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Research Agenda

As a rhetoric and writing scholar, my research agenda reflects my interests in the politics of
technology and gender as they relate to writing and literacy, inside and outside classrooms and
at present time as well as historically. Additionally, my approach to research reflects a belief that
research, teaching, mentoring, service, and learning are interconnected and reciprocally
influence one another.
Much of my current and recent work grows out of my dissertation research, CommunitySponsored Literate Activity and Technofeminism: Ethnographic Inquiry of Feministing. This work
demonstrates and develops my interests in the politics of technology and gender in relation to
writingor as Ive termed it in my title, literate activity, which serves to indicate a larger category
of inquiry than may be implied by the term writing. In Community-Sponsored Literate Activity, I
conducted a situated literacy study of Feministing, which is a primarily online community that
exists to provide space for younger feminists voices and activism. Using ethnographically
inspired methods and guided by technofeminist (Blair, Wajcman) and digital postcritical
methodologies (Sullivan and Porter, McKee and Porter), I triangulated data from interviews with
three Feministing editors, surveys completed by seventeen registered Feministing users, and
content analysis of over 900 pages from the archives of Feministings website.
Ultimately, my study offers thick description and analysis of the literate activities of particular
online feminist activists rather than offering large theories about all life in cyberspace or even all
digital feminist work. Nevertheless, my study is important to the larger field of Writing Studies
because I provide a rich picture of literate activity at a site that has not previously been studied,
and I situate that site within larger historical contexts and exigencies of digital literacy and
feminist activism, particularly in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Moreover, my
findings are useful to the field more broadly as they suggest a need for more careful attention to
how we theorize and talk about community. Additionally, my findings add to conversations about
feminist rhetorical practices employing invitational as well as persuasive strategies (Foss and
Griffin, Buchanan and Ryan), about valuing radical feminist subjectivity (Rhodes), and about
technofeminist research (Blair). My findings also add to conversations within (Blair, Gajjala, and
Tulley) and outside of (Jurgenson) the field that point out the inadequacies of digital dualism
or the false dichotomy between online and offline actions/selvesand to conversations about
digital activism, particularly as related to concerns about accessibility and sustainability.
Most recently, I have been continuing to build on my dissertation research to consider
transnational feminist rhetorical practices and theories, thanks in part to being selected to
participate in the Transnational Rhetorical Research seminar that was part of the Rhetoric
Society of Americas Summer Institute in 2015. Additionally, I have recently presented on
#FemFuture, a report two of Feministings previous editors launched just as I was preparing to
defend my dissertation (and, therefore, something that I could not consider much in my original
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research). In studying the ways online feminist action can benefit from aspects of visibility and
amplification (e.g., via a hashtag), I also caution that we need to be aware of the negative sides
of visibility and amplification, which often serve to selectively privilege white feminists.
My dissertation research and the work that grows out of that research complements my larger,
active scholarly agendaagain, demonstrating my commitment to investigating the intersections
of writing, technology, gender, and teaching. In Cyberfeminists at Play: Lessons on Literacy and
Activism from a Girls Computer Camp, published in Feminist Teacher (2011), my co-authors
and I explore these issues by presenting lessons on digital writing and identity, female agency,
and community partnerships learned from a computer camp for middle school girls that we cofacilitated for multiple years. Another of my publications that examines issues of writing,
technology, and teaching, though not gender explicitly, is the recent Pedagogy article Writing
Teachers for Twenty-First Century Writers: A Gap in Graduate Education. This co-authored
article reports on the findings of a national survey on technological pedagogy preparation for
graduate students teaching college writing. My co-authors and I look forward to following up on
this study soon with more in-depth, site-specific research.
In addition to these publications, I regularly present on issues of gender, technology, writing, and
teaching at national and regional conferences such as the Conference on College Composition
and Communication, Feminisms and Rhetorics, the National Council of Teachers of Englishs
annual convention, the regional convention of the American Association of University Women,
and the (un)conference hosted by the Michigan State University Writing in Digital
Environments Research Center and the Eastern Michigan University Written Communication
Program (WIDE-EMU). Additionally, I have presented on writing, teaching, gender, and
technology in a campus workshop on feminist pedagogy and in invited talks. Additional ways I
maintain my active scholarly agenda is by serving as an assistant editor for Computers &
Composition and as a section editor for the Theory into Practice section of Computers &
Composition Online, which I have been doing since 2010 and 2011, respectively. I also served
as an Acquisitions Editor for the Research Exchange (REx), which allowed me to contact fellow
scholars about their writing research and to play a role in shaping the first edition of RExs peerreviewed digital publication.

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