“the art of winning the soul by discourse” (Plato)
“the art of persuasion by the available means” (Aristotle)
“the art of a good person speaking well” (Quintilian)
“that powerful instrument of error and deceit” (Locke)
“that art or talent by which discourse is adapted to its end” (George Campbell)
"the use of language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols" (Kenneth Burke)
"a study of misunderstanding and its remedies" (I. A. Richards)
A list of definitions of the term "rhetoric," or such related terms as "eloquence" during the Enlightenment, or "discourse" today, could be extensive. In the program leading to a Ph.D. in Rhetoric at Texas Woman's University, students, with -- under the guidance of the faculty, explore a multitude of issues that fall under the broad field of rhetoric. As members of various discourses, students in the program of doctoral studies in Rhetoric at TWU engage the history of rhetoric, composition pedagogy, cultural studies, film studies, religious discourse, and more. Likewise, in addition to interests in such figures as Chaucer and Milton (approached from a rhetorical standpoint), students will find opportunities to explore the ideas of such figures as Plato and Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine, Margery Kempe and Christine de Pizan, George Campbell and Hugh Blair, and the likes of more modern figures such as Virginia Woolf, Kenneth Burke, Mikhail Bakhtin, Michel Foucault, Slavoj Zizek, and Gloria Anzaldua. In addition, students find opportunities to explore rhetorical issues related to the use of varying mediums, such as film and electronic literature. A faculty with diverse backgrounds and interests guide students in developing and honing skills that will allow them to participate in diverse discourses as scholars, leaders, administrators, and writers. We invite you to visit the pages here to discover more about our program leading to a Ph.D. in Rhetoric. For instance, take a look at our new doctoral brochure (.pdf).
More information, such as links to Admissions and Paperwork can be found by going to the Resources page.
page updated 7/28/2014 4:22 PM