Course schedule is subject to minor changes. Please check with classmates or instructors if you have questions.

Week 1: Course Introduction: What is Rhetoric? What is Civic Life?

Friday, 6/17:  Review of course expectations; What does the course title mean? What are we doing here (in this class)? What does it mean to be civic, especially here at Penn State? Introduction to rhetorical analysis and civic artifact speech; blog set-up.

For next class:

  • Chapter 4
  • (re)Read Unit One assignments.
  • RCL Blog post #1: three ideas for Civic Artifact with a few sentences for each (why you like the artifact [as an artifact], questions you might have for your classmates, challenges the artifact might pose, etc.).
  • Passion Blog post #1

Week 2: Civic Artifacts

Monday, 6/20: polishing/editing blogs; commenting on groups’ blogs; kairos; purpose and rhetoric of elevator pitches; delivery.

For Tuesday, 6/21 by 5:00 pm: comment on your groupmates’ RCL blogs.


For next class:

  • Read Chapter 4.
  • Civic Artifact Speech
  • Read and comment on each groupmate’s Passion Blog post #1
  • Passion Blog post #2
  • Read Rhetorical Analysis assignment.

Friday, 6/24: Civic Artifact Speeches, introduction to Rhetorical Analysis paper.

For next class:

  • Read Chapter 5.
  • Read sample student Rhetorical Analysis papers (find these on Resources page).
  • Read “Rhetorical Strategies and Organization” and “Rhetorical Appeals: (some of) The Available Means of Persuasion” on the Resources page.
  • Review pages 71-73.

Week 3: Rhetorical Analysis and Paradigm Shift

Monday, 6/27: Rhetorical Analysis, continued. Analytical sentences; using analysis verbs (developing the paper at the sentence level); rhetorical strategies and organization patterns; group discussion/analysis of two ads using people with disabilities; workshopping texts.

For Office Hours Wednesday, 6/29:

For next class:

  • Rhetorical Analysis Paper due to Angel drop box (Teresa’s class) or to (Kate’s class– the class code is 12926845 and the password is “millenium” Theresa’s password and code are mspSu16  12930693) by class time on Friday, 7/1. 
  • Read Unit 2 assignments.
  • Read Raymond Williams “Hegemony and Structures of Feeling” (Chapter 8 only)
  • Read Heroin Makes a Comeback
  • Read The Rise of the NBA Nerd (it’s a good idea to read this essay for Friday if you can, but certainly read it by next week if you can’t)
  • Passion Blog post #3

***Wednesday, 6/29 Office Hours: Group Conferences (groups and group times TBA)***

Friday, 7/1: Paradigm shift paper introduction; dominant, residual, emergent ideologies; library instruction (9:45-11:00).

For next week’s office hours (7/6):

For next class (7/11):

  • Paradigm Shift Paper due to drop box by midnight, Monday, 7/11.
  • Be ready to record TED Talk.
  • For office hours: bring three questions about the Paradigm Shift Paper for class discussion. We will meet as a large group for office hours.

Week 4: NO FORMAL CLASS MEETING THIS WEEK (Office Hours: meet as a large group to discuss the rhetoric of the TED Talk)

Week 5: TED Talks and History of  a Public Controversy

Monday, 7/11: TED Talk recording (meet in Pattee Library Media Commons)

For next class: Passion Blog post #4

Friday, 7/15: Introduction to History of a Public Controversy project.

For Office Hours:

  • Groups prepare to workshop video ideas.

For next class (7/18):

  • Please watch each of the student examples of the History of a Public Controversy videos.
  • Watch Conducting and Filming Interviews
  • Meet in groups for initial brainstorming sessions. As a group, you should decide: 1) The controversy you will be working on 2) How you will frame the controversy 3) Elements of a video project you might want to use.
  • RCL Blog post due: Please read and/or watch more than one news story about the terrorist attack in Nice, France on July 14th. After you read a bit about this event, listen to the following two podcasts: On the Media’s The Breaking News Consumer Handbook and “The Language of Terror.” Write about it! Keywords, phrases, and other prompts you can use as launchpads for your response (though you can use anything you’d like): “mastermind”; scapegoating; “ISIS is coming to kill us all”; why do we want to fill the void/ what is the void?; Twitter reactions, etc.

Week 6: History of a Public Controversy, continued.

Monday, 7/18: Why is framing important? Racism and framing. Finding the available means and considering the rhetorical audience.

For next class (7/22): Passion Blog post #5

Wednesday, 7/20 (Office Hours): Meet with Teresa and Kate in groups

6:30-6:50: Group 1

6:50-7:10: Group 2

7:10-7:30: Group 3

7:30-7:50: Group 4

7:50-8:10: Group 5

8:10-8:30: Group 6

8:30-8:50: Group 7

Friday, 7/22: Working class.

For next class (7/25): Video draft for workshop.

Week 7: Course Wrap-Up

Monday, 7/25: Video draft workshopping.

For next class (7/26): Put final touches on videos.

Tuesday, 7/26: Presentation of HoPC Videos