Richard J Graff

Photo of Richard J Graff

Contact Me

graff013@umn.edu
612-624-4985

Department of Writing Studies
Room 221 NCCE

315 Pillsbury Dr SE

Dr. Graff’s research has focused on the theories of prose style presented in Greek and Roman rhetoric treatises and on the recuperation of classical-traditional theories of genre and style in twentieth-century rhetoric and literary theory.   His articles on these subjects have appeared in Rhetorica, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Philosophy & Rhetoric, and Advances in the History of Rhetoric.  He is co-editor of The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition. Dr. Graff has a longstanding interest in the ways rhetorical precepts for style and delivery reflect material circumstances of oratorical practice and written composition. He currently leads an interdisciplinary collaboration that utilizes digital tools—3d architectural modeling, immersive-interactive visualization, and acoustical simulation—to analyze the physical settings of ancient Greek oratorical performance and political deliberation.
Dr. Graff is a past president of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR). At the University of Minnesota, he has held an Institute for Advanced Studies Faculty Fellowship and a McKnight Summer Research Fellowship, and has been a visiting Senior Associate Member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.
Dr. Graff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing Studies and Director of the interdisciplinary graduate minor in Literacy & Rhetorical Studies. He teaches courses and graduate seminars in Classical and Modern Rhetoric, Communication Theory, and Rhetorical Stylistics. He is recipient of the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences’ (now CFANS) Distinguished Teaching Award.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Communication Studies / Rhetoric, Northwestern University.
  • M.A. : Communication Studies / Rhetoric, Northwestern University.
  • B.A. : English, University of California-Berkeley.

Curriculum Vitae

Specialties

  • History and theory of rhetoric
  • Classical Rhetoric
  • Style theory, stylistics
  • Rhetoric and performance
  • History of rhetoric education
Courses Taught
  • WRIT 8510 Seminar in Rhetoric: Rhetorical Stylistics
  • WRIT 5775 Rhetorical Tradition: Classical Period
  • WRIT 5776 Rhetorical Tradition: Modern Era
  • WRIT 3221W Communication Modes & Methods
Research & Professional Activities

Research

  • Visualizing Ancient Greek Rhetoric: http://ivlab.cs.umn.edu/project_virtclassics.php
Publications
  • Graff, Richard, Arthur E. Walzer, and Janet M. Atwill, eds. The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition. Albany: SUNY Press, 2005.
  • Graff, Richard, and Wendy Winn. “Kenneth Burke’s Identification and Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s Communion: A Case of Convergent Evolution?” In The Promise of Reason: Studies in The New Rhetoric. Ed. John T. Gage. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2011. 103-133.
  • Graff, Richard. “Topoi/Topics.” In Rhetorik und Stilistik/Rhetoric and Stylistics, vol. 1. Ed. Ulla Fix, Andreas Gardt, and Joachim Knape. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2008. 717-727.
  • Ritivoi, Andreea Deciu, and Richard Graff. “Rhetoric and Modern Literary Theory.” In Rhetorik und Stilistik/Rhetoric and Stylistics, vol. 1. Ed. Ulla Fix, Andreas Gardt, and Joachim Knape. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2008. 944-958.
  • Graff, Richard, and Wendy Winn. “Presencing ‘Communion’ in Chaïm Perelman’s New Rhetoric.”Philosophy & Rhetoric 39.1 (2006): 45-71.
  • Graff, Richard, and Michael Leff. “Revisionist Historiography and Rhetorical Tradition(s).” In The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition. Ed. R. Graff, A. E. Walzer, and J. M. Atwill. Albany: SUNY Press, 2005. 11-30.
  • Bruss, Kristine, and Richard Graff. "Style, Character, and Persuasion in Aristotle’s Rhetoric." Advances in the History of Rhetoric 8 (2005): 39-72.
  • Graff, Richard. “Prose versus Poetry in Early Greek Theories of Style.“Rhetorica 23 (2005): 303-335.
  • Graff, Richard. “Reading and the 'Written Style' in Aristotle's Rhetoric."Rhetoric Society Quarterly 31 (2001): 19-44.