Contacts | Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse Mission | Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse Courses

Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse Mission

Rooted in the University of Chicago’s principles of freedom of expression and academic inquiry, the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse offers an innovative curriculum in the theory and practice of public discourse and deliberation. It strives to foster open and inclusive public discourse by developing students’ abilities to articulate and communicate their ideas effectively, thereby allowing them to engage productively in civic deliberation and dialogue. Theory-driven as well as practice-oriented, the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse offers courses at multiple levels of instruction, such as courses on the history and theory of free discourse and rhetoric as well as on the principles and practices of public speaking, deliberation, and dialogue. The curriculum aims to develop communicative competence within a wide variety of communities, including academic, professional, and civic. The Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse will be integrated into the College’s distinctive undergraduate curriculum and reflects the conviction that open discourse can advance probing and challenging critical thought.

Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse Courses

PARR 13000. Academic, Professional, and Civic Speaking. 100 Units.

This course emphasizes clear, direct, and concise presentation of complex, specialized, or controversial ideas to a variety of audiences. Through theory, exercises, and practice, this course prepares students to communicate at various levels in academic, professional, and civic contexts. This course is suitable for third and fourth-year students in the College.

Instructor(s): L. Brammer     Terms Offered: Spring

PARR 15000. Political Rhetoric: Speeches, Campaigns, and Protests. 100 Units.

By critically examining historical and contemporary political discourse the class will attempt to elucidate how symbolic action creates meaning and shapes political positions as well as policy decisions. Utilizing rhetorical theory, students will analyze oral, written, and digital public communication aimed at influencing social, political, legal, and religious issues and institutions. It will explore topics such as the role of power and identity in political communication, the ethical dimension of public discourse, and the concept of a free and open public sphere. Through readings, discussions, case studies, and analytical assignments, students will learn to critically examine as well as to produce effective public discourse.

Instructor(s): L. Brammer     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 20199, ENGL 15005

PARR 21000. Public Deliberation and Free Expression. 100 Units.

Public deliberation theory explores how to engage citizens in inclusive, informed deliberation and collective decision-making on civic issues. In this course, students will study public deliberation theory, explore issues in free expression, and study frameworks designed to engage communities in learning about and discussing controversial issues. Drawing on what they've learned over the quarter, students will design and test frameworks to educate and engage college students in the principles and practice of free expression and open inquiry.

Instructor(s): L. Brammer     Terms Offered: Spring



Program Director
Leila Brammer
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