Department of Rhetoric & Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Writing

Mark Garrett Longaker


Associate ProfessorPh.D., Pennsylvania State University

Associate Chair

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 309S • Crit Read And Persuasive Writ

44075 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 1000am-1130am 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 1130am-100pm 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 930am-1100am 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 930am-1100am 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 S330D • History Of Public Argument

88014 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am 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 900am-1000am 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%

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages


External Links