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Zachary Dobbins

Associate Professor of Rhetoric

Brown Hall 145


  • Ph.D., English, University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A., English, University of Texas at Austin
  • B.A., English, University of Texas at Arlington

Biographical sketch

Zachary Dobbins is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric at Eckerd College. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where as a doctoral student he received the Maxine Hairston Prize in Teaching Excellence from the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. His courses have titles like Satire and the Art of Protest, Punk Rock and the Art of Dissent, and Storytelling and the Art of Empathy.

In his research he examines empathy and its contested relationships to narrative, democracy, inquiry, and critical thinking. He has published and presented on topics ranging from rhetorical theory and composition pedagogy to American authors Russell Banks, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, and John Edgar Wideman. His most recent scholarship focuses on punk rock and critical thinking. His favorite recent conference presentation was entitled “‘No self, only calm’: Punk Rock, Death, and the Environment,” a presentation in which he discussed Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing, the Mexican gray wolf, the end of our planet, maggots, and the life and death of Wendy O. Williams, and a presentation during which he made people cry.

Zachary Dobbins is also a musician, a home studio enthusiast, a record collector, and a cat lover. He sometimes forgoes sleep for a good novel or collection of short stories. He is married to his high school best friend, Tracye, with whom he has shared three decades of good times.