Kevin Cassell

Senior Lecturer

Interim Assistant Director, Professional and Technical Writing Curriculum

Thanks for visiting my UA webpage! I teach in the Writing Program and currently serve as interim assistant director of its professional and technical writing curriculum. 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.

Prior to coming to UA, I taught at the State University of New York’s 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 Secondary in Hondo, Japan (1991-3), a Peace Corps teacher trainer at the Fiji College of Advanced Education in Fiji (1994-6), the Director of the I.B. Theater Arts Program at the Colegio Internacional de Caracas in Venezuela (2001-2), and an ESL instructor at Inlingua International Language Center in San Jose, Costa Rica (2007-8).

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 lens of mimesis provides a framework for integrating experiential knowledge work – marginalized since Plato – into the largely conceptual rhetorical pedagogy that informs so many composition and technical communication programs. It also helps to balance the transmission-based argumentative rhetoric of persuasion with a more reflexive, affective rhetoric of influence.

Some of my additional interests include curriculum design using multilayered simulation-based practicums, discipline-based writing (WID/WAC) through the lens of user experience (UX), apprehending the rhetorical effects of text conventions (like punctuation) through multisensory reading strategies, and adaptive interface technologies for the visually impaired. More information about my professional experience and scholarship can be found at my personal website: