Alumnus Peter Kudenov
Master of Arts in English, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013
Peter Kudenov finished his MA in English in December 2013. His thesis was titled, “Rhetorical Player Engagement in Fallout: New Vegas.” In his thesis, he attempted to describe a model for analyzing rhetorical participation between plays and player characters in videogames and used Fallout to demonstrate what successful rhetorical interactions looked like. Currently Peter is a PhD student in the Communications, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at North Carolina State University. His day-to-day work includes a variety of teacher and research assistantships
Peter says his MA provided him with a background in theory (rhetorical and otherwise) that was necessary to enter some scholarly conversations taking place in English (the digital humanities, game studies) and communications. His experience earning an MA helped him learn to write as a member of the scholarly community. His work at UAA also allowed him to compete for positions in PhD programs across the country. Peter’s biggest take-away from the MA program was that it offered a view of work he wanted to participate in at some point in the future. He also says the MA program’s faculty are amazing people who are friendly and accessible. He also says the work they were focused on in their own professional capacities was and is important and relevant to society.
There are a few courses that Peter says were essential to his education. One of those courses was Dr. Jennifer Stone’s “Digital Literacies.” Another was Dr. Jackie Cason’s “Deliberation, Democracy and the Public Sphere” and also, Dr. David Bowie’s “Sociolinguistics” course. Peter says the faculty played a big role in his experience with the MA program. His time spent working with his thesis advisor, Dr. Stone, helped him decide that he would pursue a PhD. In the program, he had the opportunity to organize a PacRim conference, work on a Complex Systems Model grant with Dr. Bowie, and serve as Dr. Cason’s Composition Coordinator assistant. One piece of advice Peter would give to an individual considering the English MA program is to be open to changing your mind about your scholarly focus. One can do a lot with an English MA degree. If you’re pursuing the degree, give yourself enough time to enjoy the process.