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. While social media’s pedagogical and scholarly value remains an open question, its influence on students, politics, and networked relationships is undeniable; indeed, the state of and approaches to discourse around free speech, race, feminism, and digital spaces would not be what they are without social media.
Staff members in the DWRL’s Social Media research area consider a wide range of social media platforms and uses from activist to avant garde, political to pedagogical, global to hyperlocal. They both look at and participate in social media, building tools for use in social media environments and developing novel approaches to those environments.