COMMRC 1731 Special Topics in Rhetoric: Conflict Resolution in Public and Private

Today, we frequently hear that America is a deeply divided nation, torn by ideological and cultural differences that threaten civic life. In the face of this familiar refrain, many of us lose confidence in our capacities to define and help resolve common problems. Additionally, we experience conflict in our interpersonal lives (e.g., when we try to discuss controversial topics with family or workmates) which affects our potential to maintain rewarding relationships and collaborate with others. In short, we find it difficult to speak and act in discordant public and private worlds. This course will equip students with knowledge and skills to help them productively—individually and jointly—respond to public and private conflicts. Students will learn theories of public and private dispute resolution and exercise relevant communication skills, while studying and crafting collaborative responses to public controversies. Course structure will include lecture and small and large group discussions. Students will complete a research-based project preceded by regular progress reports and peer and instructor feedback.

  • Lynn Clarke

Number of Credits


Course prerequisites

COMMRC 0310 or COMMRC 0081; and a Seminar in Composition course