Dissertation

"OK Sexual Health Twitter": Toward an Online Community Health Literacy of Sex

DESCRIPTION OF DISSERTATION COMING SOON

Other Project Descriptions

#Twitch #Relationality #Queer #PlatformRhetorics

"'This is My LGBT+ Community': An Examination of Queers Forming Community on Twitch"

As social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other similar online spaces allow for more people to digitally congregate around topics, hobbies, and entertainment, so too has the notion of the online world being a safe space or communal hub for likeminded people. Moreover, online life is often vital to queer worldmaking and community formation, especially for those living in rural areas. The same can be said for the playing of video games.

Thus, this project takes the following as its primary research question: How do queer gamers create safe community spaces for themselves on Twitch? Furthermore, this primary research question spins out the following subquestions: What rhetorical affordances does Twitch as a platform allow for queer gamers to create their spaces? What are the rhetorics of creating and maintaining an online queer community? This study aims to bring together two discrete approaches to studying online life. As a driving force, this study works to understand how companies such as Twitch might better incorporate into their platforms the work vulnerable communities might already do to create safe spaces for themselves.

This project is ongoing—though as a graduate student, I have not had time to stream/research much. Initailly, I was set to present on the data I collected thus far at Queerness & Games Conference 2018, but issues with my passport prevented me from traveling and presenting. I have presented on this research at the Computers & Writing 2019 conference, and am currently writing a manuscript for submission to Computers and Composition. I am also writing a piece for submission to Karios' PraxisWiki section on how to incorporate Twitch in online community research.

#Multimodality #FYW #Ecology #Land #IndigenousEpistimlogies

Composing in Flowers: Learning from Land through Multimodal Making

A commonplace in rhetoric and composition and especially in multimodal making is considering the ecologies of our lives as they contour rhetoricity and agency in the composing process. Of interest to me is the fact that land is at the epistemological base of ecological thinking, but those using the ecology commonplace have deployed land as merely a metaphor. In contradistinction, scholars drawing on Indigenous perspectives (i.e., Gabriela Raquel Ríos, Kristen Arola, Angela Haas, among others) ask us to pivot toward thinking literally about land, the environment, and place as inherently tied to who we are as people and our compositions.

In that vein, in this piece, I argue that we in rhetoric and writing need to think materially—not metaphorically—about the ecology commonplace. I also argue that our field must think materially about ecology to show how the constellative work of thinking literally about compositional materials can innervate a decolonial imaginary in rhetoric and writing writ large.

Drawing on my experience working as a florist, I outline a methodology of coincidence tied to the idea of constellating one's life through a cultural rhetorics orientation to design. Using this idea of coincidence, I detail how we in rhetoric and writing are primed to counter the settler colonial forces that seek to metaphorize land. I also offer two approaches in a first-year writing class instructors can use: multimodal work rooted in land-based design and rhetoric instruction based on learning from land based on my own knowledge of the river trails in Lansing, MI.

This piece is currently being finalized, and I had planned to present some the pedagogical aspect of the piece at CCCC 2020, but the conference was cancelled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.