Composition and Rhetoric Graduate Courses

Current Courses – Fall 2022 Courses

ENG 720 A, Issues in Digital Composition

Thursday, 1:15-4:05
Tim Lockridge

We all write with technologies, and we all experience a time when our preferred tools grow invisible—a byproduct of our comfort and proficiency with them. But why did we initially choose those tools? How have they shaped our work? And how do we bring them into our research and teaching? This course will consider those questions, asking you to interrogate your own mediated preferences and examine how the field of writing studies has taken up writing technologies as objects of inquiry. We will read from theories of mediation and technology, the process movement in writing studies, and the broad subfield of computers and writing. We will also look at popular texts and adjacent fields, and—most importantly—tinker with a number of writing technologies. The course will give you an overview of how the field has asked questions of writing technologies, and it will offer you theories and methods for considering how writing technologies have shaped your personal practices.

ENG 733 A, Histories and Theories of Rhetoric

Tuesday, 1:15-4:05
Jason Palmeri

In this course, we will analyze the historical evolution of rhetorical theories and pedagogies. We'll begin with close analysis of Ancient Greco-Roman and Chinese rhetorics and how they continue to influence pedagogy and research today. After a brief turn to analyzing early modern rhetorics of style and gender, we'll focus more extensively on intersectional analysis of women's rhetorics and writing pedagogies in the 19th century United states. We'll conclude by reading a few works of rhetorical scholarship that draw upon and radically revise the histories we've read.

Along the way, we'll ponder questions such as:

  • How can we situate rhetorical theories and pedagogies in relation to particular historical, cultural, political, and technological contexts?
  • What are some of the key epistemological, ethical, and pedagogical implications of various approaches to theorizing, teaching, and practicing rhetoric.
  • How might feminist, queer, and comparative / cultural methodologies enable us to reimagine how we study and teach rhetorical history?
  • What is the value of historical research in rhetoric and writing? What kinds of questions about writing and rhetoric might best be engaged through archival methods?
  • How can we draw upon, remix, and/or radically rethink historical traditions of rhetoric in order to address the most pressing pedagogical, political, and technological concerns of our contemporary moment?

Practicing rhetoric as both an analytical and productive art, we will regularly engage in rhetorical exercises (progymnasmata) in which we try out rhetorical and pedagogical techniques advocated by the theorists we read. For the final course project, students will have the option to complete a take home exam (with choice of essay questions focused mostly on course readings) or to to design their own independent research project related to rhetorical history.

In addition to selections of historical rhetorical theory provided as PDFs, likely books include Aristotle's On Rhetoric, VanHaitsma's Queering Romantic Engagement in the Postal Age, Royster's Traces of Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African American Women, Blankenship's Changing the Subject: A Theory of Rhetorical Empathy, and Yergeau's Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness.