UNH 3030, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045

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Presented by:

Cinthia Gannett, Associate Professor of English, Fairfield University

This presentation will provide an overview of Jesuit rhetorical traditions, particularly focusing on the history of rhetorical education. We will consider the capacious Renaissance sense and scope of rhetoric as it was enacted in what the Jesuits referred to as “ministries of the word,” and how it has acted (and been enacted pedagogically over the centuries) as a centering aim of Jesuit education in the form of eloquentia perfecta. The aim of a Jesuit rhetorical education has always been to foster the development of students who are informed, ethical, civil, sympathetic, articulate writers and speakers, willing and committed to engage with their larger communities through the careful use of words, not weapons. The effective practice of rhetoric in any field or domain in this context also invokes “action,” through persuasion, decisions taken, laws passed, knowledge shared, policies created, and other physical action as well.
We will also examine some of the current experiments in American Jesuit higher education on reimagining the roles and sites of rhetorical education, as a way of offering context for Loyola Marymount’s ambitious core revision. In particular, we’ll look at Loyola of Maryland, Fairfield, Fordham, and Seattle University as well as other schools as current examples of efforts to recreate a modern version of education for eloquentia perfecta for the 21st century. 


Cinthia Gannett is Associate Professor of English and Director of Core Writing at Fairfield University, as well as the Center for Academic Excellence Faculty Consultant on Writing. She has previously directed writing programs, writing centers and Writing across the Curriculum programs at the University of New Hampshire and Loyola University in Maryland. She is the author of Gender and the Journal (1992) and several articles and essays on journal traditions, archival work in composition, and writing centers/writing across the curriculum.  

Cinthia has served on the Board of the Rhetoric Society of America and is currently the President of the Jesuit Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.  Her current research interests include international writing studies, action research traditions, and the history and current applications of Jesuit rhetorical education.  She and John C. Brereton are currently co-editing a collection of essays, Traditions of Eloquence: The Jesuits and Rhetorical Studies. (Fordham Press, forthcoming, 2014).  

Additional workshop offered by Dr. Cinthia Gannett:

Monday, 11/25, 4pm: Eloquence for Everyone

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to teachers@lmu.edu or x85866.

This program will be video and audio taped and may be podcast. By your willing participation in the program, you expressly and irrevocably consent to be photographed, videotaped and/or audio taped and quoted/cited. The films, tapes, and other digital recordings will become the property of the Center of Teaching Excellence, LMU.


  • Glenn Johnson-Grau

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