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Idaho State University
Lydia Wilkes

Lydia Wilkes

Assistant Professor of English; Director of Composition

Office: LA 235



PhD in English (2015), Indiana University

MA in English (2006), Indiana University

BA in English (2004), Louisiana Tech University


As a rhetorician concerned with how multimodal texts move audiences to social action, I study appeals to authenticity in 21st century representations of US soldiers, veterans, and wars. Within the contexts of militarism, militainment, and the civil-military gap, these appeals operate according to the constraints of media and genres. For example, most war-themed first-person shooter video games appeal as strongly through affect and kinesis as through the visual, aural, and narrative modes. Understanding how the affordances and constraints of various media- particularly new media- shape the available means of persuasion, and how those persuasive means work within media genres contributes to our ever-evolving sense of how we move each other to action.

As a compositionist, I study and teach gaming, critical, and multimodal pedagogy for/in composition and literature courses. These interests intersect with my research in a variety of ways. For example, applying the principles of well-designed games to course design and pedagogy affords insight into the persuasive means of games that would not otherwise be available.

Finally, I maintain an interest in professional, scientific, and technical communication as deeply meaningful human discourse with implications for how we frame big problems. Problems ranging from climate change to poverty to discrimination are framed and addressed according to the frame in myriad technical documents. These documents' practicality often obscures the ideologies and assumptions present in them.

When I'm not parsing the warp and weft of communication, I enjoy mountain biking, fishing, camping, gardening, and other outdoor pursuits.

Selected Publications

"Experience, Remembrance, War: Teaching War Writing in a Time of War," Composition Forum 28 (2013): n.p. Review Essay

"'Now Here's What Really Happened': The Rhetoric of Authentic Experience in War Memoir." Literature, Rhetoric and Values: Selected Proceedings of a Conference held at the University of Waterloo, 3-5 June 2011. Ed. Shelley Hulan, Murray MacArthur, and Randy Allen Harris. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012. 169-83.

Courses Taught


  • 4407: Topics in Professional Writing
  • 3307: Professional and Technical Writing