While you can find examples of my teaching and research in other parts of this website, this section highlights some of my digital making projects.
I build bots and I teach bots construction with excellent resources like Cheap Bots Done Quick. Drawing on maker manifestos such as Mark Sample’s Habermasian “bots of protest,” I analyze and built a bot of protest @Dr_Ethics_Gate with Rachael Lussos. We wrote about this bot in our Computers and Composition article available here. Students in my new media and digital rhetoric courses frequently find themselves becoming familiar with Twitter APIs for precisely these sorts of building efforts and public rhetoric projects.
Data Analysis and Data Viz
Thanks to reading a ton of Bruno Latour and participating in a truly inspiring machine learning 2016 Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute seminar led by Bill Hart-Davidson and Ryan Omizo, I’ve been become convinced that rhetorical theorists need to re-think the place of data in our research. In response, I’ve taught myself the basics of R, Python, and some other handy data analysis and visualization resources. With John Gallagher, I’ve been working on analyzing datasets of New York Times comments (and you can see some of our provisional findings in a forthcoming Technical Communication Quarterly article entitled, “Empty Templates”). I have analysis projects underway on topic modeling in Unicode’s emoji proposal archives to look at genre features patterns for successful (see the dumpling proposal) progressive emoji proposals. I’m also looking broadly at how social media relates to non-Western virtue ethics in activist causes and what Bruns and Burgess call “ad hoc” publics.
I do quite a bit with software studies in general. To the left, you can see some code lines from my Computational Culture article in which I analyze the code of the opensource videogame Freeciv and its forms of procedural rhetoric for creating “happy” (eudaimonic) citizens.
As an extension of my interest in material rhetorics, I’ve been working with critical design, critical making, and “DIY Citizenship” recently. If you’re curious, I’ve explored 3-D printing as public rhetoric (see “The Open Space”) with collaborators Lauren Mitchell (architecture) and Andrew Hurley (packaging science). With Anthony Stagliano (New Mexico St. University), we’re putting together an edited collection, Re-Programmable Rhetorics, with a GitHub repository. Each contributor to this collection is looking at how some sort of programming and physical computing platform (Arduino, Makey Makey, etc.) . For example, Aaron Beveridge and Nick Van Horn are looking at the the Raspberry Pi can be used in composition classrooms to collect social media data through the University of Florida’s MassMine project (and, related to the emoji proposal project above, my research collaborator, Kellie Gray at Mason, is trying to talk MassMine into adding emoji analytics).
Interactive Narratives and Procedural Rhetoric
In my GenEd 302 Advanced Writing classes, I teach video remediation projects for non-expect audiences. at the bare minimum to convey the idea that academic research works differently across mediums and audiences. Similarly, when I taught videogame rhetorics, my students worked with Eko Studio to explore procedural rhetoric through interactive videos. This is a sample interactive Eko Studio project that I’m developing outside of class with one of my MA students related to procedural rhetoric, habitus, and shopping.