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I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in the University Writing Program and Affiliated Faculty of the Initiative on Race and Resilience at the University of Notre Dame.

My research and teaching are committed to addressing inequality within and beyond rhetoric and composition as a discipline and practice. My work intersects and traverses digital cultural rhetorics, translingual pedagogy, antiracist writing assessment, and disability rhetorics, each building on and informing one another.

My dissertation, Algorithmic Identification: Predictive Technology, Agency, and Inequality, developed a digital cultural rhetorics critique of predictive algorithms that reproduce and reinforce existing inequalities, ultimately calling on academics, activists, and the public to organize for increased ethics, transparency, and accountability. My project received the inaugural Outstanding Dissertation Award at Texas Christian University. Portions of this research are forthcoming in edited collections on research methods for digital rhetoric and artificial intelligence with the humanities.

To learn about my thoughts on and experience in research, teaching, administration, and service, see the sections below. Use the navigation arrows at the right and left to move to the next slide in each section. You can also view the content as a single document here.

I can be reached at wjames3 [at] nd [dot] edu.

Curriculum Vitae

Download a PDF version.


PhD in Rhetoric and Composition

Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX

MA in Publishing and Writing

Emerson College, Boston, MA    

BA in Comparative Literature, with Honors

University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA


Assistant Teaching Professor, University Writing Program, University of Notre Dame (2021-Present)

Affiliate Faculty, Initiative on Race and Resilience, University of Notre Dame (2021-Present)

Writing Instructor of Record, First-Year Writing Program, Emerson College (2014-2016)

Writing Instructor of Record, Department of English, Wheelock College (2014-2016)

Writing Consultant, Learning Resource Center, Boston Architectural College (2014-2015)


Journal Articles

“Tracking a Cocurricular Writing Program: Reflective Composing for a Globally Focused Writing Initiative at Texas Christian University.” Composition Forum, vol. 42, 2019, http://compositionforum.com/issue/42/tcu.php. Co-author with Jackie Hoermann-Elliott, Sarah Ruffing Robbins, and Meagan Gacke.

Book Chapters

“Dissertating as Activism: Kairos, Social Justice, and the Academy.” Getting to the Finish Line: New Directions for the Dissertation Process. Edited by Kristina Reardon, Courtney Ferriter, and Gretchen Busl, Modern Language Association of America. [accepted]

“Risk versus Reward: Social Media Activism, Recommendation Systems, and Data Surveillance.” Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities. Edited by Sid Dobrin. [invited contributor]

“Studying Unknown Unknowns.” Methods and Methodologies for Research in Digital Writing and Rhetoric. Edited by Crystal VanKooten and Victor Del Hierro, WAC Clearing House [forthcoming]

Online Articles

“The Disability March as a Meta-Cyberprotest.” Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, 2 Dec. 2019, http://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/2019/12/02/disability-march-as-meta-cyberprotest/.

“ATLAS.ti: Desktop and Cloud-based Coding Software.” Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, 26 Apr. 2019, http://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/2019/04/26/atlas-ti-desktop-and-cloud-based-coding-software/. Co-author with Angela Glotfelter.

“A Watson Think-Practice on Digital Embodiment.” Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, 3 Dec. 2018, http://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/2018/12/03/a-watson-think-practice-on-digital-embodiment/. Co-author with Lauren Garskie.

“Review: Watson Session D.12: Public Rhetorics that Matter and Digital Futures.” Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, 19 Nov. 2018, http://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/2018/11/19/watson-session-d-12-public-rhetorics-that-matter-and-digital-futures/.


Writers and Readers: Creating Meaningful Essays and Supportive Writing Communities. Emerson College, 2015. Proprietary textbook co-author with Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, Steven Himmer, and Molly McGillicuddy.

In Preparation

“Kenneth Burke and the Eugenicists: ‘Metabiology’ and ‘Efficiency’ as Anti-Eugenic.” KB Journal.

Conference Presentations

“New Challenges for (Digital) Activism: Content Curation Algorithms and Mass Digital Surveillance.” Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America, Baltimore, MD, May 2022 [virtual]

“Inclusivity, Accessibility, and the Dissertation: Imagining a More Diverse Future for Rhetoric and Composition Scholars.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL, Mar. 2022. Speaker with Danny Rodriguez and Kayla Sparks.

“Algorithmic Identification: Burkean Identification and the Rhetoricity of Predictive Algorithms.” Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America, Portland, OR, May 2020. [conference canceled due to COVID-19]

 “Making Echo Chambers Visible: Bots, Recommendation Algorithms, and Homophily on Twitter.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Milwaukee, WI, Mar. 2020. Digital Praxis Poster. [conference canceled due to COVID-19]

“Enacting Translingual, Antiracist Writing Assessment: Reflections on and Implications of an Empirical Self-Study.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Pittsburgh, PA, Mar. 2019.

“Becoming Ethical Researchers: Graduate Students on the Messiness of Learning Research Methodologies.” Watson Conference, Louisville, KY, Oct. 2018. Speaker with Kayla A. Sparks and Sara Kelm.

“‘Unreliable Activists’: Reformulating Protest and Social Movement Theory for Disability Activism.” Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America, Minneapolis, MN, June 2018.

“Multimodality and Community Literacy in First-Year Writing.” Digital Humanities Summer Institute Colloquium, Victoria, Canada, June 2017.

“Writing as Partnership: Negotiating and Sustaining Dynamic Community Writing Projects.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, OR, Mar. 2017. Speaker with Emily Avery-Miller, Elizabeth Parfitt, and Stephen Shane.    

“Literacy Narratives, Genre Awareness, and Knowledge Transfer: A Case Study.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Houston, TX, Apr. 2016. Poster Presentation.

“Moves Toward Metacognition Through Genre Theory in First-Year Writing.” Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference, Hartford, CT, March 2016. Speaker with Peter Medeiros.

“Using Genre Studies and Rhetorical Analysis to Evaluate Student Writing.” Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference, Hartford, CT, Mar. 2016. Roundtable.

“Digital, Experiential Writing in Composition Courses.” University of Connecticut Conference on the Teaching of Writing, Storrs, CT, Mar. 2016. Speaker with Emily Avery-Miller, Elizabeth Parfitt, and Stephen Shane.

Digital Scholarship

Translanguaging TCU: Exploring a Translingual Approach to Language Difference in Composition. Dec. 2017, http://www.whitneylewjames.com/translanguaging-tcu/.

Women’s Disability Activism: A Timeline. Dec. 2017, http://whitneylewjames.com/disability-activism/.

Courses Taught

University of Notre Dame

WR 13300: Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric

Texas Christian University

ENGL 20803 Writing Argument: Implicit Arguments

ENGL 10803 Writing as Inquiry: True Crime Case Studies

ENGL 10803 Writing as Inquiry

TCU Extended Ed: Building Your First Website or Blog, Ages 11-75

TCU Summer Camp: Movie Making, Grades 6-12

Emerson College

WR 121 Research Writing: Community Literacy (designated service learning course)

WR 121 Research Writing: Politics of Language

WR 121 Research Writing: The Magazine

WR 101 Writing Studies I

WR 101 Introduction to College Writing

Summer Discovery at Emerson: Introduction to College Writing, International, Grades 9-12

Summer Discovery at Emerson: Magazine Writing, International, Grades 9-12

Wheelock College

ENGL 121 Critical Reading and Writing II: Food for Thought

ENGL 120 Critical Reading and Writing I: Monsters and the Monstrous

ENGL 120 Critical Reading and Writing I: Language Across Cultures

Administrative Experience

Administrative Researcher, TCU English Department (2019-2010)

Assistant Director, TCU Center for Digital Expression (2018-2019)

Graduate Assistant and GlobalEX Liaison, TCU Center for Digital Expression (2017-2018)

Service and Committee Work


Associate Editor, Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2022

Digital Media Coordinator, Asian/Asian American Caucus of CCCC (2018-2020)

Associate Editor, Best of Independent Rhetoric & Composition Journals 2017

University of Notre Dame

Mentor, College of Arts and Letters Mentorship Pilot Program (2021-Present)

Co-Leader, University Writing Program Dialogue Groups (2021-Present)

Texas Christian University

Instructional Development Grant Committee (2018-2021)

Mentor, TCU Writing Program (2020-2021)

DEI Representative, Composition Committee (2019-2020)

Vice President, RSA TCU Chapter (2019-2020)

Leader, Rhet/Comp Reading Group (2019-2020)

English Department DEI Working Group: Policies and Procedures (Spring 2019)

Graduate Student Mentor (2018-2019)

Radford Search Committee (Fall 2018)

Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies Graduate Certificate Committee (2017-2018)

Vision In Action: Lead On Committee (2017-2018)

Vice President of Student Engagement, Graduate Student Senate (2017-2018)

English Department Graduate Student Diversity Committee (2016-2017)

Emerson College

FYWP WR 101 Task Force (2015-2016)

Group Lead, FYWP Mentor Groups (2015-2016)

Co-Chair, FYWP Showcase Committee (2014-2016)

Civic Engagement Affinity Group (2014-2016)

Guest Instructor, emersonWRITES (Dec 2013)

Awards. Grants, and Fellowships


Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Graduate Fellow (2018-2019)

Texas Christian University

Outstanding Dissertation Award—Texas Christian University (2021)

Outstanding Dissertation Award—Addran College of the Liberal Arts (2021)

Outstanding Graduate Student—Rhetoric and Composition, Years 3-5 (2020)

Tate Prize in Composition Studies (2019)

Outstanding Graduate Student—Rhetoric and Composition, Years 3-5 (2019)

Outstanding Graduate Student—Rhetoric and Composition, Years 1-2 (2018)

New Media and Digital Humanities Microgrant (2018)

Stipend to Attract Remarkable Students (2016-2019)

Radford Fellowship (2016-2017)

Emerson College

Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow (2015)

PLANS for Literacy Grant (2015)

Dean’s Fellowship (2012-2013)

Invited Talks

“Contract Grading and Alternative Assessment Practices.” Teaching Conversations for TCU’s Composition Program, Nov. 2019.

“Publishing Your Final Projects.” Winifred Bryan Horner Society, Oct. 2019.

“Activist Digital Scholarship Roundtable.” Digital Humanities Interest Group, Oct. 2019.

“Socially Just Writing Assessment and Responses to Student Writing.” Pre-Semester Workshop for TCU Composition Program, Aug. 2019.

“Demystifying the Exams Process.” Winifred Bryan Horner Society, Oct. 2018.

“Creating Digital Portfolios.” Graduate Introduction to Comparative Race and Ethic Studies, CRES: 60003, Sept. 2018.

“Assigning and Preparing Students for Multimodal Projects.” Pre-Semester Workshop for TCU’s Composition Program, Aug. 2018.

“Digital Scholarship Roundtable.” Digital Humanities Interest Group, Apr. 2018.

Professional Development Training

Digital Humanities Summer Institute, Digital Public Humanities (June 2017)

Boston Rhetoric and Writing Network Summer Institute (May 2014 and 2015)

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