Researcher

Digital Cultural Rhetorics • Translingual Pedagogy • Antiracist Writing Assessment • Disability Rhetoric

“I am asking for a deeper consideration of the civic purpose of our positions in the academy, of what we do with our knowledge, for whom, and by what means.”

Ellen Cushman

On Research

My scholarship is rooted in a desire to develop knowledge that is socially just and makes a tangible impact on the lived experiences of individuals inside and outside the academy. Taking up the challenge posed by Ellen Cushman, I deeply consider the civic purpose of my research.

Broadly, my research is focused on addressing inequality with commitments to four main subdisciplines: digital cultural rhetorics, translingual pedagogy, antiracist writing assessment, and disability rhetoric. My work in both digital cultural rhetorics and disability rhetoric has focused on producing and distributing public scholarship as a form of scholarly activism. Translingual pedagogy and antiracist writing assessment are essential to my pedagogical style and scholarship as I work to address inequality in the field of rhetoric and composition.

As a researcher, I adopt a range of methods and methodologies, including qualitative analysis, close reading, self-study, and corpus methods. Much of my scholarship, such as the Translanguaging TCU and the Women’s Disability Activism projects, is publicly accessible and distributed digitally. My dissertation will also take digital form.

Through my scholarship, I hope to embody bell hooks’ definition of praxis: “action and reflection upon the world in order to change it.”

Digital Cultural Rhetorics

My approach to digital cultural rhetorics is highly informed by the work of Angela Haas, Collin Gifford Brooke, and Stuart Selber. I believe all writing is digital. I believe technology both unifies and divides us. And I believe that scholars and students need to critically engage with technology, particularly Western technologies, as instruments of power.

My dissertation takes up these issues by examining how predictive algorithms impact online interactions. Because predictive algorithms are opaque (and well guarded by corporations and governments) and the Internet is used for a range of sociological purposes, I adopt a case study methodology and multiple methods. In a corpus analysis of the Disability March, I argue that strong interpersonal identification can occur in online spaces, despite the ways that predictive algorithms create offline and online inequality. Through the use of Twitter bots, I attempt to understand how predictive algorithms contribute to social media echo chambers through an exchange of identification between individuals and recommendation algorithms thereby exacerbating existing inequality. And, finally, I interview predictive marketers to interrogate how they conceptualize their roles in targeted advertising, a practice that uses predictive algorithms to differentiate, sort, and profile individuals without their consent. 

My I hope to publish my dissertation as public scholarship. At present, I’ve written a Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Blog Carnival about the Disability March as a meta-cyberprotest. A chapter about my use of Twitter Bots for digital rhetoric research is forthcoming in Crystal VanKooten and Victor Del Hierro’s edited collection Methods and Methodologies for Research In Digital Writing and Rhetoric.

In 2018-2019, I was a Graduate Fellow for the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative. My experience working with the DRC helped develop my commitment to digital cultural rhetoric. During my time at the DRC, I helped organize reviews for Watson 2018, MLA 2019, CCCC 2019. Inspired by Watson 2018, Lauren Garske and I co-authored an experimental, multimodal piece titled “A Watson Think-Practice on Digital Embodiment.” I also co-authored a review of ATLAS.ti’s coding software with Angela Glotfelter.

Translingual Pedagogy

I like to say that I was “raised on translingual pedagogy” because I was introduced to the field of rhetoric and composition by John Trimbur. When I attended Emerson College, John had recently published “Language Difference in Writing: Toward a Translingual Approach” with Bruce Horner, Min-Zhan Lu, and Jacqueline Jones Royster and translingualism is ingrained in my approach to rhetoric and composition.

Under John’s direction, I took a directed study that focused on linguistic inequality in higher education. My capstone project, “Academic Discourse and Mobility: Movement Between the Periphery and Center,” drew on the work of sociolinguists Suresh Canagrajah and Jan Blommaert to examine the circulation, or lack thereof, of academic publications from the center to the periphery. In particular, I drew on Canagarajah’s A Geopolitics of Academic Writing, which discusses the academic literacy practices of Sri Lankans at the University of Kelaniya.

In an effort to bring translingual pedagogy to Texas Christian University, I created Translanguaging TCU, a website that introduces translingual theory and provides pedagogical tools for those who wish to adopt a translingual approach to language difference in the composition classroom.

I’ve also consistently presented on my tranlingual pedagogy. My first CCCC presentation in 2016 focused on my use of literacy narratives in first-year composition courses, which was informed by translingual theory: “Literacy Narratives, Genre Awareness, and Transfer: A Case Study.” I also presented at TCU’s pre-semester workshop for graduate students on “Responding to Student Writing and Socially Just Writing Assessment.” In recent years, I’ve begun to theorize the connections between translingual pedagogy and antiracist writing assessment.

Antiracist Writing Assessment

Along with my commitment to translingual pedagogy, I research and practice antiracist writing assessment. For me, antiracist writing assessment can only be achieved through translingual pedagogy. I refer to my work as I “translingual, antiracist writing pedagogy and assessment.”

At CCCC 2019, I presented the results of a self-study of my assessment practices: “Enacting Translingual, Antiracist Writing Assessment.” Through critically studying my own responses to student writing, I found that while a translingual orientation toward language might result in more equitable commenting, only drastically revising writing assignments and assessment can we move toward antiracist writing assessment.

In light of my self-study, I have shifted toward student self-assessment for major writing projects. A chapter on my efforts, “Translingual, Antiracist Self-Assessment at a PWI,” has recently been accepted to Kristin DeMint Bailey and Asao B. Inoue’s edited collection Engaging Students in Writing Assessment: Opportunities for Antiracism, Equity, and Agency. Building on Jerry Won Lee and Asao Inoue’s work, I describe my implementation of a combination of self-assessment and completion-based ungrading. The chapter also discusses my positionality as a graduate student of color at the PWI and the increased scrutiny I experienced for using self-assessment ungrading.

Disability Rhetoric

My interest in disability rhetoric and Disability Studies comes from my overall focus on addressing inequality and focuses on disability activism, particularly digital activism. For one of my seminars, I created the Women’s Disability Activism Timeline, which chronicles some of the most influential disabled women activist in the United States.

The first case study in my dissertation looks at the Disability March, which was a digital march that coincided with the Women’s March on Washington in 2017 and 2018. The Disability March organizers and participants actively critiqued able-bodied expectations and ableism in social activism and served as a space for disabled women to claim multiply marginalized identities. I contributed to a DRC Blog Carnival analyzing the Disability March as a “meta-cyberprotest.”

I’m also interested in applications for Social Security Disability Insurance as a form of self-advocacy and claiming disability identity, albeit in a hostile, bureaucratic, neoliberal context. Much of my theorizing in this area comes from my experience helping my mother apply for SSDI.

As an ally to the disabled community and temporarily able-bodied person, I work at the intersections of disability rhetoric and Disability Studies, but recognize the need to center the disabled voices and scholarship over my own.

“Nothing About Us Without Us”

Teacher

Equity • Agency • Transparency

“The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom.”

bell hooks

On Teaching

My teaching is informed by critical pedagogy, translingual pedagogy, and antiracist writing assessment. My teaching philosophy can be summed up in three terms: equity, agency, and transparency.

Equity: By equity, I do not mean “fairness” across all groups or treating everyone “the same.” Instead, equitable pedagogy means centering the voices and perspectives of individuals how have been and continue to be marginalized. My course content, assignments, and discussions seek to displace historically privileged voices. My courses are designed for all students to thrive, rather than survive.

Agency: Student agency is essential to student learning. In as many ways as possible, I give students agency in my courses, from choosing their own research topics to assessing their own work. I seek to recognize students’ home languages and knowledges as assets, rather than deficits.

Transparency: Transparency means clearly articulating my pedagogical goals and personal commitments to students as well as rendering transparent and visible the power structures within and beyond the classroom and academy.

Through equity, agency, and transparency, I hope to move toward education as a practice of freedom. Because these are continuing labors, rather than accomplished deeds, I am constantly revising my courses and pedagogies.

Texas Christian University

As a graduate student at TCU, I have taught several versions of the required writing courses. ENGL 10803 is for first-year students and focuses on writing as an inquiry process. ENGL 20803 is for second-year and above students and focuses on writing arguments. Both courses are writing workshops that emphasize drafting, revision, and peer response.

Courses Taught:

Emerson College

I began my teaching career at Emerson College under the guidance of John Trimbur, who introduced me to translingual pedagogy and theory. Over the course of my three years teaching at Emerson, I taught several variations of the WR 101: Writing I (previously Introduction to College Writing) and WR 121: Research Writing. Emerson’s First Year Writing program focused on a genre-based approach to the teaching of writing and emphasized writing for public audiences.

Courses Taught:

Wheelock College

During my time at Emerson, I also taught writing at Wheelock College, which has since become Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Wheelock’s writing program consisted of theme-based critical reading and writing courses.

Courses Taught:

Wheelock College

During my time at Emerson, I also taught writing at Wheelock College, which has since become Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Wheelock’s writing program consisted of theme-based critical reading and writing courses.

Courses Taught:

Summer Camps

TCU Summer Camps

TCU Summer Camps are day camps for young members of the Forth Worth and Dallas community. For three summers, I co-taught a filmmaking course where students wrote, produced, and edited their own short films.

Summer Discovery at Emerson College

Summer Discovery is a private program that allows high school students from around the country and globe to begin exploring a college education. In Summer 2015, I taught two writing-focused courses.

Administrator

“We ain’t just internally colonized, we’re internally jailed. As Alexander reminds us, and we likely feel each day, the overdetermined nature of racism explains why we can change or eliminate one unfair thing in a system, or school, or classroom—such as our curriculum or our bodies’ presence—yet still find that our students of color struggle and fail—even when we are there to help them, showing them that others like them have made it.”

Asao B. Inoue

On Administration

Multiply marginalized and underrepresented scholars are in a difficult bind when it comes to higher education, especially administration, as suggested by Asao Inoue’s CCCC 2018 Keynote. Although becoming institutional leaders and administrators can bring much needed change to institutions, patriarchal and racist systems often prevail.

In my administrative work, I have attempted to make those institutions more welcoming, accessible, socially just, and equitable. As the Administrative Researcher for TCU’s English Department, I focused on addressing inequity in the department through inclusive pedagogy, support for graduate students of color, and more equitable faculty service distribution. As the Assistant Director of TCU’s Center for Digital Expression, I developed programming and in-class tutorials to make digital composing as accessible possible to a wide range of teachers and students.

In administrative work, I attempt center the needs of multiply marginalized and underrepresented people and to advocate on their behalf while recognizing the binds of institutional racism, patriarchy, and ableism.

Administrative Researcher

As the Administrative Researcher for TCU’s English Department, I worked with the Department Chair and Associate Chair on special, short-term research projects designed to help foster equity and inclusivity in the department.

Inclusive Pedagogy Library: Curated a collection of resources on inclusive pedagogy addressing topics including accessibility and universal design, assessment, content warnings, intersectionality, linguistic diversity, and microaggressions.

Resources on Supporting Graduate Students of Color: Compiled resources on supporting graduate students of color to help guide administrators as they develop more and better support structures within the department.

Research on Equitable Faculty Service Distribution: Conducted research and wrote an executive summary to help inform adjustments to the department’s distribution and assessment of faculty service.

In addition to these projects, I assisted the Director of Undergraduate Studies with creating promotional materials for the department’s undergraduate majors and minors.

Assistant Director, TCU’s Center for Digital Expression

As the Assistant Director of TCU’s Center for Digital Expression I managed the daily operations of the center, including all programming, promotions and social media, and coordinating with affiliated groups, and conducted in-class tutorials.

  • Developed and organized all CDEx programming, including scholarship and pedagogy roundtables and Just 3 Things tutorials
  • Conducted in-class tutorials on podcasting, video production, digital portfolios, and presentation design for instructors in English, anthropology, communication, nursing and health sciences, history, dance, and business
  • Created and circulated promotional materials for all events and services
  • Curated social media content (Twitter and Facebook)
  • Co-ran the Coding Club group, a humanities-focused coding group
  • Coordinated with the Digital Humanities Interest Group

GlobalEX Digital Liaison

I worked with the GlobalEX program, a cocurriculuar, writing intensive program for international and domestic TCU students, as a Digital Liaison for TCU’s Center for Digital Expression. In this role, I provided administrative and technological support for the program, developing a website and program documents for GlobalEX and assisting student participants with digital projects.

Following my formal work with GlobalEX, I collaborated with Jacquelyn Hoermann-Elliott, Sarah Ruffing Robbins, and Meagan Gacke Reed to theorize our administrative work with GlobalEX. As a product of that collaboration, we co-authored a “Program Profile” for Composition Forum. In our profile, “Collaborative Tactics in a Globally Focused Cocurricular Writing Program,” we “assert that writing-oriented learning activities within Texas Christian University’s (TCU) GlobalEX program were productively positioned to enable students to engage with other cultures and hone skills for becoming intercultural navigators.” The profile focuses on three successful features of the program: (1) writing reflectively within flexible structures arranged to support learning through progressive stages, (2) capitalizing on multimodal composing genres conducive to collaboration, and (3) situating writing in public contexts without the individual pressure of grades.

Community Member

“Rhetoric and composition are social and political. Our practices move people in and out of relational spheres inhabited by others. Within academic spaces, institutionalized communication permits some to enter privileged spaces at the expense of those who are pushed out. I would rather move the assumed center point of academic community out of the way to make room for a multiplicity of rhetorical orientations. In plain terms, we must move beyond acknowledging bodily diversity and its value as mere trademark to becoming active makers of spaces that accommodate diverse experiences in print and in person.”

Christina V. Cedillo

On Service

For me, service and community membership as a rhetoric and composition scholar includes participation in national, institutional, department, and local organizations.

Most of my service has been focused on making space for underrepresented and oppressed bodies and voices in white, male, heterosexual, able-bodied institutions, as called for by Christina V. Cedillo. While I am committed to advocating for myself and others, I also understand that institutional service is disproportionally completed by underrepresented and oppressed people. “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) efforts at institutions are a particularly fraught service location for scholars of color. These efforts are ostensibly in the service of marginalized groups and often draw on scholars of color as tokens of progress. However, as Cedillo states, we need to move beyond efforts to simply recognize and value diversity to actually making space for diversity beyond assimilation and tokenization.

In the future, I look forward to focusing my service efforts on making equitable space for multiple marginalized and underrepresented groups and to foster more connections with transnational and global efforts.

National

I’ve just begun my contributions to the national rhetoric and composition community. I regularly attend the Conference on College Composition and Communication, where I have presented on literacy narratives, community writing programs, and translingual/antiracist writing assessment, and attended the Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America in 2018, where I presented on the Disability March.

Through connections developed at CCCC and RSA, I was selected to serve as the Digital Media Coordinator for the Asian/Asian American Caucus of CCCC from 2018-2020. In this role I worked with the AAAC leadership to guide the caucus and contributed to the AAAC website.

As a Graduate Fellow for the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, my of my work focused on inviting individuals to participate in the collaborative. I worked with other Graduate Fellows to organize reviews for Watson 2018, MLA 2019, CCCC 2019. Through these reviews, other scholars were able to contribute to the DRC and conference presentations on digital rhetoric were shared with those who could not attend.

Texas Christian University

At the institutional level, I was elected to the Graduate Student Senate as the Vice President of Student Engagement for the 2017-2018 academic year. I also served on the Vision In Action: Lead On Committee, a strategic planning committee tasked with providing recommendations for the advancement of the university, and the graduate student subcommittee of the Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies Graduate Certificate committee. Currently, I serve on the Instructional Development Grant committee, which provides recommendations to the Associate Provost for Research regarding grants to develop new or revise existing courses.

Within the English Department, I have been active community member serving on a range of committees, student groups, and job searches. The majority of my work has been related to diversity and inclusion with the goal of furthering the department’s efforts to be more equitable. I served on the  Graduate Student Diversity Committee, DEI Working Group: Policies and Procedures, and was the DEI Representative on the Composition Committee. I was also the graduate student representative on the Radford Job Search Committee, which brought Dr. Carmen Kynard to campus. As the Vice President of TCU’s Chapter of the Rhetoric Society of America and leader of the Rhetoric and Composition Reading Group, I worked to highlight diverse and underrepresented voices.

Based on my research and pedagogy, I’ve been invited to speak at a range of departmental events and student groups. I’ve spoken about my digital cultural rhetoric scholarship at several Digital Humanities Interest Group meetings. I presented during the TCU Composition’s Pre-Semester Workshop for new graduate instructors on “Assigning and Preparing Students for Multimodal Projects” and “Socially Just Writing Assessment and Responses to Student Writing.” I also presented on grading contracts and alternative assessment practices for fellow required writing course instructors.

I’ve worked with the larger Fort Worth, TX community through existing programs such as the TCU Summer Camps and Extended Education. As the Graduate Assistant at TCU’s Center for Digital Expression, I collaborated with instructors at Paschal High School for the PiP or “Partners in Purple” event. Over one month, Paschal high school students came to the CDEx for tutorials on designing multimodal presentations (similar to TED talks). In Spring 2018, I assisted and taught tutorials and served as a judge for the finals.

Emerson College

As a graduate instructor and then adjunct at Emerson, I heavily contributed to the program by participating in a range of committees. As a member of the WR101 Task Force, I helped develop a new core curriculum for the first course in a year-long curriculum. As part of my work for the Task Force, I co-wrote a proprietary textbook—Writers and Readers: Creating Meaningful Essays and Supportive Writing Communities—with fellow instructors Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, Seven Himmer, and Molly McGillicuddy. This textbook provides the foundation for the WR101 course. The writing of this textbook was supported by the Emerson PLANS Grant and workshop, which brought together faculty from across the college who taught first-year courses.

I also served as co-chair of the FYWP Showcase Committee, a group of instructors who organize the annual showcase of student work. The Annual Showcase of Student Work, which takes place at the conclusion of the Spring semester, provides the only space for an entire class of students to gather and discuss their academic and intellectual work. Additionally, I served as a mentor to new graduate instructors and participated in the Civic Engagement Affinity Group.

Beyond Emerson, I was involved in the Boston Rhetoric and Writers Network, attending regular meetings and the Summer Institute in 2014 and 2015. I started presenting at local and regional rhetoric and composition and English Studies conferences, including NEMLA and the University of Connecticut Conference on the Teaching of Writing. I also worked with the local community through my service-learning course, Community Literacy, and connected students with local literacy-based organizations, Writers Without Margins and 826 Boston and helped establish a literacy-based workshop at Hale House.