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Jeffrey Walker, Chair PAR 3, Mailcode B5500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6109

Lester L Faigley

Professor Ph.D., 1976, University of Washington

Robert Adger Law and Thos. H. Law Professor in Humanities
Lester L Faigley

Contact

Biography

Lester Faigley holds the Robert Adger Law and Thos. H. Law Centennial Professorship in Humanities. He was the founding director of the Division (now Department) of Rhetoric and Writing at Texas in 1993, and he served as the 1996 Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Faigley has published over thirty books and editions, including Fragments of Rationality (Pittsburgh, 1992), which received the MLA Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize.

Interests

Impacts of digital technologies on writing, Visual rhetoric, Written argument, Travel literature

RHE 330C • Writing And Photography

44795 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

This course aims to make you a better writer, a better photographer, and a better analyst of images. We will look at the issues which have pre-occupied practitioners and theorists of this medium for the past century and a half, from the daguerreotypists of the 1830s and 40s through to the new issues raised by today's digital work. We will visit a large exhibition of photography, Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, in the Ransom Center. One of our projects will be based on this exhibition. Expect to write eight short discussion-board essays in response to our readings and viewings, make a presentation and write an essay about a photograph in the Gernsheim collection, and complete an original documentary project. The documentary project will consist of 10-20 photographs and 1500-2000 words of explanatory text. The text and photographs should present an understandable, engaging, 'picture' of the subject, but the writing and the photos should each stand on their own.

Grading:

Discussion board essays: 25% Presentation on photograph: 5% Project 1: 5% Project 2: 20% Project 3: 35% Project 4: 10%

Required Texts:

The Little Penguin Handbook, Second edition, MLA update. Faigley. New York: Longman, 2009. ISBN 0205743390

The Book of Photography: The History, the Technique, the Art, the Future. Hoy. National Geographic, 2005. ISBN 978-0792236931

Handout essays and online readings and viewing

Required Equipment:
 A camera, preferably a 2MB+ digital camera

RHE 330E • Rhetoric And Nature

45155 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

“Nature” is a human idea with a long and complicated history. Far from standing apart from humanity, the landscapes and creatures we label as “natural” are deeply entangled with the words, images, and ideas we use to describe them. While animals, rocks, and trees are real enough—rain forests, mountains, beaches, and oceans are also cultural icons that deeply influence how we view them and how we use them. “Nature” turns out to be not as natural as it might first seem. People understand nature in different ways, which is one reason why efforts to protect the environment so often fail.

You will make an oral presentation and write three essays that examine how language, images, and ideas about nature have had real consequences ranging from the creation of wilderness areas and contemporary ecotourism to the landscaping of city parks, the spread of suburbs, and nature-themed chain stores in shopping malls. Writing these essays will introduce you to the expectations of college-level writing and will teach you research skills.

Assignments and Grading

Discussion Board assignments: 23%

Oral presentation: 10%

Quizzes: 3%

Project 1 (essay): 20%

Project 2 (essay and workshop): 22%

Project 3 (essay and workshop): 22%

Required Texts and Course Readings

The Little Penguin Handbook. Faigley. PDF from professor.

The Social Conquest of Earth. Wilson. New York, Liveright, 2012. ISBN 978-0-87140-413-8

In Defense of Food. Pollan. New York: Penguin, 2009. ISBN 978-0143114963

Handouts and online readings

RHE 330C • Writing And Photography

44835 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

This course aims to make you a better writer, a better photographer, and a better analyst of images. We will look at the issues which have pre-occupied practitioners and theorists of this medium for the past century and a half, from the daguerreotypists of the 1830s and 40s through to the new issues raised by today's digital work. We will visit a large exhibition of photography, Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, in the Ransom Center. One of our projects will be based on this exhibition. Expect to write eight short discussion-board essays in response to our readings and viewings, make a presentation and write an essay about a photograph in the Gernsheim collection, and complete an original documentary project. The documentary project will consist of 10-20 photographs and 1500-2000 words of explanatory text. The text and photographs should present an understandable, engaging, 'picture' of the subject, but the writing and the photos should each stand on their own.

Grading:

Discussion board essays: 25% Presentation on photograph: 5% Project 1: 5% Project 2: 20% Project 3: 35% Project 4: 10%

Required Texts:

The Little Penguin Handbook, Second edition, MLA update. Faigley. New York: Longman, 2009. ISBN 0205743390

The Book of Photography: The History, the Technique, the Art, the Future. Hoy. National Geographic, 2005. ISBN 978-0792236931

Handout essays and online readings and viewing

Required Equipment:
 A camera, preferably a 2MB+ digital camera

RHE 330C • Writing And Photography

44230 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

This course aims to make you a better writer, a better photographer, and a better analyst of images. We will look at the issues which have pre-occupied practitioners and theorists of this medium for the past century and a half, from the daguerreotypists of the 1830s and 40s through to the new issues raised by today's digital work. We will visit a large exhibition of photography, Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, in the Ransom Center. One of our projects will be based on this exhibition. Expect to write eight short discussion-board essays in response to our readings and viewings, make a presentation and write an essay about a photograph in the Gernsheim collection, and complete an original documentary project. The documentary project will consist of 10-20 photographs and 1500-2000 words of explanatory text. The text and photographs should present an understandable, engaging, 'picture' of the subject, but the writing and the photos should each stand on their own.

Grading:

Discussion board essays: 25% Presentation on photograph: 5% Project 1: 5% Project 2: 20% Project 3: 35% Project 4: 10%

Required Texts:

The Little Penguin Handbook, Second edition, MLA update. Faigley. New York: Longman, 2009. ISBN 0205743390

The Book of Photography: The History, the Technique, the Art, the Future. Hoy. National Geographic, 2005. ISBN 978-0792236931

Handout essays and online readings and viewing

Required Equipment: A camera, preferably a 2MB+ digital camera

RHE 330C • Writing And Photography

44050 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

This course aims to make you a better writer, a better photographer, and a better analyst of images. We will look at the issues which have pre-occupied practitioners and theorists of this medium for the past century and a half, from the daguerreotypists of the 1830s and 40s through to the new issues raised by today's digital work. We will visit a large exhibition of photography, Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, in the Ransom Center. One of our projects will be based on this exhibition.

Expect to write eight short discussion-board essays in response to our readings and viewings, make a presentation and write an essay about a photograph in the Gernsheim collection, and complete an original documentary project. The documentary project will consist of 10-20 photographs and 1500-2000 words of explanatory text. The text and photographs should present an understandable, engaging, 'picture' of the subject, but the writing and the photos should each stand on their own.

Grading:

Discussion board essays: 25%

Presentation on photograph: 5%

Project 1: 5%

Project 2: 20%

Project 3: 35%

Project 4: 10%

Required Texts:

The Little Penguin Handbook, Second edition, MLA update. Faigley. New York: Longman, 2009. ISBN 0205743390

The Book of Photography: The History, the Technique, the Art, the Future. Hoy. National Geographic, 2005. ISBN 978-0792236931

Handout essays and online readings and viewingRequired Equipment:

A camera, preferably a 2MB+ digital camera

RHE 315 • Intro To Visual Rhetoric

44745 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

This course aims to make you a better writer, a better analyst of visual texts, a better visual thinker, and a better producer of multimedia texts. We will examine visual texts ranging from paintings in the Blanton Museum to photography on Flickr, video games, comics, "green" advertising, and online videos.

Expect to write seven short discussion-board essays and posts in response to our readings and viewings, make an oral presentation, and complete four projects. The final project will be a video project examining YouTube.

Grading

Please note that there will be penalties for late work: two points for each calendar day late for discussion board essays; four points for each calendar day late for projects.  The late penalty applies to both drafts and final versions. You must attend class from the beginning on workshop days to receive credit.

Points Possible

7 discussion essays/posts – 25
Oral Presentation – 5
Project 1 – 10
Projects 2-5 (20 each) – 60

Required Texts

The Little Penguin Handbook, Second edition, MLA update. Faigley. 2009. ISBN 0205743390
handouts and online readings and viewings

Required Equipment

A camera, preferably a 2MB+ digital camera

RHE 330C • Writing And Photography

44100 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

What kind of writing does photography stimulate, whether critical or imaginative? This course takes an extensive look at the issues which have pre-occupied practitioners and theorists of this medium for the past century and a half, from the daguerreotypists of the 1830s and 40s through to the new issues raised by today's digital work. Topics which we will discuss include the ways in which one might "read" a photographic image; questions of art, technology, the machine, and the eye; documentary and news photography; photographic portraiture; personal photographs, the family album, and the role of the photograph in autobiography; advertising and commodity culture; gender, desire, and the representation of the body; "truth," realism, evidence, and faking; contexts of display and exhibition; photography and history/nostalgia; and the role of photography in education.

Expect to write informal short responses to our readings and viewings, write two essays on issues in photography, and complete a documentary photo project. The documentary photo project will consist of 15-30 photographs, and 1500-2000 words of explanatory text. The text and photographs should, together, present an understandable, engaging, 'picture' of the subject, but the writing and the photos should each stand on their own.

Grading:
Attendance, preparation, and participation in daily activities are required.
The course fulfills the upper-division SWC requirement.
Short writing assignments: 20%
Two essays on issues in photography: 20% each
Documentary project: 40%

Required Texts:
_The Photography Reader_. Wells. 2003. ISBN 0-415-24661-X
_Doing Documentary Work_. Coles. 1998. ISBN 0-19-512495-2
_The Little Penguin Handbook_. Faigley. 2007. ISBN 0-321-24401-X

Required Equipment:
A camera, preferably a 2MB+ digital camera

RHE 315 • Intro To Visual Rhetoric-W

45055 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

Since the early decades of the nineteenth century, when advances in printing, paper manufacture, and engraving made cheap, mass-produced images broadly available, Western culture has been characterized as a visual culture. During the twentieth century visual technologies proliferated, especially in new electronic forms. In the last decade the World Wide Web has made it possible for individuals to publish multimedia texts that formerly required entire production departments and studios.

In spite of the proliferation of images in our culture and the ease of producing and publishing them, they remain a neglected area of study within the humanities. In the first half of the course, students will examine the modern history of visual culture. In the second half, they will focus more particularly on the combination of text, images, and other graphics, both in print and in multimedia formats. They will explore a range of scholarship that extends from the rise of illustrated newspapers and new image technologies in the nineteenth century to digital imaging and the multimedia Web.


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