Class notes

is the text/map

“rhetorically responsive” ?

Is it ethical in its representation of Syracuse people ? spaces?

Does it reflect “thinking/doing” 

the logic of the photoblog focuses on the effects and concatenations of our local ecologies, can also engage in processes and encounters, not learning by doing but thinking/doing

elements of a rhetorical situation bleed

a rhetorical pedagogy must do more than decoding,

exigence – always external, something we respond to

the encounter triggers the exigence

must use Reynolds and Mathieu for flashpoints

Unit 3 Project

unit 3: City Blog—Encountering a City; Engaging a Public Rhetoric

“When we approach a rhetoric that does indeed engage with the living, hooking into the processes that are already in play, then we find ourselves theorizing rhetorical publicness”

(Jenny Edbauer-Rice “Unframing Models of Public Distribution: From Rhetorical Situation to Rhetorical Ecologies” 23).


you will compose a weblog or a google map devoted to a visual argument about the city of Syracuse and your relationship to it.


What might it mean to “encounter” Syracuse, to engage with its spaces and people, its histories and artifacts? What might it mean for you specifically, a University undergraduate, geographically separate from but surrounded by the city, to step out of your “habitual pathways”[1] in order to explore the local community? And why might it matter?

That, in essence, is the argument you will make in your weblog or map: why it matters for you—and others here on the hill— to encounter the city. You will use all of the affordances of a weblog or google map to make your argument: images, videos, links to relevant stories and sites, interviews (textual or audio), as well as the writing you produce to narrate and analyze and argue.

I think it goes without saying that over the next five weeks you will, in the words of Jenny Edbauer-Rice, “track the city in what we might recognize as a kind of local-research-in-the-wild” (“Unframing…” 22). I won’t expect you to visit every part of the city, however; we’ll spend time in the first week establishing manageable goals for the project.

Encounters with others require an ethical stance, and we will engage with the ethics of representing the city—its spaces and residents —during the unit.

[1] A term used by Composition scholar Nedra Reynolds in her book Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference to describe the patterns of movement that shape our encounters with spaces—the ways we typically and habitually and often unselfconsciously make our way from place to place.


Pick two of the following four relationships between rhetoric and ethics. For your exam, write two short essays (1000-3000 words) that detail your exploration of the relationships, through assigned texts in the course. (You may add additional texts; please provide links or citations to them.) Use paraphrase and summary as much as possible; quotation only when it shows something vivid. Use citations and in-text references to show where in a text you got your ideas.


  1. Rhetoric’s role in pursuing truth, telling lies, or promoting reasoned collective judgment/whose truth, whose reason, and whose collective
  2. Rhetoric, language, moral character/linguistic imperialism
  3. Rhetoric, character, delivery, and the “ideal body”
  4. Technologies, intellectual engagement, community vitality/digital culture

Rhetoric, Language, moral character/linguistic imperialism: 

Lorde A Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Masters House

Baldwin “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? – Linguistic Imperialism/ Language

English Only and U.S. College Composition.” -linguistic imperialism/ delivery/ moral character 

Burke, Kenneth. “The Rhetoric of Hitler’s “Battle.’ -Moral Character/ linguistic imperialism 

Katz, Stephen. “The Ethic of Expediency: Classical Rhetoric, Technology, and the Holocaust. (also could be used for ideal body)


Rhetoric, Character, delivery, and the “Ideal Body” :

Five cannons of rhetoric -delivery

Rhetoric, as an art, has long been divided into five major categories or “canons”:

  1. Invention
  2. Arrangement
  3. Style
  4. Memory
  5. Delivery

Hitler texts- memos/ style/ ideal body/ delivery Burke

Lorde, A Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Masters House, -Ideal Bodies (black, woman, lesbians), people that frame her as ideal body could be limited in their inclusion of her

Alexander, Jonathan. Literacy, Sexuality, Pedagogy: Theory and Practice for Composition Studies. – Heteronormative culture, pedagogy, Ideal Bodies, rhetorics- writing classes, teaching, certain words, binary, constrains people to fit into a specific category, boy/girl

The White Man in That Photo”, ethics of absence, Character, delivery, ideal body

Brown ‘hospitality’ makes systems and problems Ideal for communication  

Due Dec. 1 as a Word document attached to email to me

Grading criteria: How specifically you’re working with the texts; how comprehensively you’ve surveyed the course texts; how critically and creatively you’re thinking about the materials and the issues. You may combine two of the above four sets of issues into a single essay, if you think they work well together for whatever thesis you’re pursuing. You’ll need evidence for that thesis (mainly from the texts?), and you shouldn’t omit any counterevidence you encounter.


WRT 413: Class Discussion

Review your notes from the October 20 class, and write a blog post that reflects on and provides greater detail for one useful aspect of the class discussion.

Rhetoric and Ethics

Rhetoric of speechwriter: delivery/style/ representation/ proven individual (ethos) # proving oneself Knowledge/skills


Citation:  Quotation-quote as little as possible

paraphrase: restate quotation in your own words , patchwriting, summary

MLA: humanities quotes, summary, discursive originality

Conception of originality- subject matter, resources of invention, rhetorical virtuosity

Isocrates develops his own ethos for writing

Summarizing – only the parts you understand, examples, paragraph to paragraph