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CAS 083S - Women and Communication Throughout History

Senior Lecturer: Lori Bedell
Office: 310 Sparks Building

The rhetoric and activism of (badass) American women, what people thought of them then, and how we see them today.

Throughout U.S. history women have played an active role in developing, implementing, and reforming social institutions. In this course, we will explore some of the key moments in U.S. women’s activism in the last 150 years by reading primary documents from prominent activists of the time. Students who complete this course successfully should expect to gain a complex and nuanced perspective on the rhetoric of U.S. women activists, and also improve their skills in critical reading and analysis. In addition, we will explore contemporary notions of masculinity and femininity that constrain both men and women. We will consider issues of the modern workplace, education, the media, family institutions, media influence, gendered language (both verbal and nonverbal) and the law.

Course Objectives

  • To learn about and grow comfortable with concepts of rhetorical analysis
  • To critically engage and grapple with notions of identity and power
  • To identify the ways hegemony functions to normalize marginalization and oppression
  • To recognize how individuals create movements and movements create change
  • To appreciate the values of discomfort, struggle, and history as lessons about our own strengths and shortcomings