Kevin Cassell

Senior Lecturer

Assessment and Accessibility Coordinator, Foundations Writing Evaluation

Thanks for visiting my webpage. I’m a senior lecturer in the Writing Program (WP) and an affiliate faculty member of the English Department’s graduate program in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (RCTE). I currently coordinate the Foundations Writing Evaluation (FWE), an online assessment tool designed to help incoming students determine which first-year writing courses to enroll in. Prior to taking this position I served as Assistant Director of the Business and Technical Writing (BTW) curriculum. I currently represent the Writing Program on the University-Wide General Education Committee (UWGEC) and am on the faculty of Community Classroom (CC), a lifelong learning program sponsored by the College of Social and Behavior Sciences.

Prior to coming to UArizona, I taught at the SUNY College of Technology at Alfred (2014-17), Michigan Technological University (2008-14), the University of New Mexico (2002-7), Lesley University’s Art Institute of Boston (1999-2001), Northeastern University (1997-9, 1986-88), and the University of Maine at Fort Kent (1988-90). Internationally I worked as an English teacher at Amakusa Senior School in Hondo, Japan (1991-3), as a Peace Corps Teacher Trainer at the Fiji College of Advanced Education in Fiji (1994-6), as the Director of the I.B. Theater Arts Program at the Colegio Internacional de Caracas in Venezuela (2001-2), and as an ESL instructor at Inlingua International Language Center in San Jose, Costa Rica (2007-8).

I have a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University, an MA in English (Composition & American Literature) from Northeastern University, and a BA in English from the University of Maine. I also hold certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from the Maximo Nivel Language Center in San Jose, Costa Rica.

My dissertation advances a cognitive account of multimodality that puts the mimetic praxis of ancient Sophistic rhetorical training into conversation with Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception and current theories of situated cognition. Conceiving multimodality through the rhetorical lens of mimesis provides a framework for integrating experiential knowledge work – marginalized since Plato – into the largely conceptual pedagogy that informs so many composition and technical communication programs. Such an integration seeks to balance the transmission-based argumentative rhetoric of persuasion with a more reflexive, affective, and situated rhetoric that I call (in contradistinction to persuasion) influence.

My areas of interest include curriculum design informed by material rhetorics/embodied pedagogies, simulation-based practicums, discipline-based writing (WID/WAC) through the lens of user experience (UX), the rhetorical effects of text conventions through multisensory reading strategies, and teaching English as an additional language. I’m a member of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW), the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), and the Arizona English Teachers Association (AETA).