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Eric Leake

man with glasses and short beard in front of books

Associate Professor, Rhetoric and Composition

Director, MA in Rhetoric and Composition

Dr. Eric Leake joined the Texas State University Department of English faculty and the MA Rhetoric and Composition program in 2013. Originally from Las Vegas, he completed his PhD at the University of Louisville. His research interests include empathy, writing pedagogy, and civic literacies. Dr. Leake is the author of Difficult Empathy and Rhetorical Encounters (Routledge). He currently is co-editing two volumes on empathy and writing pedagogy. He also has published on nostalgia, Las Vegas, and misinformation.

Dr. Leake was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2019 - 2020. He currently serves as Texas State University's Fulbright Liaison. Before returning to academia, Dr. Leake worked as a newspaper and magazine reporter, an experience that informs his interest in civic literacies and pedagogy. He also was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in the country of Georgia. Dr. Leake regularly teaches graduate courses on Empathy and Writing and Rhetorical Theory and History, among others. He also teaches undergraduate courses on The Personal Essay and Life Writing. He began directing the MARC program in the fall of 2020. Please feel free to contact him with any questions.


OfficeMH13 Flowers Hall                                                    
Office Phone512-245-3785


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 StudiesWriting Pedagogy
Civic literacies 


Courses Commonly Taught
ENG 5383: History of Rhetorical Theory
ENG 5317: Specializations in Rhetoric and Composition: Empathy and Writing
ENG 5383: Studies in Rhetorical Theory: Affect / Emotion / Rhetoric
ENG 3311: Practices in Writing and Rhetoric: Life Stories
ENG 3311: Practices in Writing and Rhetoric: The Personal Essay


Select Publications
Difficult Empathy and Rhetorical Encounters. Routledge, 2023.
"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.
“Implosions and Nostalgia in Las Vegas.” Intraspection, vol. 3, 2020.