Texas Tech University

TCR Grad Courses, Spring 2012

Online Courses (~6:00 – ~7:30 p.m.)

Course Title Instructor sections CRN MOO
ENGL 5364 Classical Rhetoric Kemp





ENGL 5373 Instructional Development and Design Baehr




ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical Communication Kimball




ENGL 5377 Visual Rhetoric Kimball




ENGL 5365 Alternative Rhetorics Rickly




ENGL 5385 Ethics Dragga




ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication Koerber




Note: All online students register for section D21 (or D22) except non-Texas-resident online doctoral students, who register for section x21 (or x22)

On-campus Courses

Course Instructor section CRN Time Room
ENGL 5373 Instructional Development and Design Baehr 001


12:30 TTh


ENGL 5382 Theory and Research in the Written Discourses of Health and Medicine Koerber 001


2:00 TTh


ENGL 5386 Discourse and Social Issues Zdenek 001


9:30 TTh


ENGL 5384 Rhetoric of Science Baake 001


3:30 TTh


ENGL 5388 Usability Research Still 001


9:30 MW


ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication Zdenek 001


11:00 TTh



ENGL 5364 History of Rhetoric (Classical Rhetoric)

English 5364 for Spring, 2012, engages a study of classical rhetoric extending from the beginning of formal rhetoric in about 500 BC to the deterioration of the Roman empire around 400 AD. Included in those wewill study will be Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and Augustine. Such an examination will provide students an in-depth understanding of how principal thinkers from the very beginning of western philosophical and analytical inquiry thought about language, how words are used to enableproductive social interactivity, and the way people talk and write to each to create effective action. Students will attend weekly online discussion, receive weekly audio podcasts produced by Dr. Kemp, and contribute ideas asynchronously in the course wiki. Course texts include Bizzell and Herzberg. The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. 2nd Edition; Aristotle. The 'Art' of Rhetoric; Kennedy, George. A New History of Classical Rhetoric. Further information is available at www.fredkemp.com.

ENGL 5365: Alternative Rhetorics

The term "Rhetoric" has come to have a culturally accepted history, theory, and culture, one which spans only the Western world, begins with Aristotle and ends with current political applications, and is populated and theorized primarily by men (at least in our disciplines). This course seeks to explore, problematize, and re-envision Rhetoric as it is created by, understood by, and applied by non-traditional sources: women, non-Western thinkers, online denizens, those without "cultural capital". We will begin with a historical investigation into the origins of Western rhetoric, looking at how our histories are representations which privilege certain voices (even in the re-envisioning). This historical situating will lead to theoretical questions about how re-envisioning rhetoric in terms of "reclaimed" history and culture might relate to (or conflict with) our pre-existing definitions of the rhetorical tradition. Making an effort to "listen rhetorically" to these various rhetorics, we will explore whether or not there is/should be (an) alternative rhetoric(s), what difference categorizations might make, and how this new idea might affect the application of rhetoric, particularly in terms of teaching, theorizing, and administering writing. We will look at non-Western rhetoric, but also attempt to see how non-traditional thinkers have used and accommodated to traditional methods of argument and exposition, as well as how they resisted and subverted tradition and, in the process, invented new rhetoric(s) to argue for and enact a changed culture.

Our exploration will be guided by the following questions:

  1. How have those not represented by the dominant rhetorical traditions accommodated their writing? How have they resisted/altered what we know of the rhetorical tradition? Or, have they instead adhered to a different, culturally-derived rhetoric?
  2. Is there a central "rhetoric"? How can we define it? Or are there "rhetorics"? Is it useful or dangerous to expand the rhetorical tradition as we have come to know it?
  3. What can we learn about our own rhetoric(s) by studying alternative rhetorics?
  4. How can praxis resulting from alternative rhetoric(s) inform our practice: our teaching, our scholarship, our administration?

This course will, I hope, also be framed with questions about our own rhetorical practice, as it is now, and as it might be. Since it's my belief that the very exigency of non-traditional rhetorical situations leaves little room for leisurely theorizing, unconnected to practical action, I hope that in our discussions, our reading, and our writing we will discover new perspectives from which to understand our own rhetorical actions in various communities (and in our larger culture), including the classrooms in which we learn and teach.


College Composition and Communication
Vol. 63, No. 1, September 2011 | Special Issue: Indigenous and Ethnic Rhetorics

Ratcliffe, Krista. Rhetorical Listening.

I'm really torn; SO MANY good books have come out since Kennedy's little intro, but they're all either too scattered or too focused. I still think his is the best one to start with, though I'm searching for another, more recent text. So the other text (in all likelihood) will be

Kennedy, George A. *Comparative Rhetoric: An Historical and Cross-Cultural Introduction*. NY: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Among the possible supplemental texts that are NOT required, but may be helpful in terms of student projects (and I know the bib info is all over the place…sorry):

Bloch, Maurice, ed. *Political Language and Oratory in Traditional Society*.

London: Academic Press, 1975.

Lu, Xing. *Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century **B.C.E.*

Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

Oliver, Robert T. *Communication and Culture in Ancient India and China*.

Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1971.

Lipson, Carol & Roerta Binkley, Eds. Ancient Non-Greek Rhetorics

Rhetoric Before and Beyond the Greeks, Ed. Carols S. Lipson and Roberta A.

Binkley (SUNY 2004).

Rhetorics of the Americas, 3114 BCE to 2012 CE, Ed. Damian Baca and Victor Villanueva (Palgrave Macmillan 2010).

Al-Musawi, Muhsin J. “Arabic Rhetoric.” Encyclopedia of Rhetoric. Ed.

Thomas O. Sloane. New York: Oxford UP, 29-33.

Black, Deborah. Logic and Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics in Medieval Arabic Philosophy. Leiden: Brill, 1990.

Halldén, Philip. “What is Arab Islamic Rhetoric? Rethinking the History of Muslim Oratory Art and Homiletics.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37 (2005): 19-38.

Rhetoric in the Rest of the West. Ed. Shane Borrowman et al. Cambridge:

Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010

ENGL 5366, Teaching Technical and Professional Writing

Catalog Description: "The theory and teaching of technical and professional writing with special attention to developing course objectives, syllabi, and teaching techniques." This course will give you a theoretical and practical background in teaching introductory technical communication service courses. We'll discuss how pedagogical and curricular theory applies to teaching, as well as how to manage practical aspects of teaching. ENGL 5366 is required of any GPTI who intends to teach ENGL 2311, Introduction to Technical Writing.

Outcomes: Successfully completing this course should enable students to fulfill the following outcomes:

  1. Develop a teaching philosophy that shows your development as a reflective practitioner.
  2. Develop course materials and present them online.
  3. Observe other instructors and express how those observations might inform your own teaching.
  4. Develop a knowledge of scholarship on the pedagogy of technical communication, and discuss your own teaching within that context.
  5. Grade and comment on papers successfully.
  6. Develop a syllabus you might use in a basic technical communication course

English 5373: Technical Manuals: Instructional Development and Design

This graduate-level course provides an overview of the processes involved in developing instructional materials for a professional setting, including user and task analysis, learning methods, Web-based training development, training in asynchronous and synchronous environments, single-sourcing, and assessment methods. It covers theoretical aspects of instructional architectures, instructional design, user-centered design, and online pedagogy, as well as the practical aspects of using learning objects and instructional tools. And finally we'll look at best practices, examples and methods for online instructional delivery, through a variety of communication software tools.

ENGL 5377.D21, Visual Rhetoric

How do images mean something? What role do they play in culture and communication? Can images argue, or just persuade? These are a few of the questions this course will pose. On successfully completing this course, should you should be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze texts of various media for visual rhetoric
  2. Discuss theoretical frameworks of visual rhetoric, including the roles of visual perception, visual culture, and semiotics
  3. Experiment with visual communication techniques to explore people, ideas, and spaces
  4. Employ and discuss various methodologies suited for research on visual subjects
  5. Complete research projects on visual subjects


This graduate course will introduce current theory and research in medical rhetoric and health communication. Although the primary focus will be scholarship in technical communication and rhetoric, the course will also include some texts from other disciplines that take an interest in medicine such as communication studies, sociology, and anthropology.

You will have to purchase the following texts for the course:

  1. Judy Z. Segal. Health and the Rhetoric of Medicine. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005.
  2. Mol, A. (2002). The body multiple: Ontology in medical practice. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

In addition to these two books, several required readings will be available as digital files through the course Web site. Please contact Dr. Koerber at amy.koerber@ttu.edu if you have any questions.

ENGL 5384, Rhetoric of Scientific Literature

English 5384 is for anyone who has been curious about the language that scientists and writers of science use to develop and spread scientific knowledge. Technical communicators who make daily decisions about language will find this course useful. Others who would benefit include scholars of rhetoric, writing teachers, and scientists interested in unraveling the role of language in what they do.

Since Aristotle, a picture has emerged of science as a method of inquiry leading to certain objective truth about reality. On the other hand, rhetoric is seen as the art of arguing to secure judgment or a course of activity in an uncertain world. This split has continued through the 20th century, with science and language arts said to be occupying separate realms of understanding—a world that C.P. Snow described as “two cultures.”

After World War II, scholars in the humanities attempted to reverse their marginal status, blurring the line between rhetoric and science. Taking its cue from contemporary work in philosophy, a new field of inquiry has arisen in English departments; it goes by the name “the rhetoric of science.” In this course we will ask how science is rhetorical. The course will involve reading and responding to each other's short essays, class discussions and activities, and a final project. The course will sharpen your analytical skills and ability to integrate theories of rhetoric and technical communication into your understanding of the scientific world.

We will begin by considering several key works in science and examining the ways in which language makes them work as scientific arguments. We may read passages from Darwin's Origin of Species, which he called “one long argument.” Other likely books include Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Latour and Woolgar's Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts, and Randy Allen Harris's (Editor) Landmark Essays on Rhetoric of Science. We will read the instructor's book, Metaphor and Knowledge: The Challenges of Writing Science, which presents his experiences as a writer at the Santa Fe Institute—a multi disciplinary science think tank. Articles may explore special topics such as the rhetorical issues involved in climate change science.

ENGL 5385: Ethics in Technical Communication

In this course, we will

  • identify various definitions and philosophies of ethics pertinent to the field of technical communication.
  • recognize the nature and scope of ethical dilemmas in the field of technical communication.
  • differentiate ethical dilemmas from legal dilemmas and the implications of each.
  • determine possible solutions to ethical dilemmas encountered by technical communicators.
  • compose persuasive judgments on ethical dilemmas.
  • explain the applicability of theories of ethics to the field of technical communication.


Dombrowski, Paul. Ethics in Technical Communication (Allyn & Bacon, 2000).

May, Steven (ed.). Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices, 2nd edition (Sage, 2012).

ENGLISH 5386: Web accessibility and disability studies

In order to design optimally accessible environments and documents, technical communicators need to understand how people with disabilities access electronic information. Too often, web content and applications are woefully inaccessible. In this course, students will be exposed to and discuss a number of arguments for accessible design economic, ethical, user-centered, and legal. We will explore accessibility through the lens of disability studies and disability activism, which provide additional contexts for understanding the importance of accessibility within physical and digital environments. We will also discuss standards of accessible design (e.g. WCAG 2.0, Section 508, Best Practices for Mobile Web Design, guidelines for closed captioning and audio description, etc.), accessibility testing and tools, and, through a series of hands-on workshops and intervention assignments, how to apply accessibility standards to a number of web technologies. By the end of the course, students should have a good understanding of disability theory and Web accessibility, be able to make a strong case for accessible design, and understand how to design web technologies for optimal usability.

Required books

Davis, Lennard J., ed. (2010) The Disability Studies Reader. Third Edition. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 0-415-87376-2. Make sure you order the 3rd edition.

A book on Web accessibility. Title to be announced soon.


This graduate course will address theoretical and practical issues related to scholarly writing and publishing in the 21st century. A broad array of genres will be covered, including peer-reviewed articles, scholarly monographs, edited collections, webtexts, and book reviews. Students can expect to learn practical advice on how to get published and to discuss recent trends and changes in scholarly publishing. Although the field of technical communication will be our primary focus, we will also consider scholarly writing and publishing more broadly across the disciplines.

Students will be required to purchase a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. Additional required texts will also be available as pdf files from the course Web site. Please contact Dr. Amy Koerber (amy.koerber@ttu.edu) if you have any questions or would like further information about the course.