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Eric Leake

Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Dr. Eric LeakeAssistant Professor, Rhetoric and Composition, Director, MA major in Rhetoric and Composition

Dr. Eric Leake joined the Texas State University Department of English faculty and the MA Rhetoric and Composition Committee in 2013. Originally from Las Vegas, he completed his PhD at the University of Louisville. His research interests include empathy studies, nonrational rhetorics, and civic literacies. Dr. Leake has published multiple papers on empathy in relation to rhetoric, writing, and teaching, and is currently working on a piece proposing empathy as a research method and an article in which he analyzes performances of empathy in student writing. His interests in empathy also led him to develop a graduate course titled “Empathy and Writing,” in which empathy is considered in the context of literary studies, rhetoric, and writing pedagogies.

Before returning to academia, Dr. Leake worked as a newspaper and magazine reporter. That experience informs his interest in civic literacies and composition pedagogy. He has published on citizen journalism in Composition Forum and, in Technical Communication Quarterly, presented a rhetorical strategy of prefigured accommodation based upon the reporting of Iraqi casualty figures. He is currently working on a chapter concerning civic literacies and the media awareness in an age of misinformation. College Writing I and Composition Pedagogy are among Dr. Leake’s favorite courses to teach, as he enjoys working with new undergraduate writers and with graduate students who are developing their own pedagogical theories and strategies as writing teachers.

Dr. Leake was awarded the position of Director of the MARC Program starting in the fall of 2020.


Office MH13 Flowers Hall                                                    
Office Phone 512-245-3785


Ph.D., Rhetoric and Composition, University of Louisville
M.A., English, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
B.A., English, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Teaching & Research Interests  
Empathy Studies Nonrational rhetorics
Civic literacies  


Courses Commonly Taught
ENG 5383: History of Rhetorical Theory
ENG 5316: Composition Pedagogy
ENG 5383: Studies in Rhetorical Theory--Rhetoric and Phsychology
ENG 3311: Practices in Writing and Rhetoric--Life Stories
ENG 3318: Theories in Writing and Rhetoric--Writing the City
ENG 1310: College Writing I
ENG 1310: College Writing II


Select Publications
"Writing Pedagogies of Empathy: As Rhetoric and Disposition.Affect, special issue of Composition Forum, vol. 34, 2016, pp.1-1.
"Empathizer-in-Chief: The Promotion and Performance of Empathy in the Speeches of Barack Obama." Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric, vol. 6, no. 1/2, 2016, pp. 1-14.
"The Dinner Table Debate and the Uses of Hospitality." Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, vol. 6, no. 1, 2017.
"Science as Sound Bites: The Lancet Iraq Casualty Reports and Prefigured Accommodation.” Technical Communication Quarterly 21.2 (2012): 129-144. Print.
"The Open Gates of the Fourth Estate: Civic Literacy Meets Citizen Journalism.” Composition Forum 25.1 (2012): n. pag. Web. Feb. 2012.
Humanizing the Inhumane: The Value of Difficult Empathy.” Rethinking Empathy Through Literature. Eds. Sue Kim and Meghan Hammond. New York: Routledge. (Forthcoming.)
"Neon Letters: Writing of Sin City.” (Forthcoming College Composition and Communication.)