lee hibbard story

The Department of English at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) would like to extend congratulations to Lee Hibbard (2015 M.A. English) for the successful defense of his dissertation at Purdue University.  Titled "Preserving Play: Archival Practice in Queer Game Studies” his dissertation examines specific case studies of archives that are working to preserve game history and how the techniques those archives use can provide insight into how queer gamers and creators can preserve their own histories. Hibbard completed his doctoral degree in Purdue’s Rhetoric and Composition program focusing on digital rhetoric. 

As a graduate student at UAH, he worked closely with Dr. Alanna Frost and Dr. Chad Thomas. 

“Dr. Frost was my mentor during the complex process of learning to teach, and also taught a Native Women’s Literature course that set me on the path of considering representation in video games and my work with games in the classroom for my master’s thesis. Dr. Thomas taught a queer theatre course that brought me back to my love of performance and led to us working together on multiple theatrical productions through UAH Theatre...”

At UAH, Hibbard was able first to teach undergraduate courses that would prepare for his assistantship at Purdue. Hibbard points to one unique class he was able to teach on gaming. 

“I taught a gamified section of English 102 that took the theme of monsters and integrated both game texts like Silent Hill and Resident Evil and readings from classic and current literature. The course itself was then set up like a game, with students having the ability to earn achievements and gain points to level up. While I have not taught a course like it since it was one of my earliest forays into course design and made a huge impact on my teaching career. “

Finishing a doctoral program is a vigorous process of research and writing while balancing assistantship responsibilities. Hibbard contributes the foundation he received in his master’s program here at UAH as a strong starting point to completing research during his time at Purdue.  

“The main point of preparation was being able to write a games-focused thesis, which I credit Dr. Frost for once again. She never told me I needed to pull back on my research and encouraged me to do a full pilot study of a class, which gave me experience with case study work and IRB protocols. Having that knowledge going into a program like Purdue’s was invaluable and better prepared me for the work I’m doing now.“

Lee Hibbards’ next stop is a postdoctoral fellowship with Georgia Tech. The Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship offers an opportunity for emerging scholars to develop innovative teaching and scholarship in writing and communication in their role as faculty members. Hibbard remarks on his goals with the fellowship and his continuation in academia, research, and gender minority communities. 

“To continue my work with games and queer communities first and foremost. I’m very invested in finding ways to give back to my community and help others figure out what they can create and share with the world. I’m excited to teach a new group of students in a new location, and return to the South, and continue growing as an educator and scholar. I’ll be revising my dissertation to seek publication, working on other publication projects, and continue public games scholarship, potentially by taking a leaf out of one of my mentor’s books (Dr. Samantha Blackmon at Purdue) and get into streaming games and content. The Brittain Fellowship encourages experimentation and exploration, and I’m eager to engage in both of those actions as I begin the next chapter of my career at Georgia Tech.” 

Dr. Alanna Frost, Chair of the Department of English, and our faculty would like to extend a sincere congratulations to Dr. Lee Hibbard and his accomplishments. Dr. Frost says, 

Lee was a leader amongst a group of exceptional graduate students. I remember being very intrigued when he told me that he wanted to "gamify" his composition class. I  am proud of his import work, and I am excited to see it out in the scholarly world.

Dr. Alanna Frost
Chair of the Department of English 

For more information on the Department of English and our Master of Arts in English, please contact eh@uah.edu.