Composition & Rhetoric Faculty


UHM has a significant number of faculty members in C/R who publish regularly in leading journals, teach and mentor graduate students, and work with their colleagues in the English Department directing the undergraduate writing program, running a writing center, adding new courses to the curriculum, and so on. Our faculty pursue such intellectual work within a social and political context that is unparalleled in its diversity: Hawai‘i is situated in a complex confluence of geopolitical, racial, and cultural differences. It is a rich site for research on contact zones, constructions and representations of identity, and the discursive possibilities and constraints of globalization.

Our faculty have published on those and other C/R themes in a wide range of venues, including College Composition and Communication,College English, JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Rhetoric Review, Composition Studies, Computers and Composition, Research in the Teaching of English, Written Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Composition Forum, Teaching English in the Two-Year College, and others. In addition to print publications, our faculty also present their work at national and international conferences regularly; beyond presentations at CCCC, NCTE, and Computers and Writing, C/R faculty also attend and present scholarship at national conferences such as MLA and at international meetings in such locations as New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, and the UK.

The C/R faculty currently includes:


Daphne Desser, Ph.D.

rhetorical history, theory, and criticism, writing and difference, identity construction and negotiation in composition studies, writing pedagogy


Georganne Nordstrom, Ph.D.

Critical Pedagogy and Composition (including Writing Center Theory) and the implications of location on praxis, Empirical Research, and Place-based rhetoric: Indigenous and minority rhetoric


P. Darin Payne, Ph.D.

rhetorics of technology and space, new media rhetorics, globalization, composition studies, collaborative learning, cultural reproduction


Todd Sammons, Ph.D.

Renaissance and 17th-century literature, Milton, rhetoric, science fiction


John David Zuern, Ph.D.