I study internet culture informed from a perspective of digital rhetoric. In addition, my list of supporting interests have included:
- social media
- rhetorical theory and criticism
- the rhetoric of new technologies
- argumentation in digital environments
- the philosophy of technology
I am especially interested in the new rhetorical challenges presented by the digital information age. Can classical and modern rhetoric help us better understand what happens in these contexts and how people act within them, or does a reliance on these established frameworks hinder our ability to appreciate something as truly revolutionary as the era of print before it? If so, how? If not, why not?
My dissertation research is on the rhetoric of internet culture and attempts to wrangle rhetorical theory into alignment with the lulz. I explore genre theory, kairos, ethos v. pathos, and memes in the public sphere to show the usefulness of turning to a 2,500 year-old field to understand the future of sharing and shaping content online.
In the recent past, I've also researched: how user communities employ folksonomic genre strategies to organize esoteric content; how dispositio can be adapted from the classical canon to contribute to information architecture as argument on large-scale websites; how virtual identities, especially those constructed on social networking sites, can engender a feeling of place online amidst a vast sea of empty cyberspace through meaningful, emotional interactions; or how we can repurpose 20th century rhetorical theorists for understanding social media platforms, like Barthes and Wikipedia or Derrida and Twitter.
In the more distant past, my thesis--Composition 2.0: Rethinking Web Literacy for the Twenty-first Century--called for a trifurcated pedagogy of teaching Web literacy in the first-year composition classroom. Other conference presentations and papers have also focused on the pedagogical aspect of computers and composition, though I decided to let this research area fall by the wayside to focus on rhetoric and internet culture.