Speaker Event Recap: Professor Patrick Jagoda

The Digital Writing and Research Lab’s speaker series consistently brings talented scholars working at the intersections of rhetoric, technology studies, and digital humanities, to the University of Texas to present their research. In February of 2017, The DWRL hosted Patrick Jagoda, associate professor at the University of Chicago. Dr. Jagoda works in the fields of new media studies and twenty-first century American literature and culture. More specifically, his research deals with electronic literature, video games, virtual words and the cultural …

Workshop Recap: R and Twitter

Lars Hinrichs, pictured center, leads the workshoppers through an intro to the language of R.

In the first workshop of the fall semester, Lars Hinrichs brought his knowledge of English Language and Linguistics to the DWRL for an introduction to R and Twitter. While Twitter’s reputation certainly preceded itself, the workshop began with an introduction to R — a necessary introduction for those of us unfamiliar with current research practices in the digital humanities. As a programming language, R is an open-source tool for statistical analysis and visualization. For a range of scholars interested in …

The Rhetoric of the Digital Marketplace: Yelp

yelp logo

We all did it. We all used Yelp. If you want to find out, if this Italian restaurant is in fact a good choice for Valentine’s day, Yelp has an answer. Or if you are in a new city and don’t really know which bar or coffee shop to go to, Yelp knows! Or even when you are looking for a hotel or dentist in another country, Yelp reviewers have already been there and offer advice. Today, Yelp has become …

Invisible Knowledge

Screenshot shows that "trump meme" is the top result.

Since you’re reading this online publication, I imagine that you, like me, leave hundreds of digital traces every day. A lot of these traces are things we can see–things like emails, texts, blog posts, twitter posts, photographs, Youtube comments, or Facebook likes. But today I’m particularly interested in the invisible, unintentional digital traces we leave–things like records of our internet searches and website visits, or the location data that logs our movements and phone calls. There’s knowledge in the invisible …

We Need to Talk About Credibility

Clickbait article from conservative news site Freedom Daily titled Muslims See a Christmas Tree, Then Start Attacking It!

Last week I hid someone from my Facebook news feed. We’ve all done it, and I’m sure people have done it to me. I was tired of seeing things that I found obnoxious or insipid or offensive or false or all of the above, and rather than unfriend them, I simply silenced them. This is not something I make a habit of, but it’s amazing how easy it is to block out what you don’t want to see. It literally …

Lesson Plan: Thyncing about Technology & Emotion

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) has been accepted within medical fields as an effective and safe form of treatment for depression, anxiety and insomnia. Recently, there have been multiple personal-use devices released that appropriate these neuroscientific findings and are being marketed as a way of combating stress, anxiety and insomnia that is safer and more effective than prescription medication or substance use (coffee, alcohol etc). Thync is the first such device that is wearable, portable and controlled through an iOS app, …

Scandals and the Digital Code in the Presidential Race

Commentators have identified the campaign leading up to today’s presidential election as unlike any that have come before, asking questions like — has this election been shaped by debates about personality rather than political content? Has it been more about moral scandals than past campaigns? Are labels such as “abuser,” “criminal,” “hater,” and “devil” part of a rational discourse between professional politicians? But there’s something else novel about this campaign: digital media such as Twitter and Facebook have never played …

The language of lying

A wooden Pinocchio puppet, long nose pointing to the right.

If rhetoric is the art of persuasion, one might see lying as one of the most sophisticated – though not noble – rhetorical activities. Lying is, after all, persuading someone to believe in something that the speaker knows not to be true. How do we do that?

Cool Tools: Interactive Mapping with Google Fusion Tables

A close-up of a topographical map with a number of yellow sticky notes attached to it. The notes have different people's handwriting on them.

Today, I want to introduce a cool tool I have recently discovered: Google Fusion Tables. The basic idea is simple but powerful: the program will take any spreadsheet it is given, look for geolocation information in it, and display the individual items in the sheet on a map.