Visiting Associate Professor of Communication and Education
Do you want to use your voice to change the world? In this introductory public speaking course, students will learn to analyze public speech and to cultivate their own courageous voices. The course will pay particular attention to the ways in which speakers use their voices in protest against contemporary injustices-testifying, bearing witness, disrupting, and mobilizing for action. Critically examining dominant discourse conventions or "the rules" (e.g. standardized English, politeness, etc.) through a sociopolitical lens, students will be supported in purposefully navigating or rejecting speaking conventions that reinforce the systems they seek to transform. In other words, each speaker will craft their own voice in order to honor who they are and achieve their unique aims. Necessarily, the course will also examine the critical role of radical listening in public spaces. Activities in this discussion-intensive course include reading essays, viewing a wide range of speeches (videos and live), delivering a series of in-class student speeches, writing analytical essays, and meeting for individual sessions with a Transformative Speaking Program peer mentor, among others.
This interactive seminar for students selected to work as peer mentors with Hampshire's Transformative Speaking Program will provide an opportunity to help shape the work of a new discipline immerging at the intersections of education, politics, communications, philosophy, and critical social thought: peer mentoring in speaking. Students will grapple with questions about the political function of peer mentoring as it relates to academic institutions and broader society-from assimilationist interpretations to revolutionary agendas-paying particular attention to the negotiation of difference (racial, cultural, gender, linguistic, etc.) in mentoring sessions. Students will explore related research and juxtapose competing arguments about what makes for powerful speaking and how it should best be taught, participate in a mentoring practicum, strengthen their own speaking skills, and form their own philosophies-in-progress in response. Students are expected to spend at least 6-8 hours per week on work outside of class, including reading, writing, speech preparation, and practicum activities.