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Fred JohnsonFred Johnson

300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: 509.777.4231
Fax: 509.777.None listed
Office Location: Westminster Hall 238


Ph.D. and M.A. Ball State University
B.S.Ed. Taylor University

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty


Areas of Specialization / Expertise

20th-c. & contemp. American literature; visual narratives (film, comics, media studies); postmodern lit & culture; American immigrant lit; writing & composition pedagogy; computers & writing

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors


“Response: Against Eloquence.” President’s Colloquy on Civil Discourse. Ed. Beck Taylor and Nathan King. Whitworth U, 2018. 59-65.

“Poverty Lines: Visual Depictions of Poverty and Social Class Realities in Comics.” Teaching Comics Through Multiple Lenses. With Janine Darragh. Ed. Crag Hill. Routledge, 2017. 113-31. Spider-Man, Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde, Marzena Sowa’s Marzi, others. 

“A Transmedia Storyworld: The Edge is One, But Not the Same.” U2 Above, Beyond, and Across: Interdisciplinary Assessments. Ed. Scott Calhoun. NY: Lexington Books, 2015. 71-90. U2, Davis Guggenheim’s documentaries, The Matrix, transmedia storytelling.

“Perspicuous Objects: Reading Comics and Writing Instruction.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 19.1 (2014).

“Film School for Slideware: Film, Comics, and Slideshows as Sequential Art.” Computers and Composition 29.2 (2012): 124-36.

“A Portable Ecology: Supporting New Media Writing and Laptop-Ready Pedagogy at Ball State University.” With Kristie S. Fleckenstein and Jackie Grutsch McKinney. Technological Ecologies and Sustainability: Methods, Modes, and Assessment. Ed. Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Heidi A. McKee, and Richard Selfe. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2009.

“Weak Ties and Academic Community.” Forum: Newsletter of the Committee on Contingent, Adjunct, and Part-Time Faculty. Special Section in College Composition and Communication 60.1 (2008): A9-A11.

“U2, Mythology, and Mass Mediated Survival.” Popular Music and Society 27.1 (2004): 79-99.


"True Lines: Art, Truth Telling, and Creative Nonfiction in Joe Sacco’s War Zone Comics" at the American Lit Association Conference, San Francisco, CA (May 2018).

“Casting Cartoons: Comics Theory, Film Analysis, and Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim” at the Rocky Mountain MLA Convention, Spokane, WA (Oct. 2017).

"Stories He Can’t Tell: Abraham Cahan’s Yekl and the Consequences of Illiteracy in New York’s Late-Nineteenth Century Jewish Immigrant Community” at the American Lit Association Conference, Boston, MA (May 2017).

"Assembling Your Own U2: Reading, Research, and Writing in Transmediated Territories" at Computers & Writing 2015, U of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI (May 2015).

“Programatic Agility and the Small Liberal Arts College Ecosystem: A Panel and Discussion on the Evolution of Multimodal Composition Programs at Smaller Colleges and Universities,” with John Pell and Jessica Clements, at Computers & Writing 2014, Washington State U, Pullman, WA (June 2014).

“Visual Patterns, Narrative Paths: Chris Ware’s New Graphic Novel, Building Stories, as User Interface,” at Computers & Writing 2013, Frostburg State U, Frostburg, MD (June 2013).

“Davis Guggenheim’s Edge: U2’s Guitarist as a Transmedia Character in the Films of Davis Guggenheim,” at the U2 Conference, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH (April 2013).

“The Story of ‘Digital Storytelling': Developing a No-Budget Course in Emerging Writing Technologies” at Computers & Writing 2010, Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN (May 2010).

“From the ‘Long Tail’ to the Center: How Blogging and the Internet Make Little Things Big” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL (Mar. 2006).

“Exploiting the Apopheniac: How Power Circumvents Itself in William F. Gibson’s Pattern Recogniton” at the 20th C. Lit Conference, U of Louisville, Louisville, KY (Feb. 2006).

“Access at the Hubs: The Pedagogical Potential of ‘Weblogs’ and Other News Hubs” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, CA (Mar. 2005).

“How They Play the Kevin Bacon Game in West Egg (and at Fangoso Lagoons): Approaching Literary Criticism Through Network Science” at the 20th C. Lit Conference, U of Louisville, Louisville, KY (Feb. 2004).

"Revenge of the Flukeman: Agents, Scenes, Subversions, and Darin Morgan’s X-Files” at the 20th C. Lit Conference, U of Louisville, Louisville, KY (Feb. 2003).


Kairos Best Webtext Award "Runner Up," for "Perspicuous Objects." (2015)

Innovative Teaching Award, Whitworth U (2010)

Distinguished Dissertation Award, Ball State Alumni Association (2007)