RHETORIC 102 SECTIONS
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 12:30 – 1:50 PM PROF. GRUDER-PONI
RHETORIC 102 12 TR 10:00 – 11:20 AM PROF. GRUDER-PONI
Other Times, Other Places
The experience of being an outsider can be a powerful spur to reflection. The authors we will read this semester are all, by choice or by necessity, outsiders who try to understand a distant (or not so distant) past, or a faraway place, and their essays are the result of that effort. Some of the essays are personal: the authors come to terms, at a distance of years, with their family (Annie Dillard, Franz Kafka), education (Samuel Johnson, George Orwell), or their country's past (Konstanty Gebert, John Richard Dennett). Other essays are more investigative: the authors reconstruct a complicated situation, often in wartime, using partial and incomplete evidence (Errol Morris, Dennett, and Orwell again). The assignments will give students the opportunity to write about similar topics — family history, local history, schooling, travel, true crime — from the perspective of an outsider. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which authors distance themselves from their own past, and how students can use the same techniques to look at familiar topics — one's education, family, hometown — with fresh eyes.
RHETORIC 102-02 TR 2:00 – 3:20 PM PROF. DAVIS
On the left is an x-ray of the Solenoglypha Polipodida, a vertebrate that lives mostly in the water where it swims like an eel, but that uses its legs when it hunts on the land at night. Below is a picture of a female deep sea anglerfish. The male, which is much smaller, chomps onto the female and then slowly fuses into her, losing his eyes, his internal organs, and his skin until he completely vanishes. While one of them is real, the other is a hoax. How can you tell which is which? What criteria do you use to separate them?
When we write, we want our readers to accept our arguments as true, or at least plausible. But what makes something—an argument, a photograph, a YouTube video—believable? To approach this question, we will explore the line between the believable and the unbelievable that is flaunted by scientific and cultural hoaxes, focusing on the strategies used to make something convincing. Beginning our investigation of hoaxes with Lawrence Weschler’s Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, we will pay special attention to the development of a persuasive rhetorical style that enables you to engage and convince your readers.
RHETORIC 102 03 MW 2:30 – 3:50 PM PROF. FRUSETTA
In this course we’ll explore the rhetoric of evil. This is not rhetoric about evil, but rather the ways that villains, criminals and tyrants have explained, justified or self-characterized their actions. As we sharpen skills on researching, editing, and revising essays, we’ll explore a wide variety of texts. We'll explore the arguments of Ragnar Redbeard and Himmler, consider the motivations of Medea and Moriarty, and sample a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov and a graphic novel by Mark Millar. The class includes four significant research papers, plus various shorter writing assignments.
RHETORIC 102 04 MWF 11:30 – 12:20 P.M. PROF. HIGGINBOTHAM
RHETORIC 102 05 MWF 8:30 – 9:20 A.M. PROF. HIGGINBOTHAM
RHETORIC 102 07 MWF 10:30 – 11:20 A.M. PROF. HIGGINBOTHAM
This section of Rhetoric 102 will analyze the rhetoric of Star Wars. We'll begin with the iconic trilogy, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi. From there, we will read essays about the movies. We will pay close attention to George Lucas’s influences and analyze how the mythology of the movies relates to modern and contemporary literature and film. Students will write analytical and persuasive prose and revise and revise and revise and edit.
RHETORIC 102 06 TR 10:00 – 11:20 A.M. PROF. BOOKER
RHETORIC 102 13 TR 12:30 – 1:50 P.M. PROF. BOOKER
Representations of the American Indian
Stories, movies, art, TV, essays, sport, and music have given us plentiful and powerful images of the indigenous people of the United States--as individuals, as members of varied bands/tribes, and as members of their respective nations. We will read about Indian participants in grassroots political and cultural movements, as keepers of tradition, and as agents for change. They are both subjects reflecting on self and objects of a non-Native gaze. As we adopt the course's focus on researching, drafting, revising, and editing essays, we'll examine various representations and narratives of historic and contemporary American Indians and the issues with which they are involved.
RHETORIC 102 08 TR 10:00 – 11:20 A.M. PROF. ROBBINS
RHETORIC 102 09 TR 12:30 – 1:50 P.M. 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 evidence persuasively and clearly. 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 it.
RHETORIC 102 11 MWF 1:30 – 2:20 P.M. PROF. KALE
This section of Rhetoric 102 explores the field of life writing, both autobiography (writing about your own life) and biography (writing about the lives of others). Your semester-long project will be to compose a thoroughly researched profile of a remarkable person, situating that narrative within a cultural analysis of key events that shaped your subject.
RHETORIC 102 15 MWF 9:30 – 10:20 A.M. PROF. DUNN
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: Elements of Style
Writing about scientific and technical subjects presents challenges different from those encountered in other writing assignments. Scientific journal articles, grant proposals, and even instruction manuals can be dense and difficult to read when they are not carefully composed. This course, while open to all students, is targeted at potential science majors who wish to learn to write well about technical subjects. We will read articles, some written well and others written poorly, and learn to edit the poor ones to improve readability without sacrificing content. Students will then apply what they have learned to compose a research paper in the discipline of their choosing.