Associate Professor Lay, Chairperson
Associate Professor Miller, Associate Chairperson
Professors Merrill, Robinson, Trasciatti
Associate Professors Bartolotta, Cole, Dalton, DeTora, Dresner, Efthymiou, Gaughan, Lotier, Miller
The Department of Writing Studies and Rhetoric is committed to the teaching of writing and rhetoric in its own courses and to the support of the teaching of these subjects across the disciplines at Hofstra. The department’s main objective is to foster awareness in the Hofstra community of the centrality of writing and of rhetoric to the development of a critical consciousness, to successful pursuit of academic and career objectives, and to effective participation in public discourse. To this end, students in the department’s programs are assisted in developing their skills in the analysis and production of written texts through lecture, discussion, oral presentations, workshops, and collaborative projects as well as practice in the art of writing itself. The department is also dedicated to providing undergraduate and graduate courses in informal and formal rhetoric and its contemporary manifestations as well as to training in the pedagogy of writing instruction.
Candidates for graduation from Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with the degree of Bachelor of Arts must fulfill the BA requirements as listed under Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences . In addition, students majoring in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy must choose a concentration in one of two areas: speech communication or political communication.
Note: The concentration in speech communication is recommended for students wishing to double major in rhetorical studies and another major. Students in other concentrations who wish to double major should consult with a department adviser as soon as they choose a major, in order to complete the major requirements on time.
Incoming freshmen and transfer students may declare a major in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy. Matriculated Hofstra University students must have a grade point average of at least 2.0 to declare a major. All declared majors must maintain a minimum grade point average in the major of 2.5 and a grade point average overall of 2.0 to remain in the major.
In the spirit of using writing to build community, the department provides writing instruction for students throughout their academic careers, advice, and support to instructors teaching writing in what is often thought of as non-writing courses, and, through its interdisciplinary writing center, consultation and guided practice for all members of the Hofstra community.
Hofstra Speech and Debate Team
The Speech and Debate (Forensics) Team offers both HCLAS students and students in other units of the University an opportunity to hone their public communication, critical thinking, organizational, research, and interpersonal skills by becoming members of the team. Members of the Speech and Debate Team engage in intercollegiate competition in a variety of individual events. These include public address events such as informative and persuasive speaking, after dinner (humorous) speaking, and impromptu speaking, and performance of literature events, such as performance of prose, poetry, and dramatic literature. The team travels to many universities to compete, including rotating sites around the country for the national championships. Several members of the team have received high accolades, including best speaker in New York state and national champion in persuasive speaking.