors preserve this knowledge for future generations. For the sake of all who perished, let us never forget!

RHETORIC 102 06  MWF 9:30 - 10:20 AM PROF. KALE
RHETORIC 102 07 MWF 10:30 - 11:20 AM  PROF. KALE

In addition to the required papers and reading assignments, this course includes a rigorous research component.  The course will introduce you to advanced research strategies: locating, evaluating, employing, and documenting sources.  You can expect to complete several different kinds of assignments: evaluation, analysis, annotated bibliography, and research paper as well as several shorter response papers. 

RHETORIC 102 08  TR 10:00 - 11:20 AM PROF. FENIMORE

Black and White Public Discourse About Race Relations

Over the course of the semester, we will examine the public conversation about race relations that occurred from 1942-1964. Among the speeches we will examine include President Truman's historical address to the NAACP, oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, Senator James Eastland's remarks on the Senate Floor, Daisy Bates' recollection of desegregation attempts at Little Rock, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham City Jail, John Lewis' speech at the March on Washington, Malcolm X's The Ballot or the Bullet speech, and Fannie Lou Hamer's testimony before the Credentials Committee. We will consider the intrinsic and extrinsic elements of the texts: the rhetorical situation, the historical context, constraints, use of language, appeals, argument, and the audience. Because rhetoric is a force that does something, we will also delve into the effects of the speeches. Our goal is to extend and refine your research, writing, editing, and revising skills so that you can construct a well-reasoned argument.