Department of English Language and Literature
Cross-apointed to the David Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Professor, 2000 - present
Associate Professor, 1992 - 2000
Arts 140 Information and Analysis: Bullshit, Argument, the Universe, and Everything (W18, F18)
The objectives of Arts 140 are the ongoing objectives of education generally, and liberal arts (arts-of-liberty) education specifically: the enhancement of critical thinking in both the private sphere (exercising judgement) and the public sphere (engaging society and culture). We will pursue them by building and refining our facility with language. If you do this with energy and focus, you should also gain more understanding of, and competence in, the ways and means of communication. All this is made more challenging and more important because we live in an information-suffused universe with too much bullshit and not enough argumentation.
See the W18 syllabus (PDF).
English 101B, Introduction to Rhetoric (F09, F12)
A course designed to answer one question, a rather messy one, but one which helps define our thinking, our communicating, and our lives as both homo sapiens and citizens: what, in the name of Sam-I-Am, is rhetoric?
See the F12 syllabus (PDF).
English 103A, The Nature and Structure of the English Language (F92, F93, F94)
Introduction to the study of the English language. Topics to be discussed include the nature and origin of language, the structure of English and its development, and the relations between language and reality.
See the F94 syllabus.
English 103B, Varieties of English (W92)
Introduction to the study of varieties of the English language—regional, social, temporal, functional, and stylistic. The relations of languages and literature and of speech and writing will be discussed.
Prereq: ENGL 103A or consent of instructor.
See the W92 syllabus.
English 104, Rhetoric in Popular Culture (S11, F19)
This course examines the role of persuasion in contemporary society by focusing on one or more topic areas: film, television, video games, comic books, music, fashion, etc. Students will explore the topic area(s) in depth using a variety of rhetorical theories and methods.
See the S11 syllabus.
English 109, Introduction to Academic Writing (F16)
The course will explore a variety of issues in academic writing such as style, argument, and the presentation of information. Frequent written exercises will be required.
See the F16 syllabus (PDF)
English 292, Contemporary Issues in Rhetoric and Writing (F92, F93, F97)
The course inductively defines the fields of Rhetoric and Professional Writing through an exploration of contemporary issues in language, writing, and rhetoric, as those issues are identified and dealt with, in the pertinent scholarly and professional journals, by current researchers and their work.
Prereq: Enrolment limited to RPW students.
See the F97 syllabus.
English 306A, Introduction to linguistics (annually or biannually, W92 –)
Introduction to linguistics and the principles of linguistic analysis through an examination of English phonology, forms, syntax, and discourse.
See the F09 syllabus.
English 306A—Distance, Introduction to linguistics
I designed and administered a distance-education version of the on-campus course; it is routinely offered. Sometimes i coordinate it, usually others do.
English 309A Principles and Practices of Rhetoric I (F97, F98, F99, F00, F11)
A study of rhetorical theories from the Classical period (Pre- Socratic to Augustine) with an emphasis on how these theories reflect changing attitudes towards language, reality, and the self.
Prereq: Third-year standing, or consent of instructor
Priority may be given to RPW students.
See the F11 syllabus.
English 309B Principles and Practices of Rhetoric II (F01, F02, F04, S07, S08, F17)
A study of rhetorical theories and practices from late Antiquity, Medieval, Renaissance, and the Enlightenment periods, with an emphasis on how those theories and practices reflect changing attitudes towards language, society, and the self.
Prereq: Third-year standing or above
Priority may be given to RPW students
See the S08 syllabus.
English 309C Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric (S09, S10, F22)
An examination of contemporary rhetorical theory and its relationships to criticism, interdisciplinary studies and computer applications. But what's the point of contemporary rhetorical theory in the first place? —Where there are organisms, there is mutual influence; where there are humans, there are symbols; where there are influence and symbols, there is rhetoric. Aristotle would tell you that, and tell you that where there is rhetoric there damn well better be judgement, too. But it takes the twentieth century to realize the full diversity of symbolic modes, to invent the elaborate semiotic distribution networks, and to develop the theoretical instruments, necessary to see the truly inescapable, mindbending, person-forming, culture-saturating nature of rhetoric.
Prereq: Third-year standing or above
Priority may be given to RPW students
See the S09 syllabus.
English 335, Creative Writing 1(S95, F95)
Aimed at encouraging students to develop their creative and critical potentials, the course consists of supervised practice, tutorials, and seminar discussions.
See the F95 syllabus.
English 365, 366 Selected Studies (W93, S94, W95, F95, W96, F98, F04, F07, W12, S13, W21, S21, W22, S22)
Designed to provide a study in depth of problems and/or authors selected by the instructor. Students interested in initiating such courses are encouraged to do so by bringing their ideas to the attention of individual instructors. Courses have included Argumentation Theory, Construction Grammar, Online Help, Rhetoric of Science, Rhetorical Phonology, and Synecdoche.
Prereq: Consent of instructor and permission of English Undergraduate Officer
English 392A, Information design (W93, S95, S96, S97, S98, S99, S00, F01, F02, F03, F04, S07)
This course will introduce students to recent research in documentation in fields such as information design, reading, and technical writing. Students apply this knowledge by developing or revising documents
Prereq: ENGL 292 or consent of the instructor.
See the F04 web page and syllabus.
English 406, Politics and Bullshit (F19, F20)
This course is a seminar in democratic civic engagement, something that was invented alongside the discipline of rhetoric in ancient Greece. What democracy requires for success is a vigilant public,—not people who just vote every now and again, or, worse, people who complain and blame and don't even vote, but people who know the issues that matter to them, endorse candidates who best represent those issues, and who hold their governments accountable for those issues. But it's not so easy. Politics is full of bullshit and propaganda, the relentless distortion of facts and feelings for the aggrandizement of individuals, the enrichment of the few, and the exercise of power. Since this is a seminar, we will all do a lot of reading and talking, with each of you taking responsibility for bits and pieces of the syllabus. I will talk, probably less than you want me to at the start, probably more than you want me to at the end, but there will be no "lectures."
Prereq: ENGL 309A, 309B, 309C, or consent of the instructor.
English 409A, Argumentation (F03, F05, F08, F13, S17, S19, F21)
This course studies the discursive, social, and rhetorical principles of argumentation, including topics such as evidence, reasoning, and the organization and presentation of arguments. Scholars studied will include Richard Whatley, Jurgen Habermas, Stephen Toulmin, Chaim Perelman, Lucie Olbrecht-Tyteca, Kenneth Burke, Jeanne Fahnestock, and Pierre Bourdieu.
Prereq: ENGL 309A, 309B, 309C, or consent of the instructor.
See the F08 syllabus.
English 481C, Cognitive Stylistics (S16)
A seminar in the way your mind makes and responds to the linguistic configurations called rhetorical figures. We make and respond to metaphors the way we do because our minds are tuned to analogy; we make and respond to metonymies the way we do because our minds are tuned to correlation; we make and respond to synecdoches the way we do because our minds are tuned to meronymy; we make and respond to antitheses the way we do because our minds are tuned to opposition; we make and respond to ... you get the picture. Why? Because you're really good at recognizing, predicting, and completing patterns. Why? Because you're a human, with a human mind, and your mind is a style machine.
See the S16 syllabus.
English 481S, Science Writing (S96)
This course is a creative, non-fiction writing class, focusing on science for non-scientists; other labels for the genre include "popular science" and "science journalism." We read from this genre, with the intent of assimilating its tone, style, and techniques in order to become practitioners. We write in this genre, and discuss our work with each other. The main project is one piece of science writing–a feature story–intended for publication.
See the S96 syllabus.
English 481U, Document Usability Testing (W94)
I developed this course for six exceptional students in W94 who were interested in document usability. Under my guidance, they designed, conducted, and reported on a usability study of a user guide for the newsgroup UW.RPW. They redesigned the guide on the basis of that study.
See the W94 syllabus.
English 481V, Voice User Interfaces (S01, W04)
A seminar in script writing, dialogue planning, and the overall design for voice user interfaces. Evaluation depends on developing and paper-prototyping a voice-only interface for a website.
See the S01 syllabus.
English 700 & 701; with Katherine Acheson (F05, W06); with Victoria Lamont (F06, W07) Theory and criticism I & II
English 700 and 701, Theory I and Theory II, are required courses in literary and rhetorical theory taken by all students in the English graduate programmes. In them, we study theories of texts and textuality, from their origins in Ancient Greece, when texts emerged out of cultures whose knowledge, principles of conduct, methods of governance, strategies of influence, and modes of entertainment were overwhelmingly oral, to their state in the 21st century, when texts are fraying and splaying, splicing and dicing, in multiple directions simultaneously. The courses are organized chronologically, and we alternate (roughly) between rhetorical and literary theories—Theory I begins with the classics, and moves through medieval, Renaissance, enlightenment and nineteenth-century critical theories; Theory II begins with the twentieth century and ends with the present.
See the W07 syllabus.
English 700 (Rhetorical) Theory and Criticism (as 'wingman,' F08, F09; as IOR [pronounced the same as the donkey in Winnie the Pooh, Instructor of Record], F10)
English 700 has the ridiculous task of compressing two millennia of rhetorical theory and criticism into a single academic term, committing gross injustices not only to that theory and criticism but to culture, ethics, literature, politics, cognition, and digital media along the way (to name only the most prominent casualties). The objectives of the course, however, are noble, and—working hard, making allowances, conducing relentlessly—you can learn a great deal. The English department here is unique and vibrant, if we do say so ourselves, and 700 aims to (1) introduce you to its best aspects, and (2) prepare you to make the most of them.
See the F10 syllabus (PDF).
English 785C, Metaphor (S97)
We will look at metaphor. But metaphors are bigger, more pervasive, and considerably more tricky than traditional theories suggest. Our orientation will be cognitive–-metaphors not as a stylistic overlay, but as elements of thought and knowledge.
See the W94 syllabus.
English 788CS, Cognitive Stylistics (W18)
We will study the way your mind makes and responds to the linguistic configurations called rhetorical figures. You make and respond to metaphors the way you do because your mind is tuned to analogy; you make and respond to metonymies the way you do because your mind is tuned to correlation; you make and respond to antitheses the way you do because your mind is tuned to opposition; you make and respond to ... well, you get the picture. Why? Because you're really good at recognizing, predicting, and completing patterns (in this case, the linguistic configuration known as repotia). Why? Because you're a human, with a human mind, and your mind is a style machine. You are a style machine.
See the W18 syllabus (PDF).
English 788FL, Figural Logic (S13)
Rhetorical figures are epitomes of reasoning: metaphor epitomizes analogy; gradation epitomizes series reasoning; metonymy epitomizes reasoning by example; antimetabole epitomizes reciprocal causality; … There is an explanation for this. We think along the same grooves as we talk and write. Our minds are built to deploy, process, and store representations, and the form of those representations matter. The most productive forms are realized as rhetorical figures and argumentative strategies. We will look at argumentation, in all its forms, from poetry to op-ed pieces to scientific papers to graphics, through the lens of figuration..
See the S13 syllabus (PDF).
English 788RFF, Rhetorical Figures: Form and Function (S21)
Language comes to us patterned; it leaves us patterned. The most persistent and productive patterns are realized as rhetorical figures, first explored in ancient Greece and studied in various ways ever since by rhetoricians, literary scholars, philosophers, psychologists, and linguists. But figures have been misunderstood, miscategorized, and mired in terminological swamps over the millennia. We will shake off the muck and approach them in a new, atomized, combinatoric, and semiotic way, anchored the notion that forms and functions correlate.
See the S21 syllabus (PDF).
English 788RS, Rhetoric of Science: Case Studies (S16)
We will study the how and why of scientific suasions, focussing exclusively on case studies, with two aims in mind: (1) to familiarize you with the issues and literature of rhetorical approaches to science; and (2) to enable you to participate in that literature. Evaluation depends on: participation in discussions; a conference-style presentation; a commentary on another's presentation; and a paper of publishable length and quality taking up a rhetorical case study of a scientific episode.
See the S16 syllabus.
English 791C, Science Writing (F93)
This course is a creative, non-fiction writing class, focusing on science for non-scientists; other labels for the genre include popular science and science journalism. We will read from this genre, with the intent of assimilating its tone, style, and techniques in order to become practitioners. We will write in this genre, and discuss our work with each other. The main project will be one piece of science writing feature story intended for publication.
See the W94 syllabus.
English 791P, Styles of Professional Writers (F94)
This course is a creative, non-fiction writing class, organized around style and structured according to the well-worn rhetorical notion of imitation. You will read various examples of professional writing ("writing you get paid for") and write imitations of them. You will also (forgive the Yoda-like tones) be on a search for your own voice, mostly by way of sampling other people's voices, including each other’s. The major end-product will be a piece in a distinctive style of your own, meant for publication..
See the F94 syllabus.
English 791R, The New Yorker (S99)
This is a writing class, based on the ancient notion of imitation, and taking its exemplars from The New Yorker magazine. There are no other magazines like this one; it is the Anti-Wired, a devoutly literate examination of (post-)modern life, in a staggering number of its facets, —political, technological, cultural, social, historical, personal, educational, even artificial. Its defining approach is a commitment to thoughtful language, and its defining vehicle is The Feature, a really big, exceptionally graceful essay, on anything. We will read ten issues of The New Yorker, the ten that come out from the second to the eleventh weeks of the course, and discuss each issue in class. We will write ten imitations of the genres and voices it embodies, and discuss those imitations in peer-editing sessions. The final project will be A Feature.
See the S99 syllabus.
English 791V, Voice Interaction Design (S06)
Voice interfaces are an emergent technology for interacting with computational routines and databases. This course is a seminar in designing, scripting, strategizing, developing, and learning this new style of interface, drawing largely on what is known about natural human/human verbal interaction, and on the computer-mediated tasks the interfaces will front. This is a seminar course. Seminar comes (via German) from the Latin seminarium, for a "breeding ground" or "plant nursery," and we will take this etymology seriously. There will be lots of reading (the soil) in this course, and lots of talking (the sun and the rain), and lots of collaborating (the breeding and cross-pollinating). If you don't like intellectual horticulture, this may not be the course for you.
See the S06 syllabus.
English 793A, Argumentation and Incommensurability (S02, S04)
Incommensurability, the word and most of its implications, grew out of conversations around 1960, in coffee shops on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue, between two of the most important voices in contemporary philosophy and sociology of science, Kuhn and Feyerabend. Taking incommensurability to the extremes inherent in its etymology, the word describes a situation where two scientific programs are fundamentally and irrevocably at odds, the participants of each program therefore seeing their rivals to be spouting incongruities or absurdities or gibberish. As you might imagine, this poses some difficulties for the notion of rational argumentation: like, why bother? This course will investigate, in scientific and other discourses, cases which fit the Kuhnian and Feyerabendian diagnosis, against the background of argumentation theory.
See the S04 syllabus.
English 793WB, Wayne Booth (S03, S05, S07)
Wayne Booth is one of the most consistently interesting, but also one of the most consistently underestimated, critics of the latter 20th C. His driving theme is the rhetorical resources that encourage, obstruct, or refine agreement: and, therefore, belief, knowledge, and action. We will read a range of his books, engage his issues, and seek agreement about the value of his critical pluralism, not only for understanding texts, but also for understanding each other
See the S07 syllabus.
English 793KB, The Ethical Universe of Kenneth Burke (S12, S14)
Burke is concerned with how we speak and write and hear and read primarily as forms of action and belief (which, in turn, is “incipient action”). Burke’s dramatism is a machinery for ethical universe building.We will channel Burke, allowing the methodology to inhabit us. We will disassemble the ethical universes of specific object texts, taken from such discourses as politics, literature, professional communication, and marketing, examining their structure and their implications. We will assemble our own ethical universes in the critiques we conduct of these texts. We will become better readers, better thinkers, better people
See the S12 prospectus (PDF).
English 793C, Cicero (S05)
Synonymous with rhetoric for over 1500 years, a period in which rhetoric suffused learning, art, and religion; Quintilian's Ideal Orator; Caesar's friend and rival, Augustus's champion, Antony's victim; a Skeptic, a Stoic, and a Peripatetic; the author who Augustine says turned him away from a life of sin, toward philosophy, and ultimately God: Cicero is the single most important figure in the history of rhetoric. We will study him.
See the S05 syllabus.
English 793CA, Medieval Allegory and Cognitive Rhetoric (S09)
Primarily looking to the medieval period, when allegory as a narrative mode dominated discourse at all levels, we will study how the reach of allegory is deeply cognitive, relying upon universal human intellective, emotional, narrative and spatial capacities.
See the S09 syllabus.
English 793CR, Cognitive Rhetoric (S08)
Rhetoric is inescapably cognitive. But few people have pursued this line of research with any concerted focus, and no one has developed an approach to rhetorical theory systematically informed by the conceptual and empirical results of cognitive science. We will. More.
See the S08 syllabus.
English 793E, Rhetoric of Science (W92, F95, S96, S98, S00; in 2016 it was mysteriously renumbered 788RS; S17)
We will study the how and why of scientific suasions, with two aims in mind: (1) to familiarize you with the issues and literature of rhetorical approaches to science; and (2) to enable you to participate in that literature. Evaluation will depend in equal measure on three components: participation in discussions; a class presentation on an approved book; and a paper of publishable length and quality. The paper will be either a rhetorical analysis of some scientific discourse (in a specific paper, or book, or episode), or a theoretical contribution to the discourse of rhetoricians of science.
See the S00 syllabus.
English 793M, Metonymy (S10)
We will look at metonymy not as a stylistic overlay, but as constitutive of thought and knowledge and understanding. Our orientation will therefore be cognitive, and we will see that metonyms are broader, more pervasive, and considerably more subtle than shallow theories of style would suggest.
English 795O, Ontologies for the Humanities (F18)
We will study the philosophy, construction, and deployment of ontologies in the humanities, with particular attention to literary, linguistic, and rhetorical applications. Prominent among the ontologies we study are FrameNet, WordNet, and Rhetfig. We will build and link ontologies throughout the term, using the web ontology language, OWL. Students will choose their own domains to model.
English 795CR, Computational Rhetoric Meets The Rhetoricon (S20, a coivid-19 term)
The Rhetoricon is a (largely hypothetical) usage-based rhetorical website that is both public- and scholar-facing, with an emphasis on cognitive stylistics, intersections with linguistics, and a grounding in the form/function theory of rhetorical figures; and, ah, with a game on the side. Hence, our spirit animal is the Cat-in-the-Hat, because of his ability to balance all the paraphernalia and debris of Thing One and Thing Two’s crazed rainy-day party, including the irate fish.
English 795AR, Algorithmic rhetoric and rhetorical algorithms (S23)
Algorithms are both rhetorical, in the sense that they shape action and belief through the ways in which they route symbolic amalgams (ads, music, 'news,' images, ...) to audiences), and rhetoricized, in the sense that their 'beliefs' and actions are shaped through the data that sponsors them (biometric, demographic, behavioural), data which is necessarily biased economically and ideologically. We will critically probe the convergence of suasion and algorithms, particularly in the context of Machine Learning.
Computer Science 698 / English 795, Rhetoric, Argument, & Machines (W17)
The course will survey current theories of Rhetoric and Argumentation that are being applied to analyze and generate persuasive language in various forms of online communication. The course will also investigate how such theories are presently being used in computational algorithms for artificial intelligence systems. Selected topics will include: Health Communication; Scientific Discourse; Serious Games; Social Media. Rhetoric and Argumentation are intrinsic to human intelligence and reasoning, not only in formal situations like understanding chains of reasoning in scientific articles or legal texts, but in everyday life, where we constantly express our own, and evaluate others', sentiments and opinions, interpret media, judge politicians, and so forth, in order to understand situations and make appropriate decisions. (I did not design the course, but guest-lectured in it and then, when the instructor of record fell ill, took over and delivered the course.)
CogSci 600, Seminar in Cognitive Science (S05, S08, W12, F21)
Cognitive science is the deeply interdisciplinary study of mind, intelligence, and perception. Growing out of a rich amalgam of cybernetics, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology in the 1950s, it has defined artificial intelligence and knowledge engineering, and now embraces or influences almost every academic pursuit in the modern academy, including fields as diverse as anthropology, literary theory, health studies, rhetoric, graphic design, communication studies and a wide range of engineering disciplines.This seminar is organized around an eclectic group of lectures from leading scholars in different disciplines at UW, often taking up controversial topics and featuring the latest research. Students are expected to be familiar with the weekly readings and to come prepared to discuss them with each other and the scholar du semaine. There will also be brief weekly written assignments (based on the readings), an essay, and a presentation to the class.
See the W12 syllabus.
Community Outreach Course, Milton Public Library, Rhetoric, Propaganda, and Bullshit (Winter 2013)
Using contemporary examples, this course studies the ancient craft of suasion, good, bad, and just plain pointless. Rhetoric helps us to make better judgements among the many suasions bombarding us, and helps us to persuade/dissuade others more responsibly. It helps us reduce bullshit and resist propaganda.
See the syllabus.
Various one-of courses for individual students with particular interests:
- English 793A, History and Theory of Rhetoric 1 (F99)
- English 793B, History and Theory of Rhetoric 2 (W00)
- English 793C, Cognitive Rhetoric (W09)
- English 793E, Rhetoric of Science and Gregor Mendel (S10)
- English 793E, Ethical Criticism (W11)
- English 793V, Voice Interface Design (W04)
- English 794A, Conversation Analysis and Voice-interface Design (S01)
- English 792, Contemporary Issues in Rhetoric and Professional Communication (F92)
- Psychology 480, Directed Studies - Natural Science Advanced Psych (F06)
- Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Interim (2020-2021)
- Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies (2011-2014)
- Ad Hoc Committee on Events (2013)
- Appointments Committee (member 1996-1999; 2009-2012; seconded 2005)
- Department Chair Search Committees (1996, 2006)
- Departmental Tenure and Promotions Committee (2004-2008; 2015-2019)
- Fiftieth Anniversary Committee (2009-2012)
- Graduate Studies Committee (1993-1994; 2002-2006)
- Scholarship Committee (member 1992-1993, chair 1993-1996)
- Undergraduate Committee (2006-2011)
- Waterloo Awards Committee (2022-)
- Cognitive Science Advisory Board (1994-2014)
- Co-op Advisory Board (2008-2012, 2021-)
- University Tenure and Promotions Advisory Committee (2008-2011)
- Wolfe Chair Advisory Committee (2009-2011)
- Kavi Duvvoori's dissertation, "Situating synthetic rhetoric: Figures, voices, and repair in algorithmic language generation" (Working title)
- Kem-Laurin Lubin's dissertation, "The rhetoric of AI models: Discursivity in computed ethopoeia (user profiles)" (Working title) Co-supervision with Lai-Tze Fan.
- Diana Moreno Ojeda's dissertation, "Artificial Intelligence in science fiction: Nuanced affect states in the interpretation of human-nonhuman interactions" (Working title) Co-supervision with Victoria Lamont.
- Devon Moriarty's dissertation, "Upvoting democracy: The rhetoric of reddit, and the political power of participatory citizenship in networked social voting communities" (Working title) Co-supervision with Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher)
- Kyle Gerber's dissertation, "Figures of forgiveness: Rhetorical foundations of the Mennonite ethos of forgiveness" (Working title)
- Monique Kampherm's dissertation, "Masks and caricatures: Prosopopoeia, ethopoeia, and the effect of social media on Canadian political leaders’ debates." Monique's dissertation was a finalist for UW's Governor General’s Gold Medal award.
- Saeed Sabzian's 2017 dissertation, "The aural, eidetic, and narrative rhetoric of anxiety in The road and Fight club"
- Robert Clapperton´s 2014 dissertation, "Ametros: A technogenetic simulation game for professional communication coursework"
- Olga Gladkova´s 2011 dissertation, "The identification of epistemic topoi in a corpus of biomedical research articles"
- Michael Truscello´s 2006 dissertation, "The technical effect: Free and open software, and the programming of everyday life" Michael's dissertation was second in the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies & University Microfilms International Distinguished Dissertation Award for Social Sciences and the Humanities, 2006.
Supervisor, M.A., Rhetoric and Communication Design
- Sophie Morgan's Major Project, "De-Coding Literacy: An Analysis of Ontario’s K-8 2020 Mathematics Curriculum"
- Maire Slater's Major Project, "Rhetorical Figures in Music."
- Katherine Tu´s 2019 Major Project, "Collocation in rhetorical figures: A case study in parison, epanaphora and homoioptoton"
- Cort Egan´s 2011 Major Project, "Just doing it through metonymy: Yachts, diamonds, fast cars and beautiful people"
- Ian Blechschmidts´s 2008 Major Project, "Comics, semiotics and ideology: Visual rhetoric in Captain America"
- Sarah Whyte´s 2000 Major Project, "The Pusztai affair"
- Frances Ranger´s 1999 Major Project, "Science, rhetoric, and Philip Rushton"
- Greg Cento´s 1994 Major Project, "Dueling discourses: A Bakhtinian look at the abuse of the language of ecology in twenty years of advertising in National Geographic magazine"
Supervisor, B.A. (Hons), Rhetoric and Professional Writing; Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication
- Douglas Guilbeault's 2013 Honours thesis, " The consubstantial nature of speech genres: Social identity and citizens band radio"
- Ashley Rose Kelly's 2008 Honours thesis, "The rhetorical construction of scientists as authors in popular science books: Ethos in Richard Dawkins' The selfish gene and Carl Sagan's The dragons of Eden"
- Saranya Yogarajah's 2007 Honours thesis, "Malcolm X: Ethos and capital"
- Charles McColm's 2005 Honours thesis, "Managing collaboration: How Microsoft closes technology and binds its customers"
- Monika Smetana's 2004 Honours thesis, "Selection and construction of health reality in health advertisements"
- Russell Wong's 2003 Honours thesis, "Rhythmic figuration and cognitive rhetoric"
- Rebecca Carruther's 2002 Honours thesis, "Speaking (for) others: Constructing communal authorization in the Niels Bohr quantum theory of the atom"
- Todd Sieling's 2000 Honours thesis, "A natural history of the -er agentive"
- Sonja Sen's 1999 (joint RPW-Environmental Studies) Honours thesis, "The language of eco-feminism"
- Martha Rudder's 1997 Honours thesis, "Xenonzine"
- Andrew Deman's 2010 dissertation, "The comics other: Charting the correspondence between comics and difference"
- Mark Wallin's 2008 dissertation, "A eurhythmatic response to adaptive accrual: A rhetoric of adaptation"
- Teena Carnegie's 1998 dissertation, "The rhetoric of identification and substance in Canadian feminist criticism"
Reader, M.A., Rhetoric and Communication Design
- Sarah Casey's 2023 Thesis, "Alternative risks: How mainstream 'alt-right' rhetorics manifest in the sub-politics of Canadian risk discourse"
- Bruce Dadey's 2002 Major Project "A genealogy of AIDS: Newsweek's coverage of the epidemic, 1981-1995"
- Colin Mook's 1995 Major Project, "Computer-mediated communications studies: pedagogy and technical communication in text-based virtual realities"
- Susan Daniel-Simon's 1994 Major Project, "Helpful help: Designing and developing online help systems"
- Nan Tunnicliffe's 1992 Major Project "Improving the odds in the grantsmanship game: A case study in the procurement process between northern agencies and government industries"
Reader, M.A., Literature
- Michael O'Brien's 2009 Major Project "Culturally Resonant: Linton Kwesi Johnson Sounding Meaning in Protest"
- Nirmalya N. Chakraborty's 1995 doctoral dissertation in Philosophy, "An inquiry into meaning (in light of W. V. O. Quine and D. Davidson)"
- Glen R. Koehn's 1996 doctoral dissertation in Philosophy, "Fictional objects"
- Cameron Shelley's 2005 doctoral dissertation in Philosophy, "Multiple analogies"
- Geovania Pimenta's 2016 dissertation in Management Science, "The Structuring of Ambiguous Stimuli in Human Communication"
- Natalie Sand's doctoral dissertation in Philosophy, "More meaningful minds: A philosophical response to Jackendoff’s theory of language"
External Examiner, Ph.D.
- Tess Laidlaw's 2013 doctoral dissertation in Rhetoric and Media Studies, University of Saskatchewan, "The rhetoric of reportage: The media construction of a pandemic"
Reader, Ph.D. and Masters, Other disciplines
- Yetian Wang's doctoral dissertation, Computer Science, "[working title] An Ontology of Ploke."
- Egill Ian Gudmundsson's 2022 masters thesis (MMath), Computer Science, "Controlled generation of stylized text using semantic and phonetic representations"
- Mohammed Alliheedi's 2019 doctoral dissertation, Computer Science, "Procedurally rhetorical verb-centric frame semantics as a knowledge representation for argumentation analysis of biochemistry articles"
- Danielle Fearon's 2017 masters thesis (MSc), Health Studies and Gerontology, School of Public Health and Health Systems,"The Association Between Early-life Written Language Skills and Late-life Cognitive Resilience."
- Mohammed Alliheedi's 2012 masters thesis (MMath), Computer Science, "Multi-document summarization system using rhetorical information"
- Claus W. Strommer's 2011 doctoral dissertation, Computer Science, "Pursuing the relations between saliency, context, intent, and rhetorical figures in text media"
- Jakub Gawryjolek's 2009 masters thesis (MMath), Computer Science, "Automated rhetorical figure generation"
- David Hirtle's's 2008 masters thesis (MMath), Computer Science, "Healthy co-reference: applying coreference resolution to the health education domain"
- Mathew Enns's 2006 masters thesis (MMath), Computer Science, "WordNet and lexical chaining"
- Aaron Scriver's 2006 masters thesis (MMath), Computer Science, "Semantic distance in WordNet: A simplified and improved measure of semantic relatedness"
Lecturer and TA
Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, 1990-1991
Linguistics 407, Linguistic Structures <25 students)
a cross-linguistic survey of common morphosyntactic characteristics for upper-year linguistics majors
Linguistics 203, Introduction to Linguistics; <200 students; 4 teaching assistants)
an introduction to languages and linguistic methodology, concentrating heavily on phonological and morphological problem solving.
Department of English, Grant MacEwan Community College, 1984-1985
a survey course of technical, business, and academic writing forms.
Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, 1983-1985
Linguistics 382, Modern English Syntax
an introduction to English syntax and Transformational Grammar.
Teaching Assistant for
- Queen's University, Linguistics, 1979-1980
- Dalhousie University, Literature, 1981-1982
- University of Alberta, Linguistics, 1982-1983
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Writing Center, Composition, 1986-1988