The Rhetorical Tradition: A Graduate-Level Survey of Rhetorical Theory

The Rhetorical Tradition: A Graduate-Level Survey of Rhetorical Theory
Rhetorical Theory is a complex network of concepts and ideas that forms, at best, a tentative whole.

This is the UnTextbook homepage for a doctoral-level (MA/Ph.D.) survey in Rhetorical Theory. At UMN-TC, it is most often offered as WRIT 5776: "The Rhetorical Tradition: Modern Era." This project began as a "living document" in the first version of this class, taught in Fall 2019. My sincerest thanks go out to the following graduate scholars at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, who were integral to constructing the inaugural version of this resource:

Mark Brenden, Katlynne Davis, Stuart Deets, Austin Fleming, Brandi Fuglsby, William Heinze, Jacqueline James, Brittany Knutson, Eduardo Nevarez, Joshua Morrison, Natalie Warren, Ryan Wold, and Jessa Wood.

This site is actively under construction in Fall 2022 as I transition course notes from a variety of other sources into a more consolidated and accessible format. Please forgive broken links and expect frequent changes! Please also note that these documents/sections may be updated over the semesters this course is offered. The documents used to coordinate this course are available at the links below.

Living Documents

Other Important Documents

Please note that the guidance on constructing a reading list for Preliminary Exams has changed. To see these changes, consult the RSTC Graduate Student handbooks linked below. The 2020-21 Handbook provides the previously required Preliminary Exam Reading List for the Rhetorical Theory and History concentration beginning on p.37.  

Course Contents

Below you will find a "table of contents" containing the overall progression of this course. These represent the primary "stage-setting" readings for the topics covered in the secondary readings for the day. Links to the secondary readings can be found in the course syllabus.

Sections without "read-by" dates are not required but students are welcome to peruse them at their leisure. The numbered links next to some sections refer to older courses taught. I will redirect to older course documents where notes are also available – I will remove these links as I transfer the information over into the UnTextbook.

Defining Rhetoric/al Theory

Why? The Purpose/s of Rhetorical Theory

How/What? Reading Strategies and Rhetorical Objects