Dr. Tania S.
E-mail : email@example.com
Office: 326 Social
Office Phone: 403-220-7774
Office Mailbox: sS 110 & 320
Office Hours by appointment
Department of Communication and Culture,
Social Sciences 320
2500 University Drive NW
Canada T2N 1N4
RESEARCH: Rhetoric, professional communication, higher education teaching & learning.
What is Rhetoric?
Definition for a public audience
Rhetoric is the study and practice of
persuasive and informative communication.
Rhetorical practice may involve ethical or
coercive purposes, occur in public and private settings, and is used in
genres as diverse as debate, conversation, teaching, fiction, and
technical report writing.
Rhetoric contributes a body of practical
theories that help people to adapt their spoken and written
communication to specific audiences and purposes. Rhetorical theory
helps communicators to understand the opportunities and limitations of
their social context, their own public character, the use of emotional
appeals, and rational argumentation and evidence. The same theories can
be used to critique the rhetorical strategies and purposes of others.
An ethical approach to rhetoric involves
active listening, careful research, strong reasoning, and inviting
one's audiences to mutual understanding and socially responsible action.
As a branch of the humanities and one of the original
"liberal arts", rhetoric investigates the dynamics of discourse through
qualitative, textual, historical, and philosophical methods, and
through reflective praxis.
Rhetoricians study the meaning of discourse in
relationship to its social and political context and its creators'
intentions and identities. Rhetoric has historically tended to focus on
spoken and written language more than other symbolic means of
communication, and therefore rhetoric borders closely upon linguistics
and literary studies. Because of its long, contentious relationship
with philosophy, logic and science, rhetoricians have generated a large
body of epistemology (theory of knowledge). We are interested in
questions regarding how we come to know and believe certain things as
individuals and societies through the mediation of language in context.
Rhetoric also has a very strong tradition of investigation into the
study and practice of advanced education, since it is concerned about
how rhetorical theories and practices are best learned by advanced
students who already have fundamental skills of communication.