1-800-4-ALFRED (425-3733)

Kevin Cassell

Position Title: Assistant Professor 10 Months
Department: English and Humanities
Office Location: Hunter Student Development Center
Office Phone: 607-587-4179

    PhD (Rhetoric and Technical Communication)Michigan Technological University, 2014
    TEFL Certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), Maximo Nivel Executive Language Center, 2007
    MA (English with concentrations in Composition and American Literature), Northeastern University, 1989 
    BA (English), University of Maine at Fort Kent, 1986

Teaching Overview: 

I teach online and traditional classroom courses in technical writing, introductory literature, and film. In keeping with my research on experiential knowledge work, I place a high premium on engaging diverse learning styles through multimodal composing in electronic environments. 

Technical Writing II: I teach this upper-division course as an introduction to the field of technical communication with an initial emphasis on strategic professional writing. It is divided into two sequences. In the "professional sequence," students practice writing professional correspondence within cross-cultural contexts and simulated real-world environments, sometimes in response to complex professional dilemmas that affect multiple stakeholders and require a significant degree of rhetorical savvy. In the "technical sequence," they compose usable instructional materials for demographically targeted audiences, research and write technical reports, and present their topics publicly. In the process, they learn how to respond to a corporate invitation to bid, graphically design industry-standard public documents, and convey specialized information through videos, self-running narrated slide shows, and project-based posters. Throughout the semester emphasis is placed on developing readable, audience-oriented writing that is both succinct and comprehensive.

Writing for Emergent Media: Students in this class compose written content for online spaces and use writing as a means of producing digital media projects. All students draft, revise, and finally post blogs to their Wordpress sites about a variety of topics related to emerging media and technologies. In the process, they learn about the art of hyperlinking, creating headings and metatags that anticipate keyword searches and promote the site's ranking on popular search engines, narrowing broad topics to unique angles, and writing succinctly in a reader-friendly voice. They learn to cultivate and manage an online identity, which includes "following" digital personages and reviewing the work upon which those identities are based. They also write scripts for a media project -- vlog or videocast, podcast, motion graphic, online comic -- which they create either alone or in teams. At the semester's conclusion, students present a digital portfolio showcasing all the work they produced in this course.

Introduction to Film: This class is divided into two sequences. For the first half of the semester, I take a breadth approach. Students become familiar with cinematic language and conversant with its major conventions by analyzing clips from a variety of different films. In addition, they learn about the history of film and its development as an art form through both American and international movements, including Soviet montage, German expressionism, Italian Neo-Realism, and French New Wave. The second half of the semester emphasizes in-depth analysis of important films and directors. While feature length films are given considerable attention, students also develop familiarity with the genre of short films. In addition, video as an increasingly popular and accessible medium of communication and expression in digital spaces is considered at some length.

Introduction to Literature: I teach this as an advanced reading and writing course in the field of the humanities -- one that connects with Alfred State's commitment to sustainability. A high premium is placed on learning to read for both retention and style in the genre of academic interdisciplinary nonfiction. I also take a "digital humanities" approach to this course. Traditional literary works are often read in tandem with visual and aural remediations of them. Students read, discuss, and respond in writing to creative nonfiction, spoken word and slam poetry, graphic fiction, and audiovisual representations of literary art. Electronic communication in increasingly sophisticated digital environments has significantly transformed the literary landscape, and students are encouraged to navigate this shifting terrain by cultivating a critical awareness of emergent literary formations like e-literature and the new media encounterdigital poetry and cinematized spoken word, and creative e-nonfiction such as whiteboard animation essays.

Professional Experience: 

Please visit my website for information on my teaching experience, research, presentations, and writings.

Digital Humanities Kevin Cassell