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2000-Level Courses

Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications


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A selection from the following courses will be offered each term. Please check WebAdvisor or the Student Handbook for course availability.

FALL (2021) TERM

Professional Style and Editing
RHET-2131, Section 001, Fall
Schedule: TuTh 11:30-12:45
Instruction Method: Online—Hybrid
Instructor: Jaqueline McLeod Rogers

This course teaches students to revise their prose, not for new ideas but for better phrasing of the ones they already have. Students will learn how to write in several prose styles and to edit each other's work professionally in terms of stylistic (rather than only grammatical) criteria. The course will include a number of short style exercises as well as longer essays, and a great deal of practice in editing. It will be a great help for anyone intending to write polished term papers or theses, not to mention business memos.

Rhetorical Criticism
RHET-2135, Section 001, Fall
Schedule: MW 14:30-15:45
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: Andrew McGillivray

Rhetoric has for 2500 years attracted bad press. It’s often seen as a synonym for trickery, bombast, lies, or empty words. We will challenge rhetoric’s maligned reputation by exploring various definitions of the term as developed by rhetorical theorists. We will discuss, with reference to everyday life, the consequential role rhetoric plays in bringing about connection and division between symbol users. Week by week, we will apply different rhetorical frameworks to study texts that argue against the norm, move us, shape our view of a situation—and ultimately do things. We will examine public address, media events, common metaphors, websites, and powerful social narratives. Always, you will be encouraged to look closely at how symbols encourage, obstruct and refine agreement and structure our attitudes and action. 

Contemporary Communication Theory
RHET-2137, Section 001, Fall
Schedule: TuTh 13:00-14:15
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: Robert Neubauer

This course introduces students to some of the central theories in contemporary communication studies, providing students with a critical and philosophical understanding of media and communication. We will explore questions such as: how does the media inform us and help to shape our lives, sense of self, and our experiences/understandings of the world? What are the forces at play in the production and consumption of information and media? What role does the media play in democratic society? How do media and communication technologies relate to the representation of dominant ideas in culture and society? The course covers a broad range of topics, including Canadian communications scholarship; media and ideology; transmission models of communication; the ‘culture industry’, advertising, and public relations; democracy and the public sphere; media ownership, power and propaganda; new media, online discourse and digital surveillance; ‘cultural imperialism’; and the relation of media and communications to contemporary Globalisation.

Rhetoric of Animality
RHET-2142, Section 001, Fall
Schedule: MW 16:00-17:15
Instruction Method: Online—Live
Instructor: Jason Hannan

This course examines what has come to be known in the humanities as "the question of the animal". It considers how moral discourse in the West has failed to grapple with the physical and metaphysical presence of non-human animals. Students examine how the moral status of animals has been theorized in Western thought. Students interrogate the different tropes used to uphold the human-animal distinction, including the idea that speech, communication, and reason confer a special status upon humanity. Students engage a wide range of writings addressing "the question of the animal".

Revolutions in Communication
RHET-2246, Section 001, Fall
Schedule: TuTh 10:00-11:15
Instruction Method: Online—Hybrid
Instructor: Andrew McGillivray

This course provides students with an historical overview of communication, focusing particularly on those periods in which human relations were dramatically influenced by the introduction of new communicative technologies. The course examines some of the profound social changes effected in the western world by the fifteenth century invention of the printing press. We will also focus on the revolutionary influence of nineteenth and twentieth century communicative technologies, such as photography and cinema, radio and television, telegraph and telephone, and finally computers and digital networks, the effects of which are so wide-ranging that we have only begun to assess them.

Tutoring Writing
RHET-2500, Section 001, Fall
Schedule: TuTh 13:00-14:15
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: Helen Lepp Friesen

This course is designed to provide the theoretical and practical knowledge students will need to work as a writing tutor in the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications. The class meets once weekly throughout Fall and Winter terms. Readings in composition theory and in the principles of peer tutoring will introduce students to such topics as the composing process, methods of writing assessment, rhetorical expectations in academic writing, and the ethical responsibilities of tutors in a peer-tutoring relationship. Students enrolled in this course will be expected to be a part of the University of Winnipeg’s growing community of tutors by taking part in community-building and “shadow” existing tutors to learn about best practices in peer conferences.

WINTER (2022) TERM

Professional Style and Editing
RHET-2131, Section 002, Winter
Schedule: TuTh 14:30-15:45
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: TBA

This course teaches students to revise their prose, not for new ideas but for better phrasing of the ones they already have. Students will learn how to write in several prose styles and to edit each other's work professionally in terms of stylistic (rather than only grammatical) criteria. The course will include a number of short style exercises as well as longer essays, and a great deal of practice in editing. It will be a great help for anyone intending to write polished term papers or theses, not to mention business memos.

Rhetorical Criticism
RHET-2135, Section 002, Winter
Schedule: TuTh 10:00-11:15
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: Andrew McGillivray

This course is recommended for students whose interests extend beyond the kinds of literature traditionally studied in English courses. The emphasis will be on non-literary texts and on language used to persuade - on media talk and advertising copy; on political speeches, campaigns, and editorials; on popular and professional essays. For the rhetorical critic, such uses of language are considered worthy of close analysis not because they have lasting aesthetic value, but because they reveal cultural values and social trends. Students in this course will examine a variety of nonfiction in order to develop the perspective of rhetorical criticism, which views language acts as responses to historical circumstances, addressed to particular audiences and motivated by particular goals. Contemporary, written texts will comprise the bulk of the reading in the course, but speeches and pre-modern texts may also be considered. In addition, students will be encouraged to find other readings (including those drawn from magazines, newspapers, and public relations platforms) that are suitable for rhetorical analysis.

Contemporary Communication Theory
RHET-2137, Section 002, Winter
Schedule: MW 14:30-15:45
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: Ryan Clement

Communication theories explain the way human beings interact verbally, at levels ranging from the interpersonal to the organizational. In this course, students are introduced to some of the major contemporary theories and practices pertaining to individual and group communication. These theories include (but are not limited to) social construction, symbolic interactionism, cultural criticism, dramatism, hermeneutics, standpoint theory, ethics, relational theories, and gender-based approaches. Readings are drawn from contemporary North American and European theorists. A variety of written and oral assignments invite students to apply their understanding of these theories to practical, even everyday communicative situations.

Digital Storytelling
RHET-2160, Section 001, Winter
Schedule: TuTh 11:30-12:45
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: Helen Lepp Friesen

Digital technology has changed writing, and yet the script is still the essence of a story. In this course we talk about how digital storytelling has changed or preserved how we tell a story. This course introduces students to digital story composition including personal autobiography and biography. Students have the opportunity to incorporate storytelling fundamentals in a digital form, as well as participate in critiquing digital stories. The outcomes of this course are:

  1. to learn about digital storytelling theory,
  2. to analyze (text/online) examples, and
  3. to produce/create digital stories for a specific audience and platform.

Experimental Course - This course is offered on a trial basis to gauge interest in the topic. Students who successfully complete this course receive credit as indicated. 

Communication & Pop Culture
RHET-2250, Section 001, Winter
Schedule: TuTh 13:00-14:15
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor:  Robert Neubauer

This course examines the relationship between the rise of new media and discourses used to write about popular culture. The course looks at changing rhetorics of taste, from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, as new media made art and culture more accessible to the public.  The course also examines how new processes of mediated distribution of art changed the discursive strategies for writing about popular culture. Course topics include: the rise of photography and the technological reproducibility of images; mass media and the culture industry; technology and globalization; and augmented reality and video games.

Rhetorical Grammar
RHET-2530, Section 001, Winter
Schedule: MW 16:00-17:15
Instruction Method: In-person
Instructor: Janice Freeman

This course sharpens students’ ability to write and edit efficiently at the sentence and paragraph levels. Through close analysis of examples, students first acquire a vocabulary for discussing grammar, syntax, and error that refines their understanding of English sentence and paragraph structures. With these tools, students can identify structural flaws in prose more precisely and thoroughly and better distinguish between errors and stylistic choices. The relationship between sentences – cohesion, unity, and emphasis – is then considered, and students are briefly introduced to fundamentals of style. Hands-on and peer-centred, this course includes many writing and editing exercises, some completed within class, others assigned as homework. Previous students have said that it supports and complements their understanding of other Rhetoric and language courses.

TEXTS AND MATERIALS

  • Access to Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects (8th Edition) Martha J. Kolln, Loretta Gray (on reserve in the library or you can purchase the text at the bookstore; if you buy a used copy, check that it is the eighth edition).
  • Five different colours of highlighter pens

Update: July 13, 2021