Rhetoric, Politics, Writing

As a rhetorical theorist in the Burkean vein, I move between the systematic study of rhetoric and rhetorically informed engagement in other fields: political philosophy (critical theory, democratic constitutionalism, pragmatism, religion and politics); translation (Benjamin, Nietzsche, Hamacher), and writing studies (reading theory and pedagogy, writing center theory and practice).

My first book, The Ethical Fantasy of Rhetorical Theory, suggests a view of rhetorical theory as oriented toward a particular notion of human freedom, an idea of troubled freedom or the negotiation of constraint. Thinking of freedom as the negotiation of constraint helps us better understand, live together with, and ethically navigate one another’s personhood. This, in turn, makes rhetorical perspectives useful for a wide variety of fields.

This page lays out some of my approaches to troubled freedom: in teaching, different research areas, and beyond.