Listening to America

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Literary Studies

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Listening to America
Fall 2023
Taught By: Julie Beth Napolin
Section: A

CRN: 15879

Credits: 4

This course is an introduction to rhetorical theory and its modern American contexts. Considering the classical philosophical relationship between speech, listening, vernacular, and democracy, this course will interrogate the ways in which America and Americans are rhetorically composed, solidified, and contested through the voices of literature, oratory, music, and audio culture. Jay Fliegelman argues that “The Declaration of Independence” was meant to be read aloud and that, in reading this document silently to ourselves, we fail to grasp its meaning and potential. He maintains that America is a culture and society built on the affective and rational dimensions of listening. We will consider such texts as Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” the people’s microphone of Occupy Wall Street, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God. We will ask why Americans are galvanized by voices and how a deeper understanding of rhetoric can contribute to a broader definition of nation.

After the first week of the semester, permission of the instructor will be required in order to register for this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Literary Studies (LIT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:40am EST 2/22/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 602
Date Range: 8/28/2023 - 12/11/2023