James Donathan Garner completed his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin in August of 2020. At its broadest level, his research examines the intersections among rhetorical theory and political philosophy within debates about religious toleration in early modern prose and drama. He is currently revising his dissertation, Conversation and the Polemic Style of Life in Revolutionary England, into a book-length manuscript to be submitted for publication. That project explored how ideas and theories of conversation informed the rhetorical decisions that writers made in defense of religious toleration during England’s civil wars of 1642-1651. He is also revising two articles for publication based on excerpts of his dissertation: the first examines the debt that John Milton’s Areopagitica owes to Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus’s De conscribendis epistolis and another argues that rhetorical theory is a vital hermeneutic that has been too often ignored within historiographic accounts of the Leveller organizer William Walwyn.
As Visiting Assistant Director of the Writing Program and Centers, James brings to Fordham over ten years of experience in writing center work as a tutor and administrator, as well as managing editor of Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. An experienced teacher of composition and literary studies, James is invested in making the classroom accessible for students of all abilities, and his teaching philosophy is that with enough humility, curiosity, and tenacity on the part of both teacher and student, every student can learn to write. You can learn more about his research and teaching at www.jamesdgarner.org.