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3000-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.

RHET-3131 (3) Advanced Editing: Principles and Practices (Lecture)

This course addresses issues such as the negotiation of meaning in text production, changing practices of language use, and the historical and social construction of error (including attitudes about "good taste") through a study of editorial practices. Students apply rhetorical analyses of audience, purpose, genre, and context as they edit various documents to strengthen style and readability as well as to ensure accuracy and correctness. Designed to help students develop sound editorial judgment and practical abilities, the course outlines principles of editorial practice that consider the needs of the reader, improve emphasis, and remedy common stylistic flaws.

Requisite Courses: RHET-2131 or permission of the instructor [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3132 (3) Directed Readings in Rhetoric and Composition (Lecture)

This course provides students with the opportunity to undertake research in Rhetoric and/or Composition in their particular areas of interest. Students will arrange a program of reading and individual study in consultation with an appropriate instructor.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3133 (6) Directed Readings in Rhetoric and Composition (Lecture)

This course provides students with the opportunity to undertake research in Rhetoric and/or Composition in their particular areas of interest. Students will arrange a program of reading and individual study in consultation with an appropriate instructor.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3139 (3) Rhetorics of Visual Representation (Lecture)

This course provides a systematic and comprehensive account of the grammar and rhetoric of visual design. By looking at the formal structures of design - colour, perspective, arrangement, and materiality - students examine the ways in which images communicate meaning. This course draws on a considerable range of examples to demonstrate the differences and the similarities between the grammar of language and that of visual communication. Given the influence and sophistication of visual texts and their relative neglect in scholarship, visual critique is important and necessary.

Restrictions: Students may not hold credit for this course and RHET-2139.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3145 (3) The Fifth Canon: History and Theories of Delivery (Lecture)

This course focuses on the fifth canon of rhetoric, also known as pronuntiatio, actio, or delivery. It takes an historical approach, beginning with primary classical texts and ending with contemporary theories of delivery. Topics may include the history and theory of vocal expression, rhythm, gesture, posture, and dress. Students also discuss delivery and gender, theatricality, mimesis, rhetorics of the body, and the implications of media technologies for delivery. The course situates delivery relative to the other rhetorical canons, highlighting its relationship to character, pathos, style, identity, education, and memory.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement, and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3153 (3) Studies in the Rhetorics of Gender (Lecture)

This course focuses on issues growing from the complex interaction of gender and language use, with a particular focus on written texts. Beginning with an overview of research on the relationship between gender and communicative behaviour, including feminist critiques of language, it considers such topics as the following: the rhetorics of women's movement and of contemporary men's movements; verbal (and, to a lesser extent, visual) constructions of masculinity and femininity in advertising and the media; innovative uses of language which resist and subvert prevailing conceptions of appropriate communicative behaviour; and the rhetoric of public debates over issues such as abortion and reproductive technologies, in which gender is a central factor.

Restrictions: Students may not hold credit for this course and WGS-3153.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3154 (3) The New Journalism (Lecture)

"New Journalism" arose in the 1960s when Truman Capote, Tom Wolf, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, and others began to infuse their reporting with rhetorical and literary technique, creating a hybrid genre of reportage that was both factual and artistic. They dethroned the novel as the most prestigious outlet for imaginative literary talent in their generation and instigated the first powerful renewal of North American letters in fifty years. The course includes works of both early and later periods of this movement, and considers a number of critical and theoretical statements about its practice.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3155 (3) Writing on the Environment (Lecture)

The focus of this course is writing on the environment, with emphasis on American and Canadian nonfiction writing after the 19th century. This includes what is often called "nature writing" - essays on farm life and backcountry living, writing about wilderness adventures, natural history essays, field guides, rambles, and other genres that rely heavily on personal narratives or descriptions of natural phenomena. But it also includes works that rely more heavily on explicit argument, among them polemical essays and philosophical inquiry. It is the rhetoric of such writing that is studied.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3156 (3) Transnational and Intercultural Language and Communications (Lecture)

This course looks at the origins and development of language from a historical perspective and moves into specific case studies of unilingual, bilingual, and multilingual groups, their languages, how they communicate, and representational media used by the group. We focus closely on how groups communicate with one another, often by using common languages and the practice of translation, and how groups use languages to represent their culture to other groups and within the group. Central to such transnational and intercultural communication is the representation of identity and heritage. As languages change, identity changes also occur.

Cross-listed: LING-3106(3).

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing (or exemption from the writing requirement) and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communication must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3250 (3) Composition Studies (Lecture)

This course introduces the main theories, topics, and issues in the field of composition, including theories of the composing process; writing pedagogy; the place of the writer in the university; the relationships among writing, gender, culture, and race; and the effect of new communicative technologies on the composing process. Students rehearse many of the processes and techniques considered in the course, and they may be required to carry out a data-based research project in composition, involving systematic observation and analysis of the composing process.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3255 (3) Narrative Thinking and Writing (Lecture)

Students in this course consider narrative as a way of thinking or mode of knowing, rather than as a method of transcription. They focus on the narrative methodologies of autobiographical criticism and ethnography by examining texts that represent early and recent examples of each. Working with autobiographical criticism, students consider how feminist theory has been instrumental in the development of criticism that foregrounds the connection between self and text. Turning to ethnography, students examine changes in the relationship between observer and field. In addition to considering these issues as readers of narrative, students are asked to write narratives that engage issues requiring analysis and to reflect on how narration both enables and inhibits the development of ideas.

Restrictions: Students may not hold credit for this course and ENGL-2150 | RHET-2150.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3320 (3) Forms of Inquiry in Written Communication (Lecture)

This course examines the methods and methodologies of the research community that takes writing as its subject-defining method as a technique of gathering evidence and methodology as the underlying theory and analysis of how research proceeds. We review how the community of researchers formed since the 1960s has relied upon diverse ways to make knowledge about writing and writing processes. Students examine qualitative approaches that are common or that are gaining prominence in this community, with emphasis on ethnography, case study, and teacher research narrative. The influences of feminism, pluralism, and collaborative scholarship are also considered. Students will become familiar with these methods by reading theory and research and by conducting their own research project.

Restrictions: Students may not hold credit for this course and RHET-4320.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this class [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3321 (3) Composing Our Winnipeg: Rhetoric of/and the City (Lecture)

In this course, we consider how our city has been written so far, and how its culture(s) and geography are a function of confrontations between language, cultures of poverty and power, and complex institutional decision-making. Rather than ignoring or mythologizing inequities -- endorsing uncomfortable silences and uneasy confrontations as our cityspeak -- we consider some material realities and social myths that shape our thinking about Winnipeg centre and neighbourhoods: who are we, what do we do, who moves in and out? From this interaction of real and imagined city, we compose a third space that signifies what the city can be.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this class [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3329 (3) Writing for Scholarly Audiences (Lecture)

This course addresses the varieties of scholarly discourse: why academics write and speak in a particular way, and how the contexts of political and economic environments that surround a university affect textual production. By reading and analyzing representative texts of various disciplines, students will learn to recognize and practice the sort of rhetoric used by academics. The goals of this course are threefold: (1) to increase students' awareness of norms and disciplinary conventions; (2) to help prepare students for advanced scholarship; and (3) to learn more about the pragmatic components involved in writing, thinking, and speaking at an academic level. In exceptional cases, this course may be taken to satisfy the Academic Writing requirement with permission of the Instructor and Chair.

Restrictions: Students may not hold credit for this course and ENGL-2110 | ENGL-2129 | ENGL-2130 | ENGL-2181 | RHET-2129 | RHET-2130.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course (unless waived by permission of the Department Chair and Instructor) [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3330 (3) Investigative Journalism (Lecture)

This course provides an overview of the history, theory, and practice of investigative journalism in Canada, placing the form in historical context and surveying its major practitioners in print and broadcast. The theoretical framework of investigative journalism is analyzed and parallels are drawn to social sciences. Students learn some practical tools of the investigative journalist, including search strategies, chronologies, computer-assisted reporting, online research methods, study and analysis of public records, and access-to-information methods. The ethics and legalities of investigative journalism are surveyed and case studies analyzed.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3331 (3) Writing Internship (Practicum/Internship)

The Writing Internship involves a placement with a community organization, designed to be a writing partnership with an organization outside the university, and in some cases, university partners that need students' writing expertise. The goals of the internship are to help students learn how to write for audiences inside and outside of the academy, to learn ethical guidelines for writing with community and university partners, and to learn practical skills relating to the production of a range of texts. The specifics of each internship, including duties and responsibilities as well as start and end dates, are determined in consultation between the community organization and the academic supervisor. Training and supervision for the work components are provided by the community organization; academic oversight of the experience is provided by a faculty member. Grading is based on performance evaluation by the community organization, and on academic writing consolidating learning from the experience.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 30 credit hours (which may include cognate courses). Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3340 (3) Technical and Professional Communication (Lecture)

This course provides an overview of the emerging field of organizational communication and an introduction to the ways in which a variety of rhetorical theories explain the strategic choices available to professional and technical communicators. Students analyze various artefacts of organizational communication, as well as plan, draft, edit, and design a range of professional and technical documents, such as business correspondence, proposals, and reports. The assignments stress the importance of a critical analysis of purpose, situation, context, and readership for making effective, appropriate, and ethical choices as technical and professional communicators. Uses and design of electronic correspondence and on-line information are discussed.

Restrictions: Students may not hold credit for this course and RHET-2140.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3350 (3) Communication, Ideology & Power (Lecture)

This course focuses on theories of ideology and discourse and the rhetorical strategies used for writing about and critiquing ideological texts in the media. Using examples from contemporary media, students focus on methods of rhetorical criticism that are used for critiquing ideological texts. Students explore ways that modern mass media use rhetoric, language, and image to reproduce forms of power. Other areas include the industry structure of the media, theories of propaganda and censorship, media democracy, and activist/alternative new media as practices of resisting ideology and power.

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.

Requisite Courses: RHET-2137 [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3420 (3) Rhetorics of Identity (Lecture)

This course investigates the relationships between discourse and identity. Examining discursive constructions of representation, the course explores how discourse reflects, produces, and reproduces "difference" topics such as race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and disability. It considers how communicative and suasive language shapes and privileges particular identities, and investigates how difference shapes literate practices in representations of the national, local, and academic. Drawing connections between intellectual institutions and social privilege, the course also explores power and identity politics, examining the reciprocal relationship between language and ideology.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3450 (3) Critical Studies of Social Media (Lecture/Seminar)

Social media and social networking websites structure many of our experiences of the world, ourselves, and the culture that surrounds us. This course takes a critical, cultural, and rhetorical approach to the study of social media. Topics include the rhetoric of the public profile and persuasive constructions of social media selfhood and identity curation; the language and meaning of social media "friendship" and "publicity;" questions about the rhetoric of privacy under conditions of constant surveillance; the relationship between discourse, algorithms, and platform logics; and the role of social media in framing the world of meaning and public discourse.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

RHET-3900 (3) Topics in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication (Lecture)

This course offers a study of an area of rhetoric, writing, or communications not covered by the general courses in the department. Depending on the particular expertise or research interests of a given instructor, it may, for instance, centre on the rhetorics of a particular genre, a particular political focus, or a given thematic. The course also allows students to explore a given theoretical approach at a more advanced level than they might in other offerings. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

Requisite Courses: Any section of Academic Writing or exemption from the writing requirement and completion of 24 credit hours. Students taking a Major in Rhetoric and Communications must complete Academic Writing before taking this course [prerequisite(s)].

Updated: September 2020