Rhetoric 102

RHETORIC 102 09, TR  8:30 AM – 9:50 AM, PROF. BUCKLEY
RHETORIC 102 10, TR 10 AM – 11:20 AM, PROF. BUCKLEY
RHETORIC 102 13, TR 12:30 PM – 1:50 PM, PROF. BUCKLEY

In Rhetoric 102, we will build on the grammatical foundation established in Rhetoric 101 and continue developing a sense of our own style as writers. We will work on documenting our sources clearly and communicating persuasively in researched essays. In our essays, we will consider writing (along with other media) that is concerned with the natural world. We will look at the work of journalists, essayists, nature documentarians, and climate activists. What kinds of arguments do they make, and how should we respond to them? How do different ideas about nature lead to different arguments about how people should interact with it? What conceptions of nature do we need to discard or adopt? How (and why) do we argue with those who are unconvinced by overwhelming evidence? We will spend time considering these questions and more, all while managing information with a developing sense of rhetorical style.

RHETORIC 102 14, TR  8:30 AM – 9:50 AM, 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.  On the right 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 disappears. 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 natural curiosity—believable? To approach this question, we will explore the line between the believable and the unbelievable that is flaunted by scientific and cultural hoaxes. After reading Lawrence Weschler’s Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, you will be writing about a variety of hoaxes and possibly creating one of your own, paying special attention to the development of a persuasive rhetorical style, one that enables you to engage and convince your readers.

RHETORIC 102 06, TR  8:30 AM – 9:50 AM, PROF. EUTENEUER

Play and Games, Writing and Research
The largest entertainment industry in the world is not movies, television, or music. It is video games.  As digital games continue to become more accessible to wider audiences through mobile phones, subscription services, and simplified game engines, their impact and influence will continue to grow. Through a series of written essays, students will take a critical look at games and play, analyzing how digital games are made, who plays them, what stories they tell, and what makes the medium of games unique.  Building on the skills learned in RHET 101, students will perform rhetorical analyses and undertake academic research into how games depict, critique, and reinforce ideals related to race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.  Students will also complete exercises in style to hone their prose.  Ultimately, students will gain the ability to effectively integrate and cite research in order to craft persuasive and expressive arguments.

RHETORIC 102 01, MWF   1:30 PM – 2:20 PM, PROF. FLORCZYK
RHETORIC 102 03, MWF 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM, PROF. FLORCZYK
RHETORIC 102 04, MWF 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM, PROF. FLORCZYK

Hemingway and the Modern Man
One of the most well-known authors of the twentieth century, Ernest Hemingway became famous not only as a writer but also for exploits such as involvement in wars, African safaris, and big game fishing. In short, Hemingway was a celebrity. For many, his life and literature came to epitomize what it means to be a man in the modern world. Even though Hemingway has sometimes been identified with a crude hyper-masculinity that has been both idealized and criticized, Hemingway's writing suggests more complex themes on gender. What can we learn about gender by studying Hemingway? With attention to style and effective sentences, students will improve their writing by producing research-based argumentative essays on one of the greatest writers identified with masculinity in modern times. 

RHETORIC 102 12, MWF 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM, PROF. HORNE

Writing About Sports
The thematic focus for this section of Rhetoric 102 will be a writerly engagement with sports and the field of sports studies. By reading journalism, creative nonfiction, and academic essays, you will examine some of the diverse ways that authors record, investigate, and analyze athletic competition. As you

study the different styles of the assigned authors’ works, you will learn how to clarify your meaning and edit your style for the audience, occasion, and form of your work. You will learn about an ongoing, global sports discourse, and some of your essays will necessitate research of sports history, sports fandom, rules and policies, cultural practices, etc. In addition to writing research papers, you will complete assignments that are multi-modal and experiential, drawing from the rich resources for sports subjects and topics in our own campus community.

RHETORIC 102 11, MWF 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM, PROF. MALYSZEK 

The Seasons
This course will bring you all four seasons in one semester. While we will necessarily start with winter, we will focus too on spring, summer, and fall. We will read essays, short stories, poems, and novels about the seasons, and even experience them through music and visual art. We will explore not only how the seasons transform our literal surroundings, but also how they inspire us to notice details, look for signs of change, and celebrate time passing. As we watch the seasons turn, you will turn into a seasoned writer by developing your skills in writing researched essays and by refining your writing style.

RHETORIC 102 07, TR 10 AM – 11:20 AM, PROF. ROBBINS
RHETORIC 102 08, TR 12:30 PM – 1:50 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 evidence persuasively and clearly.  Students will hone their own writing style through exercises designed to increase their awareness of rhetorical grammar.

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 five 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, MWF 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM, PROF. WHITNEY

The Life and Writings of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt served as President of the United States from 1901-1909 and remains a central figure in American history. He is remembered not only for transforming America into a twentieth-century global nation, but also for the strength of his character and personality. President Roosevelt maintained a diverse selection of interests: he was a bibliophile, a hunter, a conservationist, a naval historian, a lover of literature, a dedicated scholar, and a lifelong naturalist. He became a champion for the Progressive Movement in the early twentieth century and devoted his life to public service, although there is no question that his imperialist worldview and political legacy comes with certain issues we continue to wrestle with today. Despite all this, Theodore Roosevelt was a cultural icon. In this class, we will work to understand the man himself (and what he represents) by studying his speeches, writings, and personal life. Doing so will enable us to grasp why he remains an important character in the American cultural imagination. Assignments will include several short essays, oral presentations, two longer research papers, and the Rhetoric editing/essay exam. Writing papers about Roosevelt and what he represents will help students not only to learn about the research process, but also to hone their own writing style.

Rhetoric 285

RHETORIC 285 01, MW 12:30 PM – 1:50 PM, PROF EUTENEUER

Rhetoric Center Theory and Practice
This course will focus on training and professional development for current and aspiring rhetoric consultants in the areas of writing, speaking, and digital rhetoric for the new Rhetoric Studio. This course will also offer a theoretical overview of the work that Writing Centers, Speaking Centers, and Digital Rhetoric Centers perform as a field, topic, place, and space through a variety of research and reflective assignments. Practical aspects of the course will be undergirded by instruction in the theories from which pedagogical practices developed. Assignments include the following: observing and reflecting on multiple sessions and consulting, creating a best-practices rubric for consulting, developing a tutoring philosophy, and proposing a conference session or panel based on research or interests in writing, oral, and/or digital Rhetoric. At the end of the course, all students will be invited to apply to present their research at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring (NCPTW), a division of the International Writing Center Association (IWCA). This course is required for students preparing to work as Rhetoric Studio Peer Consultants in the Rhetoric Studio of the Center for Rhetoric and Communication. This course is particularly suited to aspiring educators or professional writers, or anyone who wishes to become an Undergraduate Rhetoric Consultant.  For current sophomores and juniors, this course can be substituted for English 380, Rhetoric 360 or Rhetoric 370 in the Rhetoric minor as long as students complete either Rhetoric 360 or Rhetoric 370.  Registration priority given to juniors and sophomores.

RHETORIC 285 02, MWF 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM, PROF. KAYS

Writing in the Professions
This course emphasizes the conventions and practices critical to writing and communication in the professions, including producing documents for print and digital contexts; reviewing practical professional genres; considering ethical information design; professional editing of various texts; communicating on the Internet; curating a professional ethos and identity; and data visualization. Students will apply their liberal arts-based learning and knowledge to professional contexts and practices.  This course does not satisfy a requirement in the Rhetoric minor.


The Rhetoric of Authority
This course will focus on the practice and techniques by which authors incorporate prior authors and texts into their work. As such, it will offer students an opportunity to study intertextuality not only as a way of enhancing ethos (as with the process of citation or the technique of anamnesis, the recollection of past authors), but also as a form of teaching (as with the practice of imitation or the exercise known as chreia), a form of crime (as with forgery or plagiarism), and ultimately as a form of art (as with allusion, parody, homage, or sampling). Some larger issues to be explored are the workings and uses of cultural memory, the nature and affordances of various concepts of intellectual property, as well as the role of writing technologies in the history of intertextuality.  This course does not satisfy a requirement in the Rhetoric minor.

Rhetoric 360

RHETORIC 360 01, TR  12:30 PM – 1:50 PM, PROF. NACE

The History of Rhetoric
This course covers the history of rhetoric from its origins as a humble knack for persuasion all the way to its incorporation into college curricula as an independent discipline. We will begin in classical antiquity by reading samples of oratory from the Greek sophists and we will proceed in a roughly chronological way by reading dialogues and treatises about rhetoric by Plato and Aristotle as well as their contemporary in China known only as “the Master of the Ghost Valley.” We’ll follow various lines of development in the theory of rhetoric through the middle ages and into various Christian traditions and those of the Muslim Near East. Then we’ll study Western conceptions of rhetoric in the Renaissance and eighteenth century, particularly as they manifest in manuals of rhetoric and decorum. The final unit of the course will center on rhetoric as it has been conceived in its institutionalized form during the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries. As this survey goes along, we will always consider our theoretical readings in relation to contemporaneous test cases in oratory.