Dr. Letteri is Chair of the Communication Studies Department. He played a critical role in the inception of the department in 1996 and was its first chair. His areas of teaching are rhetorical and discourse theory, political communication, media and film studies, and the ideology of art, architecture, and space. He has directed and co-directed several study abroad programs to Turkey, Greece, Italy and China. Presently, his main area of academic interest is the comparative study of Italian and Chinese film.

Name Title Description


Public Speaking

Study of the fundamental principles and strategies of informative, persuasive, and ceremonial speaking. Emphasis on how to research, organize, and deliver a speech. The ethical, political, and social character of public speaking is also examined. Students perform a variety of speeches and oral exercises and serve as speech critics and interlocutors.


Introduction to Rhetoric

Topical survey of the major questions and controversies in rhetorical theory, criticism, and practice. Topics include: classical canons of rhetoric, the�role of rhetoric�in civic life, and the relationship of rhetoric to power, politics, law, education, and ethics. Readings may include selections from Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Nietzsche, Burke, Toulmin, Perelmen, Habermas, Foucault, White, Allen, and others.


Rhetoric in the Modern World

The history of rhetorical theory and practice from the Renaissance to the present. Focus on the European tradition with special attention given to the relationship of rhetoric�to liberal education, politics, law, ethics, religion, myth, and ritual. Readings are from primary texts in the rhetorical tradition and may include selections from Petrarch, Salutati, Valla, Bracciolini, Cavalcanti, Ramus, Erasmus, Bacon, Hobbes, Lamy, Fenelon, Mackenzie, Locke, Vico, Monboddo, Blair, Campbell, Whately, Theremin, Nietzsche, Richards, Weaver, Burke, Perelman, Toulmin, Foucault, Habermas, and others.


Media Criticism

Critical methods used to analyze the mass media and popular cultural texts. The theoretical basis of such critical methods as semiotics, psychoanalysis, narrative and ideological theory, and cultural studies, and how to use these methods to analyze media texts such as television shows, movies, and magazine advertisements.


Political Communication

Historical and theoretical study of the modern public sphere and public life in Europe and the United States. Focus on how transformations of political ideals, social, and economic institutions, and the media have changed the character of political discourse. Examination of how the changing relationships among state governments, political parties, special interest groups, and social movements affect political discourse.


Italian Film

An examination of the apex of Italian cinema from the emergence of neorealism, through the works of the great Italian auteur directors including Fellini, Antonioni and Pasolini to the present. Students will learn how Italian film represented Italian history, politics, and culture. Of particular importance for the class will be to show how the tradition of Italian neorealism carried on from the 1940s until the 1960s and shows signs of a resurgence in contemporary Italian film.


Studies in Mass Media

Concentrated study in one area or theorist of mass communication. Course topics will change with each offering. Potential topics include the global media integration, the internet as a public sphere, public journalism, the theories of Marshall McLuhan, Hollywood film genres, or Italian film. Varied topics.


Art of Travel Writing

Introduction to history, society and culture of specific travel destination. Exploration of art of travel writing including reading and analyzing travel essays as models for their own writing. Required for students participating in travel writing May Experience in a given year.


Great Film Directors

An examination of the concept of auteur (author) film production that focus on the unique stylistic elements of films based on the film director's aesthetics and worldview. The course looks at the films of many of the main individuals, both inside and outside of Hollywood, who are considered auteur directors such as John Ford, Billy Wilder, Igmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Pedro Almadovor, Spike Lee, Zhang Yimou, and Wong Kar Wai.

  • "Deleuze's 'Cinema of the Seer': Italian Neorealism and New Chinese Cinema." The Global Studies Journal. V.4, 2011
  • "Dirty Baby: The Gender Politics of Million Dollar Baby." Quarterly Review of Film and Video. V. 29, N.2, Feb/March, 2011
  • "History, Homelessness, and Silence in Wang Xiaoshuai's Shanghai Dreams." Asian Studies Review. V.24, N.1, March 2010
  • "Realism, Hybridity and the Construction of Identity in Wang Xiaoshuai's Beijing Bicycle." Southeast Review of Asian Studies, V. 29, 2007
  • A Handbook of Public Speaking. Allyn & Bacon: Nedham Heights, MA. January, 2002.
Ohio University
Ohio University
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

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