Rhetoric is an ancient practice. Participatory digital culture is a new phenomenon. In our class this semester we will analyze the 2012 presidential election through both lenses.

“The power of seeing what is capable of being persuasive on each subject,” as Aristotle calls rhetoric (Sachs, Plato Gorgias and Aristotle Rhetoric, 2009), has been subject of praise and disgust for thousands years. We will examine some ancient and contemporary views on the practice of rhetoric in addition to analyzing and experimenting with forms of new media that influence the cultural landscape. The 2012 presidential race — and the media it produces and consumes — will be serve as the laboratory of our study. We will dissect the rhetoric of the candidates and their parties, the media that attempts to make sense of them, and the views of our peers on the GSU campus.

I look forward to sharing this networked study with you. In addition to introducing you to the theory and practice of argument, I hope it will empower you to make reasoned decisions and study your own digital media consumption and production habits.

Required texts:
Words Like Loaded Pistols
, Sam Leith (ISBN: 978-0465031054)
Plato’s Gorgias/Aristotle’s Rhetoric (ISBN: 978-1585102990)
Presidential Campaign Rhetoric in an Age of Confessional Politics, Brian Kaylor (ISBN: 978-0739148792)