Oratory in the Age of Obama

A course in rhetoric for the Honors College of Rutgers Camden

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Readings and Activities for Thursday, January 28

Posted by William FitzGerald on January 26, 2010

// <![CDATA[// One analyst says Obama's State of the Union speech was positive and optimistic, with a serious overtone.

The scheduling of President Obama’s first State of the Union Address (SOTU) shapes the path we will follow in appreciating rhetorical appeals (or means of proof). To that end, we will continue our reading of Killingsworth as well as consult the classical tradition on appeals in the trio of ethos, pathos, and logos. We also introduce one single term (kairos) and a second trio of terms (judicial, deliberative, and epideictic) that are very useful in identifying rhetoric as discourse rooted in a sense of occasion.


Killingsworth, Ch. 2





Watch: Pres. Obama’s SOTU address and take at least a page of notes connecting the speech event to concepts we’ve been reading and talking about.

http://stateoftheunionaddress.org/2010-barack-obama (video)

Responses: here and here

Key terms: authority, evidence, fact, discourse community, popular vs. special audience, expert

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