ICSM Communicating like The Simpsons: Understanding Springfield, Ithaca and the World
Communicating like The Simpsons
This course investigates the rhetorical dimensions of the longest-running sitcom in America, The Simpsons. Specifically, in this course students learn the ways in which signs and symbols influence us through a process called rhetoric. To this end, students or ‘Simpsonologists’ examine various episodes of the show to better understand the rhetorical processes by which the writers of the show seek to shape human thought and behavior. Consequently, the writers of The Simpsons aim to create alternative communicative practices in our society. Moreover, we pay special attention to the rhetoric of Simpsonology, that is, the way the Simpsons functions as both rhetoric and satire i.e., how it serves as corrective comedy to issues such as consumerism, nationality, sexuality, inequality, difference and political dysfunction.
Library Session Learning Objectives:
- Evaluate resources and identify those most appropriate to your information need (card sorting)
- Identify and combine keywords for a research topic (brainstorm)
- Distinguish between the catalog, databases, and open web when selecting resources; Identify the best databases relevant to a topic (database search and reflection)
Table of Contents
Information Types, Processes and Needs
- JSTOR : For all aspects of classical Athens, this is probably our best research database. The journals covered are scholarly, and JSTOR is especially strong in History, Classics, Archaeology, Anthropolgy, Art, and Literature. It is also 100% full text. It does not cover the latest 2-3 years of journals. To prevent book reviews, check "Article" below the search slots.
- Project Muse , Although a smaller database, it complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.
Selected Web Sites
- Public Speaking Project Textbook: From the American Communication Association (ACA), an online textbook. See in particular Persuasive Speaking,
- Political Communication Lab: Research Papers: Scholarly essays on a wide range of political communication topics, from Stanford.
- Steve’s Primer of Practical Persuasion 3.0: Blog from an academic interested in research on persuasion techniques. Mouse over "Steve’s Primer of Practical Persuasion 3.0" for the table of contents.
- Debate Central: Learn to Debate: Lots of linked resources at this University of Vermont site. See especially the Watch a Debate section.
- Preparing Informative and Persuasive Speeches: Step-by-step approach.
- Manner of Speaking: Analyses of Speeches: This site features videos of speeches with written commentary by a lawyer with a background in litigation and international law.
- Toastmasters International: Free Resources: Wide range of support resources from this nonprofit organization devoted to leadership through public speaking.
- Silva Rhetoricae: Dr. Gideon Burton's guide to classical rhetoric and its contemporary relevance. Choose a topic from the left column or a term from the right.
- American Rhetoric: Database of and index to 5000+ full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and other recorded media events.
- ResearchChannel Video Library: The Channel is no more, but many of the videos are available here on YouTube..
- Forum Network: Audio/Video files collected by PBS/NPR.
- Speeches: Audiovideo files from History.com--almost 1500 videos and over 500 audios.
Find Books by Subject
Simpsons (Television program)
Speech acts (Linguistics)
Figures of speech
English language--United States--Rhetoric
Communication in families
Communication in small groups
Language and languages--Sex differences
English language--Sex differences
Sexism in language
Communication and Culture
Oral communication--Social aspects
Discourse analysis--Social aspects
English language--Social aspects
English language--Social aspects--United States
Communication in organizations
Communication in management
Communication in education
Communication in science
Communication in medicine
Lectures and lecturing
Communication in politics--United States
Communication in politics--United States--History--20th century
Debates and debating
Forensics (Public Speaking)
Forums (Discussion and debate)
Hate speech--United States
Political campaigns--United States
Political oratory--United States
Presidents--United States--Inaugural addresses
Public relations and politics
Rhetoric--Political aspects--United States
Rhetoric--Political aspects--United States--20th century
Speeches, addresses, etc., American
Speeches, addresses, etc., American--History and criticism
Speeches, addresses, etc., Greek--History and criticism
Speeches, addresses, etc., Latin--History and criticism
Radio talk shows--United States
Mass media--Political aspects
Mass media--Political aspects--United States
MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.
About the Library
What Do You Need?
- Ithaca College ID Card – Use to check out materials (books, scores, multimedia, laptops, etc.)
- Ithaca College Netpass Info (email) – Use for signing into computers and online materials
How Long Can You Keep Something You Get from the Library?
- Books and Scores: 1 semester (can renew twice)
- Audio and Video: 7 days (can renew twice)
Special materials may have different borrowing times—check the full list here.
Your Library Accounts
Clicking the GET IT arrow
Selected Ebook Central Titles
- Influencing Through Argument
- Influence : Gaining Commitment, Getting Results
- Persuasion and Rhetoric
- Maximum Influence : The Twelve Universal Laws of Power Persuasion
- Examining Argumentation in Context : Fifteen Studies on Strategic Maneuvering
- Influencing Others : A Handbook to Persuasive Strategies
- Getting Your Way Every Day : Mastering the Lost Art of Pure Persuasion
- Saving Persuasion : A Defense of Rhetoric and Judgment
- Forensic Rhetoric : The Force of Closing Arguments
- The Articulate Advocate
- Eloquence in an Electronic Age : The Transformation of Political Speechmaking
- Ethics and Politics of Speech : Communication and Rhetoric in the Twentieth Century
- Lost Art of the Great Speech : How to Write One - How to Deliver It
- On Eloquence
- Campaign Talk : Why Elections Are Good for Us
- Presidency and Rhetorical Leadership
- Presidential Rhetoric : Moral Rhetoric of American Presidents
- Presidential Voices : Speaking Styles from George Washington to George W. Bush
- Anti-Intellectual Presidency : The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush
- American Story : The Speeches of Barack Obama : A Primer
- Active Voices : Composing a Rhetoric for Social Movements
- Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers! : Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics
- Perspectives in Controversy : Selected Essays from Contemporary Argumentation & Debate
- Code of the Debater
- Pros and Cons : A Debater's Handbook
- Traditions of Controversy
- Argument and Audience
- Voices in the Sky : Radio Debates
- Discourse, Debate and Democracy
- Deliberative Politics : Essays on Democracy and Disagreement
- Navigating Opportunity : Policy Debate in the 21st Century
- Good to Talk? Living and Working in a Communication Culture
- Way We Argue Now : A Study in the Cultures of Theory
- Presidential Debates : The Challenge of Creating an Informed Electorate
- Rhetoric for Radicals : A Handbook for 21st Century Activists
- Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique : House of My Sojourn : Rhetoric, Women, and the Question of Authority
- Speaking Back. The free speech versus hate speech debate
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