Keep 'em Laughing: The Use of Humor, Memetic Culture, and the Absurd in Teaching Rhetoric

    Many instructors, when first introducing students to rhetoric and debate, use highly-controversial issues to try to spark interest, but this tactic may actually be counterproductive. Issues like abortion rights, gun control, or the separation of church and state are complex and emotionally charged. When presented with these types of topics, students quote talking points, get angry, and commit logical fallacies. This session is focused on using humor and absurdity to “lower the stakes” involved in teaching rhetoric, argument, and debate with prompts such as “Who would win in a boxing match between Abraham Lincoln and George Washington?”

Session Speaker(s)

Session Time and Location

2:00pm to 2:55pm
Oakwood B

Session Format

50 minute presentation

Session Track

Teaching and Learning