Dr. Jamie Berthel

Dr. Jamie Berthel

Dr. Jamie Berthel
Professor of Rhetoric

Office: CT214
E-mail: jberthel@dacc.edu
Phone: 443-8725

Courses Taught:
Intro to Film
Rhetoric I & II

Dr. Jamie Berthel, Composition Instructor

Educational Background
I received my B.A. from Illinois State University in Allied Arts, my M.A. from Western Illinois University in Literature, and my D.A. (Doctor of Arts) in Rhetoric from Illinois State University.

A rhetoric and writing specialist, Dr. Berthel is liberally educated. Her undergraduate degree, a contract major in Allied Arts, consisted of performance arts courses in Music, Theater, Art, Dance, and Film Studies. Her M.A. is in Literature, equally British and American. Her dissertation is a marriage of occidental and oriental rhetorics. Using paradox and postmodern theories of critical thinking, her courses emphasize the role of S/subjectivity in popular culture and "process" composition. A socratic method educator, Berthel often teaches without a textbook.

Personal Information
By night, Berthel performs jazz standards in the night club she owns and operates with her husband, who is a financial advisor and securities broker.

Teaching Philosophy
My methods turn on the idea that human activity is in every respect a rhetorical situation and that everything therefore, is text. All texts are cultural artifacts, and as such are political documents, whether the text is a presidential address to the nation or a safety pin worn through one's eyebrow. All information is propaganda, with an agenda suited to those who created it, and whose memberships are secured through its circulation and adoption. Likewise are all texts in effect re-written each and every time they are read, according to the agenda of the audience or readers at hand. Given this, all rhetorical situations are Subjective and those who access information are, quite literally, sub-jected in it, by it and to it.

With regard to critical thinking, my assignments quite often present the student with an aphorism or verbal paradox, which the student struggles to translate, interpret, and illustrate. Students must "make an effort to answer" when called upon; active and spontaneous discussion is the model for my classroom, which is a Socratic setting for the peer review of essays which are read aloud and critiqued by the entire class, then and there.