Daphne Desser


Office hours:
T 3-4 pm Sakamaki Courtyard

Daphne Desser teaches graduate courses in rhetoric and composition. Seminar topics have included globalization and composition studies, "minority" rhetorics, rhetorics of social movements, and feminisms and writing. She has taught undergraduate courses in rhetorical traditions, legal rhetoric, argumentative writing, and writing pedagogy. Daphne has been active in writing program administration, having served as director of Rhetoric and Composition, director of First-Year Writing, director of the Writing Center, director of the Portfolio Placement Program, as well as director the former English 100/101 tutoring program and the current Mentoring program. She is serving as the Director of Rhetoric and Composition in the academic year of 2017-2018. Her academic writing explores various aspects of identity construction and negotiation in such diverse writing contexts as electronic media, computer games, family letters, and the composition classroom.



Teaching Writing in Globalization: Remapping Disciplinary Work. Ed. Darin Payne and Daphne Desser. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield P, 2012.

Selected Articles

“‘The People’s Challenge’: Rhetorics of Globalization from Above and Below.” Teaching Writing in Globalization: Remapping Disciplinary Work. Ed. Darin Payne and Daphne Desser. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield P, 2012. 113-38. On Location in Hawai‘i: The Hapa Experience and Relational Authority in the Writing Classroom.” Composing Other Spaces: Place-Based Essays. Ed. John Paul Tassoni and Douglas Reichert Powell. Cresskill: Hampton P, 2009. 37-56. “Politics, Gender, Literacy: The Value and Limitations of Current Histories of Women’s Rhetorics.” College Composition and Communication. 60.1. 2008. 182-92. “Fraught Literacy: Competing Desires for Connection and Separation in the Writings of American Missionary Women in 19th Century Hawai‘i.” College English. 69.5. 2007. 443-69. “On Silence and Listening: ‘bewilderment, confrontation, refusal, and dream.’” JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory. 26.1-2. 2006. 311-26. “Teaching Writing in Hawai‘i after Pearl Harbor and 9/11: How to ‘Make Meaning’ and ‘Heal’ Despite National Propaganda.” Trauma and the Teaching of Writing. Ed. Shane Borrowman. Albany: SUNY P, 2005. 85-97. “‘Why not Leeloh?’ and Other Disasters: Children’s Computer Games as a Site of Cultural Contestation, Corporate Corruption, and, Despite all That, Cognitive Development.” Works and Days Special Issue: “Capitalizing on Play: Politicized Readings of the Computer Game Industry.” 43/44. 22 (2004): 37-53.

Areas of Interest

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


Chancellor's Citation for Meritorious Teaching, 2007


BA, MA, PhD, University of Arizona


Fall Semester 2018
  • ENG-271: Intro to Lit: Genre
  • ENG-605: Theory/Prac of Tchg Compositn

Summer Semester 2018
  • ENG-306: Argumentative Writing I
  • ENG-306: Argumentative Writing I

Spring Semester 2018
  • ENG-302: Hist of the English Language
  • ENG-709: Seminar in Rhetoric: Rhetorics of Publics and Counterpublics

Fall Semester 2017
  • ENG-303: Modern English Grammar
  • ENG-311: Autobiographical Writing

Spring Semester 2017
  • ENG-302: Hist of the English Language
  • ENG-409: Studies in Comp/Rhet/Language: Law and Rhetoric

Fall Semester 2016
  • ENG-303: Modern English Grammar
  • ENG-625C: Introduction to Composition & Rhetoric