Alma Mater Schools


"The image, in its simplicity, has no need of scholarship. It is the property of a naive consciousness; in its expression, it is youthful language."

--Gaston Bachelard,
The Poetics of Space (xix).



academia.edu logo

Linked In Logo

Gradate Courses

I teach graduate courses that ally with my interests, but that are also allied with the field of rhetoric and composition in general. My assignments generally ask graduate students to compose with multiple modes even as they work to understand multimodality in the field. t

In order to provide a bit more detail on the courses themselves, here is a brief listing of the course, its description, and the kinds of texts I ask students to use (though this changes every time I teach the course). 

Image Studies & Multimodal Rhetorics

This course explores various rhetorics focused on the methods of production, dissemination, and consumption of different modalilties. The era of monomodal discourse (if it ever really existed) continues to wane while technologies make it more immediately possible for rhetoric to create products made from a variety of textual modes—a multimodality that requires a flexible consideration of disciplinary boundaries and purposes.

  • Philosophy in a New Key by Susanne Langer (1957);
  • Language and Image in the Reading-Writing Classroom: Teaching Vision by Fleckenstein/Calendrillo/Worley (2002)
  • Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology by WJT Mitchell (1987)
  • The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology & the Arts by Richard Lanham (1995)
  • Embodied Literacies: Imageword and the Poetics of Teaching by Kristie Fleckenstein (2003)
  • Talking, Sketching, Moving: Multiple Literacies in the Teaching of Writing by Patricia Dunn (2001)
  • Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication by Gunther Kress (2009)
  • Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition by Wysocki/Johnson-Eilola/Selfe/Sirc (2004)

Language and Theory

Theorists and philosophers have been asking many of our most important questions about language from the very beginning of recorded history. On one hand, some theorists claim that language operates on a coding/decoding model, allowing a one-to-one correspondence between the signs we use and the meanings we convey. On the other hand, other theorists claim language operates somewhere between meaning and the signs we use—in fact, the ambiguity language creates as it attempts to objectify thought is exactly its most generative and powerful quality. In between, many variations exist about the relationship between thought and language—theories this course will discuss and unpack.

  • Marxism and the Philosophy of Language by V.N. Volosinov ( c. 1929, 1973);
  • The Dialogic Imagination by M.M. Bakhtin (1937-1938; 1981);
  • The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms by Ernst Cassirer (1953);
  • Feeling and Form by Susanne Langer (1953);
  • Language and Learning by James Britton (1970);
  • The Practice of Everyday Life by Michel de Certeau (1980);
  • Thinking Through Theory by James Zebroski (1994);
  • New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind by Noam Chomsky (2000);
  • Meaning, Language, and Time by Kevin Porter (2006);
  • Handouts including—
    • Enos’ “The Secret Composition Practices of the Ancient Spartans” (2012);
    • Vygotsky’s Thought & Language (1929);
    • Peirce’s “The Principles of Phenomenology” (1904);
    • Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology” (1962);
    • Horkheimer & Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment (1969),
    • Derrida’s Of Grammatology (1974);
    • Foucault’s The Archaeology of Knowledge (1972);
    • Berthoff’s The Making of Meaning (1981);
    • Manovich’s The Language of New Media (2001);
    • Booth’s Rhetoric of Rhetoric.

Research & Methology in Rhetoric & Composition

In composition and rhetoric, we pay special attention to how research methods are introduced, practiced, shaped, and reinforced in methodological communities—philosophical, rhetorical, historical, qualitative, and/or quantitative. These methodologies shape research methods such as research historiography, quantitative/experimental research, research writing genres, epistemological issues, qualitative/ethnographic research, public rhetoric, discourse analysis, meta-research, and digital inquiry. As we will discover, any sort of neat division between categories of research—especially in an interdisciplinary field such as composition and rhetoric—often breaks down into various forms of hybrid methods and methodologies resistant to such easy pigeonholing.

  • Beyond the Archives, ed by Kirsch & Rohan;
  • Local Histories ed by Donahue & Moon;
  • Methods and Methodology in Composition Research by Kirsch & Sullivan;
  • The Making of Knowledge in Composition by Stephen North;
  • Research Design by John Creswell;





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License


Bio | CV (PDF)

Joddy R Murray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and New Media

English Department, Texas Christian University
2800 South University Dr
Fort Worth,
TX 76129

Updated: 11/4/13