Assistant Professor of Teaching
Arts & Communication Building, 217
Contact for office hours or appointment.
Dr. Alex Morales joined the University of Memphis as an Assistant Professor of Teaching
in 2023. His research aims to connect several areas under the general heading of Enlightenment
rhetoric, including 1) history of rhetoric, 2) global and comparative rhetoric, 3)
Enlightenment philosophy, and 4) science communication. More specifically, Alex’s
research explores how European and Latin American thinkers utilized public skepticism
about scientific and political issues to mobilize social change. His dissertation
project, for example, examines how David Hume accommodated his mitigated skepticism
to upend various forms of dogmatism that circulated during the Scottish Enlightenment.
Ultimately, Alex contends that Hume’s rhetorical efficacy lay in his ability to refashion
the public’s relationship to public institutions, a feature of his communication that
was later retooled by Hispanist scholars and activists to challenge the authority
of European monarchies in the nineteenth-century.
Above all, Alex's research reconsiders the relationships between European and Latin
American orientations toward rhetoric as they emerged in response to global transformations
in scientific thinking. For instance, his analysis of Hume’s “Of Eloquence”—which
has been accepted for publication at Philosophy & Rhetoric
—draws comparisons between Scottish and Ibero-American Enlightenment movements to
explain how political theorists overcame the discursive limitations of modern English
prose. By examining Hume’s affinity for Cicero and Demosthenes, this essay demonstrates
how Hume verbalized the sublime qualities of ancient Greek and Roman eloquence in
ways commensurate with the political emphasis on perspicuity emerging in English culture.
In addition, his essay “Skepticism as Ethos”—published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech
—examines Hume’s efforts to denounce the political influence of the clergy by promoting
Renaissance humanism, an orientation toward education and civic participation that
contrasted the virtue of ancient eloquence with the vices of scholasticism. Ultimately,
these projects examine how public rhetors communicate their ideas in ways that can
be brought to bear on modern struggles concerning dogmatism and incredulity.
Alex is also interested in advising undergraduate students interested in pursuing
online degrees. He does so in his role as coordinator of the online BA concentration
in communication studies.
Ph.D. University of Georgia
M.A. University of South Florida
B.S. Appalachian State University
Morales, Alexander William. “Skepticism as Ethos: David Hume’s Response to the Epistemological
Revolution.” Quarterly Journal of Speech (2024) DOI: 10.1080/00335630.2023.2298019
Morales, Alexander William. “Enlightenment Rhetoric Reconsidered: Discursive Transcendence
in David Hume’s ‘Of Eloquence.’” Philosophy & Rhetoric (Accepted)
Morales, Alexander William. “Why Didn’t I Pick a Fight About X?: An Inquisitive Response
to Harris.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11, no. 1 (2022): 1-6.
Morales, Alexander William. (2021) “An X Too Far: A Review of Randy Allen Harris’s
Landmark Essays on Rhetoric of Science: Case Studies and Issues and Methods.” Social
Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10, no. 5 (2021): 20-24. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-5Pu.