Department of English

Jo Hurt


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Courses


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Mythology

43835 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM FAC 9
Wr

Storytelling is a critical part of the way that we make sense of ourselves and our world. In the time of the ancient Greeks, mythology (conveyed through poetry, theater, art, performance, and everyday habits) was the primary vehicle of storytelling, and it served to not only entertain its audiences, but to shape the world in which they lived in fantastic and unexpected ways. Ancient Greek myth was more than the relatively static and stable set of stories we think of today—more than a pantheon of conquering heroes, fearsome monsters, and meddlesome gods. Myths were often messy, contradictory amalgamations by different poets and artists that depended on each other even as they conflicted with each other.

 

In this course, we’ll encounter myth as a form of storytelling which engages in calculated response to its audiences, manipulation of cultural and stylistic tropes, attention to history and context, and generating meaning through both affect and persuasion. At the same, we’ll also explore writing and compositional practices which likewise engage in audience awareness, style, research, and multimedia argumentation. Rhetorically savvy composition—that is, making things that move people—requires us to develop a set of tools that we can use in a variety of personal, academic, professional, and civic contexts to generate content that affects specific audiences in calculated ways. In the case of this class, that toolset will include practices for listening, research, argumentation, and invention in order to effectively encounter myriad audiences and multiple mediums, from essay writing to audio compositions. And mythology—both ancient Greek and the narratives which matter to us today—will serve as our anchor and guide.

 

Assignments and Grading

RHE 309K will be graded using a system which may be new to you: Contract Grading. If you follow the contract (complete assignments, turn your work in on time, engage in drafting and revising projects, etc.) you are guaranteed a B in the class, regardless of how polished your writing may be at this time. It is possible, of course, to earn a higher or lower grade. To earn an A, you’ll have opportunities during each of the four major projects to expand its scope: incorporating additional sources, contribute additional feedback to peers, etc. Each completion of an expansion will raise your grade by a third of a letter. While you will have a buffer of “forgiveness credits” to protect your contract B-grade from up to five points missed here or there, each missed point in excess of those five will lower your grade by a third of a letter.

 

  • Minor Assignments (listening journals, reading responses, project proposal, genre analyses, annotated citations, concept map, interview, podcast scripting): 1pt each
  • Peer Review (for each project): 2pts each
  • Projects (including: soundscape, profile article, contribution paper, podcast): 3pts each

 

Texts

The textbooks we will be working from in this class include The Word on College Reading and Writing, Oregon Writes: Open Writing Text, Writing Spaces, and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Writing Center Resources. These open-source texts, as well as any other readings, videos, or podcasts for the class will be available for free through Canvas.

RHE S309K • Rhetoric Of Mythology-Wb

83189 • Summer 2021
Internet; Asynchronous
Wr

Storytelling is a critical part of the way that we make sense of ourselves and our world. In the time of the ancient Greeks, mythology (conveyed through poetry, theater, art, performance, and everyday habits) was the primary vehicle of storytelling, and it served to not only entertain its audiences, but to shape the world in which they lived in fantastic and unexpected ways. Ancient Greek myth was more than the relatively static and stable set of stories we think of today—more than a pantheon of conquering heroes, fearsome monsters, and meddlesome gods. Myths were often messy, contradictory amalgamations by different poets and artists that depended on each other even as they conflicted with each other.

 

In this course, we’ll encounter myth as a form of storytelling which engages in calculated response to its audiences, manipulation of cultural and stylistic tropes, attention to history and context, and generating meaning through both affect and persuasion. At the same, we’ll also explore writing and compositional practices which likewise engage in audience awareness, style, research, and multimedia argumentation. Rhetorically savvy composition—that is, making things that move people—requires us to develop a set of tools that we can use in a variety of personal, academic, professional, and civic contexts to generate content that affects specific audiences in calculated ways. In the case of this class, that toolset will include practices for listening, research, argumentation, and invention in order to effectively encounter myriad audiences and multiple mediums, from essay writing to audio compositions. And mythology—both ancient Greek and the narratives which matter to us today—will serve as our anchor and guide.

 

Assignments and Grading

RHE 309K will be graded using a system which may be new to you: Contract Grading. If you follow the contract (complete assignments, turn your work in on time, engage in drafting and revising projects, etc.) you are guaranteed a B in the class, regardless of how polished your writing may be at this time. It is possible, of course, to earn a higher or lower grade. To earn an A, you’ll have opportunities during each of the four major projects to expand its scope: incorporating additional sources, contribute additional feedback to peers, etc. Each completion of an expansion will raise your grade by a third of a letter. While you will have a buffer of “forgiveness credits” to protect your contract B-grade from up to five points missed here or there, each missed point in excess of those five will lower your grade by a third of a letter.

 

  • Minor Assignments (listening journals, reading responses, project proposal, genre analyses, annotated citations, concept map, interview, podcast scripting): 1pt each
  • Peer Review (for each project): 2pts each
  • Projects (including: soundscape, profile article, contribution paper, podcast): 3pts each

 

Texts

The textbooks we will be working from in this class include The Word on College Reading and Writing, Oregon Writes: Open Writing Text, Writing Spaces, and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Writing Center Resources. These open-source texts, as well as any other readings, videos, or podcasts for the class will be available for free through Canvas.

 

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