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ENGL1037 - Persuasion
Instructor(s)
Dr Frederick Blumberg
Semester
2019-2020 First Semester
Credits
6.00
Contact Hours per week
3
Form of Assessment
100% coursework
Time
Tuesday , 4:30 pm - 6:20 pm , CPD-LG.09
Friday , 5:30 pm - 6:20 pm , CPD-4.04
Prerequisite
A minimum Level 5 in English Language HKDSE exam, or an equivalent score in another recognized English proficiency test.

 

The course provides an introduction to rhetoric, the study of persuasion. We look at how the field was conceived in classical Greece and Rome, how it figured in English and Western European learning through the Renaissance, and we consider some enduring questions about its nature as we look at examples of essays and speeches designed to sway their listeners. Is rhetoric a discrete art? How does it stand in relation to philosophy and to poetry? How have thinkers imagined the value and risks of eloquence? After touching on these theoretical and historical matters, we will move to a more specific topic within rhetoric and examine texts that address what it means to lie, whether lying can ever be justified, and gradations of truth-telling. We will then look at reflections on poetry as a discourse that has been accused of being constituted by lies and defended as a repository of truth.

Topics
  • theories of persuasion
  • history of rhetoric
  • lying and degrees of truthfulness
  • poetry and rhetoric
Objectives

The course introduces students to the subject of rhetoric, helps them to understand and critique persuasive texts in different modes and genres, and develops their skills of argumentation.

Organisation

This is a lecture course that features discussion sections with teaching assistants.

Assessment

Contribution to discussion: 15%
Midterm paper: 35%
Final paper: 50%

Texts

Readings include works from Plato, Cicero, Augustine, Kant, Shakespeare, Wilde, Shelley, and Keats.

You may find the following texts useful as background:

Timothy A. Borchers, Persuasion in the Media Age 2002

Sean Brierley, The Advertising Handbook 2nd edition 2002

Deborah Cameron, Good to talk? Living and working in a communication culture 2000

Robert Cockcroft and Susan M. Cockcroft, Persuading People 1992

William A. Covino, The Elements of Persuasion 1997

Carl Dennis, Poetry as Persuasion 2001

Stanley Fish, “Rhetoric”, Critical Terms for Literary Study, 2nd edition, Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin eds. 1995

Richard Lanham, “The Rhetorical Ideal of Life,” in The Motives of Eloquence 1976

Dick Leith and George Myerson, The Power of Address: Explorations in Rhetoric 1989

Sam Leith, You Talkin’ to Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama 2012

Greg Myers, Adworlds: Brands, Media, Audiences 1999

Walter Nash, Rhetoric 1989

Brian Vickers, In Defence of Rhetoric 1988

Michael Wilkinson, Advocacy and the Litigation Process in Hong Kong 1991


Instructor(s)
Dr Frederick Blumberg
Semester
2019-2020 First Semester
Credits
6.00
Contact Hours per week
3
Form of Assessment
100% coursework
Time
Tuesday , 4:30 pm - 6:20 pm , CPD-LG.09
Friday , 5:30 pm - 6:20 pm , CPD-4.04
Prerequisite
A minimum Level 5 in English Language HKDSE exam, or an equivalent score in another recognized English proficiency test.