Instructor: Lusher MWF – 12:20 PM – 1:15 PM

This course will unpack the significance of activism in the public sphere, particularly through the means of digital media, and encourage students to further explore how activism is composed.

Since the advent of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the nature of activism has changed. Now, we can trace social movements though hashtags, identify specific activists by their Twitter or Instagram handle, and watch videos of protests and demonstrations from all over the world. College students in particular are attuned to these movements via social media and often shape the direction they take. In this class, we will discuss who circulates activism and how writing is an integral part of the process of circulation and “going viral” within social movements. We will investigate how certain activist and grassroots organizations use rhetorical modes of persuasion to convince people to join or sympathize with their cause and students will utilize those modes to compose their own manifesto and a digital remix project at the end of the course. Throughout the semester, we will also have several guest speakers who will lead us in a dialogue about how they use writing and rhetoric to alert others their cause through social media and other digital networks. Activism is more than just a word—it’s a series of movements shaped by rhetoric.