Spring Offerings 2022

RHET: 2055 Persuasion and Advocacy
Takis Poulakos
W 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This course focuses on understanding how businesses and communities use rhetoric to persuade and advocate. Students build their persuasive and advocacy skills by speaking as professionals in a business setting and as advocates in a communal setting.

RHET: 2065 Persuading Different Audiences
Joseph Steinitz
TTH 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

This course develops skills of persuasion in professional contexts, including skills of rhetorical flexibility, recognizing and pursuing opportunities, identifying and fostering collaborative relationships, planning and executing projects, and networking. Students learn how to present themselves authentically and authoritatively in professional situations (in interviews, in internships, in graduate school, on the job).  Students design professional aspirations and use course projects to present a professional identity in communal, business, and social media settings.

RHET: 2070 Persuasive Stories: The Rhetoric of Harry Potter
Cassandra Bausman
TTH 9:30 am to 10:45 am

This course explores the potent legacy of Harry Potter, focusing on how the Potter texts and paratexts are interpreted, referenced, and used to ask complex socio-political questions about race, gender, and sexual identities, ethics, social justice, toxic relationships, youth agency and resistance, definitions of heroism, racism and prejudice, class privilege, governmental and journalistic abuses, transphobia, celebrity, and systems and practices of education. The course culminates in a multimodal project.

RHET: 2085 Speaking Skills
Takis Poulakos
T 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This course helps students become confident and effective speakers. Assignments include formal presentations and shorter, informal speaking activities. Peer and instructor feedback helps students to improve the impression they create as speakers. Strengths developed include earning credibility, capturing and maintaining audience interest, and coming across as personable, professional, and confident.

RHET: 2090 Conversation Practicum
Ben Hassman and Sonja Mayrhofer

TTH 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm (Two Sections)
This course promotes intercultural conversation with international students in small groups or pairs. Readings, classroom discussions, and in-class training develop cultural competence and related skills.

RHET/SJUS: 2135 Rhetoric of Diversity & Inclusion: The Language of (Dis)ability
Jennifer Janechek
ARR/ONLINE (Two Sections)

Students explore how language is at the root of oppression while also being a powerful tool for social justice. Assignments encourage students to examine the roles of rhetoric in constructing diversity and examine how different bodies and minds are ascribed value based on their alignment with cultural attitudes toward normalcy, ability, race, gender, sexuality, and more. Students use written, spoken, and/or signed language and digital forms of expression to create a more inclusive environment in and beyond the classroom.

RHET:3005 Narratives of the Midwest
Wayne Anderson
MW 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

This course provides students with skills to analyze portrayals of the Midwest and tell their own unique Midwestern stories. Assignments include a series of blog posts, a podcast about a depiction of the Midwest in popular media, and a final video essay based on research and personal experiences.

RHET:3009 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Iris Frost
MW 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

This course explores strategies of successful negotiation across a wide range of conflict situations; keys to success in peacefully resolving conflicts; personal, professional, legal, and political negotiations; apologizing; mediation as alternative to litigation; analysis of conflict characteristics to determine optimal negotiation strategies; development of negotiation interpersonal skills; and practice negotiating under real-world scenarios. 

RHET:3350 Gaming (the) Systems
Justin Cosner
TTH 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Knowing that Rhetoric is the art and study of persuasion and meaning making, students examine how games—one of the newest and most important forms of modern media—participate in these rhetorical practices. Students play, discuss, and read about games and how games interact with the cultural discourses surrounding us on their way toward crafting their own rhetorical contributions to the world of games and gaming media. Students play small, indie titles and a few major games as they produce an argumentative article, a game review, a video blog, and finally a game itself. This course is beginner friendly—no prior knowledge of games or design programs is required.

RHET/POLI/SJUS: 3560 Public Policy and Persuasion 
Carrie Schuettpelz

Students build their rhetorical skill set in policy analysis, formation, and communication through a social justice lens. The course entails engagement in service-learning projects in one Iowa community where work done directly impacts that community’s ability to make changes; the development of effective writing and oral presentation styles that can be adapted to different audiences; and a focus on homelessness policy using social policy and social justice concepts to explore work of policy makers who have “right-sized” existing systems to serve communities in crisis and propose solutions to systemic problems that disadvantage marginalized populations. 

RHET: 3700 Advocacy and Sustainability
Will Jennings
TTH 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm 

This course explores how sustainable approaches to meeting critical social needs (food, water, shelter, air, work) have influenced food systems, policies on development, environmental problems, social justice, and policy both local and global in scope. Readings and field research activities lead to the creation of work of multimodal advocacy.