Gavin P. Johnson

multimodality | rhetorical education | queer praxis


Gavin P. Johnson (he/him/his) is a teacher-scholar specializing in multimodal composition, queer rhetorics, writing assessment, and digital activism. He currently works as an assistant professor at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, where he teaches courses in the Department of Literature and Languages and coordinates the Professional Writing Certificate. He completed his PhD at The Ohio State University (2020) where he served as co-associate director of the international Digital Media and Composition Institute (DMAC). He earned his MA from North Carolina State University (2015) and BA from Nicholls State University (2013).

Gavin teaches courses in multimodal writing, cultural rhetorics, service-learning/community engagement, and digital media. He is invested in creating learning spaces where students can share and expand their knowledges and work on and against dangerously oppressive institutional logics. With students, he works to collaboratively delink learning and assessment practices from dangerous colonial, racist, sexist, classist, ablest, cis-heteronormative traditions. You can read about his approach to assessment in constellations: a cultural rhetorics publishing space.

His scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Composition Studies, Computers and Composition, Peitho, RSQ, Literacy in Composition Studies, College Literacy and Learning, Pre/Text: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory, Constellations, Teacher-Scholar-Activist, and various edited collections including Failure Pedagogies: Learning and Unlearning What It Means to Fail (2020) and Privacy Matters: Conversations about Surveillances Within and Beyond the Classroom (2020). He discussed his teaching and research on the podcasts Pedagogue (ep. 79) and The Big Rhetorical Podcast.

His dissertation, Queer Possibilities in Digital Media Composing, was recognized with the 2021 Lavender Rhetorics Dissertation Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship as well as an Honorable Mention from Computers and Composition's Hugh Burns Best Dissertation Award. His research and service has also won the 2017 CCCC Gloria Anzaldúa Rhetorician Award, the 2019 Kairos Service Award (as a member of the nextGEN international listserv start-up team), and the 2020 Ohio State Department of English Digital Media Prize for Outstanding Graduate Work. For his innovative teaching, he won the 2018 Eric Walborn Award for Excellence in Digital Media and English Instruction from the Ohio State Department of English.

Gavin was born and raised in southeast Louisiana, but currently lives in Memphis, TN, with his partner, Aaron, and two long-haired dachshunds, Bowie and Archie. He is a proud first generation college student.

Gavin P. Johnson, PhD

Department of Literature and Languages, Rosa Deal School of the Arts

Mailing: 650 East Parkway South, Memphis, TN, 38104

Webpages: | CBU faculty page

Email: gjohns15 at cbu (dot) edu |

Networking: | | Twitter: @gavyJ