Communication and Culture | Public Advocacy
C406 | 14939 | Calloway-Thomas
Class Number: 14939
MW 11:15 AM-12:30 PM
Instructor: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas
Office: Mottier 219
On board the ship Arbella, en route to America in 1630, John
Winthrop eloquently defined the dialogic terms for the building of
community. Said he, “We must delight in each other, make others’
conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and
suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and
community. . . as members of the same body.” Later, however,
dissidents Roger Williams and Anne Hutchison would contest
Winthrop’s notion of community.
C406 is an introduction to the role of “discourse” in creating,
promoting, and sustaining community. Students will investigate and
understand how a dynamic confrontation with ideas and audiences
shaped North American culture. A primary goal of the course is to
develop a rhetorical perspective from which students can identify,
analyze, interpret and evaluate the role of persuasion in directing
Americans’ communal efforts and actions.
Students will study such speakers as Patrick Henry fighting to keep
his beloved Virginia from joining the proposed Federal government,
Susan B. Anthony demanding equal rights for women, Frederick
Douglass staunchly defending the rights of slaves, and others, as
examples of those who form a part of our collective past. Cartoons,
handbills and broadsides will also be examined as instruments of
By the end of the semester students should be able to:
1. Understand the social and political contexts that constitute the
backdrop for public discourse in the United States from 1740 to the
2. Develop an ability to analyze and evaluate rhetorical messages as
forces in society.
3. Become a more critical consumer and producer of public discourse.
James R. Andrews and David Zarefsky (Eds.). American Voices:
Significant Speeches in American History, 1640-1945. New York:
James R. Andrews & David Zarefsky (Eds.). Contemporary American
Voices: Significant Speeches in American History, 1945-Present New
York: Longman, 1992.