Undergraduate Courses

MCC-UE 1035 - Forensic Media

What are the distinctions between facts, data, information, opinion, knowledge, and understanding? Through what techniques of argumentation are these concepts discovered or achieved? This course introduces students to rhetoric—the art of persuasion-- formulated by Aristotle.  The first half of the semester is dedicated to exploring the distinctions between epideictic, forensic, and deliberative speech. We consider techniques of rhetoric that relate to the activities of truth telling and lying and the significance of these activities to the city (polis) and the discovery of matters held in common (res publica). In this course we ask: what is the character of the speaker, what is the nature of subject matter, and credibility? The second half of the semester is dedicated to contemporary forensic media inquiries. Specifically, we consider the role of the computer--its algorithmic computational language, hardware and software—along side electronic multimedia forms--digital image, and social media platforms--in current debates about the global acquisition and circulation of knowledge. We also consider the rhetoric of “crisis” and “epidemic,” creative body performance, in addition to the role of DNA in rhetorical argumentation.