The Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric, Media, and Publics is replacing the PhD in Communication Studies (Rhetoric and Public Culture). Rhetoric, Media, and Publics is an interschool program between the School of Communication, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and the Medill School of Journalism, Media & Integrated Marketing Communications; and it is based in the School of Communication.
The Rhetoric, Media, and Publics PhD program, grounded in the humanistic tradition of rhetoric, asks the fundamental question of how people influence, reflect, and transform society through mediated practices. Students learn to analyze the production and circulation of meaning in a range of rhetorical and journalistic texts, practices, and institutions through varied modes of qualitative inquiry, and to engage audiences and communities directly in the production of knowledge. The stakes of this inquiry are profoundly social and political as well as formal and aesthetic. The program teaches students to approach public media as sites for political contestation, for the representation and interrogation of ethics and power, and for imagining personhood and collective life.