Zach Wahls

  1. If you haven’t already, read the description of House Joint Resolution 6: Amending the Iowa Consitution to Define Marriage as Between One Man, One Woman:
  2. Re-watch Zach Wahls’ testimony to the House Judiciary Committee (here is the transcript)
  3. Take 20 minutes or so to discern the rhetorical situation for Zach’s testimony, focusing on the rhetorical principles listed below—you should consult online sources/searches to discover more about any aspect of the situation, especially the historical and cultural context.
  4. Then, in groups of 3-ish, discuss what you came up with and be ready to share with the class:
    • Specific occasion for testimony
    • Intended audience (who’s he talking to in this rhetorical act?)
    • Actual audience (who does he end up talking to via this rhetorical artifact, the video of his testimony)?)
    • Rhetor (who is this guy?–who was he then, and who is he now? Look it up online.)
    • Exigence (what is the specific urgency sparking his speech act?)
    • Purpose (what does he want his immediate audience to do, feel, or think?)
    • Type of discourse (juridical, deliberative, epideictic/ceremonial)
    • Historical and cultural context (what is going on historically and culturally at that time–2011–that both invited and constrained his speech act?)