Blog Post

Digital Rhetoric, Tech Comm, and Cultural Studies

Hello HASTAC community! This is my first time as a HASTAC Scholar, but I’ve already discovered how awesome this group is after participating in brief conversations on the forums and reading about everyone’s work. This should be a great year!

As stated in my bio, I’m a fourth-year undergrad studying Scientific & Technical Communication at Michigan Technological University. My research interests are primarily in digital rhetoric(s), technical communication, and cultural studies. More specifically, I get excited about interfaces, user interaction, and usability within those contexts. I mean, what’s not exciting about buttons, hidden components and procedures, and systems of control?

I’m also a former Computer Science (CS) major, so I’m a Humanist who isn’t afraid to code, though I enjoy web development more than hardcore programming. Because of my CS background and geeky nature, I’m also interested in research on gaming and procedural rhetoric, critical code studies, and “CS culture.” Although I haven’t explored those particular areas in detail yet, I see a great opportunity to develop my interests in this collaborative environment and expand my knowledge of those topics.

Currently, I’m working on a research project that focuses on user-producers. For this project, I’m redesigning the graphical user interface of the Avast! WebRep browser extension to improve its usability for a wider international audience. I’m also examining how Robert Johnson’s user-centered design model applies in a remix culture of user-producers. This spring, I’ll be presenting my work, User-Centered, User-Produced: How Users Redefine Cultural Identities via Browser Extension, on a panel with Dr. Wendy Anderson and Dr. Marika Seigel at the CCCC 2012 conference. This will be my second time attending Cs, and my first conference presentation, so I’m looking forward to learning everything I can from the experience. I’m sure I’ll have multiple blog posts after the trip. Perhaps a few others from HASTAC will be in St. Louis too? It would be awesome to meet some of you in person.

In my spare time, I also blog about academia-related things and cooking.


1 comment

Thanks for your post, John. As I've written elsewhere on this site, the humanities needs people who can think like a humanist and program like a computer scientist (or geek, as you put it!). We have different needs and practices than scientists for collecting, analyzing and publishing our work. I look forward to reading your future posts and hearing about the work that you're doing.