Course Listings

Course Listings


The following are course descriptions for graduate level WRT offerings:

WRT 490: Writing and Rhetoric (3)

Study emphasizing audience, composing processes, and rhetorical theories, including issues relevant to writing professionally. Pre: 360

WRT 512: Studies in Rhetorical Theory (3)

(as taught by Professor Kim Hensley Owens, Fall 2009)

Beginning with a grounding in classical rhetorics, we will read from such well-known authors as Aristotle and Plato, Cicero and Quintilian. We’ll also briefly explore selections from Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment rhetorics before moving our focus to modern and postmodern rhetorics, at which point we’ll examine the work of such authors as Virginia Woolf, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous, Gloria Anzaldúa.

Throughout the course, we’ll consider how various theories have influenced and been appropriated by different theorists/authors, how ideas have been translated or transformed over time, and what impact these theories have on the field of rhetoric and composition and on our teaching of writing.

Our foundational text will be Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg’s The Rhetorical Tradition, but we’ll also include books by contemporary rhetorical theorists, including Ralph Cintron’s Angels’ Town, Roxanne Mountford’s The Gendered Pulpit, Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Rhetoric, Elizabeth Britt’s Conceiving Normalcy, and Paul Butler’s Out of Style. Additional readings (journal articles and book chapters) will be chosen by seminar participants as part of the exploratory nature of the course.

Seminar participants should expect to read, research, and write regularly, make informal and formal presentations, read and respond to one another’s informal and formal writing, and extend and revise shorter writing projects into longer projects. These practices mirror the academic activities professors engage in, recursively revisiting topics and pieces over time for different purposes and audiences

WRT 524: Histories and Theories of Teaching Composition (3)

(as taught by Professor Libby Miles, Fall 2007)

This course will function as an introduction to the field of rhetoric & composition, as seen and experienced through different educational contexts. In a slight departure from the course description, we will explore writing theories and pedagogies by moving back and forth between different historical contexts and our current educational practices.

Along the way, we will read about the exigency of the GI Bill and Open Admissions in shaping the field into what it is today. We will go back in time to rural classrooms, to institutions serving historically under-represented populations, to the elite colleges, and to the legacy of the Land Grant. We will pause for a while in the 1980s, grappling with the different iterations of the “process movement,” and then we will move into the present to discern what “post-process” has brought to the conversation. We will look at specific activist rhetorics and community literacy programs, each inscribed in particular historical and social moments.

Your written projects in this class will include designing assignment sequences, analyzing educational artifacts, presenting materials during class discussions, composing exploratory short papers from materials found in the National Archives of Composition & Rhetoric, and writing a seminar-length paper at the culmination of the term.

Teaching experience, although not necessary, will be helpful. Learning experience, however, is a must.

WRT 533: Graduate Writing in Life Sciences (3)

Graduate writing skills for the life and environmental sciences; writing and editing journal articles, proposals; rhetorical analysis of scientific writing. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) Pre: WRT 104, 105, or 106 or equivalent or permission of instructor; graduate standing or senior status.

WRT 645: Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition (3)

Critical and theoretical conceptions of rhetoric and rhetoricality with varying historical periods and/or connections to cultural studies, literature, and composition studies. Each spring, this class is taught by a different professor, who designs it to reflect his or her current research. Some recent examples are as follows:

    • Writing Sustainable Communities: Working at the Intersection of Ecology and Composition Studies, Visitng Professor Matt Ortoleva (Spring 2011)
    • Writing in the Public Sphere, Professor Linda Shamoon (Spring 2010)
    • Rhetorics of/and Reproduction, Professor Kim Hensley Owens (Spring 2009)
    • Beyond First Year Writing, Professor Libby Miles (Spring 2008)
    • The Economics of New Literacies, Professor Michael Pennell (Spring 2007)

WRT 647: Seminar in Research Methods, Rhetoric and Composition Studies (3)

Advanced practice in the theory and design of research projects, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative studies. May include archival research, teacher-research, ethnographies, case studies, interviews, surveys, experiments, and discourse analyses. (Seminar) Pre: graduate standing or permission of instructor. (3)

WRT 691: Independent Study in Rhetoric (1-3)

Advanced study of an approved topic in Rhetoric and Writing Studies under the supervision of a graduate faculty member. Pre: permission of WRT graduate director. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits.

WRT 999: Methods of Teaching College Writing (0)

Materials and multiple methods of teaching writing on the college level.