COMM 6335 - Prosem: Contemporary Rhetorical Studies

Marked or unmarked, bodies bear weight. And yet, we cannot take for granted the historical articulations between corporeality and public culture. Grounded in a genealogy of rhetorical studies, this seminar examines the historical legacies of western thought that have disciplined the body and considers the possibilities for creative and engaged scholarship emerging from new articulations of embodiment. In particular, the seminar will explore three primary questions: First, how has the figure of the body shaped the history of rhetoric (as a discursive practice, meta-theory, or sensibility toward public engagement)? Second, what were the consequences of the material and corporeal turn in rhetorical inquiry and how might traditional canons of rhetoric be repurposed in their wake? Third, how does corporeality continue to open routes of critical engagement for the field of rhetorical studies and the humanities more broadly? Although this seminar will be grounded in rhetorical considerations, it will be of use to anyone pursuing research engaging bodies, embodiment, or corporeality in the humanities. Seminar work will require: 1) active and ongoing participation 2) weekly précis in response to readings 3) a brief keyword essay 4) a final project
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