Letter From the Director

Diane Davis

News

We’re celebrating our thirtieth anniversary this year! The Computer Research Lab (CRL), as it was initially called, was informally founded in 1985 when Professor Jerry Bump and a handful of extremely industrious graduate students armed themselves with power drills, duct tape, and a vision: by linking a makeshift “computation lab” with a classroom, they aimed to bring technological research and development together with the teaching of rhetoric, writing, and literature.

1

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.

1

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.

1

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.