Isidore K Dorpenyo

Isidore K Dorpenyo

Isidore K Dorpenyo

Associate Professor

Writing and Rhetoric: Writing and Rhetoric: International technical communication, professional and technical communication, social justice, public intellectualism, rhetoric of technology, technology and elections, politics, biometric technology, and localization.

Isidore K. Dorpenyo teaches courses in technical and scientific communication. He seeks to bring conversations about biometric technology, elections and democracy  into the domain of technical communication. Over the years, my research has focused on localization, election technologies, social justice, public engagement, and user experience. I have paid attention to how users who are far removed from the design of technology localize or integrate technologies they have adopted into their systems and what social justice implications there are. In this line of research, I have responded to two major questions, what tactics and strategies do users adopt in their bid to localize technologies? Who is silenced by technology design? My goal in this line of inquiry was to demystify the notion that users were dummies who only adopt and use technologies. Rather, they are creative, smart people who make technology work for them regardless of the shortfalls. So, for instance, I have studied how Ghana was able to overcome challenges to successfully integrate biometric technology into their electoral system. I have also studied the social justice implication of biometric use in elections (Dorpenyo, 2019). This line of research was shaped by my disciplinary training in technical communication and rhetoric. I think of these issues through the lens of user experience, localization, genre theory, and social justiceHis work has appeared in the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Technical communication Quarterly, Technical Communication, and the Community Literacy Journal. 

Current Research

I am currently looking into the biometric technology adopted by Ghana to enhance its electoral system and how it provides an avenue to theorize localization processes.

Selected Publications

User Localization Strategies in the Face of Technological Breakdown: Biometric in Ghana’s Elections. Palgrave Macmillan Press. 2020


Guest Editor (special issue with Godwin Agboka in 2022): Enacting Social Justice in Technical and Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions Professional Communication, 65 (1):5-10 

Dorpenyo, I. K. (2021). Local Knowledge as Illiterate Rhetoric: An Antenarrative Approach to Enacting Socially Just Technical Communication. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 00472816211030199.

Agboka, G. Y., & Dorpenyo, I. K. (2022). Curricular Efforts in Technical Communication After the Social Justice Turn. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 36(1):38-70. DOI: 10.1177/10506519211044195

Equipping Technical Communicators for Social Justice Work: Theories, Methodologies, and Pedagogies
2021-06-01 | book-chapter DOI: 10.7330/9781646421084.c010

Dorpenyo, K.I. “Risky Election, Vulnerable Technology: Localizing Biometric use in Elections for the Sake of Justice.” Technical Communication Quarterly, (2019):1-15

Guest Editor (special issue): “Technical Communication and Elections Technologies.” Technical Communication, 65.4 (2018)

“Mapping a Space for Rhetorical-Cultural Analysis: A case of a Scientific Proposal.” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 45.3 (2015)

Bowen, L. M., Arko, K., Beatty, J., Delaney, C., Dorpenyo, I., Moeller, L., ... & Velat, J. “Community Engagement in a Graduate-Level Community Literacy Course.” Community Literacy Journal, 9.1, (2014):18-38.

Grants and Fellowships

Doug Eyman, Heidi Lawrence and Isidore Dorpenyo received $30,000 Curriculum Impact Grant to expand and revise the Professional Writing and Rhetoric concentration at George Mason

Courses Taught

ENGH 724:Professional Writing Theory and Research

ENGH 488: Advanced Technical Writing

ENGH 501: Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing

ENGH 485/505: Document Design

ENGH 702: Research Methods in Professional Writing and Rhetoric

HNRS 353: Technologies of Elections

ENGH 502: Research Methods in Professional Writing and Rhetoric

ENGH 388: Professional and Technical Writing

ENGH 302: Advanced Composition


PhD, Rhetoric, Theory and Culture, Michigan Technological University, 2016.

MS, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Michigan Technological University, 2013.

BA, English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 2008.