eloquence and deliberation in democracy
Dr. Kelly Jakes Presiding
Librarian Jared Seay
This class, in short, asks two overall questions: (1) How do Americans talk to one another? (2) How should citizens talk to one another in a democracy? Eloquence is not just a useful skill that will win you favor in college and prepare you for the job market; it is vital to democracy. Democracy, meaning self-government shaped by public argument and debate, has been a core concept in the communication discipline since its inception. Effective democratic citizenship requires participation in public debates; it requires the ability to make and assess quality arguments; it requires the ability to find, judge, and use credible evidence and sophisticated reasoning. Without these central abilities, the public is no more than a collection of individuals, and democracy is no more than a collection of people who happen to live within the same borders. This course, in a nutshell, is about what has happened to and what is happening to citizenship.