Department of English

03.05.14- Dr. Steve Katz returns to Clemson


[Poster: ‘Darwin-Katz.’ Internal promotion; used with permission of Guy Reeves/the Max Planck Institute, Hamburg-Plön, Germany.]

Dr. Steve Katz, Pearce Professor of Professional Communication, has returned to Clemson after a leave of absence that took him halfway around the world. In May 2013, Dr. Katz delivered a paper, “Burke’s New Body: The Problem of Virtual Material, and Motive, in a Post-Human Age” at the first Burke conference in Europe: Kenneth Burke: Equipment for Living Conference, University of Gent, Belgium. Dr. Katz also was invited to deliver a lecture, “Communicating Science with the Public: Linguistic, Cognitive, and Ethical Tensions” at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg-Plön, Germany; while there, he also conducted an all-day workshop, “Linguistic and Rhetorical Strategies for Writing Scientific Papers (in English Language Journals),” for doctoral and post-doc students at the Institute as well as from surrounding universities.

In Fall 2013, Dr. Katz was a visiting distinguished professor at North Carolina State University, where in addition to teaching a graduate course in the Rhetoric of Science and Technology, and beginning work with his co-author there on the 4th edition of Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Conventions of Scientific Discourse, he worked formally and informally with a number of doctoral students-NSF IGERT Fellows and some faculty members in the Genetic Engineering and Society Institute, on issues of language and ethics in communicating biogenetics with the public. In October, Dr. Katz was invited to conduct a three hour workshop, “Writing in the Discipline: Heuristics for Analyzing Conventions of Form, Genre, Logic, and Style as Arguments” at UNC-Pembroke, and in November he participated in a panel on his 1992 publication and presented “Beyond Expediency: The Reality of Words and their Aftermaths” at the National Communication Association Conference in Washington D.C.; this panel also featured presentations by his former doctoral student at Clemson, Mark Ward, who organized the session, and his current doctoral student at Clemson, Patricia Fancher.

Out of one of his collaborations at NC State, a co-authored vignette entitled “The Rhetorical Appeal to ‘Transparency’ in the Regulation of Genetically Modified Insects” was accepted for revision and publication at Harvard University’s “STSNext20” (<>), which is peer reviewed by the Fellows of the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Katz has been invited to conduct a Burke seminar—“Burke and the New Materialisms”—at the KB Society Conference in St. Louis in July 2014. Back at Clemson, Guy Reeves of the Max Planck Institute is serving on Kate Harner’s MAPC committee chaired by Dr. Katz. And later this year Dr. Katz will be named a new Fellow of the Rutland Institute for Ethics.


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