Course Schedule

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Date In-Class For Next Time

Aug 25

Introduction to the course and each other. Sign the Acknowledgement prohibiting guns in my office. Sign into the Canvas site to navigate syllabus. Look over these various definitions of rhetoric and watch this video

Aug 30

Discuss rhetoric as a human art or science and discuss weird ways animals address and appeal to each other: might as well watch this video again together. Introduce yourself, your relation to rhetoric, and your relation to animals on the Discussion Forum on Canvas. Read over “What I learned from Tickcling Apes.

Sept 1

Aristotle’s vertical Scala Naturae + Cartesian presumptions of modern rhetorical theory. Problematic Koko video; Frans de Waal on Colbert. Read Kennedy’s “A Hoot in the Dark” (under Files on Canvas site)

Sept 6

Counter-point to de Waal: Sue Savage-Rumbaugh on apes that write. Discuss Kennedy (millennial whoop).  Video: Secret Life of Crows. Read the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

Sept 8

Kennedy, Cont. + discuss Reading Response Assignment. Sign up for presentation dates and partners. Video: How do dogs ‘see’ with their noses? Complete Reading Post #1



Sept 13

(Rhetoric majors: survey). Class vote: grades with or without + and -? Reading Post 1 Due. (Check presentations schedule.) Video: Introduction to Alex the Parrot. Discuss Reading post assignment questions. If you have not responded to a peer’s reading post, do so by the end of the day.

–No office hours tomorrow

Read Doxtader and Hawhee

Sept 15

Discuss Doxtader and Hawhee. Announce Extrahuman conference (no class sept 22) Videos: Communicating with Alex; Griffin vs the toddlers. Complete Reading Post #2 on Hawhee

Sept 20

Reading Post 2 Due. Spend some time (15-20 mins) individually with presentation software: Google Slides, Prezi. Meet up with your group to discuss your rhetorical animal presentation–divide up work, make a plan, and begin work on that plan. Read Davis and Muckelbauer +  Videos: Crows at play, and Humpback Whales rescuing a seal.

Sept 22

Comp lit graduate student conference on “the Extrahuman”  Read Goat accents and Gorilla smarts

Sept 27

Discuss Davis and Muckelbauer; group meeting. Complete Reading Post #3

Sept 29

Reading Post 3 Due. Discuss argument paper assignment; watch Derrida on “the animal,” and discuss the issue with the singular designation. Last in-class group meeting. Read Wolfe

Oct 4

Presentations 1 and 2. Rat tricks. Discuss Wolfe Complete Reading Post #4

Oct 6

Reading Post 4 Due. Show link on presentations schedule (don’t forget to turn it in!) Presentations 3 and 4. Questions about paper. Discuss peer reviewing process. 15 minutes to workshop paper concept in Canvas (Worshoppers) groups: explain to each other your claim, purpose, proof you’ll offer for that claim–give feedback. Submit paper on Canvas for peer review by 1pm on Tuesday. Don’t be late to class, please!

Oct 11

Peer review argument paper Revise argument paper

Oct 13

Presentations 5 and 6. Questions about assignment and peer review; main issues noticed in peer reviews. Meet with peer reviewer to discuss revisions. Submit final argument paper–revised clean copy!–on canvas exactly where you uploaded the first version. Read Safina, part 1 (this is the first 30 pages of the book).

Oct 18

Argument paper due.Videos on mirror self-recogntion in a few animals: Orangatans, elephants, magpies, apes. Discuss Safina, part 1 Read Safina, part 2 (on canvas).

Oct 20

Presentations 7 and 8. Discuss Safina, part 2 (mirror neurons) Complete Reading Post #5 on any part of Safina

Oct 25

Presentation 9. Reading Post 5 Due. Discuss video argument and begin brainstorming. (Free writing followed by partner idea jamming.) Revisions to argument paper due Nov 10) work on video argument: Watch a video editing tutorial from the Resources list (on your assignment) if you’re not familiar with the software.

Oct 27

Presentation 10. Videos: monkeys insist on fairness. Intro to iMovie and Moviemaker. Discuss self-analysis. (Example–more elaborate than necessary.) Argument work. Video: Whale language. Read Fish Feelings. Quick read: Monkeys count. Work on video argument and self-analysis

Nov 1

Prairie dog language. Video argument self analysis: in pairs, explain to your partner

  • your claim (not topic)
  • your purpose: what do you want your argument to persuade your audience to do, feel, or believe?
  • what each image you’ve chosen does to help prove your claim or move your audience in the desired direction.
  • What references you’ll list under the References section
Submit your self-analysis with URL to video argument at the top to canvas for peer review by 12:30 TH.

Read: Con Slobodchikoff on animal language


Nov 3

Peer review video argument Revise video argument and self-analysis and submit final version on canvas (same spot as the first time).

Nov 8

Election day. Final presentation. Video argument Due. View video arguments. Read Marder’s “What is Plant Thinking” + Videos: Can a plant remember? Do plants respond to pain? Can a plant count? Do trees have friends? If you’re revising the argument paper, it’s due TH.

Nov 10

Revised argument paper due. Video: the Wood Wide Web. Discuss reading.

–no office hours T Nov 14 (dissertation defense)

Complete Reading Post #6 on Marder

Nov 15

Reading Post 6 Due.Discuss multimedia argument.  Setup Google sites website.

Post your website URL here. (Make sure you share it–top right corner–so that anyone with the link can access it.)

Work on multimedia argument: determine your topic and do enough research to narrow it down to a claim. You’ll share your tentative claim on TH.

Nov 17

Discuss organization patterns and using counterarguments with refutations. Share claims in pairs. Work on multimedia argument and meet with me if you have questions. Multimedia argument. If you’re revising the video argument, it’s due T.

Nov 22

Video argument revisions due. Multimedia argument Multimedia argument

Nov 24

Thanksgiving Prepare multimedia arguments for peer review: make sure this link to your project is correct.

Nov 29

Peer review Multimedia argument **Please fill out the course instructor survey before next time. Revise Multimedia argument

Dec 1

First, this.

Multimedia argument due. Course debriefing.

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