Caitlin Dungan

Caitlin Dungan

Caitlin Dungan


Digital rhetoric, empathy and video games, intersections of queer theory and video games, performativity and embodiment in gaming, the queer history of horror

Current Research

Dissertation - Intersections of gender/queer theory, feminist rhetorics, empathy and video games. By analyzing the linguistic features and performative nature of narrative/character-based gaming, can we learn more about using video games as a tool for increased social empathy towards queer identities? Explores idea of what it means to be 'coded' as queer, both in life and literally within gaming, and why shifting the focus of queer game studies away from canonically queer characters to a more nebulous idea of 'queer=outside the normal' may wind up being reductive. Ultimately, the focus is on empathy and exploring the nuanced ways we read others, with a goal of providing a heuristic for game developers on what positive queer representation really looks like

Courses Taught

ENGH 388

ENGH 302

ENGH 101

ENGH 201


George Mason University, PhD; Writing and Rhetoric - ABD Fall 2022

George Mason University, MA; Teaching of Writing and Literature - 2014

Christopher Newport University, BA; Writing - 2010 

Recent Presentations

MAGfest, 2017 - LGBT+ Gaming: Where we are, where we can go, and how to get there 

PAX East, 2018 - Equality Done Better: Using Data for an Inclusive Future