seminar will cover issues in both individual and public discourse. For
the former, students will have an opportunity to hone rhetorical skills
in a chosen format -- speaking, presenting, moderating or production of
media -- and for the latter, we will explore the evolving nature of
discourse in the networked public sphere, from "electronic town halls"
to Wikipedia to anonymous and identified commenting. Some of our
questions: What roles do and should intermediaries play in setting our
topical agendas and shaping conversations around them? What impact does
and can money have in influencing opinion on a large scale? What new
modalities exist to facilitate conversation and closure among parties
who disagree in good faith? Should advocates and agents be treated the
same as those who claim to be speaking for themselves? Are there ways
to identify and mitigate discourse grounded in bad faith, a.k.a.
By application. Possible to fulfill the Written Work Requirement.