240G - 003 | CCN: 23133

Rhetorical Theory

Instructor: James I. Porter, Ramona Naddaff,

4 Units

Inquiries into the self, its nature, its possibilities, and its limits are a mainstay of contemporary theoretical, cultural, and political thought. Historical perspectives from antiquity onward are capable of challenging and enriching this kind of inquiry. The aim of this interdisciplinary graduate seminar is to investigate changing theories and practices of the self between antiquity and the present, while encouraging participants from both the humanities and social sciences to develop lines of research that meet their individualprograms of study.

The format of the seminar will be unusual. Conceived as an extended workshop where collaborative thinking is valued, the seminar will be organized around a series of distinguished guest speakers who have made strong contributions to the study of the self in a wide range of fields. Each invited guest will lead a seminar session based on a selection of his or her own work (published or unpublished) and accompanied by supporting primary and secondary readings.

During the week prior to each visit, the seminar will be devoted to extensive discussions of the materials and the problems raised by each presenter’s topic and readings. Students will have the unique opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and to engage closely with some of the leading scholars in the humanities today.

Seminar guests will include A. A. Long (Classics and Philosophy, Berkeley), Jonathan Lear (Committee on Social Thought and Philosophy, University of Chicago), Brooke Holmes (Classics, Princeton), Carolyn Walker Bynum (Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, emerita), Sara Magrin (Classics and Philosophy, Berkeley), and Galen Strawson (Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin).

Requirements: Bi-weekly blog postings in response to the readings, in-class presentations, and a final research paper.

Enrollment is limited to 20 students. This course fulfills the elective requirement (CT290) for the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.

For Fall 2016 only, this course will complete the RH200 requirement for Rhetoric graduate students. All other students should enroll in the course as a 240G. This seminar will fulfill only one of the following requirements: RH200, RH240G or CT 290.