The Rhetorical Tradition

Those who study the rhetorical tradition explore the inherent connection between rhetoric and the human tradition. The rhetorical tradition is concerned with how people throughout history conceive the nature, scope and function of rhetoric: how the theory, practice, and critique of rhetoric has been intertwined with, constrained by and impacts people's views about government, citizenship, good and evil, and the life worth living. Related topics: the relationship of rhetoric to other disciplines, including—but not restricted to—science, philosophy, ethics, literature, history, aesthetics, religion, politics, etc. Scholar-teachers of the rhetorical tradition study a diversity of views within the continuity of the human condition.

Courses | Publications by faculty members | Dissertations and theses | Faculty and courses in other departments


CMS 390P Foundations of Rhetorical Theory (Brummett)

CMS 390P Contemporary Rhetorical Theory (Cherwitz)

CMS 390P Rhetoric and Philosophy (Cherwitz)

CMS 390P Pragmatism and Rhetoric (S. Stroud)

CMS 390P Comparative Rhetoric (S. Stroud)

Publications by faculty members

Brummett, Barry, Ed., Reading Rhetorical Theory. Ft Worth, TX: Harcourt, 2000.

Brummett, Barry, Ed., Landmark Essays: Kenneth Burke. Davis, CA: Hermagoras Press,1993.

Cherwitz, Richard, Ed., Rhetoric and Philosophy. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 1990.

Cherwitz, Richard and Hikins, James. Communication and Knowledge: An Investigation in Rhetorical Epistemology. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1986.

Cherwitz, Richard and Daniel Sharan, "Rhetoric as Professional Development and Vice Versa," JAC: A Quarterly Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Rhetoric, Culture, Literacy, and Politics, 22 (2003), 795-814.

Cherwitz, Richard and Hikins, James, "Climbing the Academic Ladder: A Critique of Provincialism in Contemporary Rhetoric," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 86 (2000), 375-85.

Stroud, S. R., "John Dewey and the Question of Artful Communication," Philosophy and Rhetoric, 41 (2), 2008, 153-183.

Stroud, S. R., "Rhetoric and Moral Progress in Kant's Ethical Community," Philosophy and Rhetoric, 38 (4), 2005, 328-354.

Ph.D. Dissertations and M.A. theses

Johanna Hartelius, "Expertise as Rhetorical Strategy" (Cherwitz)

Tim Steffensmeier, "Rhetorical Invention and the Project of Becoming Local in Rural Community Rejuvenation" (Cherwitz)

David Gilbert, "Plato's Ideal Art of Rhetoric: An Interpretation of Phaedrus" (Cherwitz)

James Mackin, "Toward an Ethics of Rhetoric: An Ecological Model for Assessing Public Moral Argument" (Cherwitz)

James Hikins, "Explorations in the Relationship between Rhetoric and Knowledge" (Cherwitz)

William Keith, "Believing and Acting: Toward a Theory of Rational Persuasion" (Cherwitz)

Vessela Valiavitcharska, "Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantine Homilies" (Walker)

Jenny Edbauer. "Everyday Intensities: Rhetorical Theory, Composition Studies, and the Affective Field of Culture" (Davis)

Anna M. Young, "Public Intellectuals, Rhetorical Style and the Public Sphere: The Politics of Thinking Out Loud" (Brummett)

Kevin Johnson, "The Unconscious as a Rhetorical Factor: Toward a Burke Lacanian Theory and Method" (Brummett)

Faculty and courses in other departments

GK 381 The Sophists (Woodruff & Gagarin)

GK 381 Sophocles (Woodruff & Gagarin)—in which, among other things, rhetoric in Greek tragedy is examined

GK 385 Greek Orators (Gagarin)

E 387R 18th-Century British Rhetoric (Longaker)

E 387R Enlightenment Rhetorics (Longaker)

E 387M Marxism in Rhetorical, Cultural, and Literary Theory (Longaker)

E 387M Classical Rhetoric through the Centuries (Walker)

E 387M Rhetoric & Poetics (Walker)

E 387R Modernist Rhetoric & Poetics (Walker)

E 387M Rhetorical Theory and Ethics (Davis)

E 387M Rhetoric and Identification (Davis)

E 387M Performative Rhetorics (Davis)

E 387M Contemporary Theories of Rhetorical Agency (Davis)

E 387M Rhetoric and/as Hermeneutics (Davis)

Davis, Diane, Breaking Up [at] Totality: A Rhetoric of Laughter. Rhetorical Theory and Philosophy Series, Southern Illinois University Press, 2000

Davis, Diane, "Identification: Burke and Freud on Who You Are," Rhetoric Society Quarterly 38.2 (2008): 123-147.

Davis, Diane, "Addressing Alterity: Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and the Non-Appropriative Relation," Philosophy and Rhetoric 38.3 (2005): 191-212.

Gagarin, Michael, Antiphon the Athenian: Oratory, Law and Justice in the Age of the Sophists (University of Texas Press, 2002).

Gagarin, Michael, Series Editor "The Oratory of Classical Greece." Series of translations of classical Greek oratory; in preparation for the University of Texas Press (15 volumes are planned, 12 have already been published).

Longaker, Mark. Rhetoric and the Republic: Politics, Civic Discourse, and Education in Early America. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007.

Longaker, Mark, "The Political Economy of Rhetorical Style: Hugh Blair's Solution to the Civic-Commercial Dilemma," Quarterly Journal of Speech 94.2 (2008): 179-99.

Longaker, Mark. "The Economics of Exposition: Managerialism, Current-Traditional Rhetoric, and Henry Noble Day," College English 67.5 (2005): 508-531.

Walker, Jeffrey, Rhetoric & Poetics in Antiquity. New York: Oxford, 2000.

Walker, Jeffrey, "The Place of 'Theory' in Ancient Rhetoric," Papers on Rhetoric VII, ed. Lucia Montefusco. Rome: Herder, 2006, 247-265.

Walker, Jeffrey, "Mime, Comedy, Sophistry: Speculations on the Origins of Rhetoric," Advances in the History of Rhetoric 8 (2005), 199-210.

Walker, Jeffrey, "These Things I Have Not Betrayed: Michael Psellos' Encomium of His Mother as a Defense of Rhetoric," Rhetorica 22.1 (2004), 49-101.

Woodruff, Paul and Gagarin Michael, Editors, Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists. Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Woodruff, Paul. "Rhetoric and Relativism," in A.A. Long, Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 290-310.

Woodruff, Paul, Plato: Phaedrus (with Alexander Nehamas). Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing Company, 1995.