Texas Tech University

TCR Graduate Courses, Spring 2017

Onsite courses

Course Title Instructor Day/Time Section CRN Room
ENGL 5384: Rhetoric of Scientific Literature (theory)
Wilson T 6-8:50 p.m.     TBD
ENGL 5377: Special Topics in Social Media (theory, applied theory)
Lang W 6-8:50 p.m.     TBD
ENGL 5366: Teaching Technical and Professional Writing (applied theory)
Cargile Cook  Tr 6-8:50 p.m.     TBD
ENGL 5386: Web Accessibility and Disability Studies (theory, applied theory) Zdenek TTr 12:30 - 1:50 p.m.      353
ENGL 5374: Technical Editing (applied theory)
Eaton M 6-8:50      TBD

Online Courses: all online courses meet 6-8:50 p.m. CST

Course Title Instructor Days Section CRN
 ENGL 5364: History of Rhetoric (theory) Gerdes  Mondays    
 ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication (applied theory) Rickly   Mondays    
ENGL 5374: Technical Editing (applied theory)
Eaton  Mondays    
ENGL  5384: Rhetoric of Scientific Literature (theory)
Wilson   Tuesdays    
 ENGL 5393: Grant Proposals for Academy and Industry (applied theory) Eaton  Tuesdays    
 ENGL 5362: Rhetorical Analysis of Text (methods) Rickly  Wednesdays    
ENGL 5362: Rhetorical Analysis of Text (methods) Selzer-King Wednesdays    
ENGL 5377: Special Topics in Social Media (theory, applied theory)
Lang  Wednesdays    
 ENGL 5386: Public Rhetorics (theory) Wolford  Wednesdays    
 ENGL 5377: Special Topics in Digital Rhetorics (theory, applied theory) Faris  Thursdays    
ENGL 5366: Teaching Technical and Professional Writing (applied theory)
Cargile Cook Thursdays    


English 5377: Digital Rhetorics: Theories, Methods, and Practices
Michael J. Faris
Course Description

This course will overview the theoretical work exploring ecological and materialist approaches to understanding rhetorical practices in digital environments; methodological work exploring questions of how we might study digital rhetoric; and empirical studies of digital rhetorical and literacy practices. At the center of our inquiries will be the following broad questions: How should we and can we conceptualize rhetorical practices and actions online? What are the implications of materialist and ecological perspectives for rhetorical practice in digital environments? What is the relationship (or relationships) between digitality and materiality? What are some approaches to studying digital rhetoric that can trace its dynamism and materiality? To put theory into practice in this class, students will engage in the following activities: 1) a collaborative empirical research project; 2) a series of individual small-scale activities throughout the term that will be shared and discussed on a private course blog; 3) using Twitter to engage in a variety of directed and undirected social media practices; and 4) a short final essay exploring a particular issue, problem, or case involving digital rhetoric.

ENGL 5364: History of Rhetoric: Sophistic Rhetorics
Online, Dr. Kendall Gerdes

Course Description: By some accounts, sophists were the first rhetoricians in the western world. Their influence on contemporary rhetorical theory comes not only from the extant speech and writing of sophists themselves, but also from the responses of their political opponents, whose impressions of the sophists survive in the negative connotations attached to "sophistry" and "empty rhetoric." This course will examine the writing of ancient sophists and their critics, as well as the specter of the sophists in more recent rhetorical theory. Participants will consider the relationships between rhetoric, sophism, politics, democracy, and demagoguery. Students will write 6 short reading responses and either a report on secondary readings or a seminar paper.

English 5384, Rhetoric of Scientific Literature
Hybrid, Dr. Greg Wilson

This course is an introduction to the rhetoric of science as a discursive and cultural practice. Within rhetorical studies, scientific discourse is understood as a set of practices that are shaped by disciplinary conventions, material conditions, and ideological commitments as well as a disciplined relationship to "external reality."

To argue in a facile way that science is nothing but a social construction ignores the fact that science and the scientific method have been extraordinarily powerful and productive. But to take that power and productivity at face value ignores questions of culture, of social power, of discursive restrictions and exclusions, and (foremost for the purposes of this class) of language as the fundamental medium of scientific work.

We will ask the question of how science "hooks up" with a material world through language and how it authorizes and understands those procedures.

We will look historically at the development and changes in the study of the rhetoric of science and make connections to the philosophy and social studies of science where they intersect with discourse and the invention of knowledge.

English 5362, Rhetorical Analysis of Text
Onsite, Dr. Abigail Selzer King

This is a how-to class. Our core questions will be: how do rhetorical scholars select artifacts to study? And, how do they conduct rhetorical analysis?

To explore these questions, we will be experimenting, drafting, revising, expanding, refining, and generally muddling about in four rhetorical contexts, each of which will be the topic of its own unit: written and spoken text, visual culture, and organizational discourse.

This is a strategically broad interpretation of what counts as a text. It engages with developments in contemporary rhetorical scholarship that have dramatically enlarged the scope of rhetoricians' interests. At the same time, tracing rhetorical analysis through these three contexts focuses us on the methodological nuances that different approaches to rhetorical analysis generate.

Will you craft one elegant, polished, and vivid rhetorical analysis of one artifact in this class? No, not really. Instead, we will invest our time together confidently failing forward to try different approaches to rhetorical scholarship and develop ourselves as curious and resourceful critics.

The course's main assignments reflect this approach to learning rhetorical analysis. In place of a term paper, students will write one mini-paper and will take one in-class exam for each of our units. This means that by the end of the course students will have developed their own approaches to at least three modes of analysis. Further, these mini-papers may function as valuable springboards for developing complete manuscripts for conference presentations and publication in the future.

The reading list will include the following books, as well as selected articles available through the TTU library:
Brummett, B. (2010). Techniques of close reading. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hoffman, M. & Ford, D. (2010). Organizational rhetoric: Situations and strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Selections from Olson, L., Finnegan, C. & Hope, D. (2008). Visual rhetoric: A reader in communication and American culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Please contact Dr. Abigail Selzer King (AS.King@ttu.edu) with any questions about the course.

English 5377: Special Topics in Social Media
Hybrid, Dr. Susan Lang

David Carr's 2012 column, located at http://www.informationweek.com/how-social-media-changes-technical-communication/d/d-id/1102043, forecasts particular ways in which social media is changing the work of technical communicators. We'll examine several of his claims in this course, as well as focus on the theory, integration, management and use of social media in academic and workplace settings. Topics covered include assessing readiness, social listening, developing guidelines/policies, and determining return on investment (ROI). Additionally, we'll discuss strategic and tactical communication practices and risk management issues associated with social media. Students will engage in a variety of activities which will culminate in the development of a social media playbook for an academic or workplace entity.

Students will complete weekly reading responses, conduct a semester-long shadowing of a client, and construct a social media playbook for an organization of their choice. They will present the results of their work to their colleagues near the end of the course. Active and engaged participation in class each week is expected.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify, describe, and understand theories that have influenced the development of current practices in social media
  • Demonstrate the use of popular social media tools for academy or industry
  • Shadow a "client" and create a case study of the client's use of social media
  • Create a social media playbook for a client

English 5366, Teaching Technical and Professional Writing 
Hybrid, Dr. Kelli Cargile-Cook

This course focuses on pedagogical theories regarding technical and professional writing with special attention to developing course objectives, syllabi, and teaching techniques. The course will introduce you to the theoretical and pedagogical knowledge you will need to teach technical writing successfully to students across the disciplines. It is designed to prepare you teach technical and professional writing; all prospective ENGL 2311 instructors are required to complete the course or its equivalent. Online and onsite students interested in teaching ENGL 2311 are encouraged to take this course, as we anticipate adding more online sections in the near future.

ENGL 5366 is both theoretical and practical. Central questions in the course will require you to consider critical issues related to technical communication pedagogy. From this foundation, it will progress to more practical concerns ranging from what to teach in an introductory technical writing class, how to teach this information, and why to teach it. Assessments in the course will require you to develop a teaching case, teach a lesson, observe and reflect on the work of master teachers, complete a professional teaching portfolio (résumé; teaching philosophy; and electronic components [syllabus, unit plan, assignment descriptions, teaching case, and evaluation]), and deliver a professional presentation.

We will read from the following textbooks. In addition, supplemental readings will be available electronically. Check the course schedule for specific reading assignments:· James M. Dubinsky's Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004). ISBN: 0312412045.· Craig Baehr & Kelli Cargile Cook's The Agile Communicator, 2e. (Kendall Hunt, 2015). ISBN: tbd. (Please check with me before purchasing. The text will not be published until January, and I am hoping to get electronic copies for everyone to use.)

English 5386: Web Accessibility, Captioning, and Disability Studies
Onsite, Dr. Sean Zdenek

How do people with disabilities access electronic information? What do designers need to know to ensure their websites and other electronic documents are optimally accessible? What laws regulate the accessibility of electronic information? What responsibilities do we have as communication scholars, designers, critics, and technology users to create accessible documents and futures? (According to 2010 U.S. Census data, approximately 20% of the civilian noninstitutionalized population over the age of fifteen is disabled.) What theoretical and ethical perspectives (e.g. disability studies, caption studies, universal design, aging studies) should motivate our efforts to create inclusive digital environments?

This graduate course will introduce students in the humanities and social sciences to disability studies and web accessibility. We will read articles and participate in tutorials on web accessibility and pair them with theoretical arguments from disability studies. For example, articles and tutorials on closed captioning will be paired with articles on deaf studies. Topics in disability studies will include: constructing normalcy, eugenics, identity politics, the ethics of cochlear implants, disability models (social, deficit, medical, charity), deaf studies, cognitive disabilities, blind studies and visual culture, feminism and sexuality, disability in film, autism, genetics and reproductive rights, prosthetics, and global perspectives. Topics in web accessibility will include tutorials and information on: closed captioning, video description, color contrast tools, screen readers, screen magnifiers, style sheets, web accessibility checkers, pdf accessibility, accessibility testing, laws and standards (Section 508, WCAG 2.0, CVAA), usability testing, social media accessibility, iPhone and smartphone accessibility, universal design, and creating accessible images.

Note: The Spring 2017 offering of this course will have a special focus on captioning.

Required books

  • Davis, Lennard, ed. (2017) The Disability Studies Reader. 5th Edition, which is due out in October 2016. Routledge.
  • Horton, Sarah and W. Quesenbery (2014) A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences. Rosenfeld Media.
  • Kafer, Alison (2013) Feminist, Queer, Crip. Indiana University Press.
  • Zdenek, Sean (2015) Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture. University of Chicago Press.

English 5374: Technical Editing
Hybrid, Dr. Angela Eaton

In this hybrid class, ENGL 5374 Technical Editing, students will learn how to edit technical documents, from proofreading for errors at the surface to ensuring that the document contains appropriate content, organization, and visuals for its audiences. Students will also learn how to use traditional editing marks, editing functions within word processors, and principles of layout and design. Finally, students will learn about the profession of editing and develop pieces to support their careers; they will finish an extensive copyediting test, learn to edit resumes and graduate school applications, review research done in the field, edit non-native speakers of English, edit an extensive professional piece, and choose a final project based on their career goals.

English 5393: Grants & Proposals for the Academy and Industry
Online, Dr. Angela Eaton

Students in 5393 Grants and Proposals for the Academy and Industry will learn about the genre and process of writing academic grants, conference and business proposals, and business plans. Topics will include understanding the process in the university, locating funding opportunities, determining persuasive appeals, and writing and editing proposals and business plans. Students will be introduced to scholarship and research funding databases. Coursework will include applying for a scholarship, writing a conference proposal, editing a peer's work, and writing two major academic or business proposals.

English 5386: Public Rhetorics, New Materialism, and the Environment
Online, Dr. Rachel Wolford

How do people and their environments impact one another? How do our material surroundings affect us, and vice versa? This course will explore how assemblages of nonhuman things play a vital role as co-constructors of reality. For example, think of an outdoor wedding. How many nonhuman factors are at stake for a beautiful ceremony to take place, other than the love of the engaged couple? Weather, wind, temperature, humidity, manicured landscaping (no torn dresses), mosquitos, and possibly allergy season all impact this celebration. This is a simple example, but the point is that nonhuman matter figures importantly as we analyze and make sense of our reality. How importantly? That's the question on which this course will focus.

In English 5386 we will examine the journey that rhetoric has taken from its postmodern fundamentals (focused on language, subjectivity and ideology, and structures of power) to its focus on new materialisms (focused on tangible phenomena with their own vitalities), as we study the distributed agency of people, technologies, and other things within various environments. Practically speaking, my goal is for students to view their own research interests through the dynamic, collective lens that a new materialist perspective can offer and develop a sharper appreciation for the varied assemblages we all inhabit.