2011-12 Rhetoric and Media Studies

CHANGE: Bob Withycombe retires; Department changes its name; many film/media classes are added as cross-listed courses; Major and minor requirements are changed removing advanced film analysis and advanced rhetoric course specific requirements. Students now choose the courses they wish to take.

Chair: James Hanson

Patrick Belanger

Robert Sickels

Robert M. Withycombe (not teaching)

Rhetoric and media studies focuses on the uses of language and image to characterize social reality, to debate and confront controversies, and to aid in the transformation of social institutions. Accordingly, the department of rhetoric and media studies is a multidisciplinary program that enriches understanding of the complexity of contemporary communication by providing a solid grounding in the theory, history, production, interpretation, and criticism of a wide variety of written, oral, and visual texts.

Distribution: RMS courses count toward humanities except in these areas:

Fine arts: 110, 111, 165, 250, 263, 280, 360, 380

Cultural pluralism: 240, 313, 338, 349

Do not count toward distribution: 121, 221, 222

The Rhetoric and Media Studies major: A minimum of 34 credits in rhetoric and media studies, including 160, 387 (to be taken fall of junior year), and either 491 or 498. Students may not count more than eight credits of 100- level RMS courses towards the major. Students may not count more than four credits of RMS 121, 221, or 222 toward the major. Students may substitute up to eight of the elective credits with approved transfer credits or courses in other departments that focus primarily on media or the student's rhetorical emphasis. Students must receive approval from their adviser for these courses at the time they declare their ma­jor and as they register thereafter. Department policy does not allow a P-D-F grade option for courses within the major.

Senior assessment: All departmental ma­jors will write a substantial thesis during fall semester and will defend that thesis during a one-hour oral examination.

The Rhetoric and Media Studies minor: A minimum of 20 credits in rhetoric and media studies. Students may not count more than eight credits of 100-level RMS courses toward the minor. Students may not count more than four credits of RMS 121, 221, or 222 toward the minor. Students may substitute up to four of the elective credits with approved transfer credits or courses in other departments that focus primarily on media or the student's rhetorical emphasis. Students must receive adviser approval for these courses at the time they declare their minor and as they register thereafter. Department policy does not allow a P-D-F grade option for courses within the minor.

110 Fundamentals of Public Address

4; not offered 2011-12

Speech is one of our primary means of communica­tion. This course provides training in the fundamen­tals of effective speaking including the preparation, presentation and evaluation of a variety of types of communication. Preparation emphasizes the use of clear organization, cogent arguments, and strong and interesting supporting material. Presentation focuses on the use of vocal variety, distinct articulation, pres­ence, gestures, and effective use of oral language. Evaluation encourages students to critique public ad­dress, learning to think and express what could make a presentation more effective. Oral presentations and several papers required.

111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking

Second-half of Spring semester; x, 3 Hanson

This course trains and engages students in ef­fective public speaking including the preparation, presentation and evaluation of a variety of types of communication. Students prepare by learning to use clear organization, cogent arguments, and strong and interesting supporting material. Students improve their presentation skills in the use of vocal variety, distinct articulation, presence, gestures, and effective use of oral language. Students evaluate by critiquing public rhetoric, learning to think and express what could make a presentation more effective. Oral presentations, indi­vidually scheduled practice and presentation outside of class time sessions, and two short papers required. Students may not receive credit for both Rhetoric and Media Studies 110 and 111.

121 Fundamentals of Debating

1, x Hanson

Introduction to and participation in debate without a heavy commitment throughout the semester. Students are expected to attend classes covering and engaging key debate skills for the first six to eight weeks of the semester, and then participate in one intercollegiate or on-campus tournament. Students may not jointly register for Rhetoric 121, 221, 222. May not be taken P-D-F.

160 Introduction to Film Studies

4, x Sickels

This course introduces the historical and theoretical fundamentals of film studies. Representative films will be drawn from a variety of different eras, genres, and countries. Lectures, discussions, tests, and weekly film screenings.

165 Introduction to Filmmaking

4, x Sickels

This course introduces the fundamentals of the visual language and narrative structures of film. Stu­dents will collaboratively make their own short films. Extensive lab time required. Prerequisites: successful completion of Rhetoric and Media Studies 160 and consent of instructor. Priority given to rhetoric and media studies majors.

221 Intercollegiate Parliamentary Debate and Speaking Events

2, 2 Hanson

Participation in parliamentary debate and a speaking event throughout the semester. Students are expected to attend a preparation session the week before school begins (exceptions on a case-by-case basis only). Students are expected to attend meetings, prepare for parliamentary debate and a speaking event, practice each week with staff, and assist in the man­agement of tournaments that Whitman hosts. Students must compete at two tournaments during the semester in parliamentary debate and in one speaking event when offered. Rhetoric 121 is not a prerequisite. May not be taken P-D-F.

222 Intercollegiate Policy Debate*

2, 2 Hanson

Participation in policy debate throughout the se­mester. Students are expected to attend a preparation session the week before school begins (exceptions on a case-by-case basis only). Students are expected to attend meetings, prepare research assignments, engage in practice drills and debates, and assist in the manage­ment of tournaments that Whitman hosts. Students must compete in debate at a minimum of two tournaments during the semester. Students may not jointly register for Rhetoric 121, 221, 222. *Topics change yearly. Rhetoric 121 is not a prerequisite. May not be taken P-D-F.

240 Rhetorical Explorations: Race, Class and Gender

4; not offered 2011-12

This course seeks to examine the ways in which race-, class-, and gender-based rhetorical practices can and do create, reinforce, adjust and sometimes overcome inequality in society. The nature of this inequality is addressed as a rhetorical construct that continues to serve as a basis for often heated discussion in society. Those in the class critique communication in the media, daily discourse, the law, politics, and in their own experiences. The goal of this examination is to increase awareness of inequity in communica­tion, to challenge theoretical assumptions about what constitutes inequity, and to offer new perspectives from which to view race-, class-, and gender-based rhetorical practices. This course may count toward the requirements for the gender studies minor and major.

250 Persuasion, Agitation, and Social Movements

4; not offered 2011-12

Theory, preparation, and practice in the art of public persuasion. The study of logic and reasoning, the psychology of persuasion, the ethics of persua­sion, the structure of arguments, and persuasion in social movements. Students are expected to observe, evaluate, and construct logical persuasive arguments in both formal and informal settings.

263 Art and the Moving Image

4; not offered 2011-12

This course will explore the vital and often over­looked history of artists experimenting with technolo­gies of the moving image from the birth of cinema to the present day. Pioneering figures like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol used filmmaking as an important part of their practice. Later, the advent of video provided a new tool of expression for artists like Nam June Paik and Bruce Nauman. Topics will include the use of film as a means to alter concepts of time and space, the emergence of video as a device to question political and sexual ideologies, and the explosion of new forms of image production and distribution in the digital era. Figures to be discussed include Hans Richter, Maya Deren, Jack Smith, Bruce Conner, Stan Brakhage, Yvonne Rainer, Hollis Frampton, Yoko Ono, Isaac Julien, and Ryan Trecartin. Prerequisite: Art History 103 or consent of instructor. May be elected as Art History 263.

280 Intermediate New Genre

x, 3 Lincoln

This course continues the critical exploration of recent and emerging new genres in the practice of fine art. Through lecture, discussion, demonstration and practice, students advance their familiarity with a range of contemporary formats including video art, installation, digital sound, the Internet, conceptual and/ or performance actions. Emphasis is placed on creating meaning in art through the use of one or more new genre formats. Instruction includes the demonstration of sound, image, and archiving software, theme-based discussions in contemporary art, film screenings. Stu­dents independently complete and present at least one larger scale artwork in a new genre format. Prerequi­sites: Studio Art 180 or consent of instructor. May be elected as Studio Art 280. Fee: $150.

303 German Film and the Frankfurt School

4; not offered 2011-12

In this course, we will review the masterpieces of German-language cinema, beginning with such expressionist works of art as Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Murnau's Nosferatu, Lang's Metropo­lis, and Sagan's Mädchen in Uniform. We also will study Nazi film, particularly Leni Riefenstahl's work. Among the postwar directors that we study will be Fassbinder, Herzog, and Wenders. Queer German filmmakers such as Praunheim and Treut will receive special attention. The course will conclude with recent critical and popular successes such as Run Lola Run and The Lives of Others. As a critical lens, we will rely heavily on psychoanalytic and Frankfurt School criticism, focusing on writings by Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, and Theodor Adorno. In addition to class meetings, a weekly video screening of approximately two hours is required. All discussion in English. Students taking the course for German credit will be expected to watch the films without subtitles and complete written assignments in German; students taking the course for credit in world literature or rhetoric and media studies will generally watch films with subtitles and write in English. May be elected as German 303 or World Literature 303.

312 Ethnographic Film Studies

4; not offered 2011-12

An introduction to the history, theory and practice of ethnographic film and video. The course is divided into two parts. Students view, read about, discuss, and review a series of classic and contemporary ethnographic films, while simultaneously producing their own in small groups using resources from the college's Media Development Lab. Prerequisite: Anthropology 102 or consent of instructor. May be elected as Anthropology 312.

313 East German Literature and Film

4; not offered 2011-12

When the film The Lives of Others won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2007, its attention to the conflicts between artistic expression and state repression in East Germany's one-party socialist dictatorship contrasted with recent films and books that emphasized nostalgia for life in the East German state ("Ostalgie"). In this course, we will examine literature, film, and other artistic and cultural produc­tion in the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or DDR) in the context of political movements and governmental control, from the state's establishment in 1949 until its reunification with West Germany in 1990. We also will study the post-Berlin Wall phenomenon of Ostalgie as we con­sider the relevance and resonance of DDR culture in a unified Germany. Authors may include Bertolt Brecht, Anna Seghers, Christa Wolf, Brigitte Reimann, Stefan Heym, Wolf Biermann, and Heiner Müller. Filmmak­ers may include Wolfgang Staudte, Konrad Wolf, Kurt Maetzig, and Frank Beyer. May be elected as German 313 or World Literature 313.

338 Undoing the Japanese National Narrative through Literature and Film

x, 4 Shigeto

In this course we focus on the literary works and films of Japan's post-WWII period from the mid-1940s through the 1970s and explore the ways in which writ­ers and filmmakers responded to the social and cultural transformations brought about by war, defeat, occupa­tion, and recovery. The main questions to be addressed include: How did writers and filmmakers engage with the question of war responsibility in and through their works? What does it mean to "take responsibility for war"? How do their works, at both levels of form and content, critique and undo the official national nar­rative that largely coincided with the modernization theory put forth in the early 1960s? How long does the "postwar" last? Taught in English. May be elected as World Literature 338.

340 Background of African American Protest Rhetoric

4; not offered 2011-12

Students examine the conflicting strategies of as­similation, separation, and revolution, and the rhetoric of the civil rights movement used to promote and attack these strategies. Various stages of the social movement will be examined, with a primary focus on the nature of public argument about blacks in America beginning with the arrival of the first Africans in the early 17th century and ending with the era of vigorous African American protest in about 1965. May be elected as Politics 349.

349 China through the Cinematic Eye

x, 4 He

This course examines contemporary Chinese lan­guage cinematic works that are well-known to general audiences or critically acclaimed at film festivals. We will discuss popular as well as arthouse films, either by one auteur (director) who has taken on multiple roles or by selected directors from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and overseas. Thematic and generic aspects of the film will be discussed in relation to evolving images of China discretely constructed for domestic or international audiences. All films are subtitled in English. May be elected as World Literature 349.

350 Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment

4; not offered 2011-12

Arguments over the "appropriate boundaries" of freedom of speech are among the most interesting and hotly debated issues addressed by the legal system. In this course, the evolution of current legal standards on freedom of speech will be traced through a wide range of cases that made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Issues such as privacy, obscenity, "fighting  words," and commercial speech will be discussed, along with considerable discussion dealing with special issues of free speech such as free speech and fair trials, prior restraint, and free speech in prisons, schools, the military, and the marketplace. May be elected as Politics 379.

351 Argument in the Law and Politics

x, 4 Hanson

This course emphasizes the study and practice of argument in the law and politics and involves three critical aspects. First, students engage in and evalu­ate legal argument in important court cases. Second, students participate in and evaluate political campaign and public policymaking argument. Third, students are exposed to argumentation theory as a way of interpret­ing the arguments they construct and evaluate. The goal of the course is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the use of argument. May be elected as Politics 380.

352 Political Campaign Rhetoric

4; not offered 2011-12

This course focuses on communication used in political campaigns, particularly the Presidential and to a lesser degree Senate and House races as well as ballot initiatives in the current election year. The course examines the recent history of campaigns, the impor­tance of character and public policy, advertisements, speeches, media coverage, debates, new technologies, demographics, and after the election, implications of the results. May be elected as Politics 352.

360 Advanced Film Making

x, 4 Sickels

In this intensive workshop course students will be expected to write, storyboard, direct, shoot, and edit an original film of their own creation. Extensive lab time required. Prerequisites: successful completion of Rhetoric and Media Studies 160, 165, and/or consent of instructor. Priority given to rhetoric and media studies majors.

363 New Novel, New Wave: Revolutions in Prose, Film, and Drama

4, x Hurlburt

This course will explore the evolution and revo­lution of narrative structures in France in the 1950s and 1960s. Authors and directors called into question the traditional focus on plot and characterization, launching a new era of exploration into the subjective possibilities of textual and cinematic narrative. We will study authors and directors from the movements of the "Nouveau roman" and the "Nouvelle vague," such as Robbe-Grillet, Sarraute, Duras, Truffaut, Go­dard, Varda, and Resnais, as well as plays by authors such as Ionesco, Beckett, or Sarraute. Class will be conducted in French. Texts will be read in French, and movies will be shown in French with English subtitles. Prerequisites: at least two 300-level French classes or consent of instructor. May be elected as French 448.

365 Special Topics: Studies in Film Genre

4

Students will study the cultural influences on the intersection between the pursuit of artistic achievement and commercial rewards as illustrated by the evolution of a specific genre - e.g., musicals, westerns, noir, horror, combat, screwballs, weepies, etc. Lectures, discussions, tests, papers, and weekly film screenings. May be repeated for credit. Film genre offerings follow.

365 ST: Film Noir as Transatlantic Modernism

4, x Majumdar

This course studies the mark of modernism on the practices of film noir. We will examine the influence of British modernism on "classic" American instances of film noir and on more recent iterations of the genre. Alongside, we will discuss questions such as the fol­lowing: How do "lowbrow" or "middlebrow" noir texts receive and reconstitute overtly "highbrow" modernist aesthetics? How are irony and the ironies of modern identity figured in these works? How do the generic conventions of noir expand themselves to include feminist, and even racial, concerns? How does modernism itself anticipate such revisions? Texts stud­ied may include works by Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, Raymond Chandler, Martin Amis, Walter Mosley, Fritz Lang, Jules Dassin, Howard Hawks, Robert Altman, and Carl Franklin. May be elected as English 387A. Distribution area: humanities.

366 Special Topics: Major Figures in Film

4

An intensive study of a major figure (or figures) in film, ranging from directors, screenwriters, cinema­tographers, and actors. Lectures, discussions, tests, papers, and weekly film screenings. May be repeated for credit. Major figures offerings follow.

368 Special Topics: World Cinema

4

National cinemas not generally considered in other courses offered by the department. The specif‍ic materi­als will vary from semester to semester and may cover subjects from early times to contemporary develop­ments in world cinema. Lectures, discussions, tests, papers and weekly film screenings. May be repeated for credit. World cinema offerings follow.

369 Major Figures in Film: "Mean Streets and Raging Bulls": The Silver Age of Cinema

4; not offered 2011-12

In tracing film history from the demise of the studio, students in this course will study the all too brief era known as the American cinema's "silver age," during which maverick film school directors made deeply personal and remarkably influential films. Texts will likely include works by Coppola, DePalma, Friedkin, Altman, Allen, Polanski, Bogdanovich, Ku­brick, Malick, and Scorsese. Lectures, discussions, a big research paper, an oral presentation, and weekly film screenings.

371 Rhetoric in Early Western Culture

4; not offered 2011-12

Focuses on the principal rhetorical developments that occurred during several of the great periods of Western thought, beginning with the classical conflict between the Sophists and Platonists in Greece, to the emphasis on the liberally educated person in the Ro­man Empire, the rhetoric of the church in the Middle Ages, and concluding with the study of logic and argument during the Scottish Enlightenment. May be elected as Classics 371.

379 Special Topics in Rhetoric and Media Studies

4, 4

Intensive studies in special topics not generally considered in other courses offered by the depart­ment. The specific materials will vary from semester to semester and may cover subjects from ancient to contemporary times. The current offerings follow.

379 ST: Beginning New Genre Art Practices

3, 3 Lincoln

This course serves as an introduction to recent and emerging new genres in the practice of fine art. Through lecture, discussion, demonstration, and practice, students will gain familiarity with a range of contemporary formats including video art, instal­lation, digital sound, the Internet, conceptual, and/or performance actions. Emphasis is placed on creating meaning in art through the use of one or more new genre formats. Instruction includes the demonstration of sound, image, and archiving software, theme-based discussions in contemporary art, film screenings, and a series of assigned technical problems. May be elected as Studio Art 180. Fee: $150.

380 Advanced New Genre

x, 3 Lincoln

This course continues the critical exploration of recent and emerging new genres in the practice of fine art. Through lecture, discussion, demonstration and practice, students advance their familiarity with a range of contemporary formats including video art, installation, digital sound, the Internet, conceptual and/ or performance actions. Emphasis is placed on creating meaning in art through the use of one or more new genre formats. Instruction includes the demonstration of sound, image, and archiving software, theme-based discussions in contemporary art, film screenings. Students independently complete and present at least one larger scale artwork in a new genre format. Prerequisites: Studio Art 280 or Rhetoric and Media Studies 280 or consent of instructor. May be elected as Studio Art 380. Fee: $150.

387 Rhetoric and Media Criticism

4, x Hanson

Using a variety of critical theories, this course focuses on the analysis of speeches, film, writing, tele­vision, and advertisements. Students give presentations and write papers utilizing these various perspectives. The goal is for students to become more conversant in the many ways they can assess the significant influ­ence communication has in our lives. Open only to and required of junior rhetoric and media studies majors.

388 History of American Public Address

4; not offered 2011-12

Students examine the creation, reception, and impact of American public discourse from the colonial period to the present, focusing on the process of public advocacy as it occurs in significant political and social movements and during important public controversies. Examination of public arguments will allow students to better understand the strategic choices available, the limitations and constraints that face advocates, and the nature of critical responses that resulted. Students will better understand the role of public discourse in American history and the relationship between rhetori­cal practice and public culture.

401, 402 Independent Study

1-3, 1-3 Staff

Studies of rhetorical and media issues including directed readings and/or approved projects. The stu­dent is expected to submit a written proposal to the instructor prior to registration for the study. Prerequi­site: consent of instructor.

491 Thesis in Rhetoric and Media Studies

4, x Sickels

Research and writing of the senior thesis. Open only to and required of senior majors.

498 Honors Thesis in Rhetoric and Media Studies

4, x Sickels

Research and writing of the senior honors thesis. Open only to and required of senior majors. Prerequisite: admission to honors candidacy. Students wishing to be considered for honors must apply to the department within the first six weeks of spring semester of the junior year.