Rhetoric involves the study of discursive and non-discursive symbolic influence.
We share a common interest in the problem-solving dimensions of our communication theories and practices. We are a community that believes in the importance of social justice, sustainable environments, engaged scholarship, and interventionist practices, and we think of rhetoric as more than simply the detached study of aesthetically interesting speeches or discrete texts. We view rhetoric as a dynamic process that involves social change or resistance, where material conditions and power relationships influence the ways that we think about the communicative influence of class, gender, and ethnicity in volatile situations.
Our unique program focuses on the relationships that exist between rhetoric and concrete
local, regional, national, and international problems, and our departmental members
specialize in the investigation of environmental, health, legal, political, cultural,
and military issues. For example, our faculty have recently involved themselves in
theoretical and practical debates about effective social movement strategies, climate
change, the study of violent image events, the storage of hazardous waste in the West,
sex education in public schools, the Duke Lacrosse case, and the U.S. military's rules
of engagement and interpretations of international laws of armed conflict. View our
new promotional materials here.
The Rhetoric Program in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah.