RHETORIC 116, Introduction to Critique and Critical Theory
Summer, 2021, University of California at Berkeley, Department of RhetoricInstructor: Dale Carrico, email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
1-3.45 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, July 6 through August 13, in Session D (Remote Instruction)
Rough Basis for Grade: Attendance/Participation, 20%; Reading Responses, 15%; Co-Facilitation/In-Class Presentation, 15%; Final Paper/Project, 5-6pp., 50%.
Analysis of rhetorical practice in the context of social and cultural change with particular reference to the historical transition from pre-industrial to industrial society in the west.
What does it mean to think critically and why is this valuable? It is commonplace to equate “being critical” of an argument, a form, or a person with being dismissive of them. But what if being critical is a way of engaging with ideas and understanding people more deeply, more responsibly, or more creatively? What is the purpose of critique and do critics have a crucial function in a society or a crisis? What is the formal discipline of "Critical Theory" and why is so much scholarly work shaped by its preoccupations and terms? In this course we will explore histories and practices of critique and criticism. We will draw from the tradition of rhetoric to elaborate and to workshop practical skills in logical argument, textual interpretation, conflict resolution, and public debate. We will consider the ways critique has operated across the humanities and social sciences historically, as well as the ways critique continues to be mobilized in politics, art making, social resistance, personal and public life.
SKILL SET: Key Definitions
 Rhetoric is the facilitation of efficacious discourse as well as an ongoing inquiry into the terms on the basis of which discourse comes to seem efficacious or not. Rhetoric is concerned with the occasional, interested, and figurative dimensions of discourse.
 A text is an event experienced as arising from intention, offered up to the hearing of an audience, and obligating a responsiveness equal to it.
 An argument is a claim supported by reasons and/or evidence.
 Critique is the systematic examination, elaboration, and evaluation of discourse.
SKILL SET: Aristotelian rhetoric: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
SKILL SET: The literal as conventional, the figurative as deviant; Figures, Tropes, Schemes; Four Master Tropes
1. Formulate a Strong Thesis, 2. Define Your Terms, 3, Substantiate/Contextualize, 4, Anticipate Objections