Department of Rhetoric & Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Writing

RHE 309K • Rhet Of Bicultural Identity

44065 • Brozovsky, Erica
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM FAC 7
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Bicultural Identity 

What do Kid Cudi, Olivia Wilde, and Louis CK have in common? And what about Eminem, Snooki, and Mindy Kaling? The members of the first group can be identified as multiracial: the children of parents of different ethnicities and races. The second group lends itself to a more multicultural lens: Eminem is not seen as just a rapper, but a white rapper; Snooki embodies the Italian-American guidette, but is in fact Chilean; and in the words of Mindy Kaling, “My parents raised me with the entitlement of a tall, white, blond man.” In this class we will examine mixed identity in both measures of race and of culture.

As globalization simultaneously shrinks the perceived distance between cultures and broadens our worldview, there has arisen a population of individuals who do not solely identify with one cultural ethnicity or community. From deciding which box to check on demographic forms to communicating with grandparents in makeshift sign due to language barriers, the offspring of multiculturalism often struggle with what unicultural people might consider innocuous tasks or decisions. What does it mean to be accused of “acting black” or, in the case of Rachel Dolezol, actually passing as black? How do people behave differently or speak differently in the various cultural spheres to which they belong? With this struggle comes the question of identity. Where do these people fit in?

Through a rhetorical lens, we will explore a multitude of topics including historical viewpoints on miscegenation (and the negative connotation the word conveys), third culture, the immigrant experience, diaspora, and loss of culture. We will examine the way our society talks about multiculturalism, and in turn, how the way we talk about it shapes the way that it exists. In this course, we will learn to engage critically with a variety of texts from laws to YouTube videos and evaluate them based on the rhetorical toolkit developed over the course of the semester. By researching credible sources, and writing and revising college-level papers, we will emerge at the end of the semester with a greater understanding of rhetoric, writing, and the multicultural world around us.


Required Textbooks and Handbooks

  • Everything’s an Argument, Andrea A. Lunsford, John J. Ruszkiewicz, & Keith Walters
  • Little Longhorn Handbook, Richard Bullock, Michal Brody, & Francine Weinberg


Selected Texts - Additional texts will be assigned in a course packet or distributed electronically. Authors may include: Jan Blommaert, David Pollock & Ruth Van Reken, Rutledge Dennis, Barack Obama, Trevor Noah, Vaidehi Muhumdar, Mary Bucholtz, and Emma Lazarus.


Course Assessment

  • Paper 1.1 – 10 %
  • Paper 2.1 – 10%
  • Paper 2.2 – Revision – 15%
  • Paper 3.1 – 10%
  • Paper 3.2 – Revision – 15%
  • Final Presentation – 10%
  • Short writing assignments (5 – 20%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Peer Reviews (Mandatory)

RHE 309K • Rhet Of Human Computation

44095 • Emison, Emily
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 104
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Human Computation

At the nexus of human talent and technological advancement lies human computation: the practice of using the processing power of people to solve problems and/or analyze data that computers cannot (yet) solve/analyze and, importantly, vice versa. This promising, problematic marriage of man and machine is not new—the prosthetic extension of ability via technology is at least as old as the wheel, the stylus, or the sundial. What is novel, however, is the massive scale on which these extensions are taking place in the 21st century.

"Rhetoric of Human Computation" is designed to bridge the gap between the anxious Luddites (whether self-styled or externally perceived) and the myopically optimistic practitioners by interrogating the central claims made about the relationship between human beings and computers. Students will gain a more nuanced understanding of this ongoing conversation's context by examining a variety of viewpoints and thinking critically about the rhetorical moves made by different texts (including non-written and born-digital texts). Arguments for and against many distinct approaches to human computation will be analyzed for their bias/credibility, intended audience(s), underlying assumptions, and appeals to the classical triad of ethos/pathos/logos. This course will ask students to read and write arguments about human computation but also, ultimately, to consider how “rhetorical” human-machine interaction is, in itself.


Major Assignments:

  •             Project 1: Annotated Bibliography (10%)

  •             Project 2: Rhetorical Analysis (10%)

  •             Project 2 Revision (15%)

  •             Project 3: Argument (10%)

  •             Project 3 Revision (15%)
  •             Project 4: Computational Translation (10%)

Shorter Assignments: Research Summaries 1-4 (15%)

Participation: Measured via Canvas Discussions and Quizzes (15%)

Instructor Conferences: For Projects 1 & 4 (Mandatory)

Peer Reviews: For Projects 2 & 3 (Mandatory)


IV. Course Readings

  • Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. 3rd        Edition.  New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2014.
  • Bullock, Richard, Michal Brody, and Francine Weinberg. The Little Longhorn Handbook. 2nd Edition.  New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2014.


Sample of additional readings and resources (to be posted on Canvas):

  • Marcus, Adam Marcus and Aditya Parameswaran. Crowdsourced Data Management: Industry and                    Academic Perspectives, "Human Computer Interaction," "Machine         Learning and Artificial            Intelligence," "Social Science," "Game Theory," and "Systems and Programming Models" (each      section is 2-3 pages, maximum).
  • Quinn, Alexander J. and Benjamin B. Bederson. "Human Computation: A Survey and Taxonomy of a      Growing Field."

RHE 309K • Rhet Of Injustice In Comics

44025 • Wells, Jazmine
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 1.102
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Injustice in Comics 

Course Description

In this course, we will analyze the measures comic book characters take to bring justice to their communities. In order to better understand why these characters have decided to fight for social justice, we will discuss and dissect the injustices committed against them, such as being illegally experimented on, stigmatized, and falsely criminalized. In class, we will use the comic book hero Luke Cage to investigate how comic book characters rhetorically tackle issues related to race, crime, and politics. As a class we will view clips from the Netflix series Luke Cage, refer back to excerpts from the comic book, and read current scholarship published on Luke Cage. Although Luke Cage will serve as the main case for class discussions, students are allowed to focus their assignments on any comic book character they want.

By exploring and critiquing how popular culture frames conversations regarding Luke Cage, students will learn to identify and analyze rhetorical appeals and fallacies, in both traditional and visual texts. Students will then take the analytic skills, critical thinking skills, and research methods developed from having these discussions, and use them to examine how a comic book character of their choice also addresses and solves social issues. Students will be asked to compose short and long writing assignments summarizing and analyzing their comic book character’s actions, with the purpose of producing an argument about their comic book character’s fight for justice. At the end of the course, students will be asked to join in on this fight for justice, by taking action towards solving a social issue in their local communities.


List of Assignments

  • Project 1: Annotated Bibliography (15%)
  • Project 2: Argumentative Essay (10%)
  • Project 2.2: Revision (15%)
  • Project 3: Action Rhetoric Project (10%)
  • Project 3.2: Revision (15%)
  • Project 4: Build-a-Superhero (10%)
  • 5 Short Writing Assignments (25%)


Required Texts

  • Browne, M. Neil and Keeley, Stuart M. Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 2007. Print.
  • Bullock, Richard, Michal Brody, and Francine Weinberg. The Little Longhorn Handbook. 2nd Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2014.
  • Access to a Netflix account 

RHE 309K • Rhet Of Islam In America

44030 • Chovanec, Matthew
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 308
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Islam in America

Islam and Muslims figured prominently in the public discourse of the United States these days, from Donald Trump's controversial "Muslim ban", to the unbridled Muslim feminism of the "I Wrap my Hijab" rap video. However, this is nothing new. Islam has appeared frequently in American political and popular culture, going back even to discussions over religious liberty in the colonial period. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Americans have engaged in an ongoing, controversial debate about their country’s relationship to  the global and national Muslim population. Much of this conversation is based upon uncritical assumptions about the nature of Islam, including those regarding gender roles, support for violence and terrorism, Islamic law ("shari'a"), religious authority, cultural and ethnic origins, and its inherent compatibility with democracy.   

This course will explore popular representations of Muslims in the American imagination. After examining the history of Islam in America, and the use of Muslims as the ‘Other’ in the West more broadly, students will examine contemporary debates over Islam in the American media. Students will be challenged to think critically about the political expediency of specific representations of religion and cultures:  how dominant narratives are engineered and when and how they are challenged. Through this historical exploration of the history of Islam in American rhetoric, students will also learn how to identify and analyze a text’s relation to historical, political, and rhetorical contexts; conduct original research using UT library resources and online search engines; approach media and journalism using tools of critical analysis referred to broadly as “media literacy”; assess the credibility of a variety of digital sources; develop a thoughtful writing practice through peer reviews and revisions; identify rhetorical strategies across a range of multimedia texts; write cohesive, analytical papers that contribute to larger conversations about Muslims and their treatment in American culture, politics, and media; and present clear and persuasive written arguments.

Students will be graded on the following assignments for the term:

  • Oral Presentations (3) and in-class participation 20%
  • Research summaries (2) 10%
  • Short Assignments: 20%  
  • Timeline/TimeMap 5%
  • Rhetorical Appeals Summary/Analysis 5%
  • Analysis of a Cultural Object 5%
  • Proposal 5%
  • Major Assignments: 50%
  • Definition Paper 10%
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay 15%
  • Cultural Object and Reflection 25%


List of Required Texts:

  • Everything’s an Argument – Andrea Lunsford, John Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters
  • A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order, Kambiz GhaneaBassiri
  • Compass - Mathias Énard  

RHE 309K • Rhet Of Sports/Athleticism

44075 • Goheen, Jeremy
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 208
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Sports & Athleticism

In a 2006 New York Times article, David Foster Wallace defined the spectacle of watching Roger Federer play upon the “sacred grass” of Wimbledon as a “religious experience.” Framing such an experience in religious terms, Wallace contends that Federer is “one of those preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt . . . from certain physical laws.” We, as an audience, are asked to imagine Federer’s athleticism and performance on the court less in terms of sheer muscular physicality and more in terms of pure transcendent beauty—a beauty divested of political and cultural meaning. Nine years later, Claudia Rankine would explore in the same venue with a much different agenda “The Meaning of Serena Williams.” Williams, Rankine contends, embodies black excellence, but not the kind of black excellence that performs with “good manners and forgiveness in the face of any racist slights or attacks.” On quite the contrary, Rankine suggests Williams’s performances have rewritten the “unspoken script that demands” black people, and black athletes in particular, to absorb racism without resistance. The “new script” Williams provides is one in which “winning doesn't carry the burden of curing racism, in which [black athletes] win just to win.” While each of these representations of the two athletes could not have more radically different agendas, they share some common denominators. Significantly, both authors ask us to change the way we talk about and perceive sports and athleticism. But in asking us to alter our perspectives, they do something we all do every day (knowingly or not): they subtlety, and sometimes not so subtlety, make arguments. And they do so using a wide range of rhetorical strategies.

In this course, Rhetoric of Sports and Athleticism, we will seek to answer a series of fundamental questions: What are sports? What is athleticism? What rhetorical strategies, specifically, does the media employ as a means of selling the spectacle of sports and athleticism to spectators? What is the price we pay for incessantly talking (and arguing) about sports? What is there to be gained? How is rhetoric used to both destroy and advance individual careers? Whose bodies get talked about and whose bodies do not? Where do sports and politics collapse into one another? Are they (or have they) ever been distinct from one another? In attempt to answer these kinds of questions, students will complete three major assignment divided into three units. In the first unit, students will map a particular sports related controversy of their choice. To help narrow the scope of the project, students will select a single athlete through which they will map the controversy. In the second unit, students will learn to rhetorically analyze televised and live sports events. In the third and final unit, students will make an intervention into the controversy they will have explored over the course of the semester.

Required Textbooks and Handbooks

  • Good Reasons with Contemporary Arguments, Lester Fairly and Jack Selzer
  • Longhorn Handbook


  • 1.1 Annotated Bibliography (10%)
  • 2.1 Rhetorical Analysis (televised event) (5&)
  • 2.2 Rhetorical Analysis (live event) (5%)
  • 2.3 Rhetorical analysis revision (10%)
  • 3.1 Argumentative Essay (15%)
  • 3.2 Argumentative Essay Revision (20%)
  • Short Writing Assignments/participation (20%)
  • Oral Presentations (5%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Peer Reviews (Mandatory)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Food

44100 • Mishra, Amrita
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.210
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Exotic Food 

“Stop thinking. Just slurp the noodle in your mouth. I don’t need you to tell me about your spiritual awakening, or your surprise at how modernized our cities are, or how charmed you were that English was so widely spoken … Eat, but don’t expect a gold star for your gastronomical bravery.” – Shin Yin Khor

“I got hot sauce in my bag, swag” −Beyoncé Knowles, “Formation”

Brightly coloured fruit. Spicy aromas floating out of chaotic souks. Palm trees. The idea of “exotic food” generally conjures up an alluring faraway place; anyone who tries it must be a daring worldly adventurer, or “gastronomically brave.” Food and travel blogs and television shows like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown have long promoted the glamour of traveling to experience cuisines on the other side of the world as “authentically” as possible. For those of us who can’t globe-trot, restaurant reviews, menus, cookbooks, and social media attempt to recreate the experience of travelling by constructing and then selling the “exotic”: but can you experience all of Ethiopia by trying injera, or be an expert on Uruguayan culture if you try a choripán? What might the dangers of imagining and glamourizing the “exotic” be? When we become food adventurers in our hometowns or travel to eat, are we doing the same thing European colonizers did for centuries: profit from other regions of the world by exploiting their natural resources and culturally appropriating elements while imagining ourselves to be superior? 

In this course we will explore and interrogate a range of texts in public discourse—from food memoirs to restaurant reviews to food travel shows—concerned with debates surrounding “exotic” food. Some central questions may be: how does the marketing of the “exotic” affect the environment and endangered species, and certain livelihoods? Can claiming an “exotic” food empower certain minority cultures? Is Beyoncé singing about hot sauce in her bag a way of inverting black stereotypes to celebrate blackness and her Southern heritage? We will also work to determine how the “exotic” is constructed and then used in various genres of food-writing and marketing to make particular arguments, an constantly ask: what does this food text want to argue for? How does a formulation of the “exotic” help this text accomplish that argument? We will learn to identify arguments, rhetorically analyze different kinds of persuasive sources and food genres, and cultivate individual arguments. Critical writing assignments include summarizing the argument of a food text, researching and and mapping out a particular controversy related to “exotic” food, rhetorically analyzing the menu, presentation of food, or ambience at a dining establishment, and writing a rhetorical analysis paper. We’ll also do some creative persuasive writing: a personal food memoir and blog post documenting an encounter with “exotic” food, and a final project where students will construct an argument through a genre of food-writing of their choice: memoir, recipe and introduction, blog-post, critical op-ed or restaurant review.



  • Food Source Summary: 5% 
  • Food Memoir and Reflections: 7.5%
  • Exotic Food Blogging: 10%      
  • Definition Paper: 2.5%
  • Coggle Map + Synthesis: 15%
  • Primary Cultural Object Analysis: 5%
  • Rhetorical Analysis Paper: 20% (10% for first draft, and 10% for revised draft)
  • Paper Proposal: 2.5%
  • Argument Paper and Presentation: 25% (10% for first draft, 15% for revised)
  • Participation, in class and on Canvas discussions: 7.5% 

Required Course Materials:  Everything’s an Argument, Andrea A. Lundsford and John J. Ruskiewicz, EasyWriter, by Andrea A. Lundsford. Additional readings on Canvas.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Healing

44085 • Jasraj, Anushka
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM FAC 10
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Healing

“Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”

            - Susan Sontag

In this course we will consider what wellness means within different communities, and across time periods. Students will focus on a specific mode of healing, whether spiritual, medical, emotional, or mental, and analyze the discourse around their chosen topic.

Some of our guiding questions will include: What is holistic care? How do we differentiate between bodily and spiritual healing? How do people discuss health and illness across cultural, political, and medical contexts? What are the rhetorics of environments that enable healing? What is the role of rhetoric in healing and reparative justice?


Required Course Texts

  • Everything’s an Argument, Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruskiewicz
  • EasyWriter by Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Excerpts from: Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag, The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde, On Immunity by Eula Biss



  • 1.1 Annotated Bibliography (10%)
  • 2.1 Mini Rhetorical Analysis of space (15%)
  • 3.1 Mini Rhetorical Analysis of narrative (15%)
  • 4.1 Final Proposal (10%)
  • 4.2 Final Proposal Revision (20%)
  • Weekly Blog Posts (20%)
  • Participation: In-class writing assignments, and twitter posts (10%)
  • Peer Reviews (Mandatory)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Horror

44020 • Harring, Emily
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 9
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Horror

Culturally, the horror genre has allowed writers and directors the opportunity to discuss real world issues in a sphere removed from our own, to make the dialogue easier to digest for consumers. Throughout the semester, we will gauge what real world issues we see reflected in the horror we read/listen to/view, in order to analyze how the issue informs the argument being made. This course invites you to explore the language of horror. It asks: what rhetorical strategies does the author (or director) choose in order to achieve their horrific moments? What arguments are made in popular horror cinema or literature, and how are those arguments being made? In this class, you will learn how to rhetorically analyze arguments—specifically those tied to the horrific. We will trace the rhetoric of horror from medieval literature to contemporary horror films—stopping along the way to meet the Anglo-Saxon monster Grendel, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Charles Baudelaire, and Edgar Allen Poe; we will listen to the broadcast that terrified the masses in 1938, and watch as a young woman finds herself accused of witchcraft in Robert Eggers’s The Witch. As we trace horror, we will ask ourselves which issues seem most important to the writers or directors; what are they arguing against or towards?




• Everything’s an Argument. 7 th Edition w/o readings

• The Little Longhorn Handbook. Norton, 2014.

• Let the Right One In

• The Witch

• Other readings available on course website.


Assignments and Grades

The assignments are as follows: Synthesis Essay Rhetorical Review (2.1) Rhetorical Review Revision (2.2) Creative Rhetorical Essay (3.1) Creative Rhetorical Essay Revision (3.2) Final Project Short Writing Assignments.

In this class, “traditional” grades will not be given for assignments; rather, I am employing the Learning Record. Students will be asked to demonstrate to the instructor that that have developed across the six dimensions of learning throughout the entirety of the course.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Laughter

44080 • Zacks, Aaron
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM FAC 9
show description

Laughter can be a powerful, rhetorical tool, but intentionally harnessing and leveraging its power to make clear, persuasive arguments – this is tricky business.

What makes us laugh? What doesn't make us laugh? How do we laugh? How does our laughter sound? When do we laugh, and when do we hold laughter back? Why do we laugh? What does it mean when we laugh, or don't laugh? From a rhetorical standpoint, what work can laughter perform in conversations about issues both trivial and important? Also, why does laughing make us feel good? (Is that feeling, itself, an argument?! To whom? From who?)

In Rhetoric of Laughter, we will address these and other questions through personal reflection on contemporary, laughter-inducing texts before mulling over laughter's role in public discourse.


Major Assignments and Grading:

  • HW                                         15%    
  • DE                                          15%
  • A1: Analysis I                                     5%
  • A2: Analysis II                                    10%
  • A3: Analysis III                       15%
  • Argument (Research Project) 40%


Required Texts:

  • They Say/I Say (TSIS). Third Ed. Graff and Birkenstein, 2014. (Amazon)
  • Easy Writer (EW). Fifth Ed. Lunsford. Longman, 2014. (Amazon)
  • All other course content will be made available via Canvas and e-books available through UT Libraries.


Example Readings (i.e. Things that make me laugh):

  • Gervais, Ricky. Extras (2005-07), The Invention of Lying (2009)
  • Judge, Mike. Silicon Valley (2014-)
  • Kroll, Nick. Kroll Show (2013-15)
  • Texas Travesty, The (1997-)
  • Watterson, Sam. Calvin and Hobbes (1985-95)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Satire

44060 • Zacks, Aaron
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM FAC 7
show description

With the bountiful and diverse new media at their disposal in the 21st century, satirists are playing an increased, and increasingly mainstream, role in world culture. Satire’s diversity—of subject-matter, genre, tone, and humor—helps it to cross national and language boundaries, so that a satirical argument about gets picked up quickly by news outlets and spreads, meme-like, among various rhetorical contexts. A few years ago, a Danish newspaper published a collection of cartoons depicting the prophet of Islam Muhammed in a variety of controversial scenarios. The subsequent public debate, centering around freedom of speech and religious sensitivity, was taken up briskly by pundits of all kinds, earnest and satirical, from CNN to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and inspired a two-part South Park episode representing the debate in its characteristically zany but targeted brand of argument-making. More recently, during the 2012 US Presidential election process, satire outlets such as The Colbert Report and Saturday Night Live brought political issues to a wide audience by supplying an alternate, satirical version of the news cycle. Back in 2004, Ted Koppel admitted, albeit lamentably, that “a lot of television viewers...get their news from the Comedy Channel.”1

Surely that number has grown dramatically in the past eight years. With viewership comes legitimacy, and whether or not the satirist wants to be taken seriously ceases to a matter under his or her control. Unevenness of audience expectations produces a complex rhetorical situation, especially in response to the most serious of world events, most recently Hurricane Sandy and the Sand Hook tragedy. On other, bizarre occasions, we have seen satire misread as earnest argument, such as this past December, when a Chinese news outlet reported that The Onion had named North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jung-un the “Sexiest Man Alive in 2012.”

When utilized effectively, satire speaks truth to power through the indirect strategy of irony—saying the opposite of what one means—and can, perhaps, encourage useful public debate. It is also entertaining and, when done well, tremendously funny. This is the central irony of satirical rhetoric that we will dwell on in this course.

What role does satire play in our culture? How are satirists utilizing new media and technology to infiltrate spaces usually reserved for earnest argument? Can satirical argument produce measurable change in the world like other rhetorical modes, such as political speech and news broadcasts? What role do we, as engaged citizens, expect satire to play in our lives? How does satire meet or challenge those expectations? And what on Earth does it mean that a portion of our country believes Jon Stewart is more reliable a reporter than Wolf Blitzer? And, for starters, what is satire, anyway?

We will engage these and many other questions over the course of the semester through studying satirical arguments about various subjects (music, sports, politics, etc.) in a wide variety of genres (television, internet, poetry, video games, radio, etc.). Students will apply concepts of rhetorical analysis in our discussions of these texts and learn to move deftly between different media. We will study some classic rhetorical texts, such as Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal (1729) and Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary (1906), but, because satire is, above all, topical, most of the course content will be contemporary.

As with all rhetorical study, the underlying aim of this course is to hone our sensitivity to the arguments surrounding us, making us more careful interpreters of our society and cultures. This course is writing-intensive and revision-intensive; students will produce and revise approximately 30 pages of original writing over the course of the semester. This course also requires active participation in class discussions and one or more presentations. In the final weeks of the semester, students will produce a piece of satire, in the genre of their choice, accompanied by an essay describing their use of rhetorical strategies.


Assignments and Grading


  • Research Summaries                           10%
  • Annotated Bibliography                      10%
  • Essay 1.1 (Rhetorical Analysis)          10%
  • Essay 1.2 (Revision)                           15%
  • Essay 2.1 (Persuasive Essay)             10%
  • Essay 2.2 (Revision)                           15%
  • Final Project and Essay                      15%
  • In-Class Writing                                 5%
  • Homework                                          10%
  • Peer Review                                        Mandatory



Required Texts
Course Packet (available the first week of the semester from Speedway Copy in the Dobie Mall)
Gray, Jonathan, Jeffrey P. Jones, and Ethan Thompson. Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era (2009)
Scharton, Maurice and Janice Neuleib. Things Your Grammar Never Told You: A Pocket Handbook (2nd Edition, 2001)

Sample Satirical Texts

  • Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil’s Dictionary (1906)
  • Colbert, Stephen, et al. The Colbert Report (2005-)
  • Judge, Mike. Office Space (1999)
  • Kafka, Franz. “A Hunger Artist” (1924)
  • Melville, Herman. “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” (1853)
  • Onion, The (1988-)
  • Stewart, Jon, et al. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1999-)
  • Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal (1729)
  • Tomorrow, Tom. This Modern World (1988-)
  • Travesty, Texas (1997-)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Spying

44070 • Dadugblor, Stephen
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 6
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Spying

When, in June 2013, Edward Snowden admitted to leaking classified information from the United States’ National Security Administration (NSA), he confirmed what many people have for long suspected, or even probably known: We are secretly watched by our governments! Yet, while it is commonly believed that governments are mainly responsible for surveillance, recent developments in digital technologies have opened up possibilities to reconsider surveillance not only in terms of macro-, governmental levels of invasion of privacy, but also at the level of minute, everyday practices that we engage in as individuals. In what ways are we complicit in, desire, encourage, or resist being spied on in our everyday interaction with others?

In this class, we will focus on rhetoric as an entry point to exploring and analyzing the manifestations, contexts, controversies, and utility of surveillance in everyday life. Beyond secret, governmental surveillance, we will discuss how current digital technologies have extended the scope of surveillance to nearly every facet of our lives. Throughout this course, we will have the opportunity to critically engage with and analyze a variety of texts and situations, as well as research credible sources, and develop effective writing skills. Ultimately, we will consider how a culture of spying influences our notions of privacy, civil liberties, security, and truth-telling for the common good.

Course Materials

  • Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies, edited by David Lyon, Ball Kirstie and Kevin            Haggerty
  • Good Reasons: Researching and Writing Effective Arguments, 6th edition by Lester Faigley and         Jack Selzer
  • Easy Writer, 4th edition by Andrea Lunsford
  • Other relevant course materials will be provided on the course Canvas page.

Coursework and Grading

  • Project 1: Annotated Bibliography: 15%
  • Project 2.1: Rhetorical Analysis: 10%
  • Project 2.2: Rhetorical Analysis Revision: 15%
  • Project 3.1: Persuasive Argument: 15%
  • Project 3.2: Persuasive Argument Revision: 15%
  • Project 4: Infographic: 10%
  • Short Writing Assignments (Research Summaries & Final Project Proposal): 10%
  • Class Citizenship/Participation: 10% 

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Superheroes

44045 • Roepke, Rachel
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM PAR 104
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Superheroes 

Over the past century, superhero comics have given us a glimpse into a world we can only dream about: one where anybody—whether by birth or accident—can have super-strength or telekinesis, x-ray vision or maybe just really cool gadgets. But, as we already know, with great power comes great responsibility. Day after day, these heroes struggle to save humanity from every kind of threat; they sweat and sacrifice, often without compensation or acknowledgment, just because they’re the only ones who can. Superheroes have inspired readers with their resolve since the Great Depression and through other difficult times in our country’s history like the Vietnam War or the 9/11 attacks.

Using Marvel’s Captain America as our central example, this course will examine the history, cultural significance, and rhetorical superpowers of the superhero genre and specifically (though not exclusively) in comic books. We will explore critical questions about the role of superheroes, both in the fictional universe of the books and in our own, and how these roles evolve to match contemporary ideologies; analyze how comic books directly and indirectly reflect and respond to current events and ethical concerns; and evaluate superheroes’ (sometimes) enhanced abilities to appeal to wide audiences who have little in common.


Each student will choose a superhero to work on throughout the semester. As a writing flag course, students will develop their compositional skills in multiple genres, focusing their assignments on their chosen hero. The course will consist of three units of reading and short writing responses, each unit culminating in a major writing assignment and subsequent revision that incorporates peer and instructor feedback. You should expect to write regularly during the semester, as a substantial part of your grade will come from written work. 

Grades will be determined by a Learning Record, a self-reflective method that will ask students to evaluate their own work in the class in six areas: confidence and independence, skills and strategies, knowledge and understanding, use of prior and emerging experience, reflection, and collaboration.At the end of the course, the students will submit a portfolio of their work throughout the semester as well as an evaluation of their work and a grade proposal. I will review these and assign final grades based on the work and their assessment.


Required texts:

  • Faigley, Lester and Jack Selzer. Good Reasons: Researching and Writing Effective Arguments. 6th edition. Pearson, 2014.
  • McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Reprint edition. William Morrow, 1994.
  • Additional texts provided on Canvas or in a course pack.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of The 1960s

44040 • Hatch, Justin
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 10
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of the 1960s 

America loves the 1960s. “The Sixties” in the U.S. connotes romantic ideals of freedom, rebellion, exploration, civil rights, and political and social radicalism—also, The Beatles. Most pertinent to this course, however, the 1960s were a time when much of the youth of the United States found the injustices of their time too gross to tolerate quietly. During the Birmingham Campaign, the Occupation of Alcatraz, the Greensboro sit-ins, on the Freedom Rides, in protesting the War in Vietnam, and during the Free Speech Movement, young people, against all odds, spoke truth to power. They gathered, marched, picketed, rode, sat-in, sang, spoke, and, of course, wrote in response to a world they had discovered was badly flawed. This course offers students the opportunity to investigate the rhetorical strategies that people about their age employed in redressing seemingly insurmountable social, political, and economic national and global ailments, before encouraging them to ask if their own time doesn’t warrant rhetorical engagement of similar magnitude.

This class, however, will not be an uncritical or romantic celebration of student and youth movements of the time, and our mission will not simply be to learn and apply the rhetorical strategies used in The Sixties. We will identify and learn from the mistakes of movements that were too often misogynistic, and that sometimes degenerated into violence. The course also investigates the extent to which the massive social wrongs inspiring redress in the 1960s are still with us today, and the extent to which new problems parallel, extend, or, in some cases eclipse, those of the past.


Assignments and Grading

  • 1.1 Annotated Bibliography 1 (5%)
  • 2.1 Rhetorical Analysis (10%)
  • 2.2 Rhetorical Analysis Revision (10%)
  • 3.1 Annotated Bibliography 2 (5%)
  • 4.1 Intervention and Speech (10%)
  • 4.2 Intervention and Speech Revision (15%)
  • Short Writing Assignments (20%)
  • Presentation (15%)
  • Participation (10%)


Required Textbooks and Handbooks 

  • Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee
  • The Little Longhorn Handbook, Bullock et al.


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of The Gospels

44110 • Buckley, Tom
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM PAR 101
show description

This course will treat the gospels as rhetorical texts, rooted in time in place and shaped by the communities they were written for. Students are expected to apply rigorous historical method and careful literary analysis to gain a nuanced understanding of how the leader of a Jewish renewal movement became the object of devotion in earliest Christianity. We’ll explore the strategies each gospel writer uses to achieve purpose for his audience, considering the information the writer selects for presentation; the ordering and apportioning of that information; and the language used. By studying the gospels in this way, we’ll be prompted to consider how these texts — both canonical and non-canonical — emerged from the communities following Jesus. We’ll also consider the form of the gospel itself — what it is, what it is not — as we explore the conventions that governed the first-century Mediterranean world (both social and literary).

In addition to examining the gospels, we’ll consider more recent — and vigorous — arguments about the historical Jesus, as offered by organizations like the Jesus Seminar, and as presented in documentaries like PBS’s From Jesus to Christ and ABC’s The Search for Jesus, in attempting to gain a fuller understanding of the gospels. By exploring both the original arguments and the responses to those arguments, we’ll observe the ongoing conversation that exists regarding the quest for Jesus and the role the gospel writers played in crafting his story.


Assignments and Grading

  • Rhetorical Analysis of Mark and Matthew (20%)
  • Analysis of “Q” Passage (20%)
  • Research Paper on the First Century Mediterranean World (20%)
  • Refutation of Historical Jesus Argument (20%)
  • Midterm exam (10%)
  • Final exam (10%)



There are four principal texts:

  • Gospel Parallels (5th edition), Burton H. Throckmorton Jr., Thomas Nelson.
  • The Gospels and Jesus (2nd edition), Graham Stanton, Oxford University Press.
  • The Historical Jesus — the LIfe of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, John Dominic Crosson, Harper One.
  • Misquoting Jesus, Bart D. Ehrman, HarperOne.

In addition, a course packet includes excerpts from six sources: John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew—Rethinking the Historical Jesus; E.P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus; Marcus J. Borg and N. T. Wright, The Meaning of Jesus—Two Visions; Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them); Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable—A Commentary on the Parables of Jesus; and Dale C. Allison, Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan and Stephan J. Patterson, The Apocalyptic Jesus—A Debate

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of The New Yorker

44033 • Voss, Peter
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM FAC 9
show description

The New Yorker is a highbrow magazine that’s been around since the 1920s. Published weekly, the magazine regularly offers various forms of cultural commentary, from fiction submitted by respected authors, to investigative journalism written by first-rate essayists, to cartoons composed with unfailingly witty captions in mind. Each issue contains calendars highlighting upcoming social events across Manhattan. Quite often longer content in the magazine relates to current events outside of New York City, and increasingly outside of the United States. This course will examine all the various rhetorics that surround the magazine. We will consider each week’s cover and the various rhetorical strategies therein at play. We will read several famous articles from the magazine’s past, as well as current articles commenting on the world in which we live. Ultimately, we will consider the various ways in which arguments in the magazine are made.

Regular reading of The New Yorker will guide us as we practice research and writing over the course of the semester. Students will pick a controversy towards the beginning of the semester and, in addition to our reading from the magazine, research a particular topic that interests them. The goal of this research will be for students to produce a New Yorker-style essay by the end of the semester.


Assignments and Grading

  • Paper 1.1                     5%
  • Paper 1.2                     10%
  • Paper 2.1                     10%
  • Paper 2.2                     15%
  • Paper 3.1                     15%
  • Paper 3.2                     15%
  • Research summaries     20%
  • Reading Quizzes          10%
  • Peer reviews                Mandatory      
  • Participation                Invaluable


Required Texts

  • New Yorker subscription
  • “They Say / I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (with readings) – Graff, Birkenstein, and Durst
  • Easy Writer – Andrea Lunsford

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Tourism

44105 • Rodriguez, Gabriella
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM FAC 7
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Tourism

Travel to Jamaica where you can “be alright,” go to Tahiti and “escape to a place untouched by time” or journey to nearby Bali to experience the “sublimely sacred.” Tourism slogans like these intuit a deep desire in all of us by hinting that beyond the banality of daily life exists a place that can fundamentally alter us. Each slogan creates its own version paradise: an ideal of a location steeped in history or nostalgia, characterized as sophisticated, wild, or sublime.

Examining poetry, novels, travelogues, magazine ads, postcards, posters, brochures, popular songs, paintings, illustrations, and more we will ask ourselves how the rhetoric of tourism shapes our understanding of destinations, histories, and cultures. Throughout the semester, we will explore the motivations, expectations, and experiences of many politically charged subject positions: tourist, local/native, outsider/insider and colonizer/colonized. We will also examine how visual and written texts entice us to visit a place by creating some version of paradise. Your task will be to analyze texts using rhetorical theory as outlined in the course textbook as well as some recent critical theory before selecting a relevant controversy for individual research and analysis. Possible controversies will ask questions about how the rhetoric of tourism is related to the economic, political, cultural, social, and environmental impacts of traveling. Using your chosen controversy as a platform, you will practice rhetorical analysis of multimedia texts that you will research and select. In your final project you will explore the rhetoric of paradise by creating a cultural object that engages with, relies on or rejects these rhetorics. Ultimately, you will choose a target audience and will advocate a position regarding the cultural, economic, political, and environmental impacts of travel and tourism today. In considering your position and the way arguments about tourism are formed in our course texts and media, we will work to cultivate ourselves as global citizens and academic writers.

Coursework & Grading


  • Annotated Bibliography          15%
  • In-Class Presentations                        10%


  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay       20%
  • Research Summaries (2)         15%


  • Cultural Object Proposal        15%    
  • Cultural Object Analysis         25%


  • Lunsford, Andrea A. – Easy Writer
  • Lunsford, Andrea A. and John J. Ruszkiewicz – Everything’s an Argument 

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Women's Work

44055 • Echternach, Julia
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM FAC 10
show description

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Women’s Work 

In 2015, white women were paid only 82 cents for each dollar that white men were paid at their jobs. In the same year, Black women took home 65 cents and Latina women took home 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Yet just the year before, in 2014, a study of economics professors found that women with two children were the most productive workers in their field. During the same period, a coalition of Black women began putting in hours of unpaid labor to organize a social movement called Black Lives Matter, and Central American mothers in immigrant detention centers started organizing hunger strikes to protest their ongoing incarceration. And in early 2017, millions of people – thousands of them protesting for the first time - participated in a national Women’s March, sparking an ongoing debate about whose work had made the march possible and whose work it supported.

In this course, we will engage in critical discussions about the work that women are actually doing, the work that is classified as “women’s work,” and the long history of women’s work being devalued and ignored. We will use rhetorical tools to analyze a variety of arguments about how women’s work should be defined and compensated, and we will consider how these arguments open some possibilities and place limitations on others. Topics covered will include work inside the home, work outside the home, and the work of surviving, resisting, and organizing. We will pay close attention to how definitions of women’s work affect women of color, poor and working-class women, queer and trans women, and Indigenous women worldwide. Students will use the tools of rhetorical analysis to write response papers to the articles, artwork, and film that we engage in the class, and will also conduct an individual research project, culminating in a persuasive piece advocating for a change in the valuation of women’s work. Students who enroll in the class should be prepared to read and write extensively, to actively engage in discussion with their classmates, to reflect continuously on their own experiences and assumptions, and to evaluate their own learning.


Writing Assignments

Students will receive instructor feedback on their written assignments, and then evaluate their own writing and learning through a Learning Record. Students will argue for a final grade. The instructor will make the final decision of what grade to assign, honoring self-evaluations as much as possible.

  • Weekly Journal Entries (2 pages)
  • Rhetorical Analysis (4-6 pages)
  • Annotated Bibliography (5 pages)
  • Literature Review (4-6 pages)
  • Argument for Women’s Work (4-6 pages)
  • Connecting Women’s Work to Knowledge and Experience (4-6 pages)


Required Texts

  • Faigley and Selzer, A Little Argument (2012)
  • Little Longhorn Handbook

Selected articles on Canvas

RHE 309S • Crit Read/Persuasive Writ-Nsds

44115 • Buckley, Tom
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 101
show description

The aim in this course is to develop a better understanding and mastery of rhetoric-the art of persuasion-an art that's essential not only for your college work, but also for your participation as a citizen in a democracy. You already know this art instinctively: every day, all day, you're immersed in rhetoric. But our goal in this course is to become more consciously and effectively rhetorical.

To accomplish this goal, we'll use a number of approaches. We'll complete a number of assignments addressed to specific audiences for specific purposes; we'll engage ourselves in additional assignments involving analysis and evaluation; we'll read rhetorically, with a critical awareness of the techniques and strategies adopted by writers; and we'll involve ourselves in discussions about what we read.

The course-and its assignments-will challenge you to think differently, to question age-old assumptions, and to engage in argument as part of a larger community. This course isn't for the faint of heart. If you're not prepared to be challenged in your thinking, or if you're not comfortable participating in conversations with others, you best not sign up. But if you're a hard worker, you like to share your thoughts, and you're open to a slightly different approach to learning, then this is the place for you.

RHE 310 • Intermed Expository Writing

44120 • Smyczek, Jeremy
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 6
show description

What is a writing community? For the purposes of this course, a writing community includes those who write in a given shared forum to address shared concerns while creating networks of reply and other response. There are writing communities about activism, sport, fashion, books, games, food and drink, recreation--given the breadth of the internet, there are writing communities addressing just about everything. Writing communities of any kind allow members to become familiar with each other’s beliefs, opinions, methods of argument and explanation, and stylistic choices.

Rhetoric 310 is an intermediate expository writing course aimed at improving participants’ prose style, fluidity, and flexibility through participation in writing communities. Because mastery of style is a central concern to many audiences and because communities by definition are social, much of the work performed in this course will be public-facing, which is to say principally aimed at non-academic audiences. Genres for this public-facing work may include some combination of blog posts, letters to the editor of online news and opinion sources, contributions to comment threads, product reviews, video blogs, and, ultimately, a public-facing podcast.

Day-to-day work in the course will include identification, discussion, and analysis of examples of the genres discussed above. What makes a good comment in a thread? What book or product reviews attract the most “likes” and replies? What kinds of letters to the editor get published? How do the most effective advertisements persuade audiences? What stylistic features make a podcast script very different from an academic essay? We will answer these questions through short analytic writing assignments to be shared with the class and instructor through Canvas, leading up to productions of the genres in question to be read, viewed, listened to, or otherwise consumed by public audiences.

Additional work will include various readings, style quizzes, editing exercises, peer reviews, and assorted other in-class exercises and homework. One major assignment may be revised.



  • Editing quizzes and exercises 10%
  • Short analytic assignments 10%
  • Social media posts and replies 10%
  • Letter to an editor 10%
  • Book review 20%
  • Visual argument 20%
  • Podcast 20%


RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44125 • Charney, Davida
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM FAC 7
show description

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.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44130 • Ferreira-Buckley, Linda
Meets MW 5:00PM-6:30PM PAR 103
show description

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.

RHE 325M • Advanced Writing

44135 • Longaker, Mark
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 206
show description

The first thing many people notice about your writing is its style. Do you break any grammar rules? Are your sentences easy to read? Can you occasionally turn a phrase? Your style says a lot about you. It earns your reader’s trust. It keeps your audience interested. It emphasizes your main ideas. In many ways, therefore, your style is the substance of your writing.

In this class, we will practice writing in various styles, paying close attention to correctness, clarity, and elegance. Writing non-fiction, such as reviews and essays, you will craft your style to suit your audience, your genre, and your situation. You will also copy-edit prose, your own and your classmates’. Finally, you will revise your writing with stylistic goals in mind.


The following assignments will improve your writing style and will determine your final grade:


  • 10 homework assignments, completed in groups: 5%
  • Quizzes on grammar, editing, and stylistic figuration: 25%
  • 2 presentations on grammar rules and stylistic figuration: 10%
  • 2 copy-edits of another student’s writing: 20%
  • 2 non-fiction narrative essays: 40%

Breakdown of the grade for each non-fiction essay: Each non-fiction narrative essay is worth 20% of the final grade. That 20% is broken up into 3 discrete segments, each making up a percentage of your final grade: (1) a proposal describing and exemplifying the genre you will write: 5% of the final grade; (2) a complete and polished first submission of the essay: 5% of the final grade; (3) a proposal that explains how the essay will be revised in light of comments received from your instructor and fellow students: 5% of the final grade; (4) a second submission that demonstrates changes in line with your revision proposal: 5% of the final grade.

RHE 328 • Magazine Writing/Publishing

44145 • Buckley, Tom
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM PAR 101
show description

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the magazine field from the perspective of both writers and editors. The course offers a broad core of practical knowledge while also exploring issues related to the field. In the first part of the course, students will learn how to generate story ideas; research appropriate magazine markets to pursue; conduct interviews; sell their ideas (and themselves) in query letters; develop the best format for presenting their information; and, finally, organize the materials, write, and revise the article itself, and send it off for publication.

In the second half of the course, students will publish an issue of a magazine, acting as writers, editors, and designers responsible for its content – and beholden to a publisher. They'll identify a niche audience, formulate an editorial vision, and write, revise, edit, fact-check, and generally take part in all aspects of the publication. In short, they'll perform all the editorial functions of a magazine staff. They'll work individually and in teams, devising departments, assigning stories, gathering art, selling ads. They'll write headlines and captions, crop pictures, fit copy, and design layouts. And they'll engage in discussions about issues of advertising, media ethics, and publisher control.

No previous journalistic experience is necessary.


Course Requirements

Three articles during the first half of the course (profile, issue of conflict, feature); various tasks associated with publishing a magazine in the second half of the course. During the second half, students will also continue to revise the three articles from the first half of the course.


Grading Policy

  • Three articles, with revisions: 25% each
  • Shorter exercises: 15%
  • Participation in second half of the course: 10%


Required Texts

  • Writer's Market 2010, Robert Lee Brewer (Editor)
  • Writing for Magazines: A Beginner's Guide, Cheryl Sloan Wray

RHE 328 • Writing For Digital Media

44140 • Zacks, Aaron
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM FAC 9
show description

Writing poses these questions to all who approach:

  • What do I want to say?
  • In what form and style should I say it?
  • Where should I publish to evoke the desired response from my intended audience?

These questions cannot change because the rhetorical principles are immutable, but our answers must change to suit conventions of the day. In the twenty-first century, the vast, fragmented, and increasingly temperamental landscape of digital writing obliges us to respond with exceedingly nuanced answers. 

This class surveys this landscape with assistance from readings reflecting a range of methodologies, including writing & composition studies, communications theory, quantitative analysis, and professional advice. We will discuss the influences of writing and publishing phenomena (e.g. self-publishing, narrowcasting) on the practices of contemporary writers and readers.

Over the course of the semester, students will strategize, propose, write, revise, and edit four original pieces cohering around a self-identified topic or theme. We will devote special attention to the proposal stage of invention, during which students will provide thorough, nuanced answers to our fundamental questions, setting detailed goals for their Portfolios. Students are invited to take the class as an opportunity to develop existing writing projects.


Reading List:

  • Brian Carrol, Writing and Editing for Digital Media (Routledge, 2014)
  • Troy Hicks, Crafting Digital Writing: Composing Texts Across Media and Genres (Heinemann, 2013)


Grade Breakdown:

  • First Submission 1      10%
  • First Submission 2      10%
  • First Submission 3      10%
  • First Submission 4      10%
  • Portfolio                      50%
  • Peer Review                10%

RHE 330C • Women In The Digital Archv

44154 • Frank, Sarah
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 104
show description

As Kate Eichhorn notes, third wave feminism—like many contemporary activist rhetorics—is marked by an archival turn: a return, as she has noted, to the “scrap heap” of materials and ephemera produced by second wave feminism’s “partially completed social transformations.” Accordingly, feminist researchers and archivists across multiple disciplines have begun to think seriously about archives as sites not only of preservation, but also as sites where contemporary feminist activism can be re-imagined. In the process, feminist archivists challenge received notions of “what counts” as archival material, “what counts” as archival labor, and even “what counts” as an archive itself.


In this “hands-on” course, students will consider the insights and challenges of the feminist archival turn from the perspective of the digital archivist. Students will consider whether (and how) feminist critiques of traditional archival practice can be applied in digital environments, and they will speculate on the limits and affordances of digital archives for feminist history and activism.


Note: This class will be “hands-on,” and will include at least two multimedia projects. Students will be evaluated on their work according to a portfolio-based style of assessment. Students will be assessed utilizing the standard Learning Record portfolio system.


Major Assignments


Informal Reflections:

Students will regularly reflect on and digitally annotate course readings and materials.

Digital Archive Analysis (Multimedia Project):

Students will locate and select a relevant online digital archive, and they will produce a rhetorical “video analysis” of the archive’s selection criteria, searchability, metadata practices, and accessibility.

Digital Archival Manifesto:

Students will consider what, exactly, makes a digital archive a feminist archive. Citing course readings and materials, they will propose criteria for the invention and construction of a feminist digital archive.

Collaborative Digital Archiving Project:

Towards the end of the course, students will work together to construct a digital archive representing our work throughout the semester. This project will reflect their understanding of feminist archival principles and challenge them to implement concrete tools, practices, and considerations associated with digital archiving.


Selected Texts


Kate Eichhorn, The Archival Turn in Feminism

K.J. Rawson, “Queer Archives/Archival Queers”

Daniel Cohen and Roy Rosenzwieg, Digital History

Tarez Samra Graban, “From Location(s) to Locatability: Mapping Feminist Recovery and Archival Activity through Metadata”

RHE 330C • Writing With Sound

44155 • Boyle, Casey
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM FAC 9
show description

This course will examine recording, editing, and distribution of sound as a form of writing. In a contemporary world where writing is mostly digital, we often overlook the presence of sound—music that accompanies video, voice published as podcasts, noise remixed into an ambient art form. In order to understand the rhetorical effects of sound compositions, this course will read and discuss important works in the field of sound studies and offer an introduction to using open source digital audio editing tools for writing with sound.

Note: This course will be organized as a project-based workshop (especially in the second half of the semester). In addition to readings and discussions, several of our class meetings will be opportunities for hands-on practice with digital audio tools that will involve your classmates and the instructor. Please be advised that such work demands regular attendance and requires active participation.

Texts and Materials


Reading Responses (20%)

8 written responses to required readings posted to our course site (300-500 words posted in Canvas). Responses will be opportunities to critically and creatively engage course readings and case studies as well as provide the starting point for much our class discussion. In the first week, I will provide a more detailed assignment sheet for how to organize the responses.

Soundscape Analysis (15%)

Students will script and compose a 4-5 minute analysis that examines and reenacts the various sonic dimensions of a chosen location.

Sonic Remediation (25%)

This assignment asks students to select a print-based writing–a short essay or article from/related to our course readings–to remediate into a sound essay.

Podcast Series (40%)

This final assignment will include a short proposal, three podcast episodes, and a brief prospectus that outlines a digital distribution plan. Of your three podcasts, one will include a site recording, one an interview, and one studio recording.

RHE 330D • Arguing With Liberals

44166 • Longaker, Mark
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM CMA 3.114
show description

What do Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton, and Marco Rubio have in common? They are all liberals. They may not all represent the Democratic party (which claims to represent political liberals in the present-day United States), but when they make arguments, they appeal to principles that have been associated with liberal political theory for over 300 years: Every person has an inalienable right to free expression; unrestricted commerce offers the surest path to individual prosperity and economic growth; political progress must increase the individual’s ability to freely pursue her own particular happiness; laws should keep people from imposing on one another’s rights and liberties. In this sense, “liberalism” is a classical set of values and principles that many--and often opposing--parties have adopted. In this class, we will explore the arguments about liberalism as well as the arguments that rely on liberal principles. Finally, we will discuss the particularly liberal forms of argumentation. We will do so by addressing three kinds of liberalism and a range of liberal thinkers/writers both contemporary and classical: (1) Utilitarian (e.g. John Stuart Mill, John Dewey); Principled (e.g. John Locke, Ayn Rand); Virtue-Ethicist (e.g. Deirdre McCloskey, Anthony Ashley Cooper Third Earl of Shaftesbury).


You will complete three major projects for the term: (1) Two opinion articles written in the style of contemporary online news media, each commenting on a recent controversy by applying the principles and the works (and by adopting the writing style) of one author whom we will study in class. Each of these articles will be posted on a class blog/news magazine that we will collectively maintain throughout the semester. (2) A series of posts relating specific passages and concepts from the class readings to recent political events. These posts will all belong to a common Twitter feed that will be embedded on the class blog. (3) A long (7-10 page) paper that articulates: one writer’s version of liberalism; how that version differs from other versions of liberalism, which we will study in class; what argumentative principles arise from this version of liberalism; and why this author would endorse a particular argument made recently in contemporary news media. You will submit the last assignment for instructor feedback, and you will revise to address these concerns and suggestions. You will get your peers’ feedback on your two opinion articles, and you will revise according to their suggestions. Finally, you will contribute daily discussion forum posts based on the readings assigned for each class.


Assignments and Grading:

  • Opinion articles for Class Blog: 25%
  • Twitter Posts: 20%
  • Long Paper (including revision): 35%
  • Daily Discussion-Forum Posts: 20%



  • John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty
  • John Dewey’s The Public and its Problems
  • John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration
  • Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness
  • Deirdre McCloskey’s Bourgeois Equality (selections)
  • Harriet Martineau’s A Manchester Strike
  • Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury’s The Moralists

RHE 330D • Rhetoric Of Racism

44160 • Roberts-Miller, Patricia
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 208
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This course, in the history of rhetoric, will focus on the deep past of what we now call racism. When Isocrates, in the fourth century B.C.E., argued that the Athenians should lead Greek culture rather than Spartans because Athenians were "pure in blood", was that a "racist" argument? How was Isocrates' appeal to group stereotypes like, or unlike, Cicero's argument that the witnesses in a case were unreliable because they were Jewish? How was the "blood libel" (that the blood of a young boy was used in religious ceremony) used against early Christians? Was that libel changed when Christians began using it against Jews? Why were so many nineteenth century Americans persuaded by Samuel Morse's bizarre argument that the Jesuits were at the center of a Catholic conspiracy to take over the United States? Why did people find persuasive the argument that the Irish could not be trusted with the vote?  How did so many nineteenth century ministers use Scripture to defend slavery, and so many twentieth century ministers use the same texts in defense of segregation? How did so many twentieth century political leaders persuade large numbers of people that genocide was necessary, let alone ethical?


Ranging from fourth century B.C.E. to twentieth century arguments for segregation, this course will explore the rhetorical aspects of appeals to essentialist group identities. Why are they persuasive? When are they most effective? Which aspects recur across cultures and eras, and which ones seem historically and culturally contingent? What is the role science and pseudo science in their effectiveness? What are the most effective methods for countering such appeals?


Course Requirements

Students will write and substantially revise three papers, each one between 1750 and 2500 words. There may be a midterm or final, depending upon student performance. There will be daily short writing assignments.



Students will read primary texts (including objectionable and racist material), rhetorical theory, historical secondaries, and sociological treatments of racism. Primary readings will include Isocrates, Aristotle, Cicero, Chaucer, Morse, defenders of slavery, advocates of segregation, eugenicists, and proponents of genocide. Secondary material will include George Fredrickson's _Racism: A Short History_, Ervin Staub's _The Roots of Evil_, Hannah Arendt's _Eichmann in Jerusalem_, and selections from Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, and George Lakoff.


Course grading:

  • Paper #1                      30%
  • Paper #2                      30%
  • Paper #3                      30%
  • Exam, short work:      10%

RHE 330E • Comparative Rhetoric

44175 • Diab, Rasha
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 304
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What does culture have to do with rhetoric? This question taps into a crucial force that impacts rhetorical practices and scholarship, and this intersection of rhetoric and culture has attracted the attention of scholars especially since second half of the 21st century, resulting in the development of comparative rhetoric. In this course we will study the conception, development and practice of rhetoric in different and mainly non-Western cultural traditions. For example, we will survey research on rhetorical traditions like ancient Indian, Egyptian, and Rhodian, demonstrating how they predate, relate to and differ from those in Greece and Rome. We will also discuss the objectives, achievement, and potential of research in comparative rhetoric as well as challenges posed by this kind of research. 


Course Requirements, Assignment and Grade Distribution

Class Activities and Discussions (20%)

- Participating in and/or leading class discussion

- Peer review workshops

- Oral report/presentation of research

- Short Assignments


Short Papers (20%)

- Writing five short response/reflection papers to further explore and engage topics and questions addressed in class.


Two Research Papers (30% each)

- Further explore and reflect on issues raised by the course drawing on outside research.  Both papers will involve producing multiple drafts.

More detailed instructions, expectations and grading criterion will be provided at the beginning of the semester, and might be modified based on students’ performance.



Attendance policy will be detailed at the beginning of the semester.


Potential Texts

- Selections from George Kennedy’s Comparative rhetoric (1998)

- Selections from Carol Lipson and Roberta Binkley’s two edited collections titled Rhetoric before and beyond the Greeks (2004)and Ancient Non-Greek Rhetorics (2009)

- Packet of readings

RHE 330E • Peacemaking Rhetoric

44170 • Diab, Rasha
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 103
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Very often we invoke peace as a desirable state of being and of the world. But, what is peace? What does it take to be peaceful? To what extent does our criticism of violence help us get closer to peace? What does peace have to do with rhetoric? We will use these questions to begin our explorations of the rhetoric of peacemaking. The discipline of rhetoric has an enduring investment in countering injustice and pursuing justice and peace.


In this course, we will explore this enduring investment. In specific terms, we will study the (1) relation between rhetoric, violence, and peacemaking, (2) ways in which our rhetorical practices can cause/exacerbate conflict or guide us to peacemaking, and (3) rhetorical choices, practices and stances that are consistent with developing peaceful communication styles.


As we reflect on the rhetoric of peacemaking, we will read scholarship on the rhetoric of nonviolence, reconciliation, and (human) rights. We will also read/read about illustrative speeches, texts, and rhetorical practices that critique injustice and advocate for justice and peace.


Major Assignments and Grading

  • Two researched and substantially revised papers: 60% (30% each)
  • Two presentations: summarizing research undertaken and major findings: 10% (5% each)
  • Participation & Short Writing Assignments: class participation/leading class discussions, responses to freewriting prompts, and/or short writing assignments: 20%
  • Portfolio: comprises a revised research paper and another short writing 10%


Required Texts

A packet of readings,which will include:

  • Chapters/Articles written like Erik Doxtader’s “Reconciliation—A Rhetorical Conception” or With Faith in the Works of Words: The Beginnings of Reconciliation in South Africa 1985-1995; Ellen Gorsevski’s Peaceful Persuasion: The Geopolitics of Nonviolent Communication; John P. Lederach’s The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace; and James J. Kimble “John F. Kennedy, the Construction of Peace, and the Pitfalls of Androgynous Rhetoric.”
  • Speeches/Texts written by politicians like John F. Kennedy’s “The Strategy of Peace,” national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi’s speech on the eve of the last fast and Martin L. King’s “I have a Dream”, and recognized activists like Rigoberta Menchú’s I, Rigoberta Menchú

RHE 330E • Polit Rhetoric Of The 1960s

44171 • Dieter, Eric
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM CLA 0.106
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In America, 1968 was a turbulent year, to say the least. This course is designed to explore the ways that rhetoric shaped and was shaped by that turbulence. How did citizens try to use public talk—sometimes successfully, often less so—to campaign, educate, protest, etc.?  What did they learn about each other, about themselves, about the United States? But also, what lessons did they refuse, were they unable, to learn? In asking the latter question, this course is a study of misunderstanding. What are the perils of misunderstanding in public spheres? Are there any prizes? How do various communities navigate being misunderstood? Can misunderstanding be reduced? Can it lead to understanding? How?

1968’s year of turbulence culminated in a fractious presidential election, and that event is the primary focus of the course. Students will read a range of secondary sources mapping the broad, wild landscape of 1968’s political rhetoric. Then, students will narrow their focus to survey specific plots of that larger rhetorical landscape through guided inquiries of verbal and visual primary sources. Scholars like Wayne C. Booth and I.A. Richards provide theoretic language for conducting rhetorical analyses. Students will work towards identifying and developing an original research question that piques their curiosity.

This course will benefit students interested in the discipline of rhetoric and rhetorical pedagogy, mid-twentieth-century social history (especially black power, feminism, and modern conservatism), presidential scholarship, and political campaigning. It is an added benefit if course conversations help make sense of the current rhetorical and political moment, and productive contemporary connections, while not the purpose, will not be avoided. The course’s main argument echoes that of Aeschylus, as quoted by Robert Kennedy during his speech in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, through awful grace comes wisdom.

Requirements & Grading: Students will write three (3) two-page essays throughout the semester, and one (1) ten-page essay to conclude the semester. Short essays help students articulate cogent analyses of arguments encountered in the course’s primary sources and critical readings. Any short essay may be revised and resubmitted before the next essay is due. All previous submissions must be included with each revision. Students are expected to schedule writing conferences with the professor outside of class before undertaking each revision. One short essay may be expanded into the longer essay. Longer essays will include original research. Students will conduct in-class writing workshops to scaffold the longer essay. Grades are based on attendance and participation (15%), short essays (45%), long essay (25%), in-class workshops (15%).

Texts: The following are examples of readings from which students will read selections. This course reading list is subject to change. Readings will be made available via the Canvas course site. Readings will include, but are not limited to: 

  • Austin, J.L., How to Do Things with Words
  • Booth, Wayne C., Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent
  • Branch, Taylor, At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68
  • Carter, Dan, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism…
  • Chester, Lewis, et al, An American Melodrama: The Presidential Campaign of 1968
  • Cohen, Michael, American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division
  • Gitlin, Todd, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
  • Haidt, Jonathan, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
  • Jasinski, James, Sourcebook on Rhetoric
  • Joseph, Peniel, Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America
  • Kurlansky, Mark, 1968: The Year That Rocked the World
  • Mailer, Norman, Miami and the Siege of Chicago
  • Mann, Robert, Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater, and the Ad That Changed American Politics
  • McGinniss, Joe, The Selling of the President, 1968
  • Perelman, Chaim, The Realm of Rhetoric
  • Perlstein, Rick, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
  • Phillips, Kevin, The Emerging Republican Majority
  • Richards, I.A., The Philosophy of Rhetoric
  • Richardson, Elaine, et al, ed., African American Rhetoric(s): Interdisciplinary Perspectives
  • Sanders, Ed, 1968
  • White, Theodore H., The Making of the President 1968
  • As well as contemporary newspaper and magazine sources, television sources (e.g., Vanderbilt Television News Archive, the Gore/Buckley debates), documentaries and movies (e.g., Medium Cool, The Black Power Mixtape), political commercials (e.g., The Living Room Candidate), and speeches and memoirs (e.g., Shirley Chisholm, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr.).


RHE 366 • Internship In Rhetoric & Writ

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This course provides an academic foundation and practical support for upper-division students working in DRW-approved internships.

It is designed to help students 1) recognize how rhetoric is applied in the workplace environments, and 2) apply their training and skills in rhetoric and writing professionally.

To meet these objectives, students will participate in a variety of activities: assigned readings, class discussions (in class and online), journal reflections on their workplace experience, university-sponsored workshops about job searching and workplace protocol, and in-class workshops and peer critique sessions designed to further develop their writing skills.

Students will produce 20 pages of writing (which may include Discussion Board assignments and journal entries at an instructor’s discretion) by the end of the semester. Because the amount of on-the-job writing students do will vary per internship, students will consult with the instructor at the beginning of the semester to determine the types of writing they will produce.

This course is offered on a pass/fail basis. It does not count toward the rhetoric major.

It may be repeated once for credit when the internships vary.


Consent of supervising instructor must be obtained. Upper-division standing and twelve semester hours of work in Rhetoric & Writing are required.


A course packet

Others TBA

RHE 368E • Grammar: Writ/Editors/Tchrs

44190 • Henkel, Jacqueline
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 208
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Students in Grammar for Writers, Editors, and Teachers will study the grammar or structure of written English; assess grammatical issues, handbooks, and controversies; and apply grammatical knowledge in composing, rewriting, and editing exercises.  They should expect to learn traditional grammatical vocabulary and also to critique it; to learn about different approaches and attitudes toward “correctness”; to look carefully at the structure of written English; and to edit effectively.

This course is meant for students who:

- want to become more conscious and confident about their own sentence-level editing choices.

- want to know which “rules” to follow and which not.  (If the New York Times can split infinitives, why can’t you?)

 -want to develop grammatical knowledge and conquer “grammar anxiety.” 

- will need to teach grammatical lessons but are unsure of their own knowledge.

(Note:  Students need not begin the course knowing grammatical terminology.)

Assignments and Grading

Minimum requirements are:  1) satisfactory performance both on unannounced and announced quizzes or problems; 2) satisfactory work on writing exercises (1 paragraph-1 page each); 3) satisfactory text analyses (1-2 pages each); 4) effective peer review and workshop participation in class; 5) discussion informed by familiarity with the required readings; and 6) regular attendance. Note that these are minimum requirements.

Grades are based on quizzes and problems (30%); writing exercises (30%); text analyses (10%); peer review, discussion, and workshop performance (30%).  Attendance and courteous classroom behavior are considered essential, and unsatisfactory marks in these areas are deducted from the final average.

Final course grades are assigned relative to the overall performance of the class; in other words, scores are "curved" rather than absolute.  Final grades include "plus" or "minus" grades.  Final class scores may be rounded up or down, according to students' class participation and performance on minor and ungraded assignments.

A grade of C will indicate work that meets all the basic course requirements; A's and B's are honors grades, designating work of some distinction.  Grades are based only on work assigned to everyone in the class; no extra credit work can be accepted.

Required Texts and Course Readings

Kolln, Martha J., and Loretta Gray.  Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects, 7th ed., 2012.

Scharton Maurice.  Things Your Grammar Never Told You:  A Pocket Handbook, 2nd ed., Longman, 2001.

David Crystal, The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left, Oxford UP, 2008.