Communication and Culture | Culture, Identity, and the Rhetoric of Place (Topic: The Rhetoric of Architecture)
C425 | 22449 | Smith, C.

TuTh, 1:00 PM-2:15 PM, Location: TBA

Fulfills COLL A&H Requirement

Instructor: Cynthia D. Smith
Office: Mottier Hall 212
Phone: 855-5307

This class provides an introduction to the study of the built
environment from a rhetorical perspective. The course explores the
persuasive dimensions of places and spaces built by human beings. It
examines how buildings, theme parks, monuments, housing
developments, museums, and shopping malls are the product of
strategic communication choices designed to influence how we think
and behave. Further, it examines the implications of those choices
for human thought and behavior.

At the end of this course, you should be able to

1. recognize that architecture is an inherently rhetorical process
and that the built environment is the product of human choices,
persuasive efforts, socioeconomic forces, and media coverage

2. understand how architecture as rhetoric is similar to and differs
from more traditionally-studied forms of rhetoric, such as public

3. identify and understand the elements of a given rhetorical
situation to which a particular form of architecture is a response

4. understand the most frequently used contemporary critical
approaches to the study of architecture and to evaluate their
strengths and weaknesses

5. recognize the structural and symbolic components of particular
forms of architecture and understand how those components operate to
shape culture and to influence human thought and behavior

6. appreciate and reflect on the complexity of decisions surrounding
the construction of architectural projects (particularly memorial
architecture and domestic architecture)

7. analyze the rhetoric of particular architectural forms,
discussing the implications of those forms for human beings and the
means by which those forms strategically communicate.

Final grades in C425 are determined based on your performance on a
midterm and final exam, three critical essays, and your written
responses to discussion questions about course readings.