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Rhetoric and Media Studies

Courses


Following is a list of courses offered in the department.  To find out which courses are offered in a particular semester, check Lewis & Clark’s Webadvisor site.

Courses

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RHMS 100 Introduction to Rhetoric and Media Studies

Content: Introduction to the conceptual and philosophical foundations of the discipline, from classical rhetorical theory through contemporary perspectives, including critical theories of human interaction. How humans construct and negotiate meaning in different contexts, including interpersonal relationships, public address, small groups and organizations, mass media. Moral, ethical, and policy issues.
Prerequisites: None. Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 200 Media Design and Criticism

Content: Theory, aesthetics, and practice in the production of messages for film and television. Organizing principles and aesthetic theories concerning connections between form and content, text and audience. Topics include narrative style and structure, visual composition, continuity and montage, and basic production practices in image creation, audio, and editing. Prerequisites: RHMS 100. Corequisites: Attend required film screening sessions. Usually offered: Annually, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 203 Rhetorical Theory

Content: History and theory of rhetoric, including major developments in rhetorical theory from antiquity up to the present. Rhetoric’s relationship with philosophy, knowledge, and culture. Examination of persuasive messages in various forms, including politics, advertising, film, video. Prerequisites: RHMS 100. Usually offered: Annually, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 210 Public Discourse

Content: Development of basic public speaking skills, listener-critic abilities, and appreciation for the role of public discourse in society. Library research, organization and outlining, language style, presentation skills, rhetorical/communication criticism.
Prerequisites: None. Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 211 Professional Discourse

Content: Theory and practice of rhetoric within organizational settings. Development of rhetorical skills for professional settings, including public speaking, networking, interviewing, small group interaction, crisis management techniques, negotiation.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 221 Argument and Debate

Content: Introduction to argumentation in public arenas. History, background, and strategies for parliamentary debate. Critical thinking, library research, logic and reasoning, listening and note taking, argument creation and refutation. Practice of debate skills. Prerequisites: None. Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 244 Practicum/Internship

Content: Field learning experience combining theoretical concepts and skills learned in the classroom with practical work in on- and off-campus organizations. Additional readings and written assignments required. Credit-no credit. May be repeated for credit. Maximum of 4 semester credits, total, in practicum and/or independent study may be counted toward the major. Prerequisites: None. Restrictions: Sophomore standing and consent required. Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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RHMS 245 Forensics

Content: Lewis Clark’s forensics team offers interested students the opportunity to put into practice their skills in argumentation, research, presentation, interpretation of text, and criticism of text through participation in competitive speech and debate.
Prerequisites: None. Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-2.

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RHMS 260 Argument and Empirical Research

Content: Methods of communication research grounded in data collection for the purposes of prediction and explanation (quantitative methods) or description and interpretation (qualitative methods). Course spans philosophy of inquiry; relationship of theory to data in developing questions and hypotheses; logic of sampling, measurement, and statistical inference; uses of interviews, fieldwork, and textual analysis; criteria for evaluating quantitative and qualitative work; research ethics.
Prerequisites: RHMS 100. Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 270 Interpersonal Media

Content: Introduction to theories of interpersonal communication processes (e.g., social support, uncertainty management, privacy management, conflict, deception). Influence of new media on these processes, impact of communication media on identities, relationships, and communities. Prerequisites: None. Usually offered: Annually, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 275 Interpersonal Rhetoric

Content: Introduction to theories of communication competence; how we use messages strategically to accomplish tasks, enact identities, and construct relationships in personal life. How we use content, style, and organization of messages to adapt to particular conversation partners and communication situations. Cross-cultural variation in interpersonal interaction. Prerequisites: None. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Every fourth year,
spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 299 Independent Study

Content: Independent reading and/or research in an area other than the normal course offerings of the department. Maximum of 4 semester credits, total, in independent study and/or practicum may be counted toward the major. Credit-no credit. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: None. Restrictions: Sophomore standing and consent required. Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring  semester. Semester credits: 1-4.

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RHMS 301 Rhetorical Criticism

Content: Major critical methods for analyzing and understanding communicative action. Major historical developments in rhetorical criticism during the 20th century. Role of criticism in understanding persuasive messages in various forms, including political discourse, advertising, music, film, television. 
Prerequisites: RHMS 203. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Annually, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 302 Media Theory

Content: Survey of the major theoretical approaches to film, media, and popular culture from the past-150 years. Theories include critical (Marxist, feminist, critical race), formal (montage, realism, aesthetics), new media, and media effects. The course seeks a broad understanding of what media are and how they work in a democracy. Seniors will be given registration preference during the first round of registration. Prerequisites: RHMS 200. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 303 Discourse Analysis

Content: Theories and methods of discourse analysis, including critical theories of power and ideology as well as pragmatic theories of function, structure, and meaning. Meaning and function in conversational and cultural context; sequence and structure of interaction; interactive negotiation of social relationships and identity; discursive systems of power, ideology, and control. Prerequisites: RHMS 100203.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Annually, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 313 Politics of Public Memory

Content: Investigation of public memory as the public negotiation of the past for political purposes in the present. How different cultures have remembered and rhetorically constructed traumatic historical events such as the Holocaust and institutionalized slavery. Role of communication and persuasion in public acts of remembrance. Prerequisites: RHMS 100. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 315 Comparative Rhetoric

Content: Comparative approaches to rhetorical theory and criticism. History, theory, and contributions of non-Euro-American rhetorics. Exploration of rhetoric’s role in culture, knowledge, philology, and colonialism. Study of current scholarship on non-Euro-American rhetorics, including methodology. Prerequisites: RHMS 203.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing. Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 320 Health Narratives

Content: Theories of narrative as they apply to communication about health and illness; role of narratives in creating health- or illness-related identity, securing social support, creating communities. Competing narratives in interactions with health care providers. Impact of narratives in public and private medical decision-making.
Prerequisites: RHMS 100. Restrictions: Junior standing required. Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 321 Argument and Social Justice

Content: Investigation of argumentation and social justice. Exploration and application of scholarship through the community-based Thank You for Arguing, a mentoring program run with local inner-city public schools. Theoretical and methodological frameworks for understanding the role of argumentation in fostering social justice explored through readings, class discussion, and writing assignments.
Prerequisites: RHMS 100 or RHMS 221. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 325 The Documentary Form

Content: Critical analysis of the documentary with emphasis on institutional practices that shape and sustain the genre, argument in documentaries, expectations of audiences. Organization of materials for documentaries, editing and montage, principles of visual composition as they relate to moving images, functions of sound, ethical considerations. Planning and production of short documentaries.
Prerequisites: RHMS 200. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 332 Rhetoric of Gender in Relationships

Content: How gendered identities and relationships are rhetorically constructed through everyday interaction. Role of rhetoric in social scientific study of gender and interaction. Survey of theories and empirical research on gender similarities and differences in communication with attention both to the explanations given as well as the rhetorical strategies scholars use to persuade. 
Prerequisites: RHMS 100 or GEND 200. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 340 Media Across Cultures

Content: Theoretical perspectives on the political and social role of mass communication in developed and developing nations. Mass communication organizations, content, regulatory models, audiences in diverse cultures. Implications of public versus private ownership of mass media. Evaluation of claims of U.S. cultural imperialism. Prerequisites: None. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 352 Gender in Public Rhetoric and Media

Content: Rhetoric of gender equity movements and feminist theories of rhetoric. Rhetorical strategies used to redefine gender and gendered relations. How gender is represented in news and entertainment media. Activist strategies to change access to and representation in media. Prerequisites: RHMS 100 or GEND 200.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 360 Digital Media and Society

Content: Cultural, industrial, political, and economic implications of digital technology and innovation on cultural expression, media storytelling, democracy, globalization, and news gathering and dissemination. New media theory and investigation of meaning, knowledge, and power related to digital technologies. Investigation of the nature of production of consumption and active audiences. Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Junior standing required. Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 363 Campaign Rhetoric

Content: Rhetoric of political campaigns, historical and modern, with emphasis on campaigns in progress or recently completed. Analysis of speeches, debates, interviews and advertisements. Critical analysis of media effects of campaigns.
Prerequisites: RHMS 100. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 375 Queer Film and Television

Content: Exploration of how LGBTQ identities and communities have become visible in American film/TV. Addressing both history and the present, topics include classical Hollywood cinema, AIDS, activism, race/intersectionality, contemporary TV, family, and fandom. Projects include papers and video essays. This course counts toward the Gender Studies minor (instructor permission required).
Prerequisites: RHMS 200RHMS 302, or GEND 200. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Annually, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 390 Special Topics in RHMS

Content: Reading and critical analysis organized around themes or problems in RHMS. Focus varies depending on areas of instructor teaching, research, and/or creative work. Assignments are organized around a substantial final project. May be taken twice with change of topic. Prerequisites: RHMS 100.Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 406 Race, Rhetoric, and Resistance

Content: Role of rhetoric in social conflicts regarding issues of race. Theories and strategies of resistance and the implications for political action. Examination of major race and resistance texts. Prerequisites: RHMS 100RHMS 301 recommended.
Restrictions: Junior standing required. Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 408 Argument and Persuasion in Science

Content: This course is designed to explore the role of argument and persuasion in the history, evolution, and dissemination of science. Its purpose is to give students a firm understanding of various rhetorical strategies within scientific discourse and how those strategies impact public policy. The general trajectory of this course is chronological, tracing major controversies in the sciences from pre-modern times to the present. At every stage students will be asked to consider how argument, persuasion, and symbolic action influence both scientific and political practice.
Prerequisites: RHMS 100RHMS 301 recommended. Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. Usually offered: Annually, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 425 American Cinema Studies: Advanced Analysis and Criticism

Content: Application of major theories from media, film, and cultural studies (e.g., psychoanalysis, genre study, formalism, auteur study, national cinemas) to a given set of media texts. Close analysis of media texts in context, taking into consideration technological, aesthetic, and industrial shifts. Prerequisites: RHMS 100RHMS 200.
Corequisites: Attend required film screening sessions. Restrictions: Junior standing required. Usually offered: Annually, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 431 Feminist Discourse Analysis

Content: Examination of how theories and tools of critical discourse analysis can be used to pursue feminist research questions; how gendered power is socially constructed in talk in everyday interaction (e.g., among friends and family and in institutional settings such as work, school, clinic) and media texts (e.g., news interviews or coverage, entertainment media, blogs and other social media); an interdisciplinary seminar that prepares students to produce an original scholarly research project. Prerequisites: RHMS 100RHMS 332 or-352 or GEND coursework strongly recommended. Restrictions: Junior standing. Usually offered: Annually, fall semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 475 Television and American Culture

Content: An exploration of American TV as both a cultural product and industry. A decade-by-decade overview of television’s development from radio origins to digital convergence leads to a discussion of aesthetic and industrial aspects of TV style, narrative, genre, and representation of diversity. Includes a separate weekly screening. Junior standing required. Prerequisites: RHMS 200. Restrictions: Junior standing required. Usually offered: Annually, spring semester. Semester credits: 4.

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RHMS 499 Independent Study

Content: Advanced-level independent reading and/or research in an area other than the normal course offerings of the department. Maximum of 4 credits total in independent study and/or practicum may be counted toward the major. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: None. Restrictions: Junior standing and consent required. Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester. Semester credits: 1-4.

Rhetoric and Media Studies

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