(Re)presenting Self: Personal Identity Formations and Public Rhetoric

Amanda Solomon

CAT 125 Solomon

In this version of CAT 125, we will fulfill the upper-division writing requirement by exploring the tensions between personal identity formations, public rhetoric, and practical communication. How do we represent and present ourselves to multiple audiences, in varied contexts, and for diverse purposes? In turn, how is our sense of identity shaped by those representations and presentations for others? How do we negotiate our self-identities with an understanding of social differences and within various institutions, from the familial to the educational to the corporate? What rhetorical and communication strategies do we use when presenting ourselves publicly versus privately, whether in person, in writing, and/or in digital media? In exploring these questions of the course, we will reflect on and analyze our own writing and communication practices. Students will thus be required to (re)present themselves in multiple ways. Assignments may include: reflection papers on what we have learned in and outside of college and how that has shaped our sense of self; drafting of personal statements, cover letters, and resumes; interviews and public speeches (in the IGNITE style); and creation of public personas through social media strategies and/or virtual writing (for example: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo channels, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, YikYak, various blog platforms, etc.).