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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2019/2020

American Political Rhetoric

Type: Elective course (Journalism)
Area of studies: Journalism
Delivered by: School of Linguistics
When: 4 year, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Yulia Badryzlova
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus


The course is intended for students whose main interest is political journalism and political communications both in the historical and the current perspective. The course focuses on the leaders of political action in the USA during the 20th and 21st centuries. The rhetorical tools used by the political actors as well as their public images of are analyzed through the key concepts of political communication and the rhetoric theory. Specific tools and techniques are studied in detail. The course will be interesting for those who want to work in political journalism as well as for any student wishing to understand the nuances of the past and the current political process in the USA.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • to familiarize students with the key aspects and specific tools of developing a debate in English
  • to expose students to the historical approach to modern presidential rhetoric in the broader academic context
  • to acquaint students with the basics of political rhetoric within the framework of content analysis as well as discourse analysis and debates theory
  • to demonstrate the interconnection between the history of a nation, its politics, and the rhetorical strategies of its leaders using case studies of American political rhetoric
  • to introduce students to the basics of various rhetoric types and genres within political rhetoric
  • to enhance students’ communication skills, the ability to reason and discuss, as well as to target various types of potential audience
  • to enable students to develop their ability to debate and cooperate in such issues as conflict resolution, tolerance, and social adaptation
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • knows the goals, objectives, and functions of modern political rhetoric in the context of the latest linguistic theories, as well as the role of presidential rhetoric in forming national identity
  • analyzes public speech in English
  • applies rhetoric methods in practice
  • conducts debates in English using argumentation theory
  • writes essays on political topics in English
  • participates in group work, provides group management in decision-making, conducting debates, public speaking, targeting specific audiences
  • "conquers" the audience, captures the audience's attention
  • expresses oneself clearly; uses all elements of public speech (content, emotion, and ethics)
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Self-presentation; Introduction to the course
    The definition of rhetoric and its place within the Humanities. Genres of rhetoric. Stages of preparing a speech. The ancient rhetoric canon. The New rhetoric. Gricean maxims.
  • Political rhetoric
    History of American political rhetoric. Founding of the American government. Philosophy of the American nation. American politics and Puritan religion. Manifest Destiny, American Dream, Founding Fathers and other symbolic expressions forming the national identity.
  • Basic features of American political rhetoric
    Democrats and Republicans. System of values in American politics. American school of debates. American rhetoric versus European rhetoric. Political linguistics as a science (A.P. Chudinov). Western and Russian schools in political linguistics. American school of political rhetoric. Presidential rhetoric.
  • American presidential rhetoric: past and present
    The Founding Fathers: A. Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, M.L. King, J. F. Kennedy, R. Reagan, George H. W. Bush, B. Clinton, G. W. Bush, B. Obama.
  • Political rhetoric and cognitive linguistics
    Archetypes and metaphorical concepts in American political rhetoric. Tropes and figures of speech. Alliteration. Tricolon. Chiasmus. Anaphora, repetitions, allusions, rhetorical questions, periphrases.
  • Political manipulation and propaganda
    Rhetoric and NLP. Manipulative tricks in politics and advertising.
  • Political rhetoric and intercultural communication
    Ethnorhetoric. Types of professional cultures according to R. Lewis. Role of national and ethnic aspects of rhetoric in international communication and diplomacy. Body language. Technique of speech.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking students’ work in class
  • non-blocking homework
  • non-blocking participation in debates
  • non-blocking final Power Point presentation
    Пересдается в течение недели после окончания пропуска по уважительной причине, но не позднее 10 дней до сессии, если преподавателем не указано иное
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.4 * final Power Point presentation + 0.2 * homework + 0.2 * participation in debates + 0.2 * students’ work in class


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Schaefer, R. M., & Lawler, P. A. (2016). American Political Rhetoric : Essential Speeches and Writings (Vol. Seventh edition). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1084361

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Andersson, I. (2005). American political rhetoric : a study of selected speeches by George W. Bush. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.AFBBD05
  • Moral Panic and Political Rhetoric in the Early American Republic. (2018). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.8AA7BDF8