COMM 4446/5446:01 Social Protest: Performance and Rhetorical

Fall 2016 2:00PM 03:15pm Tu/Th Lang 345

UNDER CONSTRUCTION last updated July 2016

Instructor: Catherine H. Palczewski, Ph.D. Office: Lang Hall 341
Office hours:
If these times do not work, feel free to call or email to make an appointment.
Office Phone: 273-2714 Mailbox: Lang Hall 326 e-mail:


This syllabus would not be possible without the assistance of Karen Mitchell, who also teaches this course at UNI. Faculty at UNI and other universities also have shared their ideas, assignments and syllabi, and I thank them for their help: Leah White, Jennifer Potter, Dan Brouwer, Francesca Soans, and Valeria Fabj. This syllabus is better because of them. Professor Frank Leon Roberts's #Formation syllabus was also an essential resource.

Description: As sociologist James M. Jasper explains in The Art of Moral Protest (1997), "No matter who the audience, protest groups appeal to it through rhetorical framing. They try to define issues, appeal to underlying values, link to positive and negative affects and symbols, spread new information and points of view. Not all their messages are purveyed by words. Actions and the choice of tactics send all sorts of signals; they tell an outsider as much about a group as its explicit arguments do. Cultural persuasion also takes place through organizational forms which are themselves a form of tactic" (p. 242).

This course will introduce you to roles rhetoric and performance play in social protest. Pedagogically, the class will be structured around a discussion format. Occasional lectures will be presented, but it will always be the students' responsibility to complete the assigned readings prior to class. "Complete" means that you will be able to answer direct questions about the readings and their applications quickly and thoroughly. This means that you should take notes as you read.

Goals: By the end of the semester you will be able to:

  • Describe the limits and possibilities of collective action.

  • Analyze how protest and counter-protest interact (e.g., explore reactionary protest actions meant to maintain the status quo, pro- and anti-movements, how sustained protest action must respond to arguments against it).

  • Articulate a range of rhetoric and performance theories of protest including carnivalesque or dramatism, and controversy or counterpublic theories.

  • Conduct a study (through written analysis and/or staged performance) of an act of social protest, employing primary sources in order to develop one's analytic abilities.

  • Explore the role of digital technology in social protest.


  • RRSP: Morris III, Charles E. and Stephen H. Browne, eds. Readings on the Rhetoric of Social Protest. 3rd ed. State College, PA: Strata, 2013. Print.
  • RRP: Gencarella, Stephen Olbrys and Phaedra C. Pezzullo, eds. Readings on Rhetoric and Performance. State College, PA: Strata, 2010. Print.
  • resources linked to the syllabus and located in eLearning

General Information: See my website, at This site includes my late policy, the university accommodation policy, the university plagiarism policy, as well as paper format descriptions -- basically Cate's rules for survival. You should really take the time to read this.

Interaction Expectations: Lively debate, discussion, and disagreement on issues are encouraged in class. For this to be productive, respect for other people, their opinions, and their experiences is essential. The most productive way to disagree with another is to say, “I disagree with you because…” and explain and justify your position. Although everyone is entitled to her/his opinion, the reality is that some opinions are better supported and more reasonable than other opinions; thus, be able to explain why you hold the opinion you do and why you think your opinion is better supported than another’s. Engage each other in a reasoned exchange of ideas. In other words, present an argument (a claim supported by data, with reasons/warrants as to why that data is relevant to the claim).

Throughout the semester we will encounter a variety of challenging issues relating to gender, sexuality, race, class, etc. The content of this class has the potential to stir up strong emotional reactions. You will encounter ideas and theories that challenge you. Students are asked to follow some guidelines to help maintain a constructive learning environment. Participants in this class must be open to looking at an issue from a variety of perspectives. Further, it is possible that films, readings, images, music, etc. used in this class may be considered “offensive” by some. A student’s decision to stay enrolled in the class is an agreement to approach all course content with a critical academic lens. Above all, participants must treat each other with respect. The most fundamental way to respect class participants is to complete daily readings, listen to others, and ground your own comments in principles of critical thinking. Class discussions should take place within the context of academic inquiry and in the spirit of understanding diverse perspectives and experiences. Do not engage in private conversations, interrupt another student who has the floor, keep cell phones on, or show general signs of disrespect for the course, professor, or other students. Non-course related materials such as newspapers and items from other courses must be stowed away when class begins.

I encourage you to put away your electronic devices. Research has convincingly demonstrated that students retain and learn better when taking notes with pen and paper, not laptops or tablets. Laptops tend to create distractions, induce shallow processing, and result in weaker performance when answering conceptual questions (like those on tests or during discussion). Although you might type more words with the laptop, you lose the chance to synthesize ideas and focus on key concepts.


Assignment Due Date Point worth
1A. Paper 1 (intro paper) September 22 (rough draft due September 13) 5
1B. Paper 2 (initial analysis) November 3 (rough draft due October 25) 10
1C. Paper 3 (Final paper) December 6 (rough draft due November 29) 20
2. Presentation of final paper December 6 and 8 10
3. Midterm October 20 10
4. Discussion every class session 15
5. Peer editing due September 15, October 27, December 1 10
6. Application papers due throughout the semester, your choice of dates (Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27; Oct. 4, 11, 25; Nov. 8, 15, 10 (2pts. each)
7. Final exam 1-2:50 p.m. Wednesday, December 14 10

Assignments are worth a total of 100 points. However, for each assignment you can earn fractions of points (so, you can think of it as a 1000 point scale if it makes you feel better). If you need to figure your letter grade at any point in the semester, simply divide the number of points you have by the number of possible points you could have earned. For your final grade, simply add up all the points for each assignment. Points are noted in brackets. The individual point value of each assignment is noted in brackets [ ] immediately following the assignment title. Simply doing the base requirements of each assignment will earn you a "C" -- this means you have done acceptable work. To earn a "B" you must go beyond the assignment expectations or fulfill them in an above average way. To earn an "A" you must go far beyond the assignment expectations and fulfill the base expectations in an exceptional manner.

Detailed descriptions of all assignments appear on this syllabus. You are free to ask questions in class about the assignments, or contact me outside of class by email or phone. But, please be aware, I will NOT answer any questions about an assignment past the class session before it is due (most assignments are due on Tuesday, which means you have until the Thursday before it is due to ask questions). I recognize that students procrastinate, so, consider this an inducement to begin work early. This means if you have a question, you need to be prepared to ask it in the class session before the paper is due. I will not answer questions after that time.

Undergraduate students:

1. Paper: (35 total points, divided into steps) Your paper will analyze a rhetorical/performative act of social protest.

Assignments center around a progressive paper in three steps. The first paper becomes the introduction for the second and the second becomes the intro and first section of the third. You will need to learn appropriate citation format (APA or MLA), and will be expected to revise and edit your work as the paper progresses.

Even though there is an extensive peer review process built into the class, you still are expected to conscientiously proofread your own work. If a paper has numerous typographical, citation, or grammatical errors, I will return it ungraded and the late clock will start ticking. Incorrect citation format will result in an automatic deduction of at least 25%.

Page limits on all assignments will be rigorously enforced. You should spend time finding ways to write more concisely and clearly. If I find your paper long-winded, and you go over the page limit, I will quit reading. (If however, you are brilliant and keep me captivated, I may not notice). Given the expectations of each of the assignments, you probably will need to use the number of pages required. If, however, you are exceptionally concise, then I may not notice if your paper falls short of the recommended page length.

A bibliography should be turned in with every assignment. It will not count toward your page limit. On the top of the page, indicate the style (APA or MLA) that you think you are using.

Good Essay link: All papers should put into practice the skills and techniques learned in basic writing classes. Here is a link to a general checklist to consult when preparing an essay.

The content of the paper should be a detailed analysis of a single social protest text (a speech, performance, song, artwork, play, rally, march, flier, etc.). Students must pick a text from a movement about which extensive research already has been published. For example, if you were analyzing protest in the abortion controversy you would use Celeste Condit's Decoding Abortion Rhetoric (1994), environmental rhetoric -- Kevin DeLuca's Image Politics (1999), MADD -- Joseph Gusfield's Contested Meanings (1996), woman suffrage -- Karlyn Kohrs Campbell's Man Cannot Speak For Her (1989), African American civil rights -- Condit and Lucaites' Crafting Equality (1993), etc. In other words, I am not asking you to do a complete study of a social movement or rhetorical campaign. Instead, I want you to find others' studies that can provide a larger framework for your study of a specific text. You must pick a text for which a scholarly study of the broader movement has already been written. For a list of essays about labor, civil rights, feminism, etc., see this link; also consult the selected bibliogrpahy at the end of the RRSP textbook. Neither provides an exhaustive list, but they are meant to give you an idea of the range of scholarship available. Regardless of from which movement you select a text, to find studies of the larger movement you should (at a minimum) conduct an exhaustive search of:

  1. Communication & Mass Media Complete
  2. EBSCO
  3. JSTOR
  4. Project Muse
  5. Lexis/Nexis law reviews and
  6. Unistar

In particular, you should look for research from the Communication Studies discipline. Examples can be found at this link.


A. Paper 1: [5 points] (4 pages) Due September 22 (draft due September 13) This paper eventually will serve as the introduction to the final 15 page paper. PLEASE ATTACH A COPY OF THE PROTEST TEXT BEING STUDIED.

This paper should (not in any partiuclar order . . . this is NOT an outline for the paper):

  1. provide a general introduction to the larger social movement, citing relevant research on the movement; remember to identify the main scholarly source you will be using for general information on the broader movement,
  2. identify the theoretical framework that will guide your analysis (see Cox and Foust for a summary of approaches),
  3. introduce the reader to the text you will analyze: this should include a general summary of the text that identifies its main thesis/function/purpose, outlines its structure, and highlights its substantive and stylistic elements (this should take at least 2 paragraphs), and
  4. locate the text's role/function within the larger social protest.

For the bibliography, (which is worth 2.5 points of the 5 assigned to this paper) I want the following:

A. printouts of the various searches you did in each of the above listed data bases. This means, at a minimum, there should be printouts of 6 searches. However, for most every database, you will want to use multiple search terms.

B. Works cited/references, which includes:

  1. Actual works cited or references for the paper.
  2. Additional sample citations. I want to make sure everyone knows how to do citations forms for typical sources. In addition to the sources you actually use, you need to include bibliographic entries for at least one of each of the following (even if you are not citing it yet):
  • book
  • book chapter
  • newspaper article
  • magazine article
  • scholarly journal article
  • web source
Remember to turn in peer edits along with this paper. This paper will not be considered turned in until all the peer edits of your papers have been turned in as well.

B. Paper 2 [10 points] (10 pages) Due November 3 (rough draft due October 25) The introduction to the paper should incorporate a revised version of your first paper (2-3 pages, taken from the first paper). The first section of the paper (2-3 pages, taken from the first paper and developed) should provide a rich description of the larger movement. The second section (2-3 pages, all new) should review relevant theories from the readings that will be applied to your analysis of the text. The third section (3-4 pages, new) should outline your initial analysis of the text you are studying. This last section should identify the type of tactic the text uses (see key terms for possible ideas).Remember to include a works cited/references.

So, the outline should look something like this:

<Introduction> (2-3 pages)

I. Rich description of the movement from which the text is taken (2-3 pages), locating the text in a specific period of the movement (inception, crisis, consummation if relevent)

II. Theoretical framework used to analyze the text (2-3 pages)

III. Initial analysis of text (2-4 pages)

Remember to turn in peer edits along with this paper. This paper will not be considered turned in until all the peer edits of your papers have been turned in as well.

C. Final paper: [20 points] (15 pages) Due December 6 (rough draft due November 29) The final paper should incorporate and refine all the sections from the second paper. Additions are likely to happen in the second section. Additions are expected in the third section. A new fourth section may also be developed. The focus of this paper is on refining your detailed analysis and advancing interesting and innovative critical arguments about how the text functioned as a form of social protest. Also, remember to include a works cited/references.

Remember to turn in peer edits along with this paper. This paper will not be considered turned in until all the peer edits of your papers have been turned in as well.

2. Presentation of final paper: [10 points] Due December 6 and 8 During the last week of class, students will present their final papers. Depending on the number of students in the class, presentation lengths will vary, thus final details will be posted once class begins. Students are expected to speak from an outline, a copy of which they should turn in prior to the presentation.

The presentation should outline the core argument made in your paper. You should also provide evidence (quotations from the readings or text, for example) to support the main argument.

More helpful hints:

A) Do NOT simply read your paper for your presentation. The presentation should be formal and professional, but not scripted. I suggest you speak from a detailed outline (remember to include quotations from the readings in the outline to illustrate the points you want to make). Please bring two copies of the outline: one to speak from and one for me. DO practice the presentation to make sure your outline fits within the time limits. Time limits will be enforced, strictly.

B) Presume the audience is not familiar with your paper, but is educated about social protest. Thus, your presentation should include a detailed description of the specific act of protest and a less detailed reference to theories of protest. Your presentation does NOT need to include detailed definitions of common protest theory terms (i.e. confrontational rhetoric), but you might want to provide quick reminders of what extremely precise technical terms mean (i.e. oppositional argument). Do provide sufficient theoretical explanation of more complicated concepts so that the audience can follow your analysis.

C) Do not try to present all the arguments in your paper. You will not be able to cover everything in just a few minutes. Instead, give a brief overview of all your arguments, and then pick one or two on which to focus the presentation.

D) Think about answering the "so what?" question and think about what you want your audience to take away from the presentation. What really cool thing did you figure out as part of this class?

Good presentation link: All presentations should put into practice the skills and techniques learned in Oral Communication and/or Public Speaking classes. Here is a link to a general checklist to consult when preparing a speech.

3. Midterm: [10 points] October 20. The text will be a mix of short answer and essay. Use the key terms in the syllabus as your study guide.

4. Discussion: [15 points] Being a good participant does not mean that you always have the answer; it can also mean that you know when to ask the right questions and when to recognize that the answers have already been offered by the class but need to be synthesized. Discussion is a central component of this class insofar as each person's analysis of the text can be enhanced by others' insights. For a detailed description of the criteria used in the assessment of discussion, see my discussion link.

In order to be a full participant in discussion, you MUST have completed the assigned reading. I will open every class asking if there are questions, but beyond that, I will not review the readings. Instead, I will assume you have completed the reading, taken notes, and are ready to apply and analyze the readings. AnaLouise Keating (Teaching Transformation, 2007, p. 196) provides the following description of good academic practices in regards to reading for class:

  1. I expect you to complete all readings by the date listed on the syllabus;
  2. I expect you to read the material thoughtfully and in an engaged manner;
  3. I expect you to read all endnotes and footnotes;
  4. I expect you to read (not skim) all of the required readings--even those you find "boring" or difficult;
  5. I expect you to reread those texts that you have previously read
  6. I expect you to seek out definitions for words and terminology you don't know . . . try the following websites:
    • http:///
    • ...
    • [added by Cate]

For those who are uncertain about their ability to participate consistently, I suggest you do the following. For each week, I would like you to prepare a discussion log, no more than 1 single space typed page for each half, due the next class period. The log should have 2 halves:

A. Pre-class: a description of how you prepared to contribute to discussion (key concepts outlined, examples developed, questions formulated.);

B. Post-class: A self-assessment of your contribution to class using the five elements outlined in the discussion link. You should attach a grade to your participation for the class period in question.

5. Peer editing [10 points]

September 13: Bring two (2) copies of a draft of paper one to class. You will trade papers with two others. Edited papers should be returned to their authors on September 15 .

October 25: Bring two (2) copies of a draft of paper two to class. You will trade papers with two others. Edited papers should be returned to their authors on October 27.

November 29: Bring two (2) copies of a draft of your final paper to class. In class peer editing will occur. Edited papers should be returned to their authors on December 1.

Remember to sign your name to any paper you edit. Authors, please remember to turn in the edited version when you turn in your paper. Authors, your papers will not be considered turned in until you have turned in all the edits.

Editing guidelines: In order to receive the minimum passing credit for editing, you are expected to provide the following each time you edit:

1. Substantive edits: You are expected to provide a minimum of three (3) substantive suggestions. In order to make a good substantive suggestion, it usually requires at least a paragraph of writing. Given the length of these edits, you may want to type them. These suggestions can include:

  • Additional arguments to be made. You can point to additional evidence that supports their argument, or that modifies their argument in some way.
  • Additional citation on the history of the topic. You can provide the citation for a relevant essay or book, and explain the contribution it makes.
  • Additional variables or concepts that develop the thesis/research questions. You can provide a quotation and page number from the class texts, and explain what is revealed by using the concepts from the texts.
  • Additional scholarly citations. You can provide citations for articles from scholarly journals and books. You should summarize the concept from the scholar, and then explain it.
  • Major organizational changes. You can suggest a major reordering of the paper. This is more than moving the order of two paragraphs. Instead, it would constitute an alternative way to develop the argument.
  • Major differences in interpretation. You may disagree with some interpretive move the author makes. If so, make a case for an alternative interpretation, providing evidence.

2. Stylistic edits: You are expected to make a minimum of ten (10) style edits. They can include:

  • bibliographic citation corrections
  • internal citation corrections
  • typographical error corrections
  • grammar corrections
  • spelling corrections
  • sentence rewordings

6. Application papers: [5 papers @ 2 points each] (2 pages long) These short papers serve a range of functions: They will help set you up for discussion, they are practice for the type of analysis you will do in your paper, and they will hone application skills you will need to demonstrate during the midterm and final. Thus, I encourage you to start writing them early in the semester, and not wait for the last five weeks of class to complete this assignment.

For each paper, select a key concept or passage from that week's readings. Correctly quote and/or paraphrase the concept and/or passage. For guidance on avoiding plagiarism, consult the Harvard Guide to Using Sources. Explain what the concept or passage adds to the understanding of rhetorics and performances of social protest. Apply the concept to an example of social protest not discussed in class. You may apply it to the non-scholarly reading linked to the syllabus or to examples you find on yout own. Critique the concept

7. Final [10 points]1-2:50 p.m. Wednesday, December 14. The final will be in essay form. Its content will be influenced by the protests studied and class discussion. More details will come later. Use the key terms in the syllabus as your study guide.

Graduate students: You will develop an individual assignment track that best fits your interests and needs, pending approval from me. You should write up a description of the assignments you choose to do, their due dates, and their point values and hand it in by September 1 (use this syllabus as a model for the format and level of detail expected). The assignment track is up to you, save for one part: weekly meetings. Graduate students also are expected to meet, as a group, with the professor outside of class for one hour weekly. We will compare schedules once class starts to find a time that works for everyone. Expect the meetings to start in the third week of classes. Meetings will be ******.

Syllabus: (This syllabus is subject to change, although that rarely happens.) If changes happen, they will be in hot pink. The bibliographic form used in the syllabus is MLA. Readings are from the assigned texts or contain links to electronic versions unless otherwise noted.

Week Readings Assgignments Key terms
1: August 23, 25: Introduction to the Performance and Rhetoric of Social Protest

Tu: RRSP: pp. 1-9 (Intro); RRP: pp 1-11 (Intro)

Th: RRSP: pp. 10-13 (Griffin); RRP pp. 15-21 (Conquergood)

Orenstein, Claudia. (2001). Agitational performance, now and then. Theater, 31(3), 139-151.

  rhetoric, performance, social protest, aesthetic/stylistic and political choices, body politics, dramatistic perspective, enactment, instrumental rhetoric, consummatory rhetoric, dramatism, inception /crisis/consummation, body politics, social drama, liminal, publics, public culture, hidden transcripts
2: August 30, September 1: Social Protest Theories Past to Present

Tu: RRSP: pp. 14-25 (Haiman), pp. 26-32 (Scott & Smith)

Th: RRSP: pp. 42-53 (Gregg), pp. 84-104 (Cox & Foust)

application examples: Garza, Alicia. (2015, August 11). RadTalks: Law for Black lives [Video]. YouTube.

BlackLivesMatter webpage

Dream Defenders webpage

  civil disobedience, uncivil disobedience, confrontation (in all its various definitions), empowerment, rite of the kill, totalistic strategy, non-totalistic strategy, public sphere, state, counterpublics, modalities of dissent, ego-function
3: September 6, 8: Social Protest as Counterpublics

Tu: RRP pp. 275-276

Fraser, Nancy. (1992). Rethinking the public sphere. In Craig Calhoun (Ed.), Habermas and the public sphere (pp. 109-142). Cambridge: MIT Press. on eLearning;

Brouwer, Daniel. (2006). Communication as . . . Counterpublic. In Gregory Shepherd, Jeffrey St. John, and Ted Striphas (Eds.), Communication as . . . (pp. 195-208). Thousand Oaks: Sage. on eLearning

Th: RRSP: pp. 203-221 (Pezzullo) or RRP pp. 319-342 (Pezzullo); RRP pp. 294-318 (Hauser)

application example: Combahee River Collective statement on eLearning

Sept. 6: Application paper possible counterpublics, weak v. strong public, performance, image events, pinkwashing, cultural performance, vernacular rhetoric, institutional actors, texts, articulation of identity/interests/needs
4: September 13, 15: Social Protest as Body Politics

Tu: RRSP: pp. 278-292 (West);

DeLuca, Kevin Michael. (1999). Unruly arguments: The body rhetoric of EarthFirst! Argumentation and Advocacy, 36, 9-21. on eLearning

Th: RRP: pp. 200-214 (Butler), pp. 214-232 (Sloop)

application example: "Periods for Pence" campaign

Smith, Mitch. (2016, April 6). Periods for Pence’ campaign targets Indiana Governor over abortion law. The New York Times.

Periods for Pence facebook page

Sept. 13: Application paper possible

Sept. 13: Bring two (2) copies of a draft of paper one to class. You will trade papers with two others. Edited papers should be returned to their authors on September 15.

body politics, gender, performativity, iterability, body argument, rhetorics of place and space
5: October 11, 13: Social Protest and Sex/Gender

Tu: RRSP: 65-76 (Campbell);

Demo, Anne Teresa. (2000). The Guerilla Girls' comic politics of subversion. Women's Studies in Communication, 23(2), 133-. Academic OneFile. Gale. University of Northern Iowa. 30 Dec. 2008

Th: RRP pp. 88-112 (Garlough);

Hill, Annie. (2016). SlutWalk as a perifeminist response to rape logic: The politics of reclaiming a name. Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies 13(1), 23-39. on eLearning


Kapur, Ratna. (2012). Pink chaddis and SlutWalk couture: The postcolonial politics of feminism lite. Feminst Legal Studies, 20, 1-20. on eLearning

application example: JOS. (2012, May 9). What if dude superheroes posed like lady superheroes [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Nichols, JamesMichael. (2015, May 31). "Handsome revolution project" documents the spectrum of masculinity. HuffPost.

Sept. 20: Application paper possible

Sept. 22: paper 1 due

enactment, decorum, empowerment, identity, perspective by incongruity, consciousness raising, resignification
6: September 27, 29: Social Protest and Sexuality

Tu: RRSP: pp. 468-487 (Darsey), pp. 170-182 (Brouwer)

Th: RRP pp. 343-362 (Bennett), pp. 422-446 (Brouwer)

Application examples: Minnesota's vote no campaign:

Ringham, Eric, & Aslanian, Sasha. (2012, November 9). Eighteen months to history: How the Minnesota marriage amendment was defeated--money, passion, allies. MPRNews. Retrieved from

Lien, Andy. (2012, December 13). Organization of the year: An interview with Richard Carlbom, campaign manager of Minnesotans United for All Families. Lavender. Retrieved from

The Big E. (2012, November 14). How Minnesotans defeated the anti-Marriage Amendment. Mn Progressive Project. Retrieved from

Sept. 27: Application paper possible catalytic events, ego-function, identity, technical/public/personal spheres of argument, oscillation, perspective by incongruity, infrapolitics, hidden transcripts, visibility politics
7: October 4, 6: Social Protest and Race


Tu: RRSP: pp. 375-396 (Murphy)

Foster, Susan Leigh. (2003, October). Choreographies of protest. Theatre Journal, 55(3), 395-412.

Th: RRP: pp. 136-153 (Jackson); RRSP pp. 488-502 (Stewart)

application examples: virtual sit in

Baton Rouge protest photo

Oct. 4: Application paper possible hegemony, social control as symbolic action that renews the social order, naming, contextualization, diversion, legal sanction, moral confrontation, performing whiteness

8: September 20, 22: Social Protest, Space, and Place


Tu:RRSP: pp. 183-202 (DeLuca & Peeples);

Endres, Danielle, & Senda-Cook, Samantha. (2011). Location matters: The rhetoric of place in protest. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 97(3), 257-282. on eLearning

Th: Pezzullo, Phraedra C. (2011). Contextualizing boycotts and buycotts: The impure politics of consumer-based advocacy in an age of global ecological crises. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 8(2), 124-145. on eLearning

RRSP pp. 243-259 (Heaney & Rojas)

application example: Alex Wong, Getty Images

Oct. 11: Application paper possible

tactics, public screen, public sphere, re-mediation, distraction, dissemination v. dialogue, role of violence in social protest, image events, impure politics, place, space, reconstruction

9: October 18, 20: Social Protest and Motherhood


Tu: RRSP: pp. 323-339 (Tonn)

Fabj, Valeria. (1993). Motherhood as political voice: The rhetoric of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo. Communication Studies 44, 1-18. on eLearning


October 20: Midterm feminine style, strategic essentialism
10: November 15, 17: Social Protest and First Nations

Tu: RRSP pp. 295-208 (Lake)

Lake, Randall. (1991). Between myth and history. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 77, 123-151. on EBSCO

Th: Miller, Jackson B. (1999). "Indians," "Braves," and "Redskins": A performative struggle for control of an image." Quarterly Journal of Speech 85.2 (1999): 188-202 on EBSCO

application example: Proud to Be advertisement

1491's "I'm an Indian Too"

Nov 15.: Application paper possible


enactment, consummatory/instrumental, charisma, identity
11: October 25, 27: Social Protest and Latinx identities

Tu: RRSP pp. 222-243 (Wanzer); RRP pp. 404-421 (Calafell & Delgado)

Th: RRSP pp. 361-374 (Chávez)

Flores, Lisa A. (1996). Creating discursive space through a rhetoric of difference: Chicana feminists craft a homeland. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 82, 142-156. on eLearning

application example: Take Our Jobs campaign, and Colbert taking a job

Oct. 25: Application paper possible

Oct. 25 Bring two (2) copies of a draft of paper two to class. You will trade papers with two others. Edited papers should be returned to their authors on Oct. 27.

counterpublics, agency, rhetorics of difference, strategic essentialism, identity
12: November 1, 3: Social Protest and Digital Protest

Tu: Garrett, R. Kelley. (2006). Protest in an information society. Information, Communication & Society, 9(2), 202-224. on eLearning

Lane, Jill. (2003). Digital Zapatistas. The Drama Review, 47(2), 129-144.

Th: Pfister, Damien, & Woods, Carly. (2016). The unnaturalistic enthymeme: Figuration, interpretation, and critique after digital mediation. Argumentation and Advocacy, 52(4), 236-253.

application examples:


Tufekci, Z. (2014). How the Internet has made social change easy to organize, hard to win.

Neal, M.A. (2014). #BlackTwitter, #Hashtag Politics and the New Paradigm of Black Protest.

Nov 1.: Application paper possible

November 3: Paper 2 due

globalization, counterpublicity, the elements of a counterpublic, cyber-movements, hacktivism, the functions of counterpublics, NGOs as protest organizations, weak v. strong publics
13: November 8, 10: Performing Social Protest in a Networked World

Tu: Lane, Jill. (2002, Spring). Reverend Billy: Preaching, protest, and postindustrial flanerie. TDR: The Drama Review, 46(1) , pp. 60-84.

Bruner, M. Lane. (2005). Carnivalesque protest and the humorless State. Text & Performance Quarterly 25(2), 136-155.

Th: Harold, Christine. (2004). Pranking rhetoric: "Culture jamming" as media activism. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 21(3), 1890211. on eLearning

Chvasta, Marcyrose. (2006). Anger, irony, and protest: Confronting the issue of efficacy, again. Text & Performance Quarterly, 26(1), 5-16.

application example: the Surveillance Camera Players YouTubewebsite

McKenna Pope petition to Hasbro

Nov 8.: Application paper possible

irony, performance, carnivalesque, boundary crossing, celebratory performative protest, interventionist performative protest, cultural/representational, social/institutional
14: November 22, 24: Thanksgiving Break


15: November 29, December 1: The Ethics of Social Protest: "[P]rotest is primarily about exercising moral voice . . ." (Jasper 253).

Tu: Terry, David P. (2006). Once blind, now seeing. Text and Performance Quarterly, 26(3), 209-228. on eLearning

Th: Hinck, Ashley. (2016). Ethical frameworks and ethical modalities: Theorizing communication and citizenship in a fliud world. Communication Theory, 26(1), 1-20.

Nov 29.: Bring two (2) copies of a draft of your final paper to class. You will trade papers with two others. Edited papers should be returned to their authors on December 1. risks of protest, identity, abstract systems, totalizing visions' dangers, embedded systems, public sphere, tactics are never neutral means
16: December 6, 8: Presentations



December 6: Paper 3 due  
17: December: Final exam period:
1-2:50 p.m. Wednesday, December 14
  Final exam  


Supplemental readings: These readings are not assigned, but may be helpful with your individual projects.

WEEK 1 :Supplemental readings:

Griffin, Leland M. "A Dramatistic Theory of the Rhetoric of Movements." Critical Responses to Kenneth Burke. Ed. William H. Reuckert. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1969. 456-478.

RRSP: 115-125 (McGee), 374-94 (Zarefsky)

WEEK 2 :Supplemental readings:

Dow, Bonnie J. "AIDS, Perspective by Incongruity, and Gay Identity in Larry Kramer's '1,112 and Counting'." Communication Studies 45 (Fall-Winter 1994): 225-240.

Stewart, Charles J. "Championing the Rights of Others and Challenging Evil: The Ego Function in the Rhetoric of Other-directed Social Movements." Southern Communication Journal 64 (Winter 1999): 91-105.

RRSP: 95-104 (Cathcart)

WEEK 3 : Supplemental readings:

Habermas, Jürgen. "The Public Sphere." Jürgen Habermas on Society and Politics: A Reader. Ed. Steven Seidman. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989. 231-236.

Habermas, Jürgen. "Further Reflections on the Public Sphere." Habermas and the Public Sphere. Ed. Craig Calhoun. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992. 421-461.

Asen, Robert. "Seeking the 'Counter' in Counterpublics." Communication Theory 10 (2000): 424-446.

Summary of Fraser article.

Fraser, Nancy. Transnationalizing the Public Sphere.

WEEK 4 : Supplemental readings:

Lake, Randall A. and Barbara A. Pickering. "Argumentation, the Visual, and the Possibility of Refutation: An Exploration." Argumentation 12 (February 1998): 79 - 93. Accessible with SpringerLink.

Palczewski, Catherine Helen. "The Male Madonna and the Feminine Uncle Sam: Visual Argument, Icons, and Ideographs in 1909 Anti-Woman Suffrage Postcards." Quarterly Journal of Speech 91.4 (November 2005): 365-294. Accessible with Ingenta

WEEK 5 : Supplemental readings:

Short, Brant. "Earth First!" Communication Studies 42 (Summer 1991): 172-188.

DeLuca, Kevin Michael. Image Politics: The New Rhetoric of Environmental Activism. New York: Guilford Press, 1999.

WEEK 6: Supplemental readings:

Karma, Chávez. "Beyond Complicity: Coherence, Queer Theory, and the Rhetoric of the 'Gay Christian Movement.'" Text and Performance Quarterly 24 (October 2004): 255-275.

Brouwer, Daniel. "Corps/Corpse: the U.S. Military and Homosexuality." Western Journal of Communication 68 (Fall 2004): 411-431.

Slagle, R. Anthony. "In Defense of Queer Nation: From Identity Politics to a Politics of Difference." Western Journal of Communication 59 (Spring 1995): 85-102.

Christiansen, Adrienne E. and Jeremy J. Hanson. "Comedy as Cure for Tragedy: ACT UP and the Rhetoric of AIDS." Quarterly Journal of Speech 82 (May 1996): 157-170.

Nip, Joyce Y. M. "The Queer Sisters and its Electronic Bulletin Board: A Study of the Internet for Social Movement Mobilization." Information Communication & Society 7 (March 2004): 23-49.

Brouwer, Daniel C. "Counterpublicity and Corporeality in HIV/AIDS Zines." Critical Studies in Media Communication 22.5 (December 2005): 351-371. Available via Informaworld

Fabj, Valeria and Matthew J. Sobnosky. (1995). AIDS activism and the rejuvenation of the public sphere. Argumentation and Advocacy, 31, 163-184.

WEEK 7 : Supplemental readings:

RRSP: Hammerback & Jensen, pp. 304-319

Griffin, Leland M. "When Dreams Collide." Quarterly Journal of Speech 70 (1984): 111-131.

Dionisopoulos, George N. et al. "Martin Luther King." Western Journal of Communication 56 (Spring 1992): 91-107.

Delgado, Fernando Pedro. "Chicano Movement Rhetoric: An Ideographic Interpretation." Communication Quarterly 43 (Fall 1995): 446-454.

Benson, Thomas W. "Rhetoric and Autobiography: The Case of Malcolm X." Quarterly Journal of Speech 60.1 (February 1974): 1-13.

James, Lawrence B. "The Influence of Black Orality on Contemporary Black Poetry and its Implications for Performance." Southern Speech Communication Journal 45 (Spring 1980): 249-267.

Madison, D. Soyini. "'That Was My Occupation': Oral Narrative, Performance, and Black Feminist Thought." Text and Performance Quarterly 13 (July 1993): 213-232.

508-524 (Stewart)

WEEK 8: Supplemental readings:

Mechling, Elizabeth Walker and Jay Mechling. "The Jung and the Restless: The Mythopoetic Men's Movement." The Southern Communication Journal 59 (Winter 1994): 97-111.

see also: "Argentina Mothers of Plaza de Mayo: Living legacy of hope and human rights" link

Capo, Kay Ellen and Darlene M. Hantzis. "(En)Gendered (and Engendering) Subjects: Writing, Reading, Performing, and Theorizing Feminist Criticism." Text and Performance Quarterly 11 (1991): 249-266.

Vanderford, Marsha L. "Vilification and Social Movements." Quarterly Journal of Speech 75 (1989): 166-182.

Miller, Lynn C. "'Polymorphous Perversity' in Women's Performance Art: The Case of Holly Hughes." Text and Performance Quarterly 15 (1995): 44-58.

Stacey K. Sowards and Valerie R. Renegar. "The Rhetorical Functions of Consciousness-Raising in Third Wave Feminism." Communication Studies 55 (Winter 2004): 535-52.

WEEK 9 : Supplemental readings: (link)

WEEK 10: supplemental readings:

Morris, Richard and Philip Wander. "Native American Rhetoric." Quarterly Journal of Speech76 (1990): 164-191.

Lake, Randall A. "Between Myth and History." Quarterly Journal of Speech 77 (1991): 125-151.

Palczewski, Catherine H. "When Times Collide: Ward Churchill's Use of an Epideictic Moment to Ground Forensic Argument." Argumentation & Advocacy 41 (2005): 123-138.

WEEK 11 : Supplemental readings:

Owens, Lynn, and L. Kendall Palmer. "Making the News: Anarchist Counter-public Relations on the World Wide Web." Critical Studies in Media Communication 20 (December 2003): 335-361.

Van Aelst, Peter, and StefaanWalgrave. "New Media, New Movements?" Information Communication & Society 5.4 (2002): 465-493.

WEEK 12 :Supplemental readings:

WEEK 15 :Supplemental readings:

Terry, David P. "Once Blind, Now Seeing: Problematics of Confessional Performance." Text & Performance Quarterly 26.3 (July 2006): 209-228.

Fenske, Mindy. "The Aesthetic of the Unfinished: Ethics and Performance." Text and Performance Quarterly 24 (January 2004): 1-19.