Major Assignment

10/31: Primary and Secondary Audiences

Last class, we discussed how the rhetor of a discourse is often a complex network “that often involve[s] multiple rhetors” (Grant-Davie 269), ranging from a person or entity responsible for some content to sponsors that deliver or finance that content in some way. Grant-Davie’s concept of audience is no less complex than the concept of rhetor.

Grant-Davie notes that audiences, like rhetors, exist in multitudes. He says there can be primary and secondary audiences, “audiences that are present and those that have yet to form, audiences that act collaboratively or as individuals, audiences about whom the rhetor knows little, or audiences that exist only in the rhetor’s mind” (271). In other words, audiences are not only those immediately present in the initial delivery of a discourse; they can be also be distant in time and space; they can be both real and imagined. We listened to the first six minutes of “Vince McMahon, The Rock, and the WWE’s Reality Show for Men,” on the Infamous podcast, to discuss the complexities of audience.

Today you will begin mapping your Rhetorical Analysis of Local Activism project–a new website!–with the materials I’ve brought to class. Here are things to keep in mind from the assignment requirements:

  • Your homepage will introduce your activist organization–or your “discourse,” in Keith Grant-Davie’s words. You will do this through using Grant-Davie’s term exigence help you explore the complexities of the organization.
  • You will also have web pages devoted to the following terms: rhetor, audience, and constraints.


By Thursday, 11/2, every student must post evidence of mapping the Rhetorical Analysis of Local Activism project; this can be an image of the map you made in class, it can be a link to a Google doc where you’re brainstorming, it can be a bulleted list of how you’re using your terms. This will be Blog Post 5, due TH 11/2.

CLASS DOES NOT MEET ON THURSDAY 11/2. I will be at a conference. In lieu of class, post blog #5 to your website.

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