courses / Undergraduate Courses / Rhetoric of Interpretation

Rhetoric 1A/1B
Undergraduate Courses
010 Intro to Practical Reasoning F13
010 Intro to Practical Reasoning
010 Modern Reason Session A
010 Modern Reason
020  Rhetorical Interpretation
020 Rhetoric of Interpretation Session D
020 Rhetoric of Interpretation
020 Rhetorical Interpretation (Sp 13)
024 Ansel Adams's Fiat Lux and the Visual Rhetoric of Berkeley in the 1960s
024 Arguing with Judge Judy
024 Bad Books and How to Spot Them
024 Decoding the Mysteries of Literature
10 Intro to Practical Reasoning Session A
10 Introduction to Practical Reasoning
103A Approaches and Paradigms in the History of Rhetorical Theory
103A Approaches and Paradigms
103A Are We Not Men?  Classical Rhetoric for Real

 

103A History of Rhet Theory I
103A History of Rhetorical Theory I
103A History of Rhetorical Theory I
103A Introduction to Rhetorical Theory Session A
103B  Rhetoric 103B
103B Approaches and Paradigms in the History of Rhetorical Theory II

 

103B History of Rhetorical Theory II Session D
103B History of Rhetorical Theory II
103B History of Rhetorical Theory II
103B History of Rhetorical Theory II
103B History of Rhetorical Theory Session D
103B Rhetorical Theory II
104 Before and After the Digital
104 The Unconscious in Modern Culture
105T Religious and Moral Alternatives in Greco-Roman Antiquity
105T Rhetoric of Religious Discourse
106 Rhetoric of Historical Discourse
106 Rhetoric of Historical Discourse
106 Rhetoric of Historical Discourse
107 Rhetoric of Scientific Discourse
108 Rhetoric of Philosophical Discourse
109  Aesthetics and Rhetoric
109 Aesthetics and Rhetoric
110  Adv. Argumentative Writing
110 Advanced Argumentation
110 Legal Discourse
112 Rhetoric of Narrative Genres in Non-Literate Societies (Sp 13)
114 
Rhetoric of New Media
114  New Media
114 Rhetoric of Digital Media
114 Rhetoric of New Media
116 Rhetoric, Culture and Society
117   Between Philosophy and Tragedy
117  Between Philosophy and Tragedy
117  Philosophy and Tragedy
118  Advanced Argumentative Writing
118 Theory & Practice of Reading & Interpretation F13
118 Theory and Practice of Reading and Interpretation
118 Undergraduate Seminar on the Theory and Practice of Reading and Interpretation
119  Rhetorical Places
121  Rhetoric of Fiction
121 Rhetoric of Fiction Session A
121 The Rhetoric of Fiction
121 The Rhetoric of Selfhood in the Graphic Novel Session A
122 Rhetoric of Drama
124 Rhetoric of Poetry
124 Rhetoric of Poetry
124 Rhetoric of Poetry
125 Poetry and Poetics
127  Narrating the Nation
127 Narrating the Nation
127 Novel, Society & Politics
128T Rhetoric and Politics of Interviews
129 Rhetoric of Autobiography F13
129 Rhetoric of Autobiography
129AC Rhetoric of Autobiography
130   Special Topics in Film
130  Special Topics in Film
130  Special Topics in Film
130 Adaptations of Female Gothic Horror
130 Hitchcock Adaptations
130 Jane Austen Adaptations
130 Novel Into Film
130 Novel into Film
130 Special Topics in Film
131T Genre in Film and Literature
131T Screening Sex
131T The Western/Film Noir Hybrid
132T ‘Documentary’ Visions
132T Auteur in Film
132T Auteur Theory
132T The Films of Powell & Pressburger
133T  Color Theory
133T Theories of Film
133T Theories of Film
135T American National Identity in Film
135T Performance in Film
135T Selected Topics in Film
135T Selected Topics in Film
135T Special Topics
136 Art and Authorship
138 Rhetoric of Television Criticism
139  Rhetoric of Visual Witnessing
150 Rhetoric of Contemporary Politics
150 Rhetoric of Contemporary Politics
151 Rhetoric of Contact and Conquest
152AC Before the Civil War
152AC Imperial Visions
152AC Race & Order in the New Republic F13
152AC Race & Order in the New Republic
152AC Race and Order in the New Republic
152AC Race and Order in the New Republic
153 American Political Rhetoric
156 Dangerous Fictions
156 Political Fiction in the 18th Century
157A Modern Political Theory
157A Rhetoric of Modern Political Theory
157B Rhetoric of Contemporary Political Theory
159A Great Theorists in Political and Legal Theory
159A Great Theorists in the Rhetoric of Political and Legal Theory
159B Great Themes in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Political and Legal Theory
160 Intro to Rhetoric of Legal Discourse Session D
160 Intro to the Rhetoric of Legal Discourse Session D
160 Intro to the Rhetoric of Legal Discourse
160 Intro to the Rhetoric of Legal Discourse
160 Legal Discourse
164 Rhetoric of Legal Theory
165 Rhetoric of Legal Philosophy F13
165 Rhetoric of Legal Philosophy
166 International Humanitarian Law and the Politics of Protection
166 Practices of Rhetoric, Law and Politics
167 

  Advanced Themes in Legal Theory, Philosophy, Argumentation

167 Advanced Themes in Legal Theory, Philosophy, Argumentation
167 Destiny of Freedom
168 Advanced Themes in Contemporary Law & Legal Discourse
170 Rhetoric of Social Science
171 The Problem of Mass Culture & the Rhetoric of Social Theory
171 The Problem of Mass Culture and the Rhetoric of Social Theory
172 Rhetoric of Social Theory
176  The Matter of Archives
176 The Matter of Archives
182  Rhetoric of Sexual Exchange
182  Sexual Exchange
182 Rhetorics of Sexual Exchange and Sexual Difference
189  Special Topics
189 Theory of the Copy
20 

Introduction to the study of rhetorical interpretation, treating how the action of tropes, figur

20 Rhetorical Interpretation
20 The Rhetoric of Interpretation
200 Rhetoric 200

Instructor Boyarin

Graduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Rhetoric 020: Rhetoric of Interpretation



This is a course on the problems and possibilities of interpretive criticism. Our focus will be on the interpretive criticism of film and the detailed analysis of film style. Our working definition of interpretive criticism is found in John Gibbs and Douglas Pyle’s introduction to Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film:

Interpretive critics]m is, or has the possibility to be, a kind of conversation about what we find in and what we make of films, and it should be governed by a process that can be evoked by using the much disparaged words of F.R. Leavis: ‘This is so, isn’t it?’/ ‘Yes. But. . .’ . The ‘Yes, but . . .’, often left out of critical accounts of Leavis’s work, is crucial. In itself the question (‘This is so, isn’t it?) can seem too peremptory, demanding assent from a speaker/writer who assumes his own authority. Even ‘Yes, but . . .’ may be too limiting: the implicit question, ‘This is so, isn’t it?’ should also be able to elicit the response, ‘No, because . . .’ .

This is to suggest that processes of argument and persuasion are involved, rather than merely the demonstration of a position: that what I have found in the film is not simply my view but represents an understanding capable of being shared or challenged and, in the process, enhanced, re-worked or replaced. Interpretation developed through reasoned argument is therefore not simply ‘subjectove’ or rooted in the tastes of an individual or group but, in establishing shared understanding, becomes a form of knowledge. It implies that a basis for dialogue and mutual understanding exists . . . (3-4)

Among the questions to be considered in this course are:

1. To what extent is interpretive criticism possible, given the diversity of cultural codes, forces and perspectives?

2. What can/should be the relationship between interpretive criticism and theory?

3. To what degree can rooting interpretation in the details of film help to address the preceding questions?

We will read essays by critics and theorists who have adopted a variety of positions regarding interpretive criticism. Among them will be Susan Sontag, David Bordwell, Noel Carroll, Laura Mulvey, Miriam Hansen, Stanley Kaufmann, Stanley Cavell, V.F. Perkins, Adrian Martin, Andrew Klevan, and Stephen Mulhall.

There will be a variety of writing exercises including short essays and a final paper.

Required Reading

Course Reader.