UT-Austin's site for exploring

emerging digital literacies

Through WRITING, research, INSTRUCTION, HARDWARE, and theory

our services
for DWRL and UT College of Liberal Arts students and faculty

Need help with classroom tech or lab equipment? Click to read classroom procedures or file a support ticket.


Need a room for meetings, study sessions, or other small gatherings? Click to make a room reservation.


Need hardware or software for your digital projects or assignments? Click to request equipment.


Need help thinking through a programming assignment? Click to make an appointment with our code tutors.

our practices

The DWRL offers learning opportunities and support for students and faculty interested in a varied range of digital practices, projects, and pedagogies. 

Speakers and workshops focused on technology and communication.

graduate student practicum

Training and project support for graduate students in digital research and pedagogy.

digital pedagogy

Resources and guides for teaching online.

digital field methods institute

Field methods training and experience for researchers.

our team

Casey Boyle

casey boyle


Ian Ferris headshot, black and white

ian ferris

assistant director

Will Burdette image

will burdette

program coordinator

Hannah Hopkins headshot

hannah hopkins

assistant director

laura escudero

systems administrator


kimber harrison

assistant director

our mission

The Digital Writing & Research Lab (DWRL) is positioned at the intersection of rhetoric, writing, and technology, and is dedicated to the practice, teaching, and theory of emerging digital literacies. These literacies, both multiple and malleable, are a requisite part of a liberal arts education. 

our history

In the mid-1980s, a group of English graduate students at UT started drilling holes in the wall of the undergraduate library basement. They ran cable through these holes that allowed them to connect twelve computers (obtained by Dr. Jerome Bump via grant) to form a local area network. And, thus, the Computer Research Lab (CRL) was born. 

Predating the popularization of the Internet, the CRL’s network made possible some of the first digitally networked writing classrooms. With the guidance of the CRL’s first director, John Slatin,  grad student staffers developed software for writing teachers and students. A group of them eventually founded a software company called The Daedalus Group. 

The CRL was renamed the “Computer Writing and Research Lab” in the 1990s, before finally becoming the Digital Writing and Research Lab in 2010. Over the decades, work undertaken by staffers has stretched far beyond software design, creating a range of influential and award-winning research projects, publications, and scholars.