Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications

Courses Available - Fall 2017

RHET-3900-001 (3) Monday / Wednesday 2:30-3:45pm

Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn have become a significant component of our everyday lives. Whether we use these sites to connect with friends and family, share pictures and images, read and (re-)distribute interesting news items and current events, play games, or share cat photos, it appears as though social media now structures many of our experiences of the world, ourselves, and the culture that surrounds us. For some, there is even a sense of stigmatization when social media is not being used. How can we make sense of this new media environment?

This course takes a critical and cultural approach to studying social media and society. We will focus on questions such as: how does social media help to shape and construct our identities and sense of self? What is the meaning of “friendship” online? How do we deal with issues of online surveillance on social media websites? What is the relationship between social media and work/labour? What role does social media play in shaping the world of meaning, today? Is social media an ally or an enemy in contemporary democracy, activism, and social movements? To simplify: the central goal of this course is to look at these four overlapping aspects of social media: pleasure, work, surveillance/control, and community/democracy. By studying these aspects of social media we will explore and examine what it can teach us about how we live and experience twenty-first century culture and society.

Prerequisites: Any section of Academic Writing & completion of 24 credit hrs.

RHET-3329-001 (3) Tuesday / Thursday 10:00-11:15am

Students in Writing for Scholarly Audiences should expect to advance their knowledge of the reasons that academics—that is, those prepared for a life of writing scholarship—write. This course will demystify academic rhetoric—to help you see how it “works,” how and why it differs from popular writing on similar topics, and how it varies from discipline to discipline. You will hone both knowledge and practice of specific academic genres: critical introductions, literature reviews, conference proposals, and conference posters. The main objectives of the course are to heighten your awareness of academic practices, and to increase your rhetorical flexibility.

Prerequisites: Any section of Academic Writing & completion of 24 credit hrs.

RHET-2142-001 (3) Monday / Wednesday 4:00-5:15pm

How should we think about animals? Are they things or persons? Do they possess consciousness? Can they experience love, joy, pain, and suffering? Do animals deserve rights? If so, which ones? This course is devoted to “the animal question”: the different ways in which Western ethics, culture, and secular society have grappled with the physical and metaphysical presence of non-human animals. We will begin by looking at how the moral status of animals has been theorized in Western religion and philosophy. We will interrogate the different tropes used to justify human superiority and domination over nature, including the belief that the powers of speech and reason confer a special status upon humanity. Lastly, we will consider how Western ideas of justice answer or fail to answer moral claims for animals. Together, we will engage a diverse range of texts—essays, short stories, movies, and documentaries—exploring “the animal question.”

Prerequisites: Any section of Academic Writing & completion of 24 credit hrs.

RHET-2141-001 (3) Tuesday / Thursday 10:00-11:15am

In this course we will look at the representation of Indigenous peoples in the media and society and how the media either contributes to perpetuating, challenging, or dispelling racial stereotypes and colonization practices. We will examine writing and work by emerging and established Indigenous writers, scholars, entrepreneurs, and business owners on themed topics such as business and economics, art, ceremonies, social movements, media programs, wellness, environment, and education. The purpose of this course is to learn and to look at interconnections of Indigeneity as represented by the media and contemporary society and the experience of real life narratives and perspectives. 

This fulfills the Indigenous Course Requirement.

Prerequisites: Any section of Academic Writing & completion of 24 credit hrs.

For further details about this course, search WebAdvisor, or use the Course Calendar along with the Timetable

For information on how to register for this course please see Registration Process and Procedures.