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Introducing Our Fall 2015 Research Priorities: Activist Twitter and Race

DWRL Staff

Social Media

Sillhoeutte of a person walking a dog while looking at a phone. The person and the dog are shadows against a reddish brick wall.

The Research Priority for Social Media in 2015 is ‘Activist Twitter and Race’. Twitter has emerged as a significant site for activism and activist rhetorics, and it has been an especially important nexus of Black activism. Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter, #Ferguson, #IfIDieInPoliceCustody, and #ICantBreathe, among others, have drawn attention to stories and social inequities that traditional news outlets fail to address.

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Introducing our Fall 2015 Research Priorities: Augmented Reality

DWRL Staff

Locative Media

Google cardboard headset on a table

Our 2015 Priority in Locative Media is Augmented Reality. Mobile interfaces—including but not limited to smartphones and wearable devices—allow information and sensory experience to be layered over the physical-geographic world, mediating and supplementing users’ perceptions of ‘reality’, space, and place. Given the increased prevalence of such technologies and intense recent interest in rhetorics of space and place, such additions to the lived environment afford rich possibilities for rhetorical scholarship and instruction.

Introducing Our Fall 2015 Research Priorities: Typography

DWRL Staff

Multimodal Writing

Image showing a collection of movable type pieces

In the 2015-2016 academic year, researchers in the Multimodal Writing Research Area will research modern typography and explore the technological, pedagogical, and theoretical relevance of typography to digital rhetorics. The proliferation of design technologies give users an increasing opportunity to make design choices; typography, sometimes assumed to be rhetorically neutral, in fact represents an important set of rhetorically-charged design choices.

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Introducing Our Research Areas: Social Media

DWRL Staff

Social Media

Image showing a graffiti version of the Facebook "Like" Button, with one like

In recent years, social media websites have become increasingly popular venues for rhetorical exchange as well as social and political engagement. They have also attracted the attention of teachers and researchers interested in writing in digital environments.

Introducing Our Research Areas: Multimodal Writing

DWRL Staff

Multimodal Writing

Stacks of white Scrabble tiles, with blue letters

The Multimodal Writing research area is founded on the assumption that all writing is already multimodal—even traditional or analog writing. “Multimodal writing,” then, is not simply the practice of remediating text or supplementing it with additional media; rather, the DWRL sees “multimodality” as being at the core of writing itself—a potential site of interaction between analog and digital writing technologies and between human and nonhuman actors.

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Introducing Our Research Areas: Locative Media

DWRL Staff

Locative Media

Image showing a large grouping of multicolored pins in a map

Locative media is spatial rhetoric’s digital turn—or, thinking spatially, the digital end of the spatial rhetorics spectrum. With the rise of location-aware technologies and media forms, online and geographic worlds have converged: our online worlds move with us through geographic space thanks to web-capable mobile devices, while ever-more fine-grained geographic data becomes an integral part of online texts and networks.

Introducing Our Research Areas: Games

DWRL Staff

Games

Image showing a vintage game joystick

Digital games are always laden with values: they make assumptions about players’ bodies and beliefs as well as race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability. Games invite their players to identify with these assumptions in order to succeed. But players can also resist a game’s procedural rhetorics, sometimes learning more from the resulting friction than from winning. In the Games research area, staff members consider how these frictions may represent useful sites of research and pedagogy for digital rhetoricians.

Introducing Our Research Areas: Digital Archiving

DWRL Staff

Digital Archiving

Image showing a traditional archive containing many manilla document folders

Archival theories and practices have long been central to scholarship on rhetorical history. With the emergence of technologies in digital archiving, however, and as rhetorical scholars have become involved in the construction of digital archives and exhibits, we increasingly recognize archives themselves as rhetorical entities.