Communication and Rhetorical Studies
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Janie Harden Fritz
Civic engagement, Communication pedagogy. Jane Addams, Philosophy of communication, Service-Learning
This project responds to the question: How do communication educators encourage students to enact the communicative practices necessary for a life of rhetorically engaged civic action? In responding to this question, the academic field of communication studies is recognized as a site for implementing the lessons of rhetoric, democracy, and civic engagement. This project contributes to the civic engagement scholarship from a communication studies perspective by foregrounding human communication as an essential component of the civic engagement process. As an interpretive inquiry, the philosophical thought and the pragmatic action of twentieth-century rhetorician and social activist Jane Addams (1860-1935) provides a hermeneutic entrance point for identifying and understanding the ways in which faculty members in higher education might conduct service-learning in a more responsive and engaged manner.
Practicing situated communicative service-learning, a pedagogical approach that embraces the historical moment and the challenges facing service-learning on today's college campus, provides one possibility. Addams's philosophical thought and communicative practices inform the integration of situated communicative service-learning into the communication studies field and college campus through the understanding of commonplace stemming from the Greek understanding of topoi (Aristotle). This praxis-centered approach to service-learning provides ground for students to understand the rhetorical and communicative practices necessary for a life of engaged civic action. By grounding individual communicative practices in a communication classroom setting, communicative habits can grow and flourish in communities.
Burk, J. (2014). Embracing Commonplace: Creating Ground for a Life of Rhetorically Engaged Civic Action (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/365