Poetics and rhetoric

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course aims to provide students with the core concepts of rhetoric—approached in its diverse linguistic, visual, and performative forms—as an art of the expression and the representation of different pathic states and cognitive processes, by way of a literature that allows the student to engage with different types of texts (primary sources, classical references in the field, critical essays, and current research perspectives). The proposed path will also consider rhetoric in its interdisciplinary relationship with political philosophy. The students will be able to employ the acquired notions particularly in the professional areas of editor of texts and images, operator in the field of education and popularization, operator of cultural projects in the public and private domain, and project management.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding:
Students will acquire a basic knowledge of the terminology and the reasoning used within the field of rhetoric, whose discussion falls within the realm of aesthetics, given the tendency for persuasive speech to be characterized as "sensible." Along the way, students will be introduced to the core literature and methodologies. Finally, they will learn the history of rhetoric, of its nature, and of its purpose within the framework of the human sciences, and aesthetics in particular.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
Students will acquire the skills necessary to apply the conceptual framework of rhetoric to the critical reading of verbal speeches, and of discursive and bodily performances, through recourse to an adequate specialized terminology. They will be able to apply this knowledge in commenting on the reference texts of the field. Students will be ale to orient themselves within the standard bibliographical apparatus. They will be able to distinguish a rhetorical speech from a propagandistic declaration and a communicative act, as well as to recognize its effects on the audience.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Detailed information will be provided around the start of the second semester.
In general, the professor is willing to combine in-person and remote lectures.
In this case, the remote lectures will be conducted asynchronously.
In the event that the whole course must be held remotely, lessons will have a synchronous and an asynchronous component.

The asynchronous lectures will consist of audio recordings in .pptx files, accompanied by slides and uploaded to the Ariel platform.
Course syllabus
Public truth, Verisimilitude, and Fake News

The course deals with the traditional themes of the rhetorical arts (speech, figures, evidence) used by the speakers of ordinary language and focuses on the notion of verisimilitude, which is central to the very existence of rhetoric, comparing it with those of truth and fake news, to the point of gaining insight into the role of public discourse in the life of the contemporary "polis."
Prerequisites for admission
There are no prerequisites. Additional and optional readings will be provided at the students' request to facilitate the understanding of the issues discussed.
Teaching methods
Debate and discussion
Teaching Resources
Readings for attending students:
Readings for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:
Chaïm Perelman, Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Trattato dell'argomentazione. La nuova retorica, trad. it. Einaudi, Torino, anno d'edizione a scelta dello studente.
Hyden White, Metahistory. Retorica e storia, trad. it. Meltemi, Milano 2019 (parts, to be communicated at the beginning of the course).

Additional readings for 9 ECTS exam:
In cattedra. Il docente universitario in otto autoritratti, a cura di C. Cappelletto, Cortina, Milano 2019

Readings for non-attending students, in addition to readings for attending students, for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:
Umberto Eco, Il cimitero di Praga, Bompiani, Milano, anno d'edizione a scelta dello studente.
Assessment methods and Criteria

For attending students, the oral exam consists of an interview on the topics presented in the lectures and questions aimed at assessing the student's knowledge and understanding of the various texts assigned.

Each student will be asked questions by the main professor and by one of the members of the committee.

For non-attending students, questions on the course will be substituted by questions about the additional texts assigned to them.

Evaluation criteria:
-Level of knowledge of theory (exposition);
-Ability to exemplify the concepts (understanding);
-Communication skills: adequate use of jargon to demonstrate acquired skills and express relevant issues.

Exams will be held in person or remotely on Microsoft team, in accordance with university guidelines.
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/04 - AESTHETICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/04 - AESTHETICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/04 - AESTHETICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours