Department of Rhetoric & Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Writing

Mark Garrett Longaker


Associate ProfessorPh.D., Pennsylvania State University

Contact

Biography


My first job after college was teaching Spanish and English at a New Orleans public high school. I still think of myself, first and foremost, as a teacher. At UT, I offer undergraduate classes in first-year writing, rhetorical analysis, and the history of rhetoric. I’ve written a couple of textbooks that draw on my classroom efforts. I teach graduate classes about the connections among Enlightenment philosophy, Marxism, and rhetorical theory. I’ve also published scholarly essays and a couple of books on the history of rhetoric, focusing on the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries in Western Europe, Great Britain, and America.

Courses


RHE 330D • Cicero, Rhet & Ancient Rome

43725 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 208

For centuries, Marcus Tullius Cicero’s name has been synonymous with rhetoric and associated with the Roman Revolution. In this class, we will study Cicero’s practice of rhetoric, his theory of oratory, and his efforts at persuasion. Additionally, we will examine Cicero’s political circumstances in order to see what role he played in two well-documented events: the Catilinarian conspiracy and fallout of Julius Caesar’s assassination. Finally, we will apply Cicero’s ideas and his theories of oratory to contemporary public address. Did Cicero contribute to or valiantly fight against the demise of the Roman republic? Was he an honorable statesman or a conservative demagogue? Did Cicero appeal to classical democracy and virtue, or did he pander to Roman prejudices and fears? These questions can only be answered if we learn about his oratory and his circumstances. Additionally, we will ask if present-day politicians and public speakers embody the noble oratory that Cicero (arguably) defended. Or do they continue to practice the cheap asides and the tawdry innuendos that excite the crowd but degrade our culture? If Cicero offered us an ideal of virtuous public discourse, can we improve our own rancorous political climate by taking some of his advice? If Cicero’s rhetoric was not noble, will our own practice of classical rhetorical tricks lead to the collapse of American democracy as it may have contributed to the fall of the Roman republic?

Reading List:

  • Cicero’s De Inventione, De Oratore (book 1), De Officiis (selections), Pro Quinctio, In Catilinam (all four orations), and Philippicae (the first two orations)
  • Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae
  • Plutarch’s Antony
  • Selected audio lectures and other contextual sources,

 

NB: All classical sources will be read in the Loeb translations, available electronically through the UT Library portal: http://guides.lib.utexas.edu/db/919; all contemporary sources will be available through the Canvas site.

 

Major Assignments: 

  • Either a technical analysis of a Ciceronian oration that the student chooses or a contextual analysis of one oration among the Orationes in Catilinam or Philippicae: 15% of the final grade
  • Ethical analysis of a contemporary argument: 15% of the final grade
  • Revision of either the technical/contextual or the ethical analysis paper (student’s choice): 30% of the final grade
  • 10-minute “Ciceronian” oration on a contemporary topic to be delivered in class: 15% of the final grade
  • Infographic summary of a scholarly source about Cicero, rhetoric, and/or ancient Rome: 15% of the final grade

1 discussion leader post: 10% of the final grade

RHE 330E • Democracy And The Media

43755 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 208

At the very beginning of the United States’ long and successful democratic experiment, Thomas Jefferson said that, if he were given the choice between a government without newspapers and newspapers without a government, he would take the newspapers. Democracy needs informed citizens. Democracy needs people who can discuss their shared concerns in productive ways. Democracy, therefore, needs media. In this class, students will research and write about the media’s efforts to help citizens understand, discuss, and decide upon their shared political fate. We will read works by Walter Lippmann, Robert Asen, Robert McChesney, and Cass Sunstein. Students will undertake and complete a semester-long research project culminating in a substantial paper that describes and evaluates one effort by the media to help citizens fulfill their civic duties.

 

Reading List:

  • Walter Lippmann’s The Phantom Public

 

And selections from:

  • Robert Asen’s Invoking the Invisible Hand
  • Cass Sunstein’s #republic
  • Robert McChesney and John Nichols’s Dollarocracy

 

Major Assignments:

  • A research log including but not limited to: documentation, rationale for, and description of 10 media objects (such as newspaper articles, videos, and images), 5 contextual sources (articles about the history of an event), 5 sources about a medium (articles either about media outlets such as FOX News or about types of media, such as partisan television networks), and 1 summary of an academic article that is relevant to the research project (40% of the final grade)
  • A medium-length (5-7 pages) explanation of what media should provide citizens and why (i.e. a theory of public discourse) (10% of the final grade)
  • A short (3-5 pages) analysis of one media object, explaining how it succeeds or fails at providing citizens what they need (i.e. an analysis of one contribution to public discourse) (10% of the final grade)
  • A research paper that builds upon but expands the ideas presented in the theory of public argument and the analysis papers (30% of the final grade)
  • Two in-class presentations and one infographic (10% of the final grade)

RHE 325M • Advanced Writing

44135 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 206

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 330D • Arguing With Liberals

44166 • Fall 2017
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM CMA 3.114

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%

 

Texts:

  • 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 309S • Crit Read And Persuasive Writ

44075 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM FAC 7

In this course, we will pursue two goals. We will try to become:

(1) more proficient users of language, and

(2) more critical users of language.

To do so, we will study argumentative forms, practice their use in particular situations for specific groups of people, and we will analyze the potential effects (social, political, economic) of language. The big question that we will encounter is this: how do the available arguments at a given moment shape a conversation and make (im)possible certain actions?

Students will write short (one-page) papers on a weekly basis and several long arguments (5-7 pages) as well. All long arguments will be peer-reviewed and revised according to peer and instructor feedback.

RHE 330D • Arguing With Liberals

44125 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM PAR 206

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%

 

Texts:

  • 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 309S • Crit Read/Persuasive Writ-Hon

43300 • Spring 2016
Meets MW 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 7

In this course, we will pursue two goals. We will try to become:

(1) more proficient users of language, and

(2) more critical users of language.

To do so, we will study argumentative forms, practice their use in particular situations for specific groups of people, and we will analyze the potential effects (social, political, economic) of language. The big question that we will encounter is this: how do the available arguments at a given moment shape a conversation and make (im)possible certain actions?

Students will write short (one-page) papers on a weekly basis and several long arguments (5-7 pages) as well. All long arguments will be peer-reviewed and revised according to peer and instructor feedback.

RHE 309S • Crit Read And Persuasive Writ

43275 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 7

In this course, we will pursue two goals. We will try to become:

(1) more proficient users of language, and

(2) more critical users of language.

To do so, we will study argumentative forms, practice their use in particular situations for specific groups of people, and we will analyze the potential effects (social, political, economic) of language. The big question that we will encounter is this: how do the available arguments at a given moment shape a conversation and make (im)possible certain actions?

Students will write short (one-page) papers on a weekly basis and several long arguments (5-7 pages) as well. All long arguments will be peer-reviewed and revised according to peer and instructor feedback.

E 387M • Marxism In Rhet/Cul & Lit Thry

35050 • Spring 2015
Meets TH 5:00PM-8:00PM PAR 104

Marxian theory and politics have been repeatedly derided as a dead letter, continually consigned to the "dustbin of history." (This is Leon Trotsky's phrase, later repeated by capitalist apologists like Francis Fukuyama and Tom Brokaw, apparently with neither cognizance of nor ironic reference to its author.) Yet Marxism keeps appearing as a ground for various theoretical and political projects, particularly among humanities scholars in rhetorical, cultural, and literary studies. This seminar will explore the persistent themes of Marxian politics and theory as well as the various efforts to build on, utilize, alter, and mobilize the Marxian tradition. We will assume that there is no one Marxism, but rather a lengthy conversation whose beginning happens to coincide with and rely heavily on the writings of one thinker—Karl Marx.  Working from that assumption, we will traipse through several intellectual threads and the writings of many people including but not limited to: Public-Sphere Theory (Jurgen Habermas, Michael Warner, Jodi Dean), Humanism (Herbert Marcuse, Terry Eagleton), Cultural Studies (Antonio Gramsci, Lawrence Grossberg, Michael Berube, Ann Cvetkovich, Simon During), Postcolonial Theory (Edward Said, Etiene Balibar), Posthumanism (Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, Franco Berardi, Alain Badiou, Slovoj Zizek), and Critical Pedagogy (Paolo Freire, Ira Shor, Henry Giroux).  While engaging the Marxian tradition, we will assume, as Marx did, that the purpose of intellectual labor is political action—not to interpret the world but to change it.  Specifically, we will examine the applicability and effects of Marxism in three disciplinary realms: rhetoric, culture, and literature. We will also examine what Marx would call “praxis,” the pragmatic-political work that one engages by simply being part of a social formation. In rhetorical, cultural, and literary studies, the question of praxis brings us to the methods of analysis—how does Marxism encourage us to look at a variety of texts, and what political work does that (do these) mode(s) of analysis perform in a specific moment of history?

Assignments:

Students will be responsible for writing: A summary of a book, placing the text in conversation with the reading that the rest of the class must complete, and relating the text to the Marxian tradition as a whole.  A summary of an article also placing the text in conversation with the reading that the rest of the class must complete, and relating the text to the Marxian tradition as a whole.  An independent project (such as a conference or seminar paper) that engages or applies Marxism in some fashion.

E 387R • Enlightenment Rhetoric

35790 • Spring 2013
Meets TH 5:00PM-8:00PM PAR 104

Enlightenment Rhetoric

This course will explore the Enlightenment on the Continent as well as in Great Britain with attention to three themes: epistemology, sovereignty, and toleration.  The primary reading in the course will include works by: Francis Bacon, Renee Descartes, David Hume, Giambattista Vico, Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, James Madison, John Locke, and Anthony Ashley Third Earl of Shaftesbury.  In addition to this primary reading, we will read rhetorical and linguistic theories from the 17th and 18th centuries. Furthermore, we will read contemporary histories of the era and contemporary critical theory that takes up Enlightenment themes.  The philosophical, rhetorical, historical, and contemporary critical work will all be brought to bear on three questions: Was there really a transcontinental Enlightenment or just a series of related and/or concomitant historical events?  Was the Enlightenment hostile and/or friendly towards rhetoric?  (Why) Does the Enlightenment matter to present-day philosophy, rhetoric, and historiography?  Students will be responsible for weekly reading (roughly 100pp. of somewhat dense Enlightenment philosophy).  They will also each read and write summaries of: a "primary" work of philosophy; a work of Enlightenment rhetoric or linguistics; a contemporary history; a selection of contemporary critical theory.   In sum, each student's work will consist of: reading and in-class discussion; participating in a weekly online forum  (leading the online discussion at least once and participating for the remaining weeks); writing four summaries for in-class presentation and other students' use.  Students interested in writing a longer work (such as a seminar paper, conference presentation, or academic article) may do so with instructor guidance, but this will remain optional and largely out-of-class work.  Finally, as is the case in my previous graduate seminars, we will spend sometime each week talking about the workaday and often unmentioned labor of U.S. academia -- such as submitting articles, pacing scholarly output to meet tenure requirements, putting together conference panel proposals, researching and revising scholarly work, preparing for tenure, and any other topic of interest to the particular students in the seminar.

RHE S330D • History Of Public Argument

88014 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM GAR 1.126

This course covers the theories and practices of public argument beginning with Plato and extending into more recent efforts to discern effective and responsible methods of deliberation.  With each unit, we will read one example of rhetorical theory and one example of rhetorical practice, asking what the theorist expects of public deliberation, whether or not the theory is pragmatically or ethically sound, and whether or not real deliberative exchanges of the era followed these practices.

 Possible texts include:

  • Plato’s Gorgias and parts of The Republic
  • Cicero’s De Oratore and various orations
  • John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Letter Concerning Toleration
  • Hugh Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres and The Federalist and Antifederalist Papers
  • George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant

 Grading

Paper 1: 35%

Paper 2: 35%

Discussion forum posts: 15%

Argument Proposals: 15%

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44180 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 104

Though often maligned as deception or “spin,” rhetoric has been studied for over2000 years as the practice of deliberating shared concerns when we cannot besure of the present or the future.  This course will explore the variousapproaches to producing, evaluating, and to analyzing the persuasive dimensionof human existence.  We will try to understand, through a variety ofperspectives, what happens when people try to influence one another despite thefact that no one is absolutely certain of anything.  We will begin with theancient Greeks and Romans who established a body of theory on which laterthinkers would elaborate.  We will then traverse a long historical conversationabout what constitutes effective and responsible persuasion.  Along the way, wewill apply these theories and these methods of production to various efforts atpersuasion.

Texts

Bizzell and Herzeberg’s “Rhetorical Tradition”

Requirements

Students will produce three major writing assignments (roughly 5-7 pages long):one analytic paper, one argumentative paper, and one historical paper.  Eachstudent will also give a brief (20 minute) presentation on a rhetoricaltheorist of particular interest to him or her.  Also a significant portion ofthe final grade will be determined by students’ completion of several shortwriting assignments (response papers, contributions to an online discussionboard, argument proposals), all graded on a pass/fail basis (with “pass”awarded to those who complete the assignments).

Grading

Analytic Paper: 20%

Argumentative Paper: 20%

Historical Paper: 20%

In-Class Presentation: 10%

Other Assignments: 30%

E 398T • Supervised Teaching In English

35140 • Fall 2010
Meets F 11:00AM-2:00PM PAR 302

E 398T is a course in writing theory and pedagogy developed specifically for new instructors of RHE 306. It begins with a three-day workshop in August before classes start and follows with a semester-long colloquium.  Fall 2010 appointment as an Assistant Instructor required.

Requirements

Attendance and satisfactory performance in the August Workshop and colloquium are conditions of employment.

E 398T • Supervised Teaching In English

35145 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 6

E 398T is a course in writing theory and pedagogy developed specifically for new instructors of RHE 306. It begins with a three-day workshop in August before classes start and follows with a semester-long colloquium.  Fall 2010 appointment as an Assistant Instructor required.

Requirements

Attendance and satisfactory performance in the August Workshop and colloquium are conditions of employment.

RHE F306 • Rhetoric And Writing

88460 • Summer 2008
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM MEZ 2.122

Multiple meeting times and sections. Please consult the Course Schedule for unique numbers.

This does NOT meet the Writing Flag requirement.

This composition course provides instruction in the gathering and evaluation of information and its presentation in well-organized expository prose. Students ordinarily write and revise four papers. The course includes instruction in invention, arrangement, logic, style, revision, and strategies of research.

Course centered around the First-Year Forum (FYF) selected readings. Students focus on the foundational knowledge and skills needed for college writing. In addition, they are introduced to basic rhetoric terms and learn to rhetorically analyze positions within controversies surrounding the FYF readings.

RHE 306 is required of all UT students. Contact the Measurement and Evaluation Center, 2616 Wichita (471-3032) to petition for RHE 306 credit.

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

45105 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 104



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

46105 • Fall 2007
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 104



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

45905 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 104



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

44090 • Fall 2005
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 104



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

41015 • Spring 2004
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM FAC 9



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

42140 • Fall 2003
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 104



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