Rhetoric/Communication Arts

RHETORICAL STUDIES focuses on the use of symbols to alter attitudes and induce others to act in a particular manner. Students engaged in rhetorical studies are challenged to critically examine previous attempts at persuasion, as well as to enter creatively into the production of original persuasive messages. COMMUNICATION STUDIES includes rhetorical studies but encompasses a broader array of communication behaviors in a wider variety of contexts, including (among others) interpersonal, small-group and intercultural communication.

Major Requirements

Most students who major in the department begin with an interest focused on either theater/performance studies or rhetoric/communication studies, and the department’s major enables students to pursue that interest passionately and in depth. However, because we want majors to understand the rhetorical/communicative dimensions of performance and the theatrical/performative dimensions of communication, the curriculum requires majors to complete courses in both theater/performance studies and rhetoric/communication studies.

Majors choose either theater/performance studies or rhetoric/communication studies as their primary concentration and the other as their secondary concentration. Ten courses are required to complete the major. Fulfillment of the major requires the following:

1.  Primary Area of Concentration: Rhetoric-Communication

Majors must take seven courses from their peimary area of concentration, at least two of which must be an introductory course and at least five of which must be advanced courses. While a few courses appear in both areas of concentration, students are not allowed to “double dip” — that is, all courses must be designated as fulfilling a course requirement in one of the two areas of concentration.

Introductory courses include:

111. Rhetoric and Public Speaking.
127. Introduction to Communication Studies.
3000-3999. Special Topics in Rhetoric/Communication Studies.

Advanced courses include:

239. Media Industries.
311. Advanced Public Speaking.
315. Gender and Communication.
316. Advanced Communication Studies.
318. Argumentation and Debate.
321. Intercultural Communication.
322. Native American Oral Traditions.
325. Peer Mentoring in Rhetoric and Communication.
326. American Public Address.
328. Interpersonal Communication.
329. Rhetoric of Social Movements.
330. Ritual Studies.
331. Presidential Campaign Rhetoric.
333. Persuasion: Analyzing Rhetorical Texts.
336. Rhetoric and Citizenship.
480. Independent Study.
489. SYE: Senior Project.
498. SYE: Honors Senior Project.
4000-4999. Special Topics in Rhetoric /Communication Studies.

2.  Secondary Area of Concentration: Theater-Performance

Majors must take three courses from their secondary area of concentration, at least one of which must be an introductory course and at least two of which must be advanced courses. While a few courses appear in both areas of concentration, students are not allowed to “double dip” — that is, all courses must be designated as fulfilling a course requirement in one of the two areas of concentration.

Introductory courses include:

100. Beginning Ballet.
103. Stagecraft.
107. Beginning Acting.
113. Introduction to Performance Studies.
125. Introduction to Dramatic Scripts.
202. Sound for the Stage.
204. Costume History and Construction.
215. Dramatic Texts in Context.
223. Playwriting.
230. Beginning/Intermediate Modern Dance.
235. Beginning/Intermediate Jazz Dance.
3000-3999. Special Topics in Theatre/Performance Studies.

Advanced courses studies include:

270. Collaboration Across the Arts.
303. Stage Lighting.
307. Characterization.
309. Acting Styles.
314. Group Performance.
317. Performing Poetry.
319, 320. Shakespeare.
322. Native American Oral Traditions.
327. Drama By and About Women.
330. Ritual Studies.
332. Directing.
338. Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde.
340. Performance Art.
344. Children’s Theatre in the Schools.
355. Studies in World Dramatic Literature.
437. Contemporary British Theatre. (London)
480. Independent Study.
490.  SYE: Senior Project.
499.  SYE: Honors Senior Project.
4000-4999. Special Topics in Theatre/Performance Studies.

While a few courses appear in both areas of concentration, students are not allowed to “double dip”— that is, all courses must be designated as fulfilling a course requirement in one of the two areas of concentration.

3. Electives

In addition to the courses listed above that fulfill major and minor requirements, the department also offers the following electives that do not count for major or minor credit.

226.    Introduction to Japanese Drama.
480. Independent Study.
 

4. Honors

To graduate with honors, a major must maintain a 3.5 GPA in the department and a 3.0 GPA overall; the major’s senior project proposal must be approved for enrollment in 498/499 SYE: Honors Senior Project; and the student must earn at least a 3.5 in 498/499.