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Dr. Shaun Treat


Dr. Shaun Treat
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric
Office Location: GAB 320A
Phone: (940) 565-2718
E-mail: Shaun.Treat@unt.edu
Faculty profile

Personal Bio:
Dr. Shaun Treat, PhD Louisiana State University (2004), joined the UNT faculty in the fall of 2006 but was raised on an Arkansas farm amidst the cool streams and soothing shade of Ozark Mountain foothills.  Receiving his B.A. (1991) and M.A (1994) from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and after brief positions in both city government and the corporate sector, Shaun journeyed to the sweltering Louisiana bayou to hone his fascination with Rhetoric and Critical/Cultural Studies at LSU in Baton Rouge.  

In addition to his research and teaching interests, Shaun enjoys spending time traveling, camping, fishing, searching out live music, and exploring the Denton area for cultural and culinary adventure with his two children, Kaitie and Austin.

Research Interests:
While earning his PhD at LSU, Shaun’s interests gravitated around mythic culturetypes and fantasy rhetoricin popular culture, more specifically how these archetypal forms are narratively deployed to shape the consciousness, identity, and cultural politics of group memberships.  His dissertation explored the mythic culturetypes and fantasy rhetoric of charismatic leadership within the discourses of populist business gurus like Stephen Covey and Jim Collins, finding their overtly anti-charismatic models actually conformed to a mythic fantasy script constitutive of charisma-prone memberships awaiting the empowering rescue of a uniquely “gifted” superheroic leader.  The empowerment models of most successful self-help gurus, he concluded, often offer their postmodern audiences seductive yet dangerous narrative dramas which unconsciously invite “crypto-charismatic” memberships as a transformational f├╝hrer-superhero fantasy for grown-ups.

Shaun’s research interests include rhetorical theory and criticism, political communication, cultural and media studies, psychodynamics of fantasy, free speech issues, propaganda and mediated persuasion, rhetorical leadership & team-building, mythic narrativization, and the constitutive rhetorics of postmodern civic identities. 

Notable Activities:
Shaun has received recognition and awards for his engaging teaching pedagogy, is a National Communication Association officer for Psychoanalysis and Communication as well as History of Rhetoric interest groups, and editorial reviewer for several journals.

Recent Publications and/or Productions:
As an active junior scholar, Shaun has numerous publications and convention presentations exploring connections between leadership rhetoric, mythic fantasy narratives, political consciousness, and hegemonies of personal identity.  His work has appeared in The Louisiana Communication Journal, the Journal of Radio & Audio Media, and twice in The Quarterly Journal of Speech, with chapters forthcoming in two books.  Shaun is currently working to turn his dissertation into a critical-cultural study of charismatic leadership within the contemporary Monomyth of the American Superhero. 

Teaching:
COMM 3340: Intro to Rhetorical Methods
COMM 3440: American Public Address
COMM 4040: History & Theory of Rhetoric
COMM 4240: Rhetoric, Culture & Ideology
COMM 4340: Rhetoric & Politics
COMM 5340: Rhetorical Methods & Criticism