Rhetoric and Civic Engagement

Rhetoric and Civic Engagement concerns the ways that public discourse is used to persuade and influence others. Faculty and students in this area explore a wide array of communication practices, ranging from political speeches to social movements.

SPCM201- Rhetoric in Western Thought. F, S

Major concepts of western rhetoric from Greece to modern times and their relationship to present-day approaches to communication.

SPCM207- Public Argumentation. F, S, SS

(Prerequisite: SPCM200) Key communication principles for democracy, including issue analysis, evidence, reasoning, decision-making, debate, dialogue, and deliberation.

SPCM231- Oral Reading. F, S

Analysis and reading of rhetorical and poetic writing leading to understanding, appreciation, and expressive communication.

SPCM300- Advanced Public Speaking. F, S, SS

(Prerequisite: SPCM200, SPCM207) Advanced technique in public speaking; emphasis on argument construction and refutation, style, and manuscript delivery.

SPCM311- Historical Speeches on American Issues. F

Significant speeches and speakers as they reflected and affected American issues from colonial period through early 20th century.

SPCM349- Freedom of Speech. F

Historical and philosophical precedents to freedom of speech; development to free speech principles in the U.S.; ethical obligations of speakers.

SPCM401- Rhetoric in Contemporary Social Movements. F

Case studies of campaigns and social movements; genesis, leadership, and use of traditional and electronically mediated rhetoric to achieve objectives.

SPCM407- Public Deliberation. F, S

(Prerequisite: SPCM200; SPCM207) Principles and practice of communication in contemporary public policy decision-making, emphasizing oral performance and local civic engagement.

SPCM408-Applied Deliberative Techniques. F, S

(Prerequisite: Written consent of instructor) Skills development and direct experience in convening, facilitating, and reporting public forums tied to Center for Public Deliberation activities.

SPCM411- Contemporary Speeches on American Issues. S

Significant speeches and speakers as they reflect and affect issues, 1930 to present.

SPCM412- Evaluating Contemporary Rhetoric. S

Exploration and evaluation of contemporary persuasive communication in order to understand and assess a variety of forms of messages and symbols.

SPCM415- Rhetoric and Civility. F

(Prerequisite: SPCM201; SPCM207) Relationship between rhetoric and civility historically and in contemporary times.

SPCM420- Political Communication. F

Rhetoric of political campaigns.

SPCM431- Communication, Language, and Thought. S

Influence of rhetoric, ranging from spoken language to electronically mediated communication, on human understanding and Western thought.

SPCM436- Conflict Management and Communication. S.

Theories and principles of communication in conflict management; application to conflict resolution situations.

SPCM437- Studies in Persuasion. S

Rhetorical and behavioral theories of persuasion applied to persuasive practice in public and interpersonal arenas of social influence.

SPCM504- Rhetoric of Everyday Life. S

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing or either SPCM 311 or SPCM412 and 12 additional 300-400 SPCM credits) Contemporary theories of rhetoric and of everyday life.

SPCM511- Topics in Public Address. F

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing or either SPCM311 or SPCM411 with 12 additional 300 and 400 level credits in Communication Studies, History, or English)
Theoretical and methodological issues in public address research; analysis of public discourse of selected movements or periods in U.S. history.

SPCM520- Rhetoric and Public Affairs. F.

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing or 15 additional 300-400 level credits in Communication Studies) Rhetoric’s role in contemporary politics and civil society.

SPCM523 – Feminist Theories of Discourse. S

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing or SPCM 335 or WS200 and 12 additional 300-400 level credits in Communication Studies)
Exploration and evaluation of contemporary feminist theories of rhetoric and discourse.

SPCM540/ETST540 – Rhetoric, Race, and Identity. F

(Prerequisite: Graduate status or SPCM412 and 12 additional 300-400 SPCM credits) Credits not allowed for both. Critical race theory and its relevance to rhetorical studies.

SPCM601-History of Rhetorical Theory. F

(Prerequisite: 15 300-400 level credits in Communication Studies and/or English)
Rhetorical theories and theorists from the classical period to the present.

SPCM612-Rhetorical Criticism. F

(Prerequisite: 15 300-400 level credits in Communication Studies and/or Journalism) Traditional and contemporary methods for analyzing persuasive discourse.