Rhetoric, Culture and Society – The Gilded Age
116 | CCN: 77892
Instructor: Felipe Gutterriez
Date / Time: TuTh 1230-2P, 109 DWINELLE
Rhetoric 116 is concerned with the analysis of rhetorical practice in the context of social and cultural change with particular reference to the historical transition from pre-industrial to industrial society in the west. The focus of this particular course is American society during the Gilded Age. Historians differ over the precise span of this period, but for our purposes the Gilded Age runs roughly from 1865-1901. In this period the United States changed from a rural, agricultural, and traditional society to an urban, industrial, and capitalist nation. Changes in business organization, the rise of the metropolis, southern reconstruction, western expansion, new systems of transportation and communication, bureaucratization, and professionalization created a variety of problems at all levels of society. Adjusting to these changes, and coping with the problems of national and personal identity that accompanied them, involved a variety of discursive forms and symbolic representations that we will examine.
There is a substantial amount of reading in this course. You must come to class having read the required readings. Postings on the readings for each week will be required. There will be two exams in this class. Exams will include both an in-class midterm and a take-home essay. Attendance is required.