WRIT 220: Rhetorical Traditions
is an introduction to historical rhetoric and its relationship to
reading, writing, and speaking in modern contexts.
We will define rhetoric’s traditions,
terms, and enduring realms of influence.
will examine the three main periods in Western Rhetoric that
influence our current use of language: the Classical Period; Christian Europe, the
Renaissance, and the Enlightenment; and the Modern Period.
will also introduce other kinds of rhetoric, specifically African,
Asian, Feminist, Judaic, Muslim, and Native American, alphabetically. And there are
I encourage students to pursue, through research for their paper and during class
discussions, other rhetorical traditions that become of interest.
is a survey course, meant to give you an overview of the
In order to give rhetoric a meaningful focus, we will examine language use
through how it affects people’s abilities to participate in their societies through
government and religion.
Dr. Kate Kessler
2284 Harrison Hall
Texts and Materials:
Herrick, James A.
The History and Theory of Rhetoric
. 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn and
The Gnostic Gospels
. Vintage (Random House): New York, 1979.
which you must print and bring to class.
= a system of ruling; the exercise of authority; the influence of one word
= reverence for holiness; belief in a divine to be obeyed and worshiped as
creator and ruler; a system of belief, worship, and conduct involving a code of ethics;
conscientious regard and pursuit