Texas Tech University

Steve Holmes

Steve started teaching at Texas Tech in 2019 after working for six years at George Mason University. He earned his PhD in Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design from Clemson University in 2013. He currently teaches courses on ethics, social justice, technical writing, rhetorical history and theory, and digital rhetoric. Steve's general theoretical areas involve material rhetorics and embodiment. His previous publications have applied these theoretical paradigms to a variety of digital texts, including videogames, critical making, social media, and big data. Steve is currently working on three forthcoming projects: an edited collection with TTU colleague, Michael J. Faris, entitled Reprogrammable Rhetoric (Utah State University Press) on critical making in composition studies, a guest edited special issue of Computers and Composition on embodiment in videogames with Rebekah Shultz-Colby, and a special issue of the Journal of Business and Technical Communication on 21st century ethics in technical communication with Jared S. Colton and Josephine Walwema. 

Steve also serves as the director (Fall 2020-present) of the BA in Technical Communication. In that role, he co-published the adopted Engl 2311: Introduction to Technical Writing textbook (Guide to Technical Communication, McGraw-Hill) with Kellie M. Gray (2311 Program Coordinator) and TTU TCR PhD student contributors (Megalee Das, Michelle Cowan, and Danielle Feldman Karr).


Steve's technical communication and social justice research enjoys national recognition, including Technical Communication Quarterly's 2018 Nell Ann Pickett Article Award, the 2020 Nell Ann Pickett Article Award, and the 2021 Conference on College Composition and Communication's award the Best Article on Philosophy or Theory of Technical or Scientific Communication. 


Steve is the author Procedural Habits: The Rhetoric of Videogames as Embodied Practice (Routledge, Fall 2017). This book explores philosophical and rhetorical conceptions of habit (hexis) as a lens to analyze the increasing alignment of habit and rhetoric in videogames, gamification, and algorithmic cultures in the present moment. 
With Jared S. Colton, Steve published Rhetoric, Technology, and the Virtues (Utah State University Press, Fall 2018), which engages past and contemporary approaches to virtue ethics for theorizing the rhetoric of social media.


Please click here for Steve's full CV 

  • Journal of Business and Technical Communication special issue: “21st Century Ethics in Technical Communication,” guested edited with Josephine Walwema and Jared S. Colton. Fall 2022.
  • Computers and Composition & Computers and Composition online special issue(s): “Making Games Matter” guest edited with Rebekah Shultz Colby. Summer 2022. 
  • “Trans Oppression through Technical Rhetorics: A Queer Phenomenological Analysis of Institutional Documents,” with Avery C. Edenfield and Zarah Moeggenberg. Journal of Business and Technical Communication. Oct, 2022.
  • Edenfield, A., Holmes, S. & J. Colton. (2019). “Queering Tactical Technical Communication,” Technical Communication Quarterly. 28(3). Nell Ann Pickett and 4Cs Award Winner.
  • "From NoobGuides to #OpKKK: Ethics of Anonymous' Tactical Technical Communication," with Jared S. Colton and Josephine Walwema." Technical Communication Quarterly. 26.1 (2017): 59-75. Nell Ann Pickett Award Winner.


Director of the BA in Technical Communication & Associate Professor
Technical Communication & Rhetoric

Email: steve.holmes@ttu.edu
Office: 487