Enjoy the rest of your semester.
Most nineteenth-century American women had little or no access to political leaders, higher education, or even the wages they earned; they were not allowed to vote, sign contracts, or own property in the United States. Despite these rigid constraints and tremendous opposition, over a span of eight decades American women generated massive social and political changes. How? By using the only tool available to them: language. Clearly, what we say, how we say it, and to whom it is said can --and does--change the world. In this class, you'll learn to use rhetorical theory as a way to critically examine persuasive appeals while we study speeches and other texts from the nineteenth-century woman's rights movement. Together, we will consider the power of language to define, reform, and even revolutionize politics and society. Students will participate in class discussions, write occasional brief responses to the readings, do a short project, and write one longer paper.