Communication and Culture | Research Seminar in Rhetoric and Public Culture (Topic: Rhetorical Genealogy of Political Myth)
C705 | 29760 | Ivie, R.

W, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM, C2 272

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

Instructor: Robert Ivie
Office: C2 247
Phone: 855-5467
Instructor Website:

As a research seminar, this course is organized around the original
research undertaken by the students on the subject of political myth
and its rhetorical genealogy.  The first few weeks will be devoted
to discussing some common readings on genealogy as a mode of
cultural and rhetorical critique and myth as a constitutive property
of political culture.  Student projects will then become the focus
of class discussions.  Each student will outline a research project
that may take a number of different directions.  For example, some
students may wish to undertake a genealogical critique of a given
mythic formation (such as American exceptionalism) that is operative
in a problematic discourse of national identity, homelessness,
racism, etc.  Other projects may pursue a theoretical focus, such as
critically reviewing the scholarship on genealogy from the
perspective of applying it to myth studies.  Another option is to
critically review the scholarship on a given political myth (in a
historical and/or contemporary context) from the perspective of
genealogy.  There is no restriction on topic or approach so long as
it addresses the genealogy of political myth.  Students will share
their paper proposal, an early draft, and a final draft with the
class to facilitate a productive exchange of viewpoints in class
meetings.  Students will also facilitate class discussion by
suggesting and providing access to one or two readings related to
their research projects. The final paper should be the length and
format of a typical journal article or book chapter in the student’s
primary field of study.  Initial readings in the course will be
selected from the likes of Michel Foucault, Hayden White, Rene
Girard, Joseph Mali, Richard Hughes, Stephen Daniel, Mircea Eliade,
Northrop Frye, Bruce Lincoln, Carl Jung, Richard Slotkin, and Janice
Rushing and Thomas Frentz.  I will also share with the class my
current project in genealogical critique, called “hunt the devil,”
which critically examines origins of the mythic projection of evil
in the age of terror.