Adam Padgett, Ph.D.

Teaching Assistant Professor
Adam Padgett
he, him, his


I began my career as a copywriter before transitioning into academia. I have taught college-level writing for over 10 years and have won the Irene Elliot Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of South Carolina. As a short story writer, my fiction has appeared in The Common, Appalachian Heritage, Bellevue Literary Review, Cold Mountain Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere.

Research interests

Much of my scholarship focuses on the ethics of composition and communication, which informs my approach to pedagogy. My dissertation uses a viral internet meme as a case study to demonstrate how digital, multi-modal compositions materially and ethically come into being via mimetic composing practices. I argue that legal and postmodern theories of authorship are insufficient in providing an ethics of reading and writing bodies online. Instead, I offer a new materialist approach to authorship, which traces how compositions emerge and “live” beyond their initial moments of production and delivery. As digital natives, many of our students regularly compose in these ecologies of reproduction. So, it has become critical for them to reflect on how identities can circulate in unexpected ways online and to confront the legal and ethical problematics of copy-and-paste as a composing practice.

Recent publications

Peer-reviewed article

  • “Bridging the Islands of Expressionism: Rethinking Plagiarism as Rhetorical Failure, Not Moral Failure.” The CEA Critic: The Journal of the College English Association. Vol. 79, No. 3 (Fall 2017): pp. 324-9; print. (from the proceedings issue)

Book review

  • “Review of Sojourning in Disciplinary Cultures: A Case Study of Teaching Writing in Engineering.” Across the Disciplines, (December 2019); web.

Courses taught

  • Composition Studio
  • Critical Reading and Composition
  • Composition and Rhetoric
  • Offensive Rhetoric and Stand-Up Comedy
  • Business Writing
  • Business and Technical Writing