John Gagnon


Office hours:
M/W: 9am-10am

I am an Assistant Professor in the Rhetoric & Composition field. As a cultural rhetorician who does community-engaged work, my research program considers the ways in which rhetorical scholarship can contribute to ongoing dialogue around pressing cultural issues. I am keenly interested in developing professional writers who work in public writing contexts, like governmental organizations and nonprofits. For the 2018-2019 academic year, I was the Director of the UH-Manoa Writing Center. My co-authored essay (with Dr. Maria Novotny), "Research as Care," was selected for inclusion as a reprint in The Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2019 for its innovative and transformative contributions to the field.    


  • Gagnon, John. "Minerva Rising: The Pentagon's Weaponization of Rhetorical Knowledge." Rhet Ops: Rhetoric and Information Warfare, edited by Jim Ridolfo and Bill Hart-Davidson, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019.
  • Gagnon, John. "Teaching Rhetorical Segmentation as a Countermeasure to Post-Truth in the Composition Classroom." The Liminal: Interdisciplinary Journal of Technology in Education, vol. 1, no. 1, 2019.
  • Novotny, Maria and John Gagnon. "Research as Care: A Shared Ownership Approach to Rhetorical Research in Trauma Communities." Reflections: Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing and Service Learning, vol. 18, no.1, 2018.
  • Gagnon, John. "Beyond/Less Than: The Potential Implications of Transhumanist Rhetoric on Human Exploitation." Interdisciplinary Humanities, vol. 35, no.1, 2018.
  • Gagnon, John. “How Cultural Rhetorics Can Change the Conversation: Towards New Communication Spaces to Address Human Trafficking.” POROI: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis & Invention, vol. 12, no. 2, 2017.
  • Smith, Trixie, Katie Manthey, John Gagnon, Ezekiel Choffel, Wonderful Faison, Scotty Secrist, and Phil Bratta. "Reflections on/of Embodiment: Bringing Our Whole Selves to Class." Feminist Teacher, vol. 28, no. 1, 2017.
  • Gagnon, John. “Rhetoric Matters: Race & Slavery in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.” Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric & Society, vol. 5, no. 3, 2016.
  • Gagnon, John. Review of Policing Sexuality: The Mann Act and the Making of the FBI (Jessica Pliley, 2014, Harvard Press). Interdisciplinary Humanities, vol. 33, no.2, 2016.
  • Liddick, Eric & John Gagnon. “Striving for Peace & Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: The ICC as a Creative Solution to Conflict.” Journal of War Crimes, Genocide, & Crimes Against Humanity. vol. 3, no. 1, 2009.
I have forthcoming projects on constellational autoethnography, and rhetorical liminality in anti-trafficking campaigns in SE Asia.  

Areas of Interest

cultural rhetorics, human rights rhetoric, embodiment/embodied rhetorics, visual rhetoric, composition studies/theory, relational pedagogy, research methodologies, ethics, ethnographic research/oral history methods, community engagement, decolonial theory, indigenous theories, feminist theory.


  • PhD, Michigan State University
  • JD, Tulane University
  • MS, Tulane University
  • BA, Andrews University


Spring Semester 2020
  • ENG-405: Teaching Composition
  • ENG-497: Career Decision for ENG Majors

Spring Semester 2019
  • ENG-405: Teaching Composition
  • ENG-705: Seminar in Composition Studies: Emerging Issues & Perspectives in Community-Based Pedagogies

Fall Semester 2019
  • ENG-306: Argumentative Writing
  • ENG-605: Theory/Practice of Teaching Composition

Fall Semester 2018
  • ENG-306: Argumentative Writing I

Spring Semester 2018
  • ENG-300: Introduction to Rhetoric
  • ENG-306: Argumentative Writing I