Saturday, June 04, 2005

Syllabus for Rhet 110, Summer, 2005

Rhetoric 110
Advanced Argumentation and Argumentative Writing:
Varieties of Techno-Ethical Discourse

Summer 2005

24 Wheeler Hall, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9.30-12 noon

Course Instructor

Dale Carrico
Mailbox: 7408 Dwinelle
Messages: 642-1415
Office Hours: For an hour after class Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment.
Course Description

This course is devoted to the study and practice of advanced argumentative techniques and assumes a basic background in writing and argument. We will examine works of theory and cultural criticism, popular editorials, legal and political policy, as well as literary and media texts. The texts in the class are all broadly organized around the theme of technological development, considered as a space both of imaginative investment and social struggle.

The problems and skills that emerge from our focus should have a wide applicability for research and criticism across the humanities. We will divide our time between three argumentative modes: deliberation, demonstration, and debate. Among the topics and questions we will be grappling with are: How should an argument that seeks to call basic assumptions into question be different in form from one that hopes to arrive at conviction, or to impact conduct, or to reconcile antagonistic viewpoints? How do we properly anticipate and assess the demands of a variety of specific audiences? How do we identify and deploy the argumentative content of figurative language? Just what is this process that is called "close reading" and how precisely does it relate to the Toulmin schema for the analysis of arguments? What kinds of claims properly emerge from the close reading of texts and how are they substantiated? What constitutes a "fact" in philosophical and literary criticism devoted to practices of close reading?

Required Texts (Primarily to be found in our Course Reader)

Laurie Anderson, “The Language of the Future”
Hannah Arendt, “Prologue to The Human Condition”
John Perry Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
Paulina Borsook “The Crypto Wars,” from Cyberselfish
David Brin, “The End of Photography as Proof of Anything at All”
David Brin, “Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society”
Octavia Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”
Daniel Harris, “The Futuristic,” from The Aesthetics of Consumerism
Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”
Eric Hughes, “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”
James Hughes, “Using Democracy to Cure Future Shock”
Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence.
Walter Lang, dir. Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy. Film: “Desk Set”
Timothy C. May, “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto”
Katsuhiro Otomo. Film: “Roujin Z”
Nick Rombes, “Professor DVD”
Valerie Solanas, “The SCUM Manifesto”
Thomas Starr, “The Real Declaration”
Alex Steffen, “The Tech Bloom”
Bruce Sterling, “Maneki Neko,” from A Good Old-Fashioned Future
Marc Stiegler, “A Gentle Seduction”
Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”

Also, each student is required to purchase a blank notebook in which they will keep a writer’s journal, as well as a folder to keep track of all written assignments.

Course Requirements and Policies

1. Attendance – This is a six week intensive course and absences must be kept to an absolute minimum. You should warn me in advance about absences. When this is not possible, call the Rhetoric Office (642-1415) and leave a message explaining why you are absent. Keep in mind that missing classes or arriving late disrupts the community of the classroom, especially since you will be doing a great deal of work with your peers this term. Absences and lateness will affect your performance negatively, and will lower your final grade significantly.

2. Deadlines -- You are required to observe assignment deadlines. If you anticipate trouble completing an assignment on time, you must speak to me in advance about an extension. Any paper or homework assignment handed in late without an extension will be reduced by a half of a letter grade for each day  including Saturdays and Sundays –- that it is late. Try to break the procrastination cycle: leave enough time so that printer failures, disk errors, and lines at the printout place do not make you late.

3. Format -- All written work for this course must be printed on a word processor or typed. Written work that is not printed on a word processor or typed will not be accepted (unless of course it is an in-class assignment), and the late policy (see #2 above) will apply. Always spell-check your written assignments. Resist the use of your computer’s thesaurus. Use your own vocabulary. ALWAYS proofread your papers after you have printed them out. Excessive spelling and proofreading errors will be subject to significant grade reductions. Also, it is a good idea to keep copies of papers and other important written assignments. Papers do get lost, and if an instructor loses a paper it is your responsibility to provide a new copy.

4. Participation -– Participation in class discussion is REQUIRED. I know that some people are less enthusiastic about class participation than others. Let me state my philosophy on this: Classroom discussion is the only way I know to make visible the genuinely broad range of valid responses any complicated argument will provoke. Understanding objections to your viewpoint will either sharpen the effectiveness of that view or it will change your mind, and either outcome can only be a good thing. If you are pathologically shy it may be possible to satisfy the participation requirement by attending office hours regularly. But please make an effort at class participation –- I’ll do what I can to make the class a safe environment for the exploration and dispute of ideas. Feel free to disagree with one another or with me or with anybody, but always respect one another and keep an open mind about other viewpoints. And keep in mind also that borderline grades will be affected both positively and negatively by regular classroom participation or by its lack.

Your final grade will be determined by summing the grades of the following assignments in the given proportions:

1. Peer Responses on the First Paper Draft 05%
2. First Paper 10%
3. Peer Responses on Second Paper Draft 05%
4. Second Paper 10%
5. Take-Home Mid-Term Exam 10%
6. Peer Responses on Third Paper Draft 05%
7. Third Paper 10%
8. Peer Responses on Final Paper Draft 05%
9. Final Paper 10%
10. Homework and In-Class Work 10%
11. Class Participation 10%
12. Final Report 04%
13. Journal 04%
14. Quizzes 02%

Course Requirements and Policies

I have read, I understand, and I agree to all of the course requirements and policies.

I. Attendance ________________

II. Deadlines ________________

III. Format ________________

IV. Participation ________________

Print Name:________________________________


A Provisional Schedule of Meetings

Week One

May 24
Course Introduction
SKILL SET: An argument is a claim supported by reasons. Ethos/Pathos/Logos.

May 25
2-3 Minute Introductory Speeches
SKILL SET: Four Habits of Argumentative Writing: 1. Formulate a Strong Thesis; 2. Define Your Terms; 3. Substantiate/Contextualize; 4. Anticipate Objections.

May 26
Hand in Diagnostic Essay (2-3pp) on Anderson’s Piece
Laurie Anderson, “The Language of the Future,” Brin, “The End of Photography”
SKILL SET: Audiences/Intentions; Reading Critically is a Kind of Writing

Week Two

May 31
Hand in Drafts of First Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”
SKILL SET: Intentions – Interrogation, Conviction, Persuasion, Reconciliation

June 1
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
Starr, “The Real Declaration”
SKILL SET: Audiences –- Sympathetic, Unsympathetic, Apathetic; Rogerian Rhetoric

June 2
Hand in Paper One, Precis (3-4pp.) of Wilde’s Essay
May, "The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto"
Hughes "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto"
SKILL SET: The Toulmin Schema

Week Three

June 7
Hand in Drafts of Second Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Brin, “Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society”
SKILL SET: Literal/Figurative Language; Figures/Tropes; Four Master Tropes

June 8
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
SKILL SET: Syllogisms, Enthymemes; Formal Fallacies

June 9
Second Paper (4-5pp.) Due
Borsook "The Crypto Wars"
Steffen, “The Tech Bloom”
SKILL SET: Informal Fallacies

Week Four

June 14
Hand in Take-Home Mid-Term Exam
Screening of “Desk Set”

June 15
Rombes, “Professor DVD”
Discussion of “Desk Set”
SKILL SET: Terms for Film and Media Criticism

June 16
Sterling, “Maneki Neko”
Harris, “The Futuristic”

Week Five

June 21
Hand in Drafts of Third Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Stiegler, "The Gentle Seduction"
Hughes, “Using Democracy to Cure Future Shock”

June 22
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Solanas, “The SCUM Manifesto”

June 23
Third Paper (4-5pp) Due
Screening on “Roujin Z”

Week Six

June 28
Hand in Drafts of Final Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

June 29
Hand in Final Report
Hand in Journals
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”

June 30
Final Paper (5-6pp) Due
Arendt, "Prologue to The Human Condition"
Closing Remarks: Technocriticism, Technoethics, Technocultures

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