____ Civil Rights Rhetorics ____

English 362: Civil Rights Rhetorics

Live Online 
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45

Professor Tom Miller
 Cell phone: 668-6332 (text me if I do not pick up)
Zoom Office Hours: Email or text me to schedule
Email: tpm@email.arizona.edu


Course Schedule      Course Resources


Course Materials: You will not have to buy any books for this course.  All the readings and course materials are available on the Assignments page.  You will use D2L to submit your assignments to the Assignments page.  You will submit drafts of papers to the Discussion page in D2L.

Course Description: In this course, we will examine the strategies that activists have used to mobilize people to claim their rights.  We will reflect on our own unconscious biases, and we will explore how the attitudes of older Americans differ from those of Generation Z (who are born after 1997).  We will discuss the rhetorical strategies that have been used to mobilize social movements ranging from the civil rights era of the 1960s to current movements such as Black Lives Matter.  We will conclude by considering how our country came to imprison a higher percentage of our population than any country in the world, including a highly disproportionate number of people of color. 

This course meets the general education diversity requirement by using feminist, critical-race theories, and other diverse frameworks to analyze how women, African Americans, gays and lesbians, and immigrants have organized themselves to take collective action to demand their civil rights.  

Course Objectives: By the end of the course, you will be able to

  • analyze the types of rhetorical strategies that activists use to persuade their audiences,
  • draft and revise essays that effectively frame their claims to appeal to their intended audiences,
  • work in teams to offer constructive feedback on their peers’ writing,
  • take note of how unconscious biases affect our social interactions and our perceptions of others,
  • identify how marginalized writers and speakers use double-voiced modes of expression to appeal to minoritized audiences in ways that may not be heard by those who have not experienced systemic inequities,
  • account for how so many Americans have been imprisoned and denied their rights, and
  • assess how social movements have succeeded and failed to advance reforms by making effective use of available communications media and prevailing and emerging ideologies.

Absence and Class Participation Policy: If you have more than two absences, they will affect your final course grade.  If you have medical or personal problems, you should notify me so that we can talk about how I can help you succeed in this and other courses.   

Grading Scale and Policies: We will follow the university policy regarding grades and grading systems.  We will use the following grading scale:

  • A 90% and above
  • B 89.5-80%
  • C 79.5-70%
  • D 69.5-60%
  • E 59.5% and below

Late work will be downgraded one full letter grade for each day the assignment is late. 

Code of Academic Integrity: Students are encouraged to share views and discuss freely the principles and applications of course materials. However, graded work/exercises must be the product of independent effort unless otherwise instructed. Students are expected to adhere to the UA Code of Academic Integrity as described in the UA General Catalog.  The University Libraries have some excellent tips for avoiding plagiarism.

Additional Course Policies

Subject to Change Statement: Information contained in the course syllabus, other than the grade and absence policy, may be subject to change with advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.

Requests for incomplete (I) or withdrawal (W): You must submit a request for an I or W in accordance with University policies, which are available at http://catalog.arizona.edu/policy/grades-and-grading-system#incomplete and http://catalog.arizona.edu/policy/grades-and-grading-system#Withdrawal respectively.

Honors Credit: This course can be made available for Honors credit through an Honors Contract option.  If you wish to complete the course for Honors credit, you should contact me as soon as possible.

Classroom Behavior Policy: We will be discussing many controversial issues in this course.  You and I have a shared responsibility to respect other viewpoints. We will work together to ensure we preserve a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment where all of us feel comfortable with each other and where we can challenge ourselves to succeed.  To that end, our focus is on the tasks at hand and not on extraneous activities; therefore, you should not be texting, chatting, reading a newspaper, making phone calls, or surfing the web in class.  If you speak disrespectfully or disrupt class, I will talk with you about the ways to improve your behavior.  If you continue to disrupt class, you may be asked to leave and may be reported to the Dean of Students.

Threatening Behavior PolicyThe UA Threatening Behavior by Students Policy prohibits threats of physical harm to any member of the University community, including to oneself.

Notification of Objectionable Materials: This course will contain material of a mature nature, which may include explicit language,depictions of nudity, sexual situations, and/or violence. The instructor will provide advance notice when such materials will be used. Students are not automatically excused from interacting with such materials, but they are encouraged to speak with the instructor to voice concerns and to provide feedback.

UA Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment PolicyThe University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination.  Our classroom is a place where everyone is encouraged to express well-formed opinions and their reasons for those opinions. We also want to create a tolerant and open environment where such opinions can be expressed without resorting to bullying or discrimination of others.

Accessibility and Accommodations: At the University of Arizona, we strive to make learning experiences as accessible as possible.  If you anticipate or experience barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please contact the Disability Resource Center (520-621-3268) to establish reasonable accommodations. 

Additional Resources for Students: UA Academic policies and procedures are available on line, as is information on Assistance and Advocacy information.