I study rhetoric as collective world-making in which the patterning of discursive norms reflects and maintains larger social structures but also opens space for challenging them. My research pursues questions about digital rhetorics and public humanities with particular attention to issues of social change (based in rhetorical genre studies) and social justice (based in intersectional feminism and disability studies). 


In Progress

The Last Encyclopedia: Wikipedia and the Networking of Human Knowledge.This book project is a study of how Wikipedia responds to the genre of the encyclopedia both as it has been understood historically and also as it is called into being at the start of the twenty-first century. I argue that, in claiming the encyclopedia as a public genre, Wikipedia makes the question of general knowledge into a public project and a pressing social issue. At stake are what counts as knowledge, who has access to it, and who makes these decisions.

“Relearning to Write in Crip Time on the Tenure Clock.” Fragmented, Evolving, Precious: Scholarly Writing across Life Contexts. Eds. Kim Hensley Owens and Derek Van Ittersum.
This chapter offers critical exploration of lived experience to argue for the intellectual value of non-normative writing practices. I consider the ways that life with chronic illness has vastly expanded both the variety and complexity of my interactions with digital devices for writing.

In Print

“Acknowledging the Rough Edges of Resistance: Negotiation of Identities for First-Year Composition.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 58, no. 2, 2006, pp. 213-235. [Stable link]
This essay argues that to bring our teaching practices in line with our best intentions and most progressive pedagogies, we need to be aware not only that reliance on the legibility associated with familiar subject positions motivates student resistance in the composition classroom but, moreover, that our interest in securing self-presentations as teachers may motivate everyday interactions that maintain the status quo.

“Teaching Digital Rhetoric: Wikipedia, Collaboration, and the Politics of Free Knowledge.” Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics, edited by Brett D. Hirsch, Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK, 2012, pp. 389–406. [Stable link]
This chapter argues that we can engage students in humanistic thinking about the technologies through which digital communities and collaborations are supported by involving them in Wikipedia content development and by directing critical attention to the ways that established institutions of knowledge inform and interact with the tools and resources of the digital public sphere.

Background image is of a DEC PDP-11/34 minicomputer, data drive storage cabinet, modem, a covered typewriter, and DECwriter terminal under a window with mustard yellow curtains open to show a sunny day. The photo was taken circa 1984 in the basement playroom of my childhood home.