Communication and Culture | Productive Criticism of Political Rhetoric
C505 | 1095 | Robert Ivie

Purpose of the Course

The course takes as its theme the problem of the scapegoat in public
culture. Our aim is to critique tragic constructions of political
discourse which, by fostering

alienation and victimization, undermine democratic culture. We adopt
Kenneth Burke's dramatistic perspective and comic attitude as our
principal heuristic engaging threatening caricatures of the Other,
including problematic representations of race, class, ethnicity, sex,
gender, religion, nationality, ideology, or other marks of identity
and difference.


In addition to a number of essays of rhetorical criticism, readings
include Kenneth Burke, Attitudes Toward History, 3rd ed. (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1984)l Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy
of Literary Form, 3rd ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press,
1974); Kenneth Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1969); Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World:
Mischief, Myth, and Art (New York: North Point Press, 1998).


The major writing assignment for the course is an original work of
rhetorical criticism on a subject of the studentís choice as it
relates to the problem of scapegoating.

Robert L. Ivie, Professor and  Department Chair

Department of Communication and Culture

Mottier Hall, 1790 East Tenth Street

Indiana University, Bloomington 47405-9700