Ryan Leack

Ph.D. English. Areas: Rhetoric, 20th C. American Literature, Composition. University of California, Riverside: Spring 2018 (expected).

M.A. English. Options: Rhetoric and Composition, Literature, Teaching ESL. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: Spring 2012.

B.A. English. Emphasis: Creative Writing. Minor in Social Science: Anthropology. California State University, Long Beach: Fall 2008. Additional coursework in religious diversity. Ryan’s CV

Research Areas:

Rhetoric, composition, American literature since 1900, critical theory, responsivity, quantum mechanics, spatial writing theories, critical-democratic pedagogy, geography and identity, autoethnographic writing, discourse communities, continental philosophy, ideology, sophistry, ancient Greek rhetoric and philosophy, ancient Chinese poetry, poetry and poetics

Research Interests:

While research interests vary with a promiscuous mind, my current interests are rooted in critical theory, philosophies of space and place, and spatial writing theories. I am interested in how providing first-year composition students with more “space” in the classroom might enable them to disrupt stagnation and hegemony within composition and neighboring fields, thus affording more avenues for exploring spatialized writing theories and writing as a placemaking technology. Such avenues, as Sidney Dobrin agrees, come in part through student experience; thus, I am investigating students’ potential to bring about (r)evolution in the postcomposition turn. In this vein, I am discovering how autoethnography, a focus on image, and critical-democratic pedagogy might not only enable growth in composition and poetics, but in teachers’ and individuals’ ability alike to better “inhabit place and encounter difference,” as Nedra Reynolds suggests, thus facilitating more interdisciplinary, student-teacher-citizen dialectics.

Underlying foundations of my research, in addition to those above, are discourse communities, identity theories, poststructuralist rhetoric, postcomposition/postprocess studies, and geographical writing theories. While there are many avenues to be explored at such intersections, on the whole, I hope to better connect space, place, culture, and writing, and perhaps find a way to integrate my passion for poetry and inhabitation of words. Among all, I believe Gaston Bachelard will enable me to do so, with a bit of help from ancient Chinese poets.

Recently, however, my interests took a turn when some of my personal studies in physics, which I never dreamed would tie to rhetoric and composition, came to be a materialist intervention into composition and rhetoric which shows that individual subjects, at a subatomic level, share an originary togetherness with the communities from which they spring, to the extent that Niels Bohr (who developed the first model of the atom) said that at an atomic level it was impossible to tell the boundary between an organism and its surrounding environment. The lack of an absolute boundary between bodies confirmed by quantum physics, among many other critical factors revealed by physics, leads to what I call “quantum rhetoric.” The principles of quantum physics are uncertainty, contingency, variability, and the like, which have likewise been the principles of rhetoric since its inception. In fact, Sutton and Mifsud (in A Revolution in Tropes) show that rhetoric and physics have the same origin, and thus a complementary worldview. Joining physics and rhetoric represents the fullest, most productive entanglement of matter and meaning available, I believe, and situates humans in embodied minds who are part and parcel of the universe.

Expanding on my earlier work, I seek to situate quantum rhetoric itself in first year writing and critical thinking classrooms as one way in which students might unsettle their subjectivity, assumptions, and ideological certainty. If my original goal was to unground students in the development of critical consciousness, quantum rhetoric has arrived through my research in order to do just that.

Recent Activity:

Published Essays

“Ecocentering the Self: Thoreau, William Howitt, and the Environmental Imagination,” book chapter in Romantic Ecocriticism: Origins and Legacies, Lexington Books, 2016.

“From Chaos to Cosmos, and Back: Place-Based Autoethnography in First-Year Composition,” Composition Forum 41, Penn State (Forthcoming).

Published Poetry

“How to Get Your Wife to Leave You,” Westwind, 37, UCLA, Fall 2015.

“Magic Mirror,” Strong Verse, Retrieved from http://www.strongverse.org/index.html. 2012.

“When You Left Dad,” “A Midwinter Night’s Sleep,” Word River 4/1, 23-25, 2012.

“Replanting Perfection,” “Straw Hat Man,” “Sugar Bear,” “Finite Reflections,” “That Last Thought,” Wilderness House Literary Review 6/4, Retrieved from http://www.whlreview.com/no-6.4/poetry/RyanLeack.pdf. 2012.

“Where God Is,” A Few Lines Magazine 1, 16-17, 2011.

“No Say I Love You,” A Few Lines Magazine 1, 45, 2011.

“Escape to Recollection,” Pif Magazine 53, Retrieved from http://www.pifmagazine.com/2011/04/escape-to-recollection/. 2011.

“The Bus Stop Girl,” Contemporary World Literature 5, Retrieved from http://contemporaryworldliterature.com/?p=1478. 2011.

“The Conductor,” Contemporary World Literature 5, Retrieved from http://contemporaryworldliterature.com/?p=1474. 2011.

Recent Presentations

“Between Words and Worlds: Performing Rhetoric and Composition with Portfolios,” dissertation chapter at Conference on College Composition and Communication, Pittsburgh, PA, 2019.

 “Rewriting Words with Worlds: Rhetoric, Quantum Physics, and First-Year Writing Classrooms,” dissertation chapter at PAMLA, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, 2018.

“From Chaos to Cosmos, and Back: Place-Based Autoethnography in First-Year Composition,” article at 8th Annual UC Writing Program Conference, University of California, Merced, CA, 2018.

“The Phenomenology of Childhood,” poetry at In Prose or In Verse 4: A Night with Pomona Valley Review, Cal Poly Pomona, CA, 2018.

“Sophistry since the 20th Century: Origins and Contexts of Quantum Rhetoric,” dissertation chapter at 5th Annual Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Student Conference, University of California, Merced, CA, 2018.

“The Indeterminate Immediate: A Selection of Elegies,” poetry at Graduate Student English Association’s Winter Poetry Night, Cal Poly Pomona, CA, 2018.

“Totality and Temporality: A Selection of Elegies,” Third Annual Creative Activities and Research Symposium, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA, August 16, 2017.

“Quantum Rhetoric: Definitions, Origins, Contexts,” dissertation chapter Summer Research Seminars, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA, July 19, 2017.

“An Event on the Horizon: Gertrude Stein, Quantum Physics, and the Rise of Rhetoric as First Philosophy,” paper at PAMLA, Pasadena, CA, November 11, 2016.

“Quantum Rhetoric: The Rise of Rhetoric as First Philosophy,” paper at (dis)junctions: Crude Matter, University of California, Riverside, October 28, 2016.

“An Event on the Horizon: Gertrude Stein & Quantum Physics,” paper at EcoMaterialisms, University of California, Davis, May 13, 2016.

“Althusser to Foucault: Moving to the Exterior of Ideology and Discourse,” guest lecture for Prof. Keith Harris, Introduction to Critical Perspectives, UC Riverside, May 3, 2016.

“From Chaos to Cosmos, and Back: Spatializing Writing Theories and Displacing Hegemonies,” paper at New Directions, University of Arizona, April 22, 2016.

“From Chaos to Cosmos, and Back: Spatializing Writing Theories and Displacing Hegemonies,” paper atAbstraction, University of California, Irvine, March 11, 2016.

“An Event on the Horizon: Gertrude Stein & Quantum Physics,” paper at (dis)junctions, University of California, Riverside, November 3, 2015.

“Ecocentering the Self: Thoreau, William Howitt, and the Environmental Imagination,” book chapter at Natures, La Sierra University, Riverside CA, February 13th, 2015.

“The ‘Defective and Disqualified Consumer’: Sylvia Plath, Existentialism, and the Proto- Neoliberal Regime,” paper at PAMLA, Riverside, CA, October 31st, 2014.

“From Chaos to Cosmos, and Back: Spatializing Writing Theories and Displacing Hegemonies,” paper at Southern California Rhetoric & Composition Symposium, UCI, CA, May 3, 2013.

“The Soul’s (Im)mortal Journey: Philosophical Intersections in Wordsworth’s ‘Ode’ and Phaedrus,” project at Cal Poly Pomona Graduate Symposium, CA, June 1, 2012.

“Bridging Expectational Gaps: Reviving Rhetoric in High School English Composition,” project at Southern California Rhetoric & Composition Research Symposium, UCI, CA, May 4, 2012.

“What Discourse Is and What Discourse Does: Facilitating Transitive Consciousness with Connectivity and Reflectivity,” paper at Young Rhetorician’s Conference, CA, June 23-25, 2011.

“Promoting Conscientization: The Interrelatedness of Media, Identity, and Ideological Signifiers,” paper at the Cal Poly Pomona Graduate Symposium, CA, June 3, 2011.

“Language Acquisition Between Cultures: Strategies for Improving Phonological Awareness,” panel at TESOL Convention, New Orleans, LA, March 16-19, 2011.

Select Honors

Outstanding Teaching Assistant, Graduate Division, UC Riverside, 2018

Outstanding Teaching Assistant, University Writing Program, UC Riverside, 2018

Graduate Division Stipend, University of California, Riverside, 2013-2017

Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship, University of California, Riverside, 2013

Outstanding Rhetoric & Composition Graduate Student, Cal Poly, 2012

Ted Pugh Poetry Prize, Cal Poly Pomona, 2011

President’s Council Scholarship, Cal Poly Pomona, 2010

Ted Pugh Poetry Prize Honorable Mention, Cal Poly Pomona, 2010

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, 2009

Pi Lambda Theta Direct Honors, 2008

President’s Honor List, Cal State Long Beach, 2008

Lake San Marcos Kiwanis Scholarship, 2006

Affiliations

Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association (PAMLA)

College Composition and Communication (CCCC)

Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE)

Young Rhetoricians (YRs)

Rhetoric Society of America (RSA)

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Service

Chair, “Composition and Rhetoric II,” PAMLA, Bellingham, WA, 2018.

Co-Host, “In Prose or In Verse 4: A Night with Pomona Valley Review,” Cal Poly Pomona, CA, 2018.

Guest Speaker, “Publishing Workshop 2018,” by the Graduate Student English Association, with Leah Pennywark of Stanford University Press, and Michelle Chihara of Los Angeles Review of Books, Cal Poly Pomona, CA, 2018.

Guest Speaker, “Workshop on Writing for the Web and Journal Publishing,” with Pomona Valley Review, Harvest International, andThe Poly Post,
Cal Poly Pomona, CA, 2018.

Guest Speaker, “Applying to Ph.D. Programs,” by Dr. Dewey Hall, Cal Poly Pomona, CA, 2018.

Guest Speaker, “Publishers Q&A with Pomona Valley Review,” Mt. San Antonio College’s 10th Annual Writer’s Weekend, Walnut, CA, 2018.

Host, “Poetry Reading, Open Mic, and Art Walk with Pomona Valley Review and Featured Poets Catherine Kyle and James Hickson,” Lingua Franca Speaker Series, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2017

Organizer, Rhetoric and Composition Graduate Collective, University of California, Irvine, CA, 2015-17.

Guest Speaker, “Applying to Graduate Programs: Strategies for the Obscure,” Summer Research Seminars, Cal Poly Pomona, July 19, 2017

Chair, “Poetry in (Digital) Process: A Poetry Reading and Publishing Discussion with Pomona Valley Review,” PAMLA 114th Annual Conference, Pasadena, CA, 2016

Moderator, “Ideology and the Body,” (dis)junctions: Crude Matter, University of California, Riverside, 2016

Interview, “Filling the Blankhs” (Student Community), Conversation on Philosophy as a Way of Life with Nikhil Gowda, University of California, Riverside, 2016

Panel Moderator, “I’m Naked Around You: Epistemology and the Technology of the Self,” (dis)junctions: Strange Bedfellows, University of California, Riverside, 2015

Guest Speaker, “Life After Graduation: Stories from Recent EFL Alums,” CPP, 2015

Guest Speaker, “Applying to Ph.D. Programs Workshop,” Cal Poly Pomona, 2014

Guest Speaker, “English Graduate Orientation,” Cal Poly Pomona, 2014

Guest Speaker, “Applying to Ph.D. Programs Workshop,” Cal Poly Pomona, 2013

Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona Graduate Symposium, 2012

EPT Administrator, Cal Poly Pomona, 2012