Communication and Culture | Rhetorical Critiques of War (Topic: U.S. War Propaganda)
C616 | 26975 | Ivie, R.

M, 3:00 PM-5:30 PM, C2 272

Meets with CULS-C 701 and AMST-G 751
Open to Graduates Only!

Instructor: Robert Ivie
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 203
Phone: 855-5467
Instructor Website:

The general purpose of the course is to engage discourses of war
from a rhetorical perspective and as a problem of political
culture.  The course focuses this semester on the U.S. experience
with propaganda in the age of total war.  War propaganda, as defined
by Nicholas Jackson O’ Shaughnessy, is taken to be a
dehumanizing “fantasy of enmity, where we seek self-definition
through constructing our antithesis.”  The course conceptualizes the
role of rhetoric/metaphor, myth/narrative, and symbol/ritual in
expressions of the hostile imagination, and it examines regimes of
propaganda from World War I through the current Terror War.

Books relevant to the course include, for example, Nicholas Jackson
O’Shaughnessy, Politics and Propaganda:  Weapons of Mass Seduction
(Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 2004); J. Michael
Sproule, Propaganda and Democracy:  The American Experience of Media
and Mass Persuasion (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Philip M.
Taylor, Munitions of the Mind:  A History of Propaganda from the
Ancient World to the Present Day, 3rd ed. (Manchester University
Press, 2003); Robin Andersen, A Century of Media, A Century of War
(Peter Lang, 2006).  Specific titles will be selected for course
adoption at a later date, along with additional articles.

Students will write a research paper for the course.