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Joshua Daniel

Joshua Daniel

Associate Professor

Director of First-Year Writing

Address: 309A Morrill Hall
Phone: 405-744-6837


Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Composition: Texas Christian University


Areas of Interest & Expertise
  • Game/Software Studies

  • Writing Program Administration

Recent Courses Taught
  • Comp Theory and Pedagogy

  • Games & Writing

  • Visual Rhetoric & Design

  • Studies in the History of Rhetoric: Propaganda Studies

  • Professional Writing Theory

  • Topics in Rhetorical Theory: Software Studies

  • Games, Play, and the Cultures of Online, Interactive Media 

  • Studies in the History of Rhetoric: Rhetoric and Change

  • Style and Editing 

  • Topics in Rhetoric and Professional Writing: Game Studies 

Selected Publications*

Recent Journal Articles

  • "Digital Archives as Cunning Texts in FYC Curriculum." Co-Authored with Lynn C. Lewis. Pedagogy 20.1 (2020): 141-148.(141-148).

  • "Welcome to Decision Points Theater: Rhetoric, Game Studies, and Museology." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 49.4 (2019): pp. 387-408.

  • "Rhetorical Strategy add Creative Methodology: Revisiting Homo Ludens." Games and Culture 14.6 (2019):622-638. 

  • "A Langauge of Play: New Media's Possibility Spaces." Computers and Composition 40.1 (2016): 32-47. 

Recent & Forthcoming Book Chapters

  • "Body, Visible." In Our Body of Work: Embodied Teaching and Administration in Writing Studies. Co-Authored with Lynn C Lewis. Ed. Melissa Nichols and Anna Sicari. Forthcoming, 2020. 

  • "In the Weeds." In Violence in the Work of Composition." Co-Authored with Lynn C. Lewis. Ed. Scott Gage and Kristie Fleckenstein. Utah State UP. Forthcoming.

  • "Software Literacy in Rhetorical Approaches to Fake News." In Literacy in the Age of Information and Misinformation. Co-Authored with Tyler Branson and James Chase Sanchez. Forthcoming, 2020. 

  • "Ludic Rhetorics: Theories of Play in Rhetoric and Writing." In Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies: Essays in Honor of Sharon Crowley. Ed. Judy Holiday, Andrea Alden, Kendall Gerdes, and Ryan Skinell. Forthcoming. 

  • "Race Within the Machine: Ambient Rhetorical Action and Racial Ideology." Co-Authored with James Chase Sanchez. In Rhetorical Machines: Past, Present, and Future Conversations in Rhetoric and Computation. Ed. John Jones and Lavinia Hirsu. University of Alabama Press. Forthcoming. 

  • "Gamification Makes Writing Fun." In Bad Ideas about WritingEd. Drew Loewe and Cheryl E. Ball. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Libraries. 2017.

  • “Philip Roth’s Comic Corrective.” In Baseball and Social Class: Essays on the Democratic Game that Isn’t. Ed. Ronald Kates and Warren Tormey. 2012. 148-161.  

Textbook Chapters & Book Reviews

  • "My Work on Decision Points: Reflections on the Archive." Textbook Chapter for English 1213 at Oklahoma State University. 2017.

  • "A Brief Rhetoric of Infographic Design." Textbook Chapter for English 1213 at Oklahoma State University. 2016. 

  • Review of Women in Gaming: The Sims and 21st Century Learning. In Computers and Composition 29.2. 2013. 

Selected Conference Presentations
  • Playing Decision Points: Politics Performed through Gamification.” 17th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference, 2016. Atlanta. 

  • "Gamification and the Technologies of Racial Coding." Computers and Writing, 2016. Rochester. 

  • "When Students Design Games: Risks, Rewards, and Possibilities." Computers and Writing, 2015. University of Wisconsin-Stout. 

  • "Possibility and Play: Unleashing Creativity in Student Screencast Videos." The Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2015. Tampa Bay. 

  • "Composing Play: Epic Learning in Literacy Spaces." Meaningful Play, 2014. Michigan State University. 

  • “Huizinga’s Magic Circle and the Symbolization of Play.” 16th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference, 2014. San Antonio. 

  • “Rearranging Assessment: The Outcomes of Play.”
 The Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2014. Indianapolis. 

  • The Play of Modes, the Emergence of Meaning: Reading New Media Scholarship.”
 The Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2013. Las Vegas. 

  • “'We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For': Timelessness in Digital Cinema.”
 The Eighth Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society, 2011. Clemson.

  • “Luke Gofannon Loves Third Base: Playing with Spalding in Philip Roth’s The Great American Novel.
 30th Annual SW/TX PCA/ACA Pop Culture Conference, 2009. Albuquerque. 

Current Research

Gamification and the Technologies of Promise: Toward an Art of Playful Composing


This book project is a critical perspective on gamification—the use of game-like rules and mechanics to engage and motivate people—especially as it pertains to writing instruction. It situates the practice of gamifying writing classrooms within the historical trajectory of composition studies and writing instruction in the United States. It suggests that technologies often emerge to and are pitched as solutions to literacy crises . Specifically, a variety of technologies emerge to engage and motivate alienated students who are bored or off-put by traditional writing instruction.


Gamification, I suggest, promises to make writing more engaging and motivating by making writing and writing instruction more fun. Although this, in of itself, is a worthy goal, gamification rests on an impoverished understanding of both play and fun. Specifically, gamification is too often used in the workplace to exploit workforces by mimicking play and creating the illusion of choice, or the illusion of fun. By situating gamification among other technologies that have promised to enliven writing instruction in the United States, I suggest the technology of gamification may cause the field to lose site or more productive possibilities for an art of playful composing.


*Published as Joshua Daniel-Wariya 
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