Social Sciences

Rhetoric Recrafted

Unleashing Your Superpower for the Modern Age

This course will expand your mind and encourage you to embrace (and practice!) your given abilities to think and create.

This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.


Course Level
Advanced Bachelor
ECTS credits
1.5 ECTS
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands


Are you surprised by your neighbour Karen's political support for the corrupted politician? Do you think Chad, your childhood friend, would really be happier if we all stuck to two genders, had no vaccines for children and only consumed cow milk?

In this rapidly evolving landscape, individuals equipped with critical thinking, empathetic insight, public speaking skills and flexibility will distinguish themselves, safeguarding democratic principles essential for transformative societal shifts.

Through the application of rhetorical principles – such as recognizing the potency of the enthymeme, discerning between practical and theoretical reasoning, navigating modes of persuasion, acknowledging inherent biases, interacting with media, and discerning dialogic structures – during this immersive course, participants will acquire a comprehensive toolkit for fostering proactive citizenship, and embracing their innate capacities for analytical thinking and content creation.

This course will expand your mind and encourage you to embrace (and practice!) your given abilities to think and create. These skills are becoming increasingly crucial in the face of modern-day threats such as fake news, misinformation, propaganda, polarization, climate change, conspiracy theories, deepfakes, AI, susceptibility to online influencers, and apathy towards civic participation.

In the early days of democracy, rhetoric was developed to aid individuals in advocating for themselves. Rhetorical education involved reflecting on others' words and expressing one's own thoughts, aiming not only for personal growth but also broader societal significance. Wouldn’t it be great to reclaim that superpower*, tailored to life in this century?

The course consists of two parts: an in-person meeting in July in Utrecht and two online assignments—one before and one after the on-site session. During the in-person session, you will acquire knowledge and information, while also having time to refine your skills and exchange insights with peers. By the end of the course, you will gain a new perspective on media practices, political decision-making and communication, interpersonal relationships and advertising, leaving you forever changed.

The course includes assessments: standardized evaluations and those designed specifically for this program. You will have the opportunity to compare yourself before and after, and later (whether a day, a week, or at the start of a new academic year), recognize the newfound confidence to change the world.

Are you ready to make a difference? If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate.

Topics we plan to cover:

Day 1 – Communication, Audience, and Dialogue

Day 2 – Persuasion, Reasoning, and Argumentation

Day 3 – Rhetoric and (Social) Media

Day 4 – Rhetorical Citizenship: Argument, Media, and Content Analysis

Day 5 – Now it’s your turn to speak. And self-reflection

This program is part of research for a doctoral dissertation. Students will be kindly asked to participate, with the option to withdraw consent at any time.

*What do we mean by a superpower? It involves the ability to differentiate between truth and falsehoods, grasp the real meaning of words and reasons, understand others' perspectives, recognize fallacious behavior, and precisely articulate own thoughts through speaking and writing.

Day to Day Documents


Target audience

Bachelor and Master students of all disciplines, and young professionals, who want to work on their thinking and writing/speaking skills.

Study load

In the week of 1 July, you will receive some assignments and be asked to fulfil those online. It shouldn’t take more than two hours of your time. When we meet in Utrecht, each day we will have six to seven hours of programme (including lunch break). After the course, you will also get a short online assignment.


  • Course fee: €295.00
  • Included: Course + course materials + lunch
  • Housing fee: €200
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

Online participation possible (limited spots). The fee is then reduced € 245.

Additional information

Limited number of rooms are available. If you need housing, apply as soon as possible. More information here.

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order. 


When writing your motivation letter, think of situations you had recently in which it would had been useful to have polished rhetorical skills. Please, let us know if you wish to take the course online.

For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • Motivation Letter
  • C.V.