Program in Comparative Literature

Aycan Akcamete

Aycan Akcamete



RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Hamilton-Wb

42235 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM

The 2015 rap musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton: An American Musical has immediately become a major hit and a success. Receiving mainly positive criticism for its non-white casting and mesh of hip hop, R&B, soul styles, this hip-hop story on one of the founding fathers creates many notions and ideas pertinent to American identity. In this class, we will explore the topics of nation-building, immigration, and the U.S. exceptionalism as constructed by the musical and extend it to the outside resources to expand our understanding, definitions, as well as controversies surrounding these three topics. The main questions we will answer are: How does Hamilton make arguments about American nation, immigration, and the U.S. exceptionalism? What stories and narratives does the musical construct with regards to American identity, and what arguments are implied in these stories? How is the historical narrative of Hamilton extend to today’s America in 2020? We will also discuss how or whether Hamilton invents, reinvents or fails to invent stories, myths and narratives surrounding American life and identity.

In this class, students will develop analytic skills, critical thinking skills, and research skills through these discussions, together with the rhetorical skills of argumentation and analysis. They will be asked to write weekly posts, provide weekly feedback to their peers, and compose short and long writing assignments to learn more about American identity. Finally, they will have the option to create a persuasive paper or make a creative project about American identity in Hamilton, where they will use the argumentation/rhetorical skills they have developed.

Course Reading List:

  1. Everything’s an Argument, Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz
  2. Access to Hamilton songs on Spotify or any other platform.
  3. The remainder of readings will be available for download from the class’s secure Canvas site. 


Major Assignments                             

  • Writing a Narrative
  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Proposal Argument

 Participation Assignments

  • Canvas Discussion Board Posts (weekly posts + peer review)
  • Short Writing Assignments
  • Creative Project
  • Peer review for Project 3
  • Any in-class assignment that requires a Canvas Discussion Board post during/after class.


  • In this course, I will make use of Labor Contract Grading. In this system of grading, students will sign up for a contract to get a certain grade, for which the expectations and criteria for each assignment and for participation assignments will be provided by the instructor. In other words, if students meet the contract for the assignments and for the class, they will get the grade. The more work they put, the higher grade they can get.

TUR 130D • Turkish Across Disciplines

40919 • Spring 2020
Meets F 4:00PM-5:00PM BUR 574

 Students read and discuss Turkish language materials related to the subject matter of another designated course.     

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