• Major Assignment,  Posts

    10/26: Adding Rhetors to our list of Constituents

    As we start class, ensure you’re sitting with your partner for the Rhetorical Analysis of Local Activism assignment. I’m tracking the groups and their chosen organizations here. We’ll think for a bit about what we understand the word “constituents” to mean. You’ve already taken some time to understand exigence as a constituent in the rhetorical situation, so today we’ll move through Grant-Davie’s text to better understand his definition of rhetors . Access Grant-Davie’s article “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” on our Blackboard site. We’ll use class time to read pages 269-272 and write initial definitions of rhetor. With your partner, begin to apply these definitions of rhetor to the organization…

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    10/17: Exigence of Local Activism

    We will look together at Keith Grant-Davie’s article “Rhetorical Situations and their Constituents” from Blackboard, paying specific attention to the subsection titled “Exigence” (266-269). We will closely read this subsection to understand the “stases,” or the questions Grant-Davie offers to best understand a discourse. Looking closely at these stasis questions will help us define the exigence of the local advocacy movement Black People Will Swim. Exigence is a complex idea that helps us understand the impact of any discourse, and in our course, the discourses we are looking at involve writing for activism. As Ashley M. noted in class, when Grant-Davie directs us to ask, “What is this discourse about?”…

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    10/12: Multimodal Rhetorical Situations

    Last week, and over the long weekend, you considered how a piece you chose represented invitational rhetoric. I’d like to spend some time at the start of class today hearing your responses to this prompt from last class. We’ve been building towards your next major assignment–a Rhetorical Analysis of Local Advocacy–and will continue to do so today. (NOTE: I will have the written Rhetorical Analysis assignment for you by next class.) For this next major assignment, you will work in two-person teams to study the rhetorical strategies used on local advocacy, using rhetorical frameworks from the texts we’ve already read and from Keith Grant-Davie’s “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents.” We’ll…

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    10/5: Multimodal Rhetoric

    We’ve started thinking about different modalities for writing for advocacy. A modality is the delivery platform by which a message is circulated; it’s part of what Doug Downs calls the ecology of rhetoric. In his essay that we read last week, Downs says that “human interaction and meaning-making is […] the experience of encountering a vast range of sensory signals and interpreting them by associating them with networks of our existing knowledge” (462-3). Using this ideas of networks, Downs offers us an ecological framework for understanding how humans communicate through texts, written and otherwise. I asked you to bring an example of any text in your life you feel represents…

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    10/3: Introduction to Invitational Rhetoric

    Let’s start by confirming that everyone created a new page on their WordPress site to deliver their final counterstories. I’ll then ask for you to define invitational rhetoric using Foss & Griffin’s “Beyond Persuasion.” What forms of invitational rhetoric have we already seen (or composed?) this semester. HOMEWORK Come to next class with an example of invitational rhetoric that is important to you. I invite you to choose from a range of modalities: music, narrative, news, social media, and more. You’ll be working individually and in small groups next class to define the ecology of the sample you bring in, and you’ll report back to the larger group. UPDATE: if…

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    9/28: Going Public: Understanding the Rhetorical Ecology of Advocacy

    We’ll pick up our work from Tuesday, 9/26 to connect Downs’ terms ecology and motivation to the advocacy work of the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. In small groups, describe the ecology of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York website. EACH MEMBER OF YOUR GROUP SHOULD TAKE NOTES TO POST THIS IN-CLASS WRITING TO YOUR BLOG. To get full credit for this post, you must quote Downs’ “Rhetoric: Making Sense of Human Interaction and Meaning-Making” (available on Blackboard) in some part of your post. We’ll end class today by showing you how to create a new page for your website so you can post your final counterstories…

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    9/26: Rhetoric as a Human Operation System

    I’ve offered feedback, either as comments on your blog posts or via email, to your Counterstory drafts. As you move toward your final–due on Tuesday, October 3–keep the assignment rubric in mind. I’ll be looking for you to tell stories, to use narratives with composite characters that help me understand the stock story and counterstory that build the purpose of your final piece. I will expect to see your purpose stated early on in your final draft, and I will also expect you to quote Martinez and another outside source. Today, we will look together at Angelis’ and Jade’s drafts as strong examples of creating composite characters. We’ll revisit Downs’…

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    9/21: Rhetoric as Meaning-Making, or How Our Bodies Become/Create/Make Argument

    “Bodies matter to knowing, meaning-making and interaction. So rhetoric must be about bodies as much as minds, and about the material as much as the conceptual.” Doug Downs, from “Rhetoric: Making Sense of Human Interaction and Meaning-Making,” p. 463 Downs’s quotation above connects bodies to meaning to our interactions with others. This might be a new way for us to understand how we communicate in the world. To help us think through this complex set of connections, we’re going to use Corder’s and Downs’s texts to think about how our counterstory drafts are making arguments and, more generally, how public arguments are made. You’ll get into groups to think about…

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    9/19: Narrative as Argument

    Today we’ll start with a round-robin reading of our Counterstory Assignment. Each of us will choose a couple sentences to read aloud to the group and we’ll go around, reading and listening, reserving any feedback until the end. We share patterns and reflections after each member of our community reads. We’ll then access “Argument as Emergence, Rhetoric as Love” by Jim Corder, available on our course Blackboard site. Corder’s purpose in this article is define argument, but his intent is to offer a different definition than that proposed by other scholars. Rather than stating a position, acknowledging a counterargument, and proposing a solution, Corder proposes that “argument is emergence toward…

  • Major Assignment,  Posts

    9/7: Aja Martinez & Counterstory

    Your job today is to craft a presentation of the text you were assigned for homework. Get into groups and discuss either Aja Martinez’s “A Plea for Critical Race Theory Counterstory” or Aja Martinez’s “Alejandra Writes a Book” (depending on which group you were assigned). Consider the questions below:

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