European Studies Logo

Jeffrey Walker


ProfessorPh.D., 1985, University of California, Berkeley

Jeffrey Walker

Contact

Courses


RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44085 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM PAR 1

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethospathoslogos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an writing flag course.

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

E 387R • Beginnings Of Rhetoric

34750 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.118

This course will examine the beginnings of Rhetoric as a discipline in 5th-4th century Greece, i.e., from the early sophists to the death of Aristotle — but with attention, too, to later developments, depending on class personnel and interests. Among the topics to consider are: pre-classical precursors; rhetoric across cultures; rhetorical historiography and the “long history” of rhetoric; epideictic and “practical” rhetoric; rhetoric and civil community; rhetoric and poetics; techne and creativity; the rivalry between Plato and Isocrates (and their sucessors); rhetoric as an educational system; and the “ends” of rhetoric. Primary texts will include Sprague (ed.), THE OLDER SOPHISTS; Isocrates (complete); Plato (selected dialogues); Aristotle, RHETORIC and POETICS; the anonymous RHETORIC TO ALEXANDER; and some representative examples of rhetorical lore and practice in particular (historical, material) contexts.

Requirements: short, oral in-class presentations; a 15 to 20-minute  “conference paper”; and a 15 to 20-page paper.

RHE 330D • Sophistry & Inventn Of Rhet

44800 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 101

This course will examine the role of those controversial persons known as “sophists” and the practices of “sophists” in the invention of rhetoric, in two senses: first, in the emergence of rhetoric as a distinct discipline or “art” in ancient Greece; and second, in the rhetorical process of inventing ideas. In the first part of the course we’ll focus on the surviving remnants of the first persons known as “sophists,” in an effort to understand their characteristic ideas and practices. Next, we’ll consider some notable responses to the sophists, in the comedy of Aristophanes, Plato’s dialogues, and Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Poetics. Finally we’ll consider some ancient and modern examples of “sophistical” thought and practice, from the “Second Sophistic” movement of late antiquity to Friedrich Nietzsche, twentieth-century pragmatism, and postmodern fiction. Throughout we will be meditating on what it may mean to say, as Gorgias of Leontini did, that “the deceiver is more virtuous than the non-deceiver, and the deceived is wiser than the non-deceived.” 

Texts

Rosamond K. Sprague (ed.): The Older Sophists

Aristophanes: Clouds

Plato: Protagoras, Phaedrus

Aristotle: Rhetoric; Poetics

Apuleius: The Golden Ass

Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49

A packet of short readings from Friedrich Nietzsche & William James Requirements and Grading

Three formal papers -- one for each unit -- as well as short, informal “weeklies” and other exercises. Attendance and participation are expected. Final grades will be based on 4 “graded objects”:

3 formal papers: 25% each

Weeklies, short exercises, and participation in discussion (considered holistically): 25%

E 387R • Clascl Rhet Through Centuries

36090 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 310

This course will examine the classical rhetorical tradition, with an eye to its contemporary uses. The first half of the course will focus on classical (ancient) rhetoric per se, while the second half will rapidly overview (some of) its post-classical iterations and modifications — e.g., in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Modernist eras — depending in part on student interests and projects. Within the general overview, possible foci will include: relations between rhetoric and poetics; rhetoric and technology (orality/literacy, etc.); the rhetorical paideia (rhetorical pedagogy and the liberal arts); rhetoric, politics, and practical wisdom (phronêsis); rhetoric, philosophy, and the “regime of Truth”; rhetoric and/as critical hermeneutics.

Primary readings in classical rhetoric are likely to include: the fragments of the early sophists; Isocrates; Plato (Gorgias, Phaedrus, Protagoras, Ion); Aristotle (Rhetoric, Poetics); Cicero (De Oratore); Quintilian; Dionysius of Halicarnassus; Hermogenes; Longinus On the Sublime; Augustine (De Doctrina Christiana); and rhetorical “handbooks” (technai; artes). Readings from later periods may include selections and extracts from Medieval and Renaisssance artes, Erasmus (De Copia), Sidney (Apology for Poetry); Neoclassical and Romantic “lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres”; Nietszche; and such modernist figures as I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke,  and Chaim Perelman. Recommended secondary readings will include general histories of rhetoric and rhetorical education (e.g., Kennedy, Conley, Bizzell/Herzberg), as well as studies of particular periods and/or figures (e.g., Schiappa, Pernot, Marrou, Cribiore, Murphy, Lanham, Sloane); an extended bibliography will be provided.

Requirements probably will include: several brief oral presentations (discussion openers, reports); a conference-paper-length oral presentation on the student’s chosen research/writing project; and an expanded (up to article-length) seminar paper on that project.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44215 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 206

This course will introduce classical, modern, and contemporary (“postmodern”) approaches to the study of rhetoric -- the art and practice of effective, persuasive discourse -- or even, from a modern/postmodern point of view, the general phenomenon of effective/persuasive discourse, or the persuasive force of language itself. Put another way, rhetoric is the study, art, practice, and/or phenomenon of language that makes things happen. As we will see, there are not only differences of approach between classical and modern/postmodern views (and there are different classical views as well), but there are also significant continuities. Thus, we will consider all approaches as offering resources that can mutually enrich each other, and that are available and useful to us now. Among the topics that will concern us -- in addition to the “toolbox” each approach provides for rhetorical study and practice -- will be the broader questions of humanity as “rhetorical animals”; the relations between rhetoric, rhetorical culture, and civic culture; and the ethics of rhetoric.

 Texts

Crowley and Hawhee’s Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students (third edition), and a collection of readings from classical, modern and contemporary theorists, either in a packet or on Blackboard. (This will include extracts or selections from the early sophists [e.g., Gorgias, Antiphon, Isocrates], Plato, Aristotle, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, Michel Foucault, Paul de Man, and others.) We will also seek, at all times, to apply the principles under discussion to contemporary examples of “rhetorical action.”

 Requirements

In addition to a number of short assignments and exercises, students will write a short paper (3-6 pp.), undertake a research project, make an oral presentation based on the research, and develop an expanded and revised version of the oral presentation in a substantial (“long”) paper (6-10 pp). This project may involve a rhetorical study (analysis, critique) of a particular text or any other “rhetorical phenomenon,” using principles discussed in this course; deeper study and explication of a rhetorical theorist or theory; or a rhetorical production (in any medium) that puts principles we have studied into action. 

 Grading

  • Short assignments & exercises: 20%
  • Short paper: 25%
  • Oral presentation: 25%
  • Long paper: 30%

E 387R • Clascl Rhet Through Centuries

35605 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 310

E387R: CLASSICAL RHETORIC (THROUGH THE CENTURIES)

Particular topics may vary, but in general this course will examine the classical rhetorical tradition with an eye to its contemporary uses. The first half of the course will focus on classical (ancient) rhetoric per se, while the second half will rapidly overview (some of) its post-classical iterations and modifications — e.g., in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Modernist eras — depending in part on student interests and projects. Within the general overview, possible foci will include: relations between rhetoric and poetics; rhetoric and technology (orality/literacy, etc.); the rhetorical paideia (rhetorical pedagogy and the liberal arts); rhetoric, politics, and practical wisdom (phronêsis); rhetoric, philosophy, and the “regime of Truth”; rhetoric and/as critical hermeneutics.

Primary readings in classical rhetoric are likely to include: the fragments of the early sophists; Isocrates; Plato (Gorgias, Phaedrus, Protagoras, Ion); Aristotle (Rhetoric, Poetics); Cicero (De Oratore); Quintilian; Dionysius of Halicarnassus; Hermogenes; Longinus On the Sublime; Augustine (De Doctrina Christiana); and rhetorical “handbooks” (technai; artes). Readings from later periods may include selections and extracts from Medieval and Renaisssance artes, Erasmus (De Copia), Sidney (Apology for Poetry); Neoclassical and Romantic “lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres”; Nietszche; and such modernist figures as I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke,  Chaim Perelman, and Wayne Booth. Recommended secondary readings will include general histories of rhetoric and rhetorical education (e.g., Kennedy, Conley, Bizzell/Herzberg), as well as studies of particular periods and/or figures (e.g., Schiappa, Pernot, Marrou, Cribiore, Murphy, Lanham, Sloane); an extended bibliography will be provided.

Requirements will include: several brief oral presentations (discussion openers, reports); a conference-paper-length oral presentation on the student’s chosen research/writing project; and an expanded (up to article-length) seminar paper on that project.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44755 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.202

This course will introduce classical, modern, and contemporary (“postmodern”) approaches to the study of rhetoric -- the art and practice of effective, persuasive discourse -- or even, from a modern/postmodern point of view, the general phenomenon of effective/persuasive discourse, or the persuasive force of language itself. Put another way, rhetoric is the study, art, practice, and/or phenomenon of language that makes things happen. As we will see, there are not only differences of approach between classical and modern/postmodern views (and there are different classical views as well), but there are also significant continuities. Thus, we will consider all approaches as offering resources that can mutually enrich each other, and that are available and useful to us now. Among the topics that will concern us -- in addition to the “toolbox” each approach provides for rhetorical study and practice -- will be the broader questions of humanity as “rhetorical animals”; the relations between rhetoric, rhetorical culture, and civic culture; and the ethics of rhetoric.

Texts
Crowley and Hawhee’s Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students (third edition), and a collection of readings from classical, modern and contemporary theorists, either in a packet or on Blackboard. (This will include extracts or selections from the early sophists [e.g., Gorgias, Antiphon, Isocrates], Plato, Aristotle, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, Michel Foucault, Paul de Man, and others.) We will also seek, at all times, to apply the principles under discussion to contemporary examples of “rhetorical action.”

Requirements
In addition to a number of short assignments and exercises, students will write a short paper (3-6 pp.), undertake a research project, make an oral presentation based on the research, and develop an expanded and revised version of the oral presentation in a substantial (“long”) paper (6-10 pp). This project may involve a rhetorical study (analysis, critique) of a particular text or any other “rhetorical phenomenon,” using principles discussed in this course; deeper study and explication of a rhetorical theorist or theory; or a rhetorical production (in any medium) that puts principles we have studied into action.  

Grading
•    Short assignments & exercises: 20%
•    Short paper: 25%
•    Oral presentation: 25%
•    Long paper: 30%

E 387R • Rhet & Poetics, Ancient & Mod

35220 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:30PM JES A215A

See attachment.

RHE 309S • Crit Read/Persuasv Writ-Hon-W

45205 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 210



C C 348 • Sophistry & Inventn Of Rhet-W

31995 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 308

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

RHE 309S • Crit Read/Persuasv Writ-Hon-W

45900 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.202



C C 348 • Classical To Modern Rhetoric-W

31062 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 10

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

RHE 309S • Crit Read & Persuasive Writ-W

44075 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 308



RHE 309S • Crit Read & Persuasive Writ-W

42585 • Spring 2005
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 104



RHE 309S • Crit Read & Persuasive Writ-W

43585 • Fall 2004
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 308



Publications


Walker, J. (2011) The Genuine Teachers of this Art: Rhetorical Education in Antiquity. University of South Carolina Press, forthcoming.

Longaker, M., & Walker, J. (2010) Rhetorical Analysis. Pearson-Longman, forthcoming.

Walker, J. (2008) Rhetoric and Poetics. International Encyclopedia of Communication, vol. 9, 4310-4312.

Walker, J. (2006) The Place of Theory in Ancient Rhetoric. In L. Montefusco (Ed.), Papers on Rhetoric VII (pp.247-265). Rome: Herder.

Walker, J. (2005) Michael Psellos: The Encomium of His Mother. Advances in the History of Rhetoric 8, 239-313.

Walker, J. (2005) Mime, Comedy, Sophistry: Speculations on the Origins of Rhetoric. Advances in the History of Rhetoric, 8, 199-210.

Walker, J. (2005) Aelius Aristides. In M. Balliff & M. Moran (Eds.), Classical Rhetorics and Rhetoricians. New York: Praeger.

Walker, J. (2005) Dionysius of Halicarnassus. In M. Balliff & M. Moran (Eds.), Classical Rhetorics and Rhetoricians (pp.137-141). New York: Praeger.

Walker, J. (2004) These Things I Have Not Betrayed: Michael Psellos' Encomium of His Mother. Rhetorica, 22(1), 49-101.

Walker, J. (2000) Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press.

Walker, J. (2000) Pathos and Katharsis in "Aristotelian" Rhetoric . In A. Gross & A. Walzer (Eds.), Rereading Aristotle (pp.74-92). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Walker, J. (1994) The Body of Persuasion: A Theory of the Enthymeme. College English, 56(1), 46-65.

Walker, J. (1992, September) Enthymemes of Anger in Cicero and Thomas Paine. Southern Illinois University Press, 357-381.

Walker, J. (1991) Investigating Arguments: Readings for College Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Walker, J. (1989) Bardic Ethos and the American Epic Poem: Whitman, Pound, Crane, Williams, Olson. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

Walker, J. (1989) Aristotle's Lyric: Re-Imagining the Rhetoric of Epideictic Song. College English, 51(1), 5-28.

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages


External Links



  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    A1800
    Austin, Texas 78712
    512-232-3470