Profile photo of Dr. Rik Hunter
Dr. Rik Hunter
Assistant Professor and Website & Social Media Coordinator
Ph.D., Composition and Rhetoric, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010
  CSOB 240

Dr. Hunter’s research interests include collaborative writing, digital rhetoric and literacies, fan studies, and theories of authorship and audience. He teaches courses in rhetoric and writing, digital literacies, professional writing, and visual rhetoric.

His work has appeared in Computers and Composition, Computers and Composition Online, Literacy in Composition Studies, LORE, and KAIROS. His research has explored reader and writer roles in collaborative on wikis in an age of mass-authorship and more recently technological-professional development and writing program administration. He is currently working on projects concerning audience and authorship in the creation of transmedia storytelling texts and an edited collection on postpedagogy and theory.

Among other jobs, Dr. Hunter has worked as an fisherman in Alaskan, and a Persia-Farsi “military intelligence voice and signal communications interceptor and analyst” in the U.S. Army.


  • Ph.D., English: Composition and Rhetoric, University of Wisconsin­-Madison, 2010
  • M.A., English: Writing Studies & Pedagogy, Northern Michigan University, May 2004
  • B.S., English, Northern Michigan University, May 2002
  • Certificate, Persian­Farsi, Defense Language Institute, October 1998
  • B.F.A., Art & Design: Film & Video, Northern Michigan University, December 1996

Research and/or Creative Interests
My research interests are coupled with my teaching interests in digital literacies and collaborative writing. My most recent work describes the way contributors to a fan and gamer wiki (Wowwiki/Wowpedia) establish co­ownership of the texts they produce together and how some contributors disrupt that work by claiming individual ownership. This work also explores how these contributors develop multiple, shifting, and overlapping identities of readers and writers.

I'm currently beginning a project that examines conflict and consensus on Wikipedia.

Teaching Interests

  • Digital Rhetorics & Literacies
  • Collaborative Writing & Learning
  • Professional Writing and Service­Learning Project­Based Pedagogy
  • Literacy & Writing Studies
  • Writing About Writing, WAC/WID
  • Qualitative & Online Research Methodologies

Teaching Approach
As a student, my favorite courses were those that asked me to make something that had relevance beyond the classroom, even if only a simulation, and so in most of my courses I use project­based pedagogy. I often ask students to work in teams to solve rhetorical problems; for example, in Visual Rhetoric, students met with Mayor Berke's Senior Advisor to learn more about Chattanooga Forward, an initiative aimed at improving several aspects of the City. Students created multimodal texts about Chattanooga as a cultural and outdoors hub in their attempts to give the City a unique identity.

Why did you become an English professor?
After my BFA in Film, and several years out of school, I wanted to shift into doing more creative writing, possibly for film. In my first semester back I had one creative writing course and three Literature courses. My first short fiction story got an A, but my first literary analysis paper got a D. It was awful, but I had a supportive professor, Maureen Andrews, who—after I told her I just 
didn't understand what I was supposed to write about and how to write it (a clear genre awareness problem)—gave me a book titled Writing About Literature. I read the options for writing about Literature, followed the model essays, and never got below an A on any future papers! The next semester I became a Writing Center tutor, and I used the same genre­specific pedagogy I had learned with other students. That's when I decided to become an English Professor.

Why teach X?
I teach Rhetoric and Writing because they're foundational to most everything we do in the world. How we organize and share knowledge; how we express ourselves and communicate with others; how we shape society and represent reality, it all happens through writing and rhetoric.

Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
I like camping and stand up paddle boarding, but most weekends are spent renovating my new house.

What are your expectations of students?
I expect students to be intellectually curious problem ­solvers that are willing to dive into creative and rhetorical work. My courses are typically designed to be highly­interactive and involve lots of group work, so you have to be willing to collaborate with others. This can be challenging for some students, but I think it allows for a lot of personal growth if you commit to it.

What's something about you that might surprise your students?
Among other jobs, I've worked as an fisherman in Alaska and a Persia­-Farsi “military intelligence voice and signal communications interceptor and analyst” in the U.S. Army.