This course provides an introduction to the major ideas and concepts of rhetorical and performance studies and their contributions to social action. Students will be introduced to the thinkers and movements in rhetoric and performance most significant to how we understand ourselves: the ways we represent and remember our pasts, live our presents (presence), and imagine our futures. Theories of rhetoric and performance will be connected to each other and to our communication practices to examine how theories can be deployed as part of the art of living our lives. Assignments in this course will also connect theory and practice: students will be quizzed on readings to assess knowledge of concepts and theory and will complete out of class assignments that require practical applications of concepts/theories to community contexts. Students will also be expected to be able to engage in critical assessment: of the theories and their applications, as well as of their own (students') commitment to the work of education and personal growth.