TOPIC : Claiming Citizenship and Changing America
COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit
Class Number: 14485 (First Six Week Session)
MTuWTh, 3:00 PM-4:50 PM, C2 203
Instructor: Cortney Smith
Office: C2 275
This undergraduate course on social movements will focus on the rhetorical strategies used by social protestors to reclaim citizenship. What does it mean to be a citizen? How does a social movement gain traction? For example, how did 20th century movements of the disenfranchised, such as the Civil Rights Movement or Women's Suffrage, gain a voice and eventually enact change? How might marginalized groups enter in the public realm to persuade while not giving up their integrity and identity? How does persuasion affect social change? These are all questions we will be considering throughout the semester. In this course, students will engage primary rhetorical documents of major American social movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will analyze the rhetorical foundation of social movements and how texts produced by social protestors are consumed, critiqued, and disseminated. The selected readings (mostly articles from contemporary rhetoric journals) have been chosen to help the class define social movement, explain its development, and look at specific rhetorical strategies deployed.
Students will be evaluated based upon their participation in class discussion, weekly assignments, and a semester project in which he/she analyzes a particular social movement in-depth. By the end of the course, students should be familiar with several specific social movements and have a better understanding of the rhetorical construction of social protest.