• The Craft of Writing

    R1A - 001 | CCN: 29847

    Art as Rhetorical Resistance

    Instructor: Bessie Young

    4 Units

    Driving along the Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland, you will come across a mural, spanning three stories, of a smiling young man. A blue chain, broken in half, frames his face. Across the bottom of the mural reads: Bobby Sands MP. This mural serves as a reminder – and reassertion – of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike, in which ten prisoners in Belfast’s Maze Prison died, including Bobby Sands. “Our revenge,” Bobby Sands explained, “will be the laughter of our children.” This course will consider how art can be a form of rhetorical resistance. Through case analyses of the 2013 Gezi Park Protests and the 2013 Pelican Bay Protest, students will apply the writings of critical theorists such as Derrida, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Freud, Bergson, Austin, and Sontag to real-world examples of resistance. These case studies will provide a foundation for students to explore the role of the body, humor, and photography in acts of protest and the intersecting rhetorical strategies deployed by these modes.


    As the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement, this course will support students in improving critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Assignments will ask students to successfully integrate analysis of case studies, texts, and images; develop strong arguments; and engage in repeated revisions. The course will require a high level of participation in critical discussion guided by close readings of texts and engagement in problem-based learning activities.