Profile photo of Dr. Rik Hunter
Dr. Rik Hunter
Associate Professor of Digital and Professional Writing; Director of English Graduate Studies
Ph.D., Composition and Rhetoric, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  Personal Website
  366 Lupton Hall

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 KAIROS: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, and Computers and Composition, Computers and Composition Online, Literacy in Composition Studies, and LORE. His research has explored reader and writer roles in collaborative on wikis in an age of mass-authorship, technological-professional development, and writing program administration. More recently, his work focuses on community writing pedagogy and practice.


  • 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 previous 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.

My most recent project explores tactical community writing projects, including considering the campus as community as well as the implications of community writing for undergraduate academic persistence.

Teaching Interests

  • Community Writing & Service-­Learning
  • Digital Rhetorics & Literacies
  • Collaborative Writing & Learning
  • Professional Writing & Project­-Based 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 project-­based pedagogy. I often ask students to work in teams to solve rhetorical problems; for example, in my most recent versions of Writing Beyond the Academy, students have learned about food deserts andgrowing their own food. They've goten their hands dirty in the Teaching & Learning Garden. Based on this work, they designed promotional and educational materials for the Teaching and Learning Garden. In my Digital Writing & Publishing graduate course, students will interview digital writer and publishers and then design an eBook using Kindle Digital Publishing tool.

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 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 genre­-specific pedagogy 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 house and working in the garden growing food.

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 highly-­interactive 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.