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

Mark Garrett Longaker

Associate Professor Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Associate Chair



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.

RHE S330D • History Of Public Argument

88014 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am GAR 1.126
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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


Paper 1: 35%

Paper 2: 35%

Discussion forum posts: 15%

Argument Proposals: 15%

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

44180 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 900am-1000am PAR 104
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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.


Bizzell and Herzeberg’s “Rhetorical Tradition”


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).


Analytic Paper: 20%

Argumentative Paper: 20%

Historical Paper: 20%

In-Class Presentation: 10%

Other Assignments: 30%

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