Interim Dean of A&S, Professor
A&S Dean's Cabinet
Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition
210 Tolley Humanities Building
Ph.D., 1999, Texas Christian University
History of rhetoric; classical rhetoric; British rhetorical theory; composition theory and pedagogy; rhetoric and philosophy; history of English studies
My work in the history of rhetoric begins with the assumption that rhetorical theories inevitably maintain a reciprocal relationship with the cultures from which they emerge. Although rhetorical theories demonstrate common areas of concern across time, they also reflect the perspectives of specific times and places. I am convinced that cultivating a sensitive understanding of history can not only enhance our understanding of past thought, but can also sharpen our critical awareness of the contemporary challenges that continue to shape rhetoric's development.
I am interested in exploring ways in which assumptions about rhetoric's civic function change in response to particular social concerns. This interest is reflected in my current work on a book-length manuscript that examines the influence of Stoic ethics on British rhetorical theory across several centuries. In this manuscript, I argue that British appropriations of the Stoic ideal of sensus communis reflect an ongoing effort to create social stability and to resolve the tension between goals of individual self-interest and the public welfare.
I am also continuing my study of nineteenth-century British rhetorical theory, with the goal of considering how social and political changes in the middle of the century bring about a change in the vocabulary by which rhetoric is defined--without eliminating the importance of rhetoric in British society.
After Plato Rhetoric, Ethics, and the Teaching of Writing, edited by John Duffy and Lois Agnew, Utah State University Press; 1 edition (July 1, 2020), 286pp., ISBN-13: 978-1607329961
Thomas De Quincey: British Rhetoric's Romantic Turn, by Lois Peters Agnew, Southern Illinois University Press (November 20, 2012), 184pp., ISBN-13: 978-0809331482
Outward, Visible Propriety: Stoic Philosophy and Eighteenth-century British Rhetorics, by Lois Peters Agnew, Publisher: The University of South Carolina Press (1719), ASIN: B01K0T400G
Thomas De Quincey: British Rhetoric’s Romantic Turn, Rhetoric in the Modern Era Series, co-edited by Arthur E. Walzer and Edward Schiappa, Southern Illinois University Press, 2012.
“Outward, Visible Propriety”: Stoic Philosophy and Eighteenth-Century British Rhetorics. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2008.
“Rhetorical History and the Octalogs: A Retrospective.” Introduction and Editor. Rhetoric Review 30.3 (2011): 237-57.
“Octalog III: The Politics of Historiography in 2010.” Article co-edited and introduction co-authored with Laurie Gries and Zosha Stuckey. Rhetoric Review 30.2 (2011) 109-34.
“Rhetoric, Ethos, & Unease: Re-negotiation of the ‘Normal’ in the Classroom & on the Quad.” Co-authored with Zosha Stuckey. Open Words 5.1 (Spring, 2011): 15-27.
“Teaching Propriety: Unlocking the Mysteries of ‘Political Correctness.’” College Composition and Communication 60.4 (2009): 746-64.
“‘The Day Belongs to the Students’: Expanding Epideictic’s Civic Function.” Rhetoric Review 27.2 (2008): 147-64.
(July 6, 2022)
A conversation with A&S Interim Dean Lois Agnew.
(April 27, 2015)
Lois Agnew, Horace Campbell will be feted by A&S