My current research trajectory attends to the material infrastructures that underpin writing and rhetoric in an age of big data, ubiquitous computing, and proprietary platforms. I am especially interested in how such infrastructures—which are often believed to be neutral, immaterial, and/or apolitical—contribute to disparities within particular communities and landscapes. The commitments of my current research agenda extend from my published body of work in digital rhetoric, circulation studies, and public writing. Much of this work grapples with a tension in digital rhetoric. Whereas one thread of my research traces how digital circulation is vital for civic particpation, advocacy, and/or activist work, another thread demonstrates how such circulation relies on technological infrastructures that often exploit community-driven labor and further perpetuate structural inequalities. Woven together, these research threads are committed to designing and advocating for more just digital worlds. My research has appeared in Computers and Composition, Computers and Composition Online, Enculturation, Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, Rhetoric Review, and several edited collections.
Digital Damage and Rhetorical Invention at the End of Worlds
Though it may be common to locate digital rhetoric as a practice and theory related to digital texts and performances (often studied at the level of screen, interface, and text), Digital Damage and Rhetorical Invention at the End of Worlds works to broaden apertures of analysis to consider how “the digital” is entangled with land, water, and other more-than-human relations. Drawing on cultural rhetorics and feminist science studies perspectives on story, the project tells a rush of stories that focus on the precarity of digital-material landscapes in New Mexico (Facebook's Los Lunas Data Center and the Chino Copper Mine). By dwelling with digital damage in these places, I relay stories about the digital's entanglement with a range of issues: water rights, climate patterns, forced relocations, colonial violences, species extinctions, techno-optimist discourses, state infrastructures, and much more. Telling such stories is important for digital rhetoric, I argue, because it allows scholars to (a) bear witness to damage as it manifests in ecologies that are often distanced from everyday acts of digital composing; (b) enlarge theoretical understandings of digital rhetoric by focusing on the deep material ecologies in which digital information circulates, accretes, and decays; and (c) consider ways to invent new ethical response-abilities in the age of the Anthropocene.