English 584: Rhetoric of Social and Environmental Movements

Spring 2012, Thursdays 1:00-2:50pm
UIUC, Department of English
instructor: Spencer Schaffner, associate professor
email: spencers@illinois.edu
web: www.metaspencer.com
office: EB 208 / office hours: M/T/F 1:00-4:00pm and by appointment
course blog: http://rhetoricsofresistance.blogspot.com

Course Description

This is a course about some of the more radical rhetorical arts. We will examine how people attempt to change their worlds with rhetoric, action, art, and embodied practice. Meeting as a seminar, we will study scholarship on a wide array of activist movements, paying particular attention to their strategies and tactics. We cannot cover every form of protest (e.g., Jamie Oliver's "food revolution" couldn't find a place in the syllabus), but we will focus on a wide array of rhetorically compelling practices. Over the course of the semester, we will compare engagements across time, place, and approach. Students in the seminar will read contemporary scholarship, examine primary documents (video, images, art, and text), lead discussions, contribute to a class blog, present on research, and complete a seminar paper.

How the Seminar Will Work

Each week, we will read the equivalent of four academic articles a week (120+ pages). Every other week, you will need to either prepare a detailed blog post or comment on the posts of others (at the course blog http://rhetoricsofresistance.blogspot.com). In preparation for class, members of the class will also research and explore an array of supplemental texts and topics centering on a specific activist enterprise. Students in the class will take turns guiding the seminar (during the second hour) through an active discussion of each set of supplemental materials.

Readings

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

Furness, Zack. 2010. One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Bowers, John, Donovan J. Ochs, Richard Jensen, and David Schulz. 2009. The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control, 3rd Edition. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.

Additional readings available via DropBox (noted on the course calendar, below). Get a DropBox account @ http://db.tt/QkjoAHD. Some of the readings in DropBox are large PDFs of entire books. Be careful, if printing the books, to only print the sections of the large PDFs that we will be reading. (Alternatively, you could choose to buy the books by Certeau and Foucault.)

Class Participation (10% of your grade)

You should come prepared to guide, follow, and actively engage in class discussion. This is not a lecture class. Each week, we will talk about the readings for roughly two hours; your active participation in seminar discussions is vital to our progress as a group.

Leading Class Discussion (10% of your grade)

Beginning the second week of class (January 26th), individual students in the class will take responsibility for leading our discussion of the supplemental texts. This discussion will largely take place during the second hour of the seminar. Everyone should come to class prepared to discuss the supplemental texts; discussion leaders should come prepared to guide the discussion in ways that get us talking about critical issues in the texts while connecting our inquiry to the other readings.

Response Blog Posts (20% of your grade)

Every other week, you are responsible for preparing a detailed written response and posting it to the course blog. (The class will be split into two groups, with each group posting responses on alternating weeks.) These written responses should be carefully crafted pieces of writing, between 500-700 words (this is equivalent to roughly one single-spaced page). Your posts should also include links and images. Post to the course blog by 6:00 p.m. on the Wednesday evening before class. The course blog is online at http://rhetoricsofresistance.blogspot.com. You will receive an invitation to join the blog as a contributor after the first class meeting.

Each written response should thoroughly engage with the assigned readings. For those not posting a response to the blog in a given week, peruse the new posts and make comments. With the alternating schedule, you'll post six blog posts this semester. This includes a final "reflective response" post about the class as a whole.

Presentation of Research (5% of your grade)

In the final weeks of the class, the research for your final project should be well underway. During the final class sessions, members of the class will give ten-minute oral presentations describing the main contours of the final research project. This is meant to approximate a conference presentation. Emphasize your main argument in this presentation.

Seminar Paper (55% of your grade)

On May 9th, you will turn in a seminar paper making an original argument that uses a critical, analytical, and/or theoretical frame to discuss a particular form of protest. 1-page paper proposals with at least six works cited are due March 29th. Follow citation guidelines such as MLA, APA, or U of Chicago style. Scheduling a writing conference is encouraged. Expectations for seminar papers differ between professors; for this class, I am looking for 15-20 pages of high-quality work. Develop a paper with a case study at its center and include numerous connections to existing scholarship on the topic. Instead of including a detached literature review, I encourage you to refer to relevant supporting scholarship when you need to throughout the course of your discussion. Place special emphasis on the original findings of your research.

Plagiarism Policy and Student Code

Students in the class must adhere to the UIUC student code, online at http://admin.illinois.edu/policy/code. All written work in this course is expected to be your own, with all words and/or ideas from other sources fairly attributed. To represent phrases and/or ideas from any other source as your own is plagiarism. Submitting your own work for more than one course without permission of both instructors can also constitute plagiarism. Students found to have plagiarized any portion of their work in this course will receive an "F" for the class. The UIUC library has this helpful website about plagiarism: http://library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/plagiarism.html



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COURSE CALENDAR (subject to change)

Thursday 1/19: introductions
introductions
discussion of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) protests
overview of the syllabus and assignments
sign up for "class leader" slots
following this class: set up DropBox account and log into the course blog

Thursday 1/26: Certeau and protest practices
read for today: Michel de Certeau (1984) "'Making Do': Uses and Tactics," ch. 3 from The Practice of Everyday Life ... in DropBox
read for today: Darrel Enck-Wanzer (2006) "Trashing the system: social movement, intersectional rhetoric, and collective agency in the Young Lords organization's garbage offensive" ... in DropBox
read for today: Lane Bruner (2005) "Carnivalesque protest and the humorless state" ... in DropBox

supplemental texts: basic facts about and images from "great" protests in recent memory
Boston Tea Party (1773), March on Washington (1963), Prague Spring protests (1968), Stonewall (1969), Tiananmen Square protests (1989)
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP A blog post 1 due
Optional: there is a panel on the theme of "Occupy" after class at 4pm at the IPRH

Thursday 2/2: Foucault and systems of societal control
read for today: Michel de Certeau (1984) "Walking the City" and "Reading as Poaching" ch. 7 and ch. 12 from The Practice of Everyday Life ... in DropBox (1.26 folder)
read for today: Ronald F. Wendt (1996) "Answers to the gaze: a genealogical poaching of resistances" ... in DropBox
read for today: Michel Foucault (1975) "The Body of the Condemned" and "Docile Bodies," first 2 chapters from Discipline and Punish ... in DropBox

supplemental texts: protest art
1. art by Banksy (search terms: Israel, Crayola, protest, wall, cop, freedom, peace)
2. www.guerrillagirls.com
3. Pablo Picasso's "Guernica"
4. Keith Haring's "Free South Africa"
5. anti-BP logos
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP B blog post 1 due

Thursday 2/9: street protest
read for today: Jürgen Habermas, "The Public Sphere" ... in DropBox
read for today: Michel Foucault (1975) "Panopticism" ch. 3 from Discipline and Punish ... in DropBox (2.2 folder)
read for today: Kevin DeLuca (1999) Image Politics. Read to p.60 for today

supplemental texts: archives and collections
1. archive of global protest: www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/imf/index.htm
2. UW Seattle: content.lib.washington.edu/wtoweb
3. UW Madison: archives.library.wisc.edu/uw-archives/exhibits/protests/1960s.html
4. UIUC Student Life and Culture Archives; e.g., www.library.illinois.edu/archives/slc/researchguides/coldwar/vietnam/marchriots.php
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP A blog post 2 due

Thursday 2/16: street protest
read for today: Antonio Gramsci (1999 electronic edition of 1971 version) Read pp. 202-207 from Selections from the Prison Notebooks ... in DropBox
read for today: Kevin DeLuca (1999) Image Politics. Finish the book for today
read for today: Franklyn S. Haiman (1967) "The rhetoric of the streets: some legal and ethical considerations"

supplemental texts: policing and conflict
1. Joanna Gilmore (2010) "Policing protest: an authoritarian consensus" ... in DropBox
2. www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/11/84-year-old-woman-becomes-pepper-sprayed-face-occupy-seattle/45035
3. peppersprayingcop.tumblr.com
4. Pepper spray reviews ... in DropBox
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP B blog post 2 due

Thursday 2/23: culture jamming and appropriation
read for today: Helene Shugart (1997) "Counterhegemonic acts: appropriation as a feminist rhetorical strategy" ... in DropBox
read for today: Bart Cammaerts (2007) "Jamming the political: beyond counter-hegemonic practices" ... in DropBox
read for today: Christine Harold (2007) "Pranking rhetoric: 'culture jamming' as media activism" ... in DropBox

supplemental texts: culture jamming and pranksterism
1. rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-protesters-spray-pike-089
2. kembrew.com/prank/pranks-make-life-interesting
3. www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/occupywallstreet.html and www.adbusters.org/campaigns
4. Google image search for "culture jamming"
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP A blog post 3 due

Thursday 3/1: language and appropriation
read for today: Theodore Otto Windt (1972) "The diatribe: last resort for protest" ... in DropBox
read for today: Jackson Miller (2009) "'Indians,' 'Braves,' and 'Redskins': A performative struggle for control of an image" ... in DropBox
read for today: Kristan Poirot (2009) "Domesticating the liberated woman: containment rhetorics of second wave radical/lesbian feminism" ... in DropBox
read for today: Robert Warrior (2011) "Vandalizing life writing at the University of Illinois: Heap of Birds's signs of indigenous life" ... in DropBox

supplemental texts: mascots and local protest/counter-protest
1. art by Edgar Heap of Birds on UIUC campus
2. anti-mascot protests at UIUC
3. UIUC English dept. statement: www.english.illinois.edu/news/chief/index.html
4. www.aimovement.org/ncrsm
5. www.honorthechief.com
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP B blog post 3 due

Thursday 3/8: embodiment and protest
read for today: Cheryl R Jorgensen-Earp (2009) "'Toys of desperation': suicide as protest rhetoric"
read for today: Michelle Murray Yang (2011) "Still Burning: Self Immolation as Photographic Protest"
read for today: Susan Leigh Foster (2003) "Choreographies of protest" ... in DropBox
read for today: Phaedra Pezzullo (2003) "Resisting "national breast cancer awareness month": the rhetoric of counterpublics and their cultural performances." ... in DropBox

supplemental texts: embodied protest and performance art
1. Alice Newstead's anti-shark-finning protest
2. the Voina group
3. flash mobs (as protest)
4. Jefferson Memorial Dance Party www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt6-wcSnCl4
5. Lady Gaga's meat dress
6. the "fleshmob" (against body scanners)
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP A blog post 4 due

Thursday 3/15: agitation and control
read for today: Bowers, John, Donovan J. Ochs, Richard Jensen, and David Schulz. 2009. The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control, 3rd Edition. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
read for today: Danielle Endres & Samantha Seda-Cook (2011) "Location matters: the rhetoric of place in protest" ... in DropBox

supplemental texts: significant protests in U.S. culture and society
1. protests against Miss America (1968-'69)
2. the Birmingham campaign (1963)
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP B blog post 4 due

Thursday 3/22: Spring Break

Thursday 3/29: animal rights
due today: 1-page paper proposal with 6 works cited
read for today: Kathryn M. Olson and Thomas Goodnight (1994) "Entanglements of consumption, cruelty, privacy, and fashion: the social controversy over fur" ... in DropBox
read for today: Maneesha Deckha (2008) "Disturbing images: PETA and the feminist ethics of animal advocacy" ... in in DropBox
read for today: James Jasper and Jane Poulson (1993) "Vulnerabilities, Blunders, and Countermobilization by the targets in three animal rights campaigns" ... in in DropBox

supplemental texts: the rhetoric and action of animal protection/rights groups
1. Direct Action Network
2. PETA
3. Action for Animals
4. The Humane Society of the United States
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP A blog post 5 due

Thursday 4/5: saving the planet and ending war DISCUSSION OF "THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE"
read for today: John Wills (2000) "Anti-nuclear protest at Diablo Canyon, California, 1977-1984" ... in in DropBox
read for today: Hilda E. Kurtz (2005) "Reflections on the iconography of environmental justice activism" ... in in DropBox

read for today: Margaret L. Laware (2004) "Circling the missiles and staining them red: feminist rhetorical invention and strategies of resistance at the Women's Peace Camp at Greenham Common" ... in in DropBox
read for today: J. Justin Gustainis and Dan F. Hahn (2009) "While the whole world watched: rhetorical failures of anti-war protest" ... in in DropBox

supplemental texts:
1. Earth Liberation Front
2. Earth First!
3. Sea Shepherd
4. Greenpeace
5. National Audubon Society
6. Sierra Club
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP B blog post 5 due

Thursday 4/12: biketivism
read for today: Furness, Zack. 2010. One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility. Read to p. 107 for today
read for today: Michael Taylor (2008) "The bicycle boom and the bicycle bloc: cycling and politics in the 1890s" ... in in DropBox

supplemental texts:
1. the ghost bike project
2. Critical Mass
3. discussions of "bikes and bloomers"
discussion leader: ______________
GROUP A: final reflective blog post due

Thursday 4/19: biketivism
read for today: Furness, Zack. 2010. One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility. Finish the book for today
read for today: additional article TO BE ANNOUNCED

supplemental texts:
1. the World Naked Bike Ride
2. Burning Man bikes
3. tall bikes
discussion leader: ______________
GROUPS B: final reflective blog post due

Thursday 4/26: final class meeting
in-class presentations of research

Thursday 5/9: Final Papers Due by 5:00 pm
email your paper as a .doc attachment to spencers@illinois.edu