About Rhetoric @ Davis

What is rhetoric? In short, rhetoric is how we communicate, clearly and distinctly, what we as humans wish to express. Aristotle defined rhetoric as using all available means to persuade one’s audience. This definition implies an awareness of all the factors that shape how the rhetor (the writer or speaker) presents her message. Rhetoric @ Davis takes this to heart by seeking to foster and build meaningful interdisciplinary collaborations with the common thread of rhetoric. If we can think collaboratively about how we communicate our ideas to diverse audiences, whether the information be scientific, religious, historical, print-based, or digital, then we can improve our work, not only in quality but also in the real impact our work will have in people’s lives.

What is Rhetoric @ Davis? Rhetoric @ Davis is a consortium of faculty and graduate students from across disciplines devoted to a deeper understanding of the many shapes and trajectories of rhetoric in the university and the wider community.

Our quarterly schedule includes two events (six per year): first, a featured speaker from on- or off-campus leading a discussion on a relevant theme; second, an open forum/meeting of the cluster membership and other interested faculty and students, often facilitated by a panel.

Recent speakers include Ramon Martinez, Stanford University; Cheryl E. Ball, West Virginia University; Elizabeth Losh, UC San Diego; Thomas Sloane, UC Berkeley; Andrea Lunsford, Stanford University; Thomas Cahill, UC Davis; James J. Murphy, UC Davis; Jeanne Fahnestock, University of Maryland; Charles Bazerman, UC Santa Barbara; Laurent Pernot, University of Strasbourg (France); Sarah Arroyo and Bahareh Alaei, California State University, Long Beach; Krista Ratcliffe, Purdue University.

Individual events are co-sponsored by interested departments and programs. Special thanks to the UC Davis Humanities Institute for their help with this website and for their continued support of Rhetoric @ Davis.