Texas Tech University

TCR Grad Courses, Summer 2015

Distance Courses June 2 - August 7 (6 p.m. - 8:50 p.m.)

Course Title Instructor Days Section CRN
ENGL 5369: Discourse and Technology (theory) Baehr Tuesdays D01 36744
ENGL 5377: Sexual Politics (theory) Faris Wednesdays D01 35331
ENGL 5377: Data Mining (methods) Lang Thursdays D02 35332
ENGL 5377: Rhetoric and Agency (theory) Wilson Mondays D21 23272
ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication (applied theory) Kimball Wednesdays D01 36632

May Workshop (daily 5/17 - 5/30, 1:30 - 5:30)

These two courses are only available to students attending the 2-week May workshop.

Course Title Instructor Days/Times CRN
ENGL 5377 Style (theory, applied theory) Cargile Cook 1:30-5:30 p.m. daily 36680
ENGL 5365 New Media Rhetoric (theory, applied theory) Rice 1:30-5:30 p.m. daily 25310


ENGL 5369: Discourse and Technology (Baehr)

This graduate-level course focuses on foundational and contemporary issues in discourse and technology, and in particular how relevant theories in digital rhetoric, hypertext, and technology have influenced our current methods and practices in technical communication and online publication. We'll discuss foundational scholarship in digital literacy, textuality, authorship, narrative, and culture. We'll examine and discuss their influences on contemporary issues in universal design, information experience, semantics, content strategy, and new media studies. We'll look at how perception, cognition, and experiential learning inform these important concepts. And, finally, our discussion will explore the intersections and rhetorical underpinnings found in social media, content management systems, and other forms of online publication. Specific coursework includes developing a blog, a research paper, and multimedia presentation.

ENGL 5377: Sexual Politics (Faris)

This course will explore various intellectual traditions of analyzing and critiquing sexual politics, including feminism, queer theory, poststructuralism, and intersectional theories. A particular focus will be on how rhetoric scholars have approached sexual politics. Sexuality is political and rhetorical in a variety of ways, intersecting with many other aspects of civic and social life. Thus, while sexual politics will be at the center of this course, readings in this course will touch on a vast array of other political and rhetorical topics, including citizenship; the private/public distinction; pedagogy and education; public health; identity and power, including race, class, and disability; history and historiography; memory studies; agency; technical communication; materiality; economics; composition pedagogy and literacy; and norms and conventions of academia. Students will gain an understanding of a variety of methods and methodologies used by rhetoric scholars and scholars of sexuality studies to explore sexual politics; explore conversations and scholarly traditions in sexuality studies; and work on their own scholarly project exploring an aspect of sexual politics and rhetoric. Assignments will include position papers, a book review, and a final scholarly project (with a proposal and literature review).

ENGL 5377: Rhetoric and Agency (Wilson)

For centuries rhetoricians have considered what it means to speak and write effectively. This course will examine the idea of rhetorical agency from ancient Greece to modern day. We will look at both published rhetoric and composition articles and more theoretical treatments of the power of discourse to change belief, ideology, and the world around us. We will also consider the contexts, constraints, and material conditions in which we operate as rhetorical agents. Readings are likely to include Isocrates, Quintilian, Foucault, Bourdieu, Giddens, Lawrence Grossberg, Herndl & Licona, C. Miller, M. Cooper, Gunn, and some current material and object-oriented rhetorics. We will get a grip on different theories of agency and figure out how to write about them as scholars.

ENGL 5377: Data Mining (Lang)

"Hello, Susan Lang. We have recommendations for you." So reads the top line of my amazon.com home page. Immediately below it, there are such links as "Susan's Amazon.com," Your Browsing History," and "Improve Your Recommendations." This single page represents one example of how we use information to understand and forecast behaviors and actions of individuals and/or entire systems. Often, we are aware that our actions are being documented and stored in a database; what we are less aware of is how that information is being analyzed, repurposed, and used to understand or encourage subsequent behavior.

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of working with relational databases and Big Data for research, assessment, and programmatic decision-making. After initial overviews of databases, text mining, and data mining, we'll examine the use of relational databases for both inductive and deductive projects, that is, understanding how to work with a dataset to build hypotheses and how to approach the dataset with a previously structured hypothesis. Students will gain familiarity with the central theoretical and practical concepts of textual analysis such as data reduction, reliability and validity issues, and data visualization. In addition to reviewing the field of textual analysis, students will practice text mining research firsthand with a large dataset and professional research software. We will also cover such relevant topics as IRBs and intellectual property issues that arise from working with datasets.

Assignments will include reading responses, generating a research hypothesis for a project as well as a methodology for testing that hypothesis, and working with data and textual analysis techniques needed to test that hypothesis. Throughout the course, students will encounter new and promising research tools that are likely to have profound consequences across our disciplines.

ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication [Kimball (Wednesdays)]

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 (books), 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.

ENGL 5377: Style (Cargile Cook, May Workshop)

Style explores the rhetorical canon of style from both theoretical and applied perspectives. The first unit of the course will examine style from a theoretical perspective, taking a quick historical survey of style as a rhetorical canon. The second unit will focus on technical style and its variations across disciplines and media. The final unit of the course will approach style from a practical, global perspective, particularly as it applies to international documentation and standards.

Throughout the course, students will analyze writing samples and discuss the stylistic choices writers make. Daily classes will include discussion, stylistic analysis, and writing workshop. Students will the following course requirements, which will be submitted at the end of the course as a style portfolio:

  • A book review draft (~1500 words) to be written prior to the first day of class and targeted to a specific academic journal
  • A series of short daily style assignments examining the book review and leading to the creation of a style analysis (~1800-2000 words)
  • A revision of the book review based on the style analysis
  • A style analysis of another student's writing (~1800-2000 words) with findings and recommendations for improvement
  • A revision of a longer document (~2500-3000 words) the student has written prior to taking the course, based on the personal style analysis and the analysis completed by a fellow student

The course will draw from a variety of reading materials, including the following required texts:

  • For the book review assignments, you may choose to review any newly published scholarly text. I recommend that you choose a text that will be of interest to readers of a targeted journal. I will provide a list of newly published texts on style, but you may range more widely. If you already have a book review that is unpublished, you may use it for this assignment. Before purchasing your text, please email Dr. Cargile Cook for approval and include the book citation, reason for selection, and name of targeted journal.
  • Course readings and exercises will be drawn from these texts:
    • Writing with Style workbook (provided electronically)
    • Style in Rhetoric and Composition: A Critical Sourcebook. Ed. Paul Butler. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010, 479 pp. $43.75 (PB), ISBN 9780312547332. (Used copies available online for less than $5.)
    • Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects (7th edition). Kolln, M.J., & Gray, L. (2013). Longman. ISBN-10: 0321846729 • ISBN-13:9780321846723. (~$45 new).
    • The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market. Kohl, J. R. (2008). SAS. ISBN-10: 1599946572. ISBN-13: 978-1599946573. (~$40 new).
    • Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language in Persuasion. Fahnestock, J. (2011). Oxford UP. ISBN: 978-0-19-976411-2. (~$30 used).
  • You will also need access to an excellent dictionary of your choice as well as your preferred style guide/manual.

ENGL 5365: New Media Rhetoric (Rice, May Workshop)

Technical communicators often see problems in their communities that require sophisticated plans to resolve. Such problems might include using multiple media types to explain material, to instruct, or to design feasibility analysis reports. English 5365: Media/Rhetoric is designed to introduce students to theoretical and practical complexities and practicalities of working with new media. We will discuss different formulations of what "new media" might mean while reading a variety of important and mind-opening works about media, and while putting our new knowledge into practice with group projects.