'Post Truth', Rhetoric and Populism

Ref: C2341116

To some ‘post truth’ means freedom from the tyranny of rationality and experts. To others it is another word for ‘lies’. To some, populism is a new, better way of 'doing politics'; and to others, a threat to democracy. The course is an opportunity to familiarize yourselves with current analyses of political populism and with key features of rhetoric, and to apply what has been learnt to current case studies (of your choice or set by the tutor). The course will cover 1. definitions of 'post truth' 2. definitions of political populism 2. rhetoric and manipulation 3. rhetoric and the public good 4. some rhetorical tools 5. case studies : how rhetoric is used in populism – and how it can be used in informed debates about populism

Course aim

An opportunity to gain a better understanding of the terms 'post truth' and 'populism' with the help of philosophical and rhetorical analysis.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • give a definition of 'post truth'
  • give a definition of 'political populism'
  • summarize current analyses of populism
  • explain at least three rhetorical tools using examples
  • give an indication of how rhetoric is used in populism – and how it can be used in informed debates about populism (drawing on case studies where possible)

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • You may wish to have a look at Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism R Toye, Rhetoric. A Very Short Introduction (Oxford Univ Press 2013) https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/12/economist-explains-18

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • suggested further study : Independent : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us- politics/populismwhat-is- it- explained- rise- donald- trump- marine- le- pen- politics- economics- a770419

Download full course information sheet

'Post Truth', Rhetoric and Populism

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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