Course Schedule

The following schedule is a tentative day-by-day plan for the semester. We may well find that we fall behind, and there is time built into the schedule to compensate. So revisions will be announced in class and you are responsible for such announcements.


Calendar Schedule

January 27, 29

February 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26

March 3, 5, 10, 12, 24, 26, 31

April 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30

May 5, 7, 12

Final exam

Last updated: January 20, 2015

Daily Schedule
Online Material
Study Aids
Course Policies
Date Topic

Do an Abstract #
Prepare for Class Discussion *

In Class Discussion Leaders
Jan 27

A Introduction to Course

B. Criticizing Public Discourse


Working with speeches


Read: R&K, pp. 1-22; and
"Guiding Your Inquiry into Public Addresses"

Prepare and Watch: Obama State of the Union Speech #*

Discussion: Obama, State of the Union, 2015


C. Public Leadership   Lecture: Rhetoric and Public Leadership
I. The Century Opens: 1900-1920
Feb 3 A. The Historical Moment


Lecture: The Century Opens, 1900-1920

  • Industrial dislocation
  • Human Rights
  • Age of Imperialism
B. Radical Voices

Read: Industrialization and Reform
View: Jacob Riis Photos
Read: Upton Sinclair, The Jungle c. 14

Background: Radical Voices


Prepare: Eugene V. Debs, RK, pp. 614-18 #*
Prepare: Mother Jones, RK, pp. 619-26 #*
Prepare: Emma Goldman, "Speech to the Jury" #*

Discussion: Debs, Jones, Goldman  
C. Reform Voices: Progressivism

Read: The Progressive Era and Woodrow Wilson and the Election of 1912

Background: Progressive movement


1. Reform Voices

Read: David Graham Phillips, "The Treason of the Senate."

Prepare: Theodore Roosevelt, Man with a Muckrake, RK, pp. 586-95 #*

Discussion: Roosevelt Speech


2. The Political Turn

Prepare: Wilson's Inaugural, RK, pp. 596-600 #*

Discussion: Wilson Inaugural

D. Suffrage Movement


Background: Suffrage Movement



Read: Commentaries only, RK, pp. 627-655
Prepare: Carrie Chapman Catt, RK, 656-70 #*

Discussion: Catt  
E. American Imperialism Read: World War I

Background: US Role in the World

17   Abstract: Albert Beveridge, RK, pp. 672-78. #
Abstract: William Jennings Bryan, RK, pp. 679-89 #
Prepare: The League of Nations Debate, RK, pp. 700-12 #*
Discussion: League of Nations Debate  
II. The Years of Tumult: 1920-45
17 A. Historical Context



Lecture: The Years of Tumult

  • Great Depression
  • Rise of Facism
B. The New Deal Read: Depression and FDR

Background: New Deal Rhetorical Form


1. FDR takes Charge

Prepare(Watch): Franklin Roosevelt's First Inaugural, RK, pp. 747-51 #*
Prepare (Listen):  First Fireside Chat, RK, pp. 752-55 #*

Discussion: Roosevelt's First Inaugural and Fireside Chat TBA
2. Roosevelt's Critics
Prepare (watch): Huey Long, "Share the Wealth #*
Abstract (watch): Father Charles Coughlin #
Discussion: Huey Long
C. World War II Read: Prelude to World War II and Pearl Harbor and Mobilization

Background: Motivating War on Facism

24   Prepare (listen): FDR's Arsenal of Democracy, RK, pp. 713-22 #*
Prepare (watch): FDR's Declaration of War, RK, pp. 730-32 #*
Discussion: FDR and the road to War TBA
26   Prepare (watch): "Prelude to War " #* Discussion: Prelude to War
    Review for Exam  
Mar 3 Mid-term Exam 1 (Snow day, if we lose a day before the exam, Mar;ch 5)
III. The Post War Years: 1945-90
5 A. Historical Context

Read: Breakdown of postwar peace
Read: The "Second Cold War"

Lecture: The Post War Years
  • The Cold War
  • Era of Social Movements
B. The Cold War  

Background: Resources of Cold War Rhetoric

1. The beginnings

Prepare (listen): Winston Churchill, RK, pp. 774-78 #*
Prepare (listen): Harry S. Truman, "The Truman Doctrine" #*

Discussion: Establishing the Cold War TBA

Background: Historical Stages of the Cold War

2. Waging the Cold War

Prepare: Duck and Cover #*
Abstract: Dulles, RK, pp. 779-86 #
Prepare (watch): Kennedy, RK, pp. 787-90 #*
Prepare: McGovern, RK, pp. 791-95 #*

Discussion: Waging Cold War TBA

Background: Second Cold War

3. Second Cold War
Prepare (watch): Ronald Reagan, "The Evil Empire," RK, 796-803 #* Discussion: Reagan's speech

C. The Age of Social Movements



Background: Rhetoric of the Movements of the 1960s


1. Civil Rights

Read: African American Civil Rights Movement

Background: Civil Rights

Prepare: Martin Luther King, "Speech at Holt Street" #*
Prepare (view): Martin Luther King, "I Have a Dream," RK, 837-43 #*
Discussion: King TBA
2. Black Nationalism

Background: Black Nationalism

31   Prepare (listen): Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet" in Detroit #* Discussion: Malcolm TBA
3. Feminism

Background: Feminism

Apr 2  

Prepare: "Men and Violence" #*
Steinem and Schlafaley, RK, pp. 864-77

Discussion: Feminism and ERA TBA
4. Gay Rights

Background: Gay Rights

7   Prepare: Milk #* Discussion: Milk TBA
  Review for Exam  
9 Mid-term Exam 2 (Snow day, if we lose a day before the exam, April 14)
IV. End of the Century: 1980-2008
14 A. Historical Context  

Lecture: End Of the Century

  • Conservative Coalition
  • Globalization
B. Rise of Conservatism  

Background: Rise of Conservatism

16   Abstract (view): Reagan, A Time for Choosing, RK, pp. 756-66#
Prepare (view): Reagan's First Inaugural Address, RK, pp. 767-772 #*
Discussion: Reagan's First Inaugural


C. Globalization & 9/11  

Background: Rhetoric of Globalization


Prepare and watch: Al Gore, Nobel Lecture, 2007 #*

Discussion: Gore's Campaign


Background: 9/11: Motivating response


Prepare and watch: George W. Bush, Statement in Florida #*; Statement in Louisiana #*; and Speech To Congress, RK, pp. 804-810 #*

Discussion: 9/11


28 D. Justifying War: Neo-Conservatism & the Case for Iraq Read: Just War and The National Security Strategy of the United States, esp. c. 5 #*

Background: Justification for War and Just War Doctrine

30   Prepare (watch from 41:20 into speech): Bush 2003 State of Union, #*
Prepare (watch) Powell, Speech to United Nations #*
Discussion: Justifying War TBA
V. The New Century
May 5 A. Historical Context   Lecture: The Agenda for the 21st century  
7   Watch: ABC on Rev. Wright
(watch): Obama, Philadelphia Speech #*
Prepare (watch): Election Night Speech #*

Discussion: 2008 Obama Campaign

12   Prepare (watch): Obama, Second Inaugural #* Discussion: Obama Coalition  
    Review for Final  


    Final Exam