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

Jeffrey Walker

Professor Ph.D., 1985, University of California, Berkeley

Professor & Chair, Department of Rhetoric & Writing
Jeffrey Walker

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Biography

Maistor Rhetor; Rhetorician Extraordinaire; Consul of the Philosophers; Sophist.

My research and teaching interests include rhetorical theory and the history of rhetoric, classical and modernist rhetoric, rhetoric and poetics, rhetorical analysis and criticism, and rhetorical education.

My publications include BARDIC ETHOS AND THE AMERICAN EPIC POEM (LSU Press 1989); RHETORIC AND POETICS IN ANTIQUITY (Oxford 2000); INVESTIGATING ARGUMENTS: READINGS FOR COLLEGE WRITING (a textbook, co-authored with Glen McClish; Houghton-Mifflin 1991); and articles in RHETORICA, RSQ, ADVANCES IN THE HISTORY OF RHETORIC, PAPERS ON RHETORIC, COLLEGE ENGLISH, and other journals. My more recent publications include a translation of Michael Psellos’ “Encomium of His Mother”; an article on “The Place of ‘Theory’ in Ancient Rhetoric”; and an article on “Rhetoric and Poetics” for the INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMMUNICATION.

I have taught at Penn State (1985-2000), Emory University (2000-2004), and UT (2004-now), and have been a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Athens (Greece, 1992), and an NEH Fellow (2007-2008). I am a member of the Editorial Board of Rhetoric Society Quarterly (RSQ), and of the Council of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (ISHR).

Current projects include RHETORICAL ANALYSIS, a textbook (co-authored with Mark Longaker); and THE GENUINE TEACHERS OF THIS ART, a book on the sophistic and handbook traditions in ancient rhetorical education. Both of which I hope will be out in 2011.

Interests

rhetorical theory, history of rhetoric, ancient rhetoric, rhetoric and poetics, modern rhetoric and literature

RHE 330D • Sophistry & Inventn Of Rhet

44800 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 101
show description

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

Texts

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

Aristophanes: Clouds

Plato: Protagoras, Phaedrus

Aristotle: Rhetoric; Poetics

Apuleius: The Golden Ass

Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49

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

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

3 formal papers: 25% each

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

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44215 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 206
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This course will introduce classical, modern, and contemporary (“postmodern”) approaches to the study of rhetoric -- the art and practice of effective, persuasive discourse -- or even, from a modern/postmodern point of view, the general phenomenon of effective/persuasive discourse, or the persuasive force of language itself. Put another way, rhetoric is the study, art, practice, and/or phenomenon of language that makes things happen. As we will see, there are not only differences of approach between classical and modern/postmodern views (and there are different classical views as well), but there are also significant continuities. Thus, we will consider all approaches as offering resources that can mutually enrich each other, and that are available and useful to us now. Among the topics that will concern us -- in addition to the “toolbox” each approach provides for rhetorical study and practice -- will be the broader questions of humanity as “rhetorical animals”; the relations between rhetoric, rhetorical culture, and civic culture; and the ethics of rhetoric.

 Texts

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

 Requirements

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

 Grading

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

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44755 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.202
show description

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

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

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

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

Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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