RHE 309K: Course Description
Though RHE 309K is organized around a particular topic, it is first and foremost a course in rhetorical analysis and argument. Rhetoric is a lens that can be used to analyze any topic, and RHE 309K should call attention both to rhetoric as a lens (looking "at" rhetoric) and a topic viewed through the lens (looking "through" rhetoric). The course is not intended to grant students mastery over a topic or over rhetoric itself, but rather to place students in an ongoing conversation about a particular topic and to give them the opportunity and the skills to listen, to analyze, and to participate in this conversation.
In RHE 306, the instructor maintains a daily in-class conversation on a specific controversy, largely driven by the First Year Forum Text and other tributary arguments, while each student chooses a controversy to work with throughout the semester. The purpose of RHE 306 is to help students develop a "portable" analytic and argumentative skill set with which to understand the positions within a controversy, to rhetorically analyze these various positions, and ultimately to advocate for a particular position within that controversy.
RHE 309K differs from RHE 306, specifically, in that it aims to bring the instructor's chosen topic and the student's own writing together in a fuller discussion of a single topic or context. RHE 309K reintroduces and further develops the skill set inaugurated in RHE 306, while carrying on a more in-depth discussion about a specific issue or topic through class discussion and the students' own writing over the course of a semester.