ENG 530
Classical Rhetoric
Maureen Daly Goggin
Fall 2002



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ENG530 Syllabus

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course examines the emergence of rhetoric in antiquity and traces the multiple canonical and more recently recovered traditions of classical rhetoric up to the beginning of the Middle Ages.  An awareness of the multiple rhetorical traditions that formed during this time provides a way to understand the diverse, competing rhetorical paradigms that have existed throughout the history of rhetoric, and that continue to inform contemporary rhetorical theories, practices and pedagogies.  We will also consider the variety of ways classical rhetorical traditions are interpreted and used to frame scholarship in rhetoric and composition today.


Conley, Thomas M.  Rhetoric in the European Tradition.  Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1990.
Glenn, Cheryl. Rhetoric Retold: Regendering the Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1997.
Murphy, James, et al.  A Synoptic History of Classical Rhetoric.  2nd ed.  Davis, CA:  Hermagoras, 1995.
Ritchie, Joy and Kate Ronald, ed. Available Means: An Anthology of Women’s Rhetoric(s). Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 2001.
Plato.  Gorgias.  Trans. W. C. Hembold.  New York: Macmillan, 1952.
Plato.  Phaedrus.  Trans.  R. Hackforth.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993.
Aristotle.  Art of Rhetoric.  Trans. J. H. Freese.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1994.
Cicero.  On Oratory and Orators.  Trans.  J. S. Watson.  Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 1986.
Saint Augustine.  On Christian Doctrine.  Trans.  D. W. Robertson, Jr.  Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall, 1958.
Detailed descriptions of the following required assignments will be distributed:
6  Two-Page (maximum) Response Papers 60%
Contextual Report  20%
Question Log 10%
Attendance & Participation 10%
Attendance:  Because much of what is to be learned in this course occurs in class, regular attendance is expected.  The course is so constructed that even a few absences will create serious problems.

Assignments:  Except for the question log, papers are to be typed. Papers not turned in on the due date will be marked down one grade for each week the paper is late.

Question Log:  In your question log, you will record two different kinds of questions (at least one question per type) for each of the assigned rhetoric readings. The first type of question is open: it is the kind that emerges out of your reading and that would serve as a good prompt for class discussion. The second kind is a designer  question(s). For this, you will write one or more questions in the persona of each of the theorists we are reading. For example, when we read Plato, consider what kind of question(s) might Plato ask to generate discussion of his dialogue? What would he want students of rhetoric to understand? You will write a designer question (s) for each of the theorists we read. You may write as many questions per reading as you wish; however, you must write at least two substantive questions (one of each type). Bring your question log to each class; we will use these as a jumping off point for discussions and activities.

Contextual Report:  The contextual report consists of an in-class presentation. The goal of these reports is to help us understand something about the context in which the rhetoricians we are reading lived and wrote.. For this assignment, you will collaborate with three or four other people in the class. As a group, you will decide what kind of information to present and how you will present it to the class. Your group will have one hour of class on the day the context report is due to present the information in any format you decide (e.g., individual short reports, small group or whole class activities, handouts, overheads, maps, bibliographies, etc.).  In short, you have free reign to decide how best to help us understand some of the contextual forces surrounding the rhetorician and the work. Your group will also field questions from the class (either by answering them, researching them, or pointing the class to resources where they can research themselves). More specific details for this assignment will be distributed.

Incompletes:  Please do not assume that an incomplete will be given upon request.  University and departmental policy on the handling of incompletes will be followed; only in the case of verified emergencies and illnesses will an incomplete be given.

Withdrawals:  University deadlines

  Unrestricted Withdrawal Deadline             September 20
  Restricted Course Withdrawal Deadline     November 1**
  Restricted Complete Withdrawal Deadline December 4
**The restricted course withdrawal requires an instructor’s signature indicating that the student is passing the course.

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