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I am a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Composition at Texas Christian University.

My dissertation, Algorithmic Identification: Predictive Technology, Agency, and Inequality, develops 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. Using a case study framework, I investigate how algorithms manipulate, impede, and commodify identification among individuals and groups to highlight the harm, particularly for underrepresented and marginalized people, caused by increased algorithmic influence and decreased individual agency. By drawing on work from feminist theory, critical media studies, and critical code studies, I develop a transdisciplinary interrogation of the impact of algorithmic identification in public, corporate, and governmental spheres and offer potential pedagogical and practical interventions to evade and expose the network of digital surveillance that surrounds the web. 

My focus on online inequality is part of a larger scholarly commitment to addressing social justice issues within rhetoric and composition. My work intersects and traverses digital cultural rhetoric, translingual pedagogy, antiracist writing assessment, and disability rhetoric with each building on and informing one another.

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 w [dot] l [dot] james [at] tcu [dot] edu.

Curriculum Vitae

Download a PDF version.


PhD in Rhetoric and Composition (expected May 2021)

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


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

” Risk and Reward: Cyberprotest, Curation Algorithms, and Data Surveillance.” Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities. Edited by Sid Dobrin. [invited contributor]

“Translingual, Antiracist Writing Assessment at a PWI.” Engaging Students in Writing Assessment: Opportunities for Antiracism, Equity, and Agency. Edited by Kristin DeMint Bailey and Asao B. Inoue. [accepted]

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

Online Articles

“Becoming Digital Cultural Rhetoric: An Interview with Angela Haas.” Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative. [forthcoming]

“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

“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/.

Teaching Experience

Texas Christian University

ENGL 20803 Writing Argument: Implicit Arguments (Fall 2019)

ENGL 10803 Writing as Inquiry: True Crime Case Studies (Fall 2020)

ENGL 10803 Writing as Inquiry (Fall 2017, Spring 2018)

TCU Extended Ed: Building Your First Website or Blog, Ages 11-75 (Spring 2019)

TCU Summer Camp: Movie Making, Grades 6-12 (Summer 2017, 2018, 2019)

Emerson College

WR 121 Research Writing: Community Literacy (service learning course) (Spring 2016)

WR 121 Research Writing: Politics of Language (Spring 2015)

WR 121 Research Writing: The Magazine (Spring 2014)

WR 101 Writing Studies I (Fall 2015)

WR 101 Introduction to College Writing (Fall 2013 and 2014)

Summer Discovery at Emerson: Introduction to College Writing, International, Grades 9-12 (Summer 2015)

Summer Discovery at Emerson: Magazine Writing, International, Grades 9-12 (Summer 2015)

Wheelock College

ENGL 121 Critical Reading and Writing II: Food for Thought (Spring and Fall 2015)

ENGL 120 Critical Reading and Writing I: Monsters and the Monstrous (Spring 2016)

ENGL 120 Critical Reading and Writing I: Language Across Cultures (Fall 2014)

Literacy Tutor (2014-2015)

Boston Architectural College

Writing Consultant (2014-2015)

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


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

Texas Christian University

Instructional Development Grant Committee (2018-Present)

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)

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.

Awards. Grants, and Fellowships


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

Texas Christian University

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)

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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