This information is part of the Colgate University catalog, 2020–21.
Associate Professors Campbell, Worley (Chair)
A central part of the liberal arts tradition, rhetoric is the art of effective language use in written, oral, and visual communication. With roots in ancient Greece and branches in the most recent media technologies, rhetoric is simultaneously one of the oldest and newest academic disciplines, fundamentally engaged by dynamic relationships between language, power, and public culture.
As a discipline, rhetoric demonstrates how discourse generates knowledge, mediates power, and enacts social change; as an art, rhetoric enables the speaker/writer to invent arguments by making logical, ethical, and emotional appeals to an audience. The department offers courses in writing, public address, and the history and theory of rhetoric and language.
Courses in writing and rhetoric position students to become critical language users, preparing them to be effective communicators both in their future careers and in civic society, in the US and abroad.
The Writing Requirement
On the basis of standardized writing and verbal test scores, some first-year students are assigned first priority in registering for writing courses. These students are required to complete one of the department's eligible 100-level writing courses with a grade of C or better. This requirement must be met by the end of the second semester at Colgate. Students who fail to do so must continue to enroll in writing courses until the credit is earned. In all cases, however, the requirement must be met by the end of the fourth semester.
The Joseph '63 and Carol Trimmer Awards for Excellence in Expository Writing — established as prizes to be awarded by the Department of Writing and Rhetoric.
The Trimmer Senior Scholar Award for Outstanding Achievement in Writing and Rhetoric — established as a prize to be awarded by the Writing and Rhetoric department to a senior for being an exceptional scholar and citizen in the discipline of Writing and Rhetoric.
The courses listed below are offered by the WRIT program. Select courses from other departments/programs may also count toward the WRIT minor requirements. Use the minor link below to find other courses that count toward these requirements.
Majors and Minors
- WRIT 102 - Introduction to Rhetoric in the Liberal Arts Tradition
- WRIT 103 - Rhetoric and Writing
- WRIT 110 - Academic Persuasions: An Introduction to Rhetoric, Research, and the Academic Essay
- WRIT 203 - Argumentation
- WRIT 210 - The Rhetoric of Style
- WRIT 215 - Public Speaking
- WRIT 225 - Visual Rhetorics
- WRIT 231 - Ethos and the Personal Essay
- WRIT 242 - Stand and Speak: Feminist Rhetorics and Social Change
- WRIT 248 - Discourses of Race and Racism
- WRIT 250 - Kairos: The Art of Rhetoric from Ancient to Modern Times
- WRIT 260 - Biblical Rhetoric
- WRIT 270 - The Rhetoric of Comics
- WRIT 280 - Rhetorical "Borderlands": Introduction to Comparative Intercultural Rhetoric
- WRIT 291 - Independent Study
- WRIT 303 - The Rhetoric of Data Visualization & Infographics
- WRIT 315 - Public Address
- WRIT 325 - The Narrative in New Media
- WRIT 342 - Rhetoric in Black and White: Communication and Culture in Conflict
- WRIT 345 - Crafting Bodies: Movement, Gender, and Performance
- WRIT 346 - Hip Hop: Race, Sex, and the Struggle in Urban America
- WRIT 348L - Required Film Screening
- WRIT 348 - Discourses of Whiteness
- WRIT 350 - Rhetoric & Citizenship
- WRIT 354 - Dialogue and Deliberation in Democratic Life
- WRIT 391 - Independent Study
- WRIT 491 - Independent Study