Fall 2181 open courses

Theories of Rhetoric (W) (COMMRC 1112/25587) Tu 6:00-8:30 Dr. John Poulakos

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to what prominent thinkers in antiquity have said about rhetoric (the relationships of speaker, speech and audience). The readings are from the Sophists, Plato, Aristotle and Isocrates. The class will combine both lecture and discussion. Each student will present a brief report to the class. Each student will write two papers about some issue discussed in class (6-7 pages). The final will be oral.

Media Theory (COMMRC 1125/28968) M/W/F 1:00-1:50 Dr. Elfriede Fürsich 

This course introduces students to media studies as an academic discipline and explains the field’s theoretical foundations. We will examine a diverse range of paradigms and theories, focusing on fundamental concepts as much as on influential current approaches. Throughout the semester, we will evaluate the usefulness of various theories and discuss their effectiveness in explaining our media-saturated lives. At the end of this course, students will have a deeper understanding of media and their impact on contemporary society. 

Special Topics in Rhetoric: Conflict Resolution (COMMRC 1731/30377) M/F 4:30-5:45 Dr. Lynn Clarke

Today, we frequently hear that America is a deeply divided nation, torn by ideological and cultural differences that threaten civic life. In the face of this familiar refrain, many of us lose confidence in our capacities to identify and resolve common problems. Additionally, we experience conflict in our interpersonal lives, which affects our potential to maintain rewarding relationships and collaborate with others. Whether as members of a community, or a family, friendship or work circle, we find it difficult to speak and act in discordant public and private worlds. This course will equip students with knowledge and skills to help you productively—and individually and jointly—respond to public and private conflicts. Students will learn theories of public and private dispute resolution and exercise relevant communication skills, while studying and crafting collaborative responses to public controversies. Course structure will include lecture and small and large group discussions. Students will complete a research-based project preceded by regular progress reports and peer and instructor feedback.