Rhetoric and Culture Courses

Students in the PhD program are invited to take courses across any of our areas. A complete listing of courses in the PhD program can be found here

Regularly scheduled courses in Rhetoric and Public Culture include:

COMS 8300 – Rhetorical Theory
Covers main concepts and principal figures in the history of rhetorical theory. Begins with classical Greece and ends with postmodernity.

COMS 8340 – Rhetorical Criticism
Theories and methodologies of selected modern critics. Exploration of interdisciplinary dimensions in criticism of rhetorical interactions. Class and individual projects.

COMS 8350 – Studies in American Rhetoric
This course surveys examples of American rhetoric, broadly construed to include rhetorical traditions of native peoples before European contact as well as genres of public address and other rhetorical forms in many media across the political, social, and media history of the United States. The communication discipline’s critical approaches to the various ideological, regional, and demographic traditions of American rhetoric are central to the course. Students gain a foundation for research in both historical and contemporary American rhetoric, especially as manifestations of the ancient rhetorical principle of kairos–appropriateness to time, place, and circumstances.

COMS 8360 – Topics in Communication and Cultural Technique
This course addresses the convergent aims of rhetoric and cultural studies, viewing both traditions as theoretical invitations to political and cultural critique. It acknowledges the rich and contested histories of both intellectual traditions and engages modes of inquiry that attend to matters of culture, identity, representation, power, ideology, and democracy as they implicate and intersect with our understandings of communicative practices and behaviors. Through the course, students become familiar with the common influences and divergent histories of rhetoric and cultural studies so that they may more productively engage in scholarship that contributes to the critique of public culture. Topics vary. Students may repeat the course for a total of 12 credits.

COMS 8390 – Topics in Rhetoric and Culture
This course provides a specific focus in a topic area related to Rhetoric and Culture. Topics will vary and the course may be repeated three times.