College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Isidore Dorpenyo, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of English

PhD, Rhetoric, Theory and Culture, Michigan Technological University

Key Interests
Localization | Social Justice | Election Technology | Biometric in Elections | Technical Communication and Technology Transfer | Rhetoric of Technology | Globalization
Phone: 703-993-1176 | Email:

Research Focus

My research focuses on the use of biometric technology in elections. Specifically, I examine the use of biometric technology in Ghana’s electoral system to continue the conversation about localization championed by technical communication scholars by arguing that localization must pay particular attention to user strategies because the success of a technology depends on how it meets user needs and the creative efforts users put into use situations. In this regard, localization, as I use it, refers to the extent to which users demonstrate their knowledge of use by adopting and reconfiguring the purpose of technology to solve local problems. For example, hit by several concerns that its electoral process is constantly marked by such electoral malpractices as over voting, impersonation and vote rigging, the Electoral Commission of Ghana adopted and localized the biometric technology to enhance the country’s electoral system. This reconfiguration of the purpose of the technology, though a positive move, reintroduced new challenges. For instance, during the process of use, the biometric performed poorly because it could not withstand the humid and dusty conditions.

Current Projects

■ My book project titled User Strategies in the Face of Technology Breakdown examines Ghana’s use of biometric technology in its elections to advance localization process.

■ I am collaborating with some colleagues to finish up a book chapter for an edited collection titled Equipping Technical Communicators for Social Justice Work: Topics, Theories, and Methodologies.

■ Collaborating with Godwin Agboka to examine resumes written by Ghanaians for Ghanaian audiences to identify differences between those resumes and those that are written for American audiences.

Select Publications

■ Dorpenyo, K.I. (2020). User localization strategies in the face of technological breakdown: Biometric in Ghana’s elections. Palgrave Macmillan Press: Switzerland.

■ Dorpenyo, K.I. (2019). Risky elections, vulnerable technology: Localizing biometric use in elections for the sake of justice. Technical Communication Quarterly, 28(4), 361-375.

■ Dorpenyo, K.I. and Agboka, G. (2018). Election technologies, technical communication, and civic engagement. Technical Communication Quarterly, 65(4).

■ Dorpenyo, K.I. (2015). Mapping a space for rhetorical-cultural analysis: A case of a scientific proposal. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 45(3).