Meet the 2020-2021 Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Graduate Fellows and Learn about our New Books in the DRC Series!

Hosted by the Sweetland Center for Writing, the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative (DRC) is an online, community webspace by and for scholars and teachers working in computers and writing and digital rhetoric. It is also the home of a digital book series with the UM Press.  

This fall, the DRC welcomed its eighth cohort of graduate student Fellows. The program aims to recognize graduate students around the country currently working in digital rhetoric who want practical experience in online publishing and website development. Fellows are selected on a yearly basis by the editors and board of the DRC, and receive an annual stipend of $500 as well as recognition on the DRC website.

DRC Fellows commit to attending monthly online team meetings to plan projects that extend the DRC website and its contributions to the community of computers and writing. They work independently and collaboratively to complete two projects within the year of their term. 

Last year’s fellows responded with resilience and creativity to the curves thrown by 2020, curating thoughtful, responsive content in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uprisings and activism in response to police violence that marked the spring and summer months. These materials include a blog carnival on “Rhetoric and Communication in the Time of COVID-19: A Global Pandemic and Digital Rhetoric” that brought together nine responses to teaching, writing, and living in “COVID times,” in locations as widespread as China, Ghana, Canada, and the U.S. The fellows also crafted an affirmation of the principles and practices of the Black Lives Matter movement in a “Statement against Anti-Black Violence” that responded to these events from the perspective of digital rhetoricians “attuned to how technologies and their many facets are deployed in and for the projects of anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, and white supremacy.” Other projects over the course of the year — to name just a couple! — included a blog carnival on “Digital Community Building as Social Justice Praxis”, and a brand new limited podcast series titled “On the Job” that interviews faculty just completing their first year in a new position and graduate students on the job market in writing studies.

Keep your eyes open for upcoming collaborative projects from our new fellows, including a blog carnival focused around empathy, a multimedia series on Black audio work, and a crowdsourced digital rhetoric syllabus repository.

The 2020-2021 fellows are:

D’Arcee Charington Neal is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition at The Ohio State University, where he works at the intersection of disability and Black Digital Media. His research focuses on rhetorical displays of ableism, Afrofuturistic production, and audionarratology. Currently he is composing the opening chapter for his audio novela about a black wheelchair-user/turned digital ghost in future Neo Orleans, and can be followed on Twitter at @drchairington.

Jianfen Chen is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Composition program at Purdue University. Currently, she teaches Introductory Composition at Purdue. Before that, she worked as a writing consultant in the Purdue Writing Lab. Her research interests include public rhetoric, digital rhetoric, risk communication, intercultural communication, and professional and technical communication. Jianfen is also a certified Chinese/English translator and interpreter. You can follow her on Twitter at @sugejianfen.

Danielle Koepke is a second year PhD student studying Public Rhetorics and Community Engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has an MA in Rhetoric and Composition, and her research areas include multimodal composing practices, digital literacies, and feminist theories. She is also interested in applications of social justice pedagogies in her teaching. You can follow Danielle on Twitter at @koepke_marie13.

Sarah Hughes is a PhD candidate in the Joint Program in English and Education at the University of Michigan, where she also teaches in the English Department Writing Program. Her research interests include digital rhetoric, gender and discourse, and gaming studies. Her dissertation project explores how women use multimodal discourse—grammatically, narratively, and visually—to navigate online gaming ecologies.

Kimberly Williams is a second-year doctoral student in the English Department at the University of Florida where her work encompasses Black love and sound studies across multimedia and literature. You can find her published and upcoming work in Journal of the Society for American Music, Sounding Out! and Standpoints: Black Feminist Knowledges published by Virginia Tech Press.

Nupoor Ranade is a Ph.D. student in the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media program at the North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on audience analysis, digital rhetoric, user experience and information design, primarily in the field of technical communication and artificial intelligence. Her research experience and partnerships with the industry help her bridge gaps of knowledge that she then brings to her pedagogical practices. She is interested in exploring interdisciplinary collaborative work which helps us redefine the term audience.

New and Forthcoming
Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Books!

This past year has been a busy one for the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Book Series, an imprint of the University of Michigan Press. 2020 saw four new book projects go into production on topics as varied as writing workflows, makerspaces, screen composing, and a 100-year history of “new media” pedagogy. You can read below about the first one off the press this past December, and look for the others in 2021! 

Writing Workflows: Beyond Word Processing by Tim Lockridge (Miami University) and Derek Van Ittersum (Kent State University) argues that a workflow-focused approach to composing can help writers and writing instructors evaluate and adopt the technologies that make writing possible, highlighting the role of writing tools as full-fledged actors in writing activity. The book draws on case studies of professional writers who deliberately and carefully construct writing workflows that lead them to make critical evaluations of their tools, their purpose(s), and the contexts in which they compose. Through a type of reflection the authors call “workflow thinking,” writers can look at their processes and ask how tools shape their habits—and how a change in tools might offer new ways of thinking and writing. The book also introduces a practice the authors call “workflow mapping,” which helps writers trace their tool preferences across time and imagine how new technologies might fit in. In addition to its extensive use of images, hyperlinks, screen casts, and other digital artifacts to enhance meaning, Writing Workflows incorporates innovative audio overlays to, quite literally, give voice to the research participants. Writing Workflows is winner of the 2018 Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Book Prize.