RHE 309S: The Idea of the University (Summer 2007, Spring 2009)

RHE 309s is designed to develop your understanding of rhetoric and your ability to employ rhetorical strategies in advocating a position. The goal of the course is to study rhetoric as a civic art, a study that not only increases your critical abilities in terms of public texts, but also one that prepares you to write to and for the public.

This section of 309s will take as its focus a very particular public: the university. Students will begin the course by investigating arguments about institutional identity and its attendant claims regarding its campus, faculty, and even students. Students will take this definitional quandary with them as they study issues emanating from university campuses. From Free Speech Zones to university athletics recruitment to undocumented students, we will look at a variety of recent campus-related controversies. Students will research selected controversies and insert themselves into that controversy by advocating a position, an argument that has at its heart the student's own definition of the university.

Students will write a lot in this course. In addition to the 2 formal papers required, there will also be a media project, short writing assignments, reading journals, in-class writing exercises and comprehensive peer reviews. The course should help you achieve a level of comfort with college level prose and increase your knowledge of argument and the writing process in general.

You can find a copy of our course syllabus here (Schedules are on unit pages)