Department of English

Lucy Webster


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Courses


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Resistance

43850 • Fall 2021
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 204
Wr

Americans love acts of resistance… most of the time. The American tendency to selectively celebrate acts of resistance predates the founding of the United States in 1776. This selectivity begs us to ask: how do acts of resistance persuade us (in current fiction, in the news) and when are these acts condemned? In this course, we will launch an inquiry into rhetorical approaches to resistance in the United States from the 19th century to the present moment. To situate ourselves in rhetorics of resistance, we will examine 19th century abolitionist texts, including reactions to the acts of resistance performed by Nat Turner, John Brown, and those performed aboard La Amistad. Subsequently, we will turn to the modern day to study contemporary acts of resistance represented in novels, films, television shows, social media, advertisements, and representations of 21st century resistance movements, (e.g., Black Lives Matter, Keystone Pipeline Protests, Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest etc.). By examining both the past and the present, we will interrogate how historical responses to resistance compare with the way we celebrate acts of resistance in the 21st century; how and in what circumstances (and through which rhetorical methods) perceptions of acts of resistance change over time; and how violent, historical insurrections fare against fictionalized, romanticized accounts. Together, we will ask: How are acts of resistance remembered and enshrined in our cultural consciousness through rhetoric? Finally, how might the study of rhetoric help us understand how/when resistance is lauded, accepted, and celebrated and how/when it is condemned?  

Assignments and Grading 

Minor Assignments: (e.g., short writing assignments, revisions, and peer reviews) 30% 

Major Assignment #1: Paper Proposal with Literature Review 20% 

Major Assignment #2: Rhetorical Analysis Paper 20% 

Major Assignment #3: Final Paper 30% 

The final paper will be six pages (12 pt. font, double spaced). You must choose a topic related to rhetorical representations of resistance. However, you are not required to use the 19th century materials that I introduce in class. A non-exhaustive list of potential primary materials includes Young Adult/New Adult novels, responses to current political events, and films (anything from retellings of historical insurrections, science fiction, fantasy, or whatever interests you that is also representing resistance).

Texts 

Glenn, Cheryl. The New Harbrace Guide: Genres for Composing, 4th edition. Cengage, 2021. 

Additional readings will be provided by the instructor via Canvas.  

Students may also be asked to stream or rent an episode and a movie. 

 

 

 

RHE S309K • Rhetoric Of Resistance-Wb

83190 • Summer 2021
Internet; Asynchronous
Wr

Americans love acts of resistance… most of the time. The American tendency to selectively celebrate acts of resistance predates the founding of the United States in 1776. This selectivity begs us to ask: how do acts of resistance persuade us (in current fiction, in the news) and when are these acts condemned? In this course, we will launch an inquiry into rhetorical approaches to resistance in the United States from the 19th century to the present moment. To situate ourselves in rhetorics of resistance, we will examine 19th century abolitionist texts, including reactions to the acts of resistance performed by Nat Turner, John Brown, and those performed aboard La Amistad. Subsequently, we will turn to the modern day to study contemporary acts of resistance represented in novels, films, television shows, social media, advertisements, and representations of 21st century resistance movements, (e.g., Black Lives Matter, Keystone Pipeline Protests, Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest etc.). By examining both the past and the present, we will interrogate how historical responses to resistance compare with the way we celebrate acts of resistance in the 21st century; how and in what circumstances (and through which rhetorical methods) perceptions of acts of resistance change over time; and how violent, historical insurrections fare against fictionalized, romanticized accounts. Together, we will ask: How are acts of resistance remembered and enshrined in our cultural consciousness through rhetoric? Finally, how might the study of rhetoric help us understand how/when resistance is lauded, accepted, and celebrated and how/when it is condemned?  

Assignments and Grading 

Minor Assignments: (e.g., short writing assignments, revisions, and peer reviews) 30% 

Major Assignment #1: Paper Proposal with Literature Review 20% 

Major Assignment #2: Rhetorical Analysis Paper 20% 

Major Assignment #3: Final Paper 30% 

The final paper will be six pages (12 pt. font, double spaced). You must choose a topic related to the rhetorical representations of resistance. However, you are not required to use the 19th century materials that I introduce in class. A non-exhaustive list of potential primary materials includes Young Adult/New Adult novels, responses to current political events, and films (anything from retellings of historical insurrections, science fiction, fantasy, or whatever interests you that is also representing resistance). Since this is a five-week class, much of the day-to-day work will be planning, researching, developing, drafting, and revising this paper in stages to ensure that students have adequate time and opportunity to immerse themselves in their topics.

Texts 

Glenn, Cheryl. The New Harbrace Guide: Genres for Composing, 4th edition. Cengage, 2021. 

Additional readings will be provided by the instructor via Canvas.  

Students may also be asked to stream or rent an episode and a movie. 

 

 

 

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