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English 705, Fall 2003

Intellectual Sources for Contemporary Composition Studies, II

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • INSTRUCTOR: David Fleming, PhD
  • CLASS MEETINGS: F 10:00 - 12:30, 7109  H. C. White Hall
  • OFFICE: 6187D  H. C. White Hall
  • OFFICE HOURS: W 1:00 - 3:00 & gladly by appt.
  • PHONE: 263-3367 (o)
  • EMAIL:

  •  Description | Texts | Assignments | Calendar | Book Reports | Rhetoric Links on the WWW


    English 705 is the second part of the English Department's two-semester historical survey of rhetorical theory for graduate students.  Where the first half of that sequence, English 704, focuses mostly on ancient Greek and Latin rhetorical theory (in translation), this one looks at modern rhetoric, with a special emphasis on theoretical developments in Great Britain and the United States from the 16th Century until today.  English 704 is not a prerequisite for 705.

    The course will be divided into four parts, each treating a particular historical period and the figures and texts, theories and practices, and intellectual and educational problems central to it.  We'll look first at the early modern revival of classical rhetoric in the European Renaissance of the 15th – 17th Cs.; second, the rise of anti-rhetorical middle modernism  in the 18th- 19th Cs (here, we'll use Bender and Wellbery’s list of the five features of modernism which supposedly contravened traditional rhetoric: print, science, the nation-state, liberalism, and romanticism); third, the late modern rise of the "New Rhetorics" in the early- and mid-20th C; and, fourth, the advent of postmodernism (along with the latest "revival" of classical rhetoric) in the late 20th and early 21st Cs.

    I see this as a fast-paced, reading-intensive course, with active class discussion, frequent student presentations, and a substantial independent research/teaching project due at the end of the semester.

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    2. TEXTS

    Readings in the class will come from the following texts, all on sale at University Book Store and listed here in the order in which we will read them (prices are approximate):

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    Besides regular attendance, coursework will include:

    Final grades will be based on the following rough formula:

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    4. CALENDAR     (tentative)

    Unit I: The Renaissance
    Sept 05 F Introduction

    12 F Rebhorn

    19 F Erasmus

    Unit II: The Enlightenment

    26 F Descartes
    Oct 03 F Habermas

    10 F Blair Campbell Whately

    Unit III: High Modernism

    17 F Nietzsche

    24 F Pragmatism

    31 F Burke
    Nov 07 F Perelman

    Unit IV: Postmodernism

    14 F presentations

    21 F presentations

    28 F Thanksgiving: no class
    Dec 05 F presentations

    12 F presentations

    14 - 20
    exam period

    grades due

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