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CAS 411 - Rhetorical Criticism of Visual and Material Culture

Nittany Lion Shrine/Memorial

Rhetoric beyond "Text and Talk"

Are you interested in refining your analytical skills? Are you drawn to visual and material culture? If so, this course is for you! Designed as a small-size seminar, this upper-level undergraduate course will critically examine a variety of artifacts and environments that function persuasively by appealing to audiences’ senses, memory, and imagination. Over the span of the semester, we will take a closer look at visual artifacts like photographs, posters, monuments, and museum exhibits as well as persuasive spaces like theme parks, urban environments, and botanical gardens. Weather permitting, we will venture outside to explore some of these artifacts and environments in State College. Along with the discussion of these artifacts and spaces, we will learn to apply several methods of critical analysis of non-verbal communication. Course assignments will include readings and discussion, two short papers, and a final essay project on a topic of students’ choice.

CAS 411 Fulfills:

  • Gen Ed: Humanities (GH)
  • Gen Ed Learning Objective: Critical and Analytical Thinking
  • Gen Ed Learning Objective: Key Literacies
  • Gen Ed Learning Objective: Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning