ENC 4357 How to Go Public

In the Information Age, one might say that “going public” has become easier than at any previous time in human history. Anyone with access to a computer and an internet connection can broadcast to the world. However, just because you can get your ideas into a public forum does not mean anyone will pay attention, especially when millions of other people are constantly publishing their own ideas. Consider, for example, how many videos on YouTube never receive more than a handful of views. To put it another way, publishing one’s message is not the same as circulating it. In light of these evolving affordances and constraints regarding what it means for people to “go public,” this course helps students learn how to increase the likelihood that their own message is not “silenced” amid the noise of so many competing messages. Students will explore the costs and benefits of using different genres, mediums, and rhetorical tools to reach different publics in different contexts for different purposes. They will also work to make some kind of intervention into the public sphere on an issue of their choice.​