Rod C. Taylor, Ph.D.

Rod Taylor

Assistant Professor
Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy


Ph.D., Indiana University
M.A., Missouri State University
B.S. Ed (English Education), Missouri State University

147 Humanities

Teaching Experience

2013-Pres: Tennessee State University

2008-2013: Stanford University

2000-2008: Indiana University

1997-2000: Missouri State University

1995-1997: Marshfield Junior High School

1994-1995: Parkview High School


Rod Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Literature and Writing in the Department of Language, Literature, and Philosophy—specializing in literature, writing, education, and musicology. In literature, his focus is on modernism and postmodernism, in composition and rhetoric studies he writes about multi-modal presentation, pedagogy, and composition, and in popular music studies he writes about the digital age of music. Before coming to TSU, Rod taught multi-modal composition via literature and writing classes on modernism, postmodernism, education philosophy, and music revolutions in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University (2008-2013), where he also served as a Resident Fellow, providing educational art-centered programing for campus-wide events. Resident Fellows are faculty who live in apartments near or adjacent to student houses and serve as educational and intellectual leaders, offering the residents educational programing that highlights their teaching and research interests. Before Stanford, he taught at Indiana University, where he served as Associate Director for J101, a segment of the GROUPS program—a federally funded initiative to help minorities and first-generation college students succeed at four-year institutions.

As an undergraduate, Rod Taylor studied educational theory and psychology, earning his first degree in English education and spending three years teaching English and AP Psychology in the public school system. As a graduate student, he studied literature, rhetoric, and philosophy, earning his doctorate in literature and a Ph.D. minor in philosophy. His background in secondary education has continued to shape his research as a modernist literary critic and also influences his interest is rhetoric and composition.

His most recent publications include a textbook—Etunes, Fountainhead Press (2014) and a scholarly article—“Narrow Gates and Restricted Paths: The Critical Pedagogy of Virginia Woolf,” Woolf Studies Annual  (2014). His current modernist book project focuses on the representation of students, teachers, administrators, classrooms, and educational institutions in a wide variety of modernist literature. He is currently working on a popular press book, Meet Your Maker: Bass Guitars, which is based on his two-year long column in Bass Player Magazine that profiled some of the best bass guitar builders in the world. He is also co-authoring a scholarly article focused on strategies for teaching themed composition courses in a university setting.

In addition to his academic work, Rod provides workshops and consulting for corporations on multimedia/multimodal compositions and has long been involved in music, both as a performer and as an academic. A bass player for over two decades, he has written for a variety of music magazines, including Bass Player Magazine, No Treble, and Britain’s Bass Guitar Magazine.

As a bassist, Rod enjoys playing with Krista Detor, Artemis Robison, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Stew McKinsey, Jake Adams, and a variety of other great musicians. He performs locally and on the road as much as his academic schedule allows. He also teaches at Victor Wooten's Bass/Nature Camps several times each year, and enjoys using music as a means of teaching the benefits of being a life long learner.

When Rod is not teaching, researching, writing, or reading, you can find him playing bass, hiking, snowboarding, fly fishing, or doing any number of things that involve the outdoors.

Selected Academic and Popular Press Publications

“Narrow Gates and Restricted Paths: The Critical Pedagogy of Virginia Woolf,” Woolf Studies Annual 20: (2014): 54-81.

Etunes. Dallas: Fountainhead Press, 2014. A composition texbook/reader that offers a comprehensive look at the digital age of music and its accompanying affects on culture.

Advanced Multimodal Rhetorical Argument: The Rhetoric of Uncertainty. The Minerva Project Academic Curriculum, March 2014. An upper division writing course curriculum commissioned by Minerva for use at their school and WASC accreditation.

“Winners and Losers in Digital Recording.” Etunes. Ed. Rod C. Taylor. Dallas: Fountainhead Press, 2014.

Rev. of The Persistence of Modernism, by Madeline Detloff. Studies in the Novel 43:2 (2011): 150-51.

"We Don't Need No Education? Well, Maybe We Do." The 360 Deal: A Collection of Genuinely Helpful Advice for People Starting Out in the Music Industry. Andrew Dubber, Ed. Uk: LeanPub, 2012.

"Track by Track: Chuck Rainey Talks Interpretations of a Groove." No Treble, November 2013.

"Stories Behind the Songs: Chuck Rainey." No Treble, August 2012

Meet Your Maker. Monthly Column , Bass Player Magazine. June 2011-Septemeber 2012.

"Victor Wooten: More Love." Bass Player Magazine. September, 2011

"Tommy Sims: A Simple Kind of Man." Bass Player Magazine.  December 2011

Hard Rock and Heavy Bass . Editor. Bass Player Magazine.  January, 2010.

The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music by Victor Wooten. Creative Consultant and Editor. New York: Penguin (April 2008).

Selected Music Projects

Krista Detor, Flat Earth Diary (2014). Bass Guitar and Production Assistance.

Artemis, Tryptych (2014). Bass Guitar.

Chuck Rainey, Interpretations of a Groove (2013). Associate Producer.

Selected Corporate Workshops

"Presenting with Purpose." Nissan North America Headquarters. Franklin, TN. June, 2014.

Selected Conference Presentations

“Narrow Gates and Restricted Paths: Virginia Woolf.” Feminist Workshop. Conference on College Composition and Communication. St. Louis, Missouri. 2012.

 “Teaching Modernism and Postmodernism in the Writing Classroom.” The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900. Louisville, KY. February. 2011.

 “Keeping it Real: Simulation Games and the Writing Classroom.” The Conference on College Composition and Communication . Louisville, KY. March 2010.

“(Re)educating the People: A Forgotten Lesson from D. H. Lawrence.” The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900. Louisville, KY, February 2008.

 “Controlling the Student Body: D. H. Lawrence, Foucault, and Violence Against the Individual.” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association. Chicago, Illinois, November 2006.

 “Learning Through Stories: Woolf, Epistemology, and the Pedagogical Power of Fiction.” Fifteenth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Portland, Oregon, June 2005.

Selected University Presentations

"Music Matters: Rod C. Taylor and Chuck Rainey." Tennessee State University, September 2013.

"Music Matters: Rod C. Taylor and Victor Wooten." Tennessee State University, October 2013.

“The Art and Science and Sustainability: featuring Wes Jackson, Scott Russell Sanders, Krista Detor, Rod C. Taylor, and Mark Feldman.” Stanford University, April 2012.

“Living and Learning Through Community: featuring Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, and Rod C. Taylor.” Stanford New Student Orientation. Stanford University, 2010, 2011.

“Foundational Components of Community: featuring Rod C. Taylor and Chris Gonzales Clarke” Stanford RA Training Orientation. Stanford University, September 2011.

“Guest Coach—Stanford Apprentice.” Stanford Business School. Stanford University, May 2011.

“Rock Festivals: What They Are and What They’re Not.” Florence Moore ResEd, Stanford University, May 2011.

“A Short History of Rock.” Crothers ResEd, Stanford University, January 2011.

“Teaching the Millennial Student.” Ivy Tech College-Columbus, January 2007.

“Inside the Mind of First Generation College Students.” Ivy Tech College-Columbus, August 2006.

“What’s My Argument?” Indiana University Freshman Composition Program. Indiana University, 2002, 2003.

“The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien.” Introduction to Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Rings. Residential Fellows Program, Indiana University. 2001.

“The Dark Side of Mark Twain.” Pre-lecture for Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain Tonight. Residential Fellows Program, Indiana University. 2000.

Classes Taught at TSU
Engl 2012: Honors English I
Engl 2022: Honors English II
Engl 2320: Honors World Literature II—"An Enlightened World"
Engl 3720: Adolescent Literature

Last Update: March 2014

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