Allegra Smith

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PhDerp at Arizona State University (rhetoric, writing, literacy) • Michigan State University Professional Writing, Rhetoric alum • #womeninTC • technofeminism, queer & sexuality studies, internet culture, intersectionality, composing identity

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I am a scholar of rhetoric and writing in digital spaces. I have been intrigued by Internet culture and technologically mediated discourse ever since my days of LiveJournal Harry Potter roleplay. Because of my upbringing as a child of the internet, my research largely examines intersectional facets of identity—gender, sexuality, race, age, class, ability—asking how these differences mediate our experiences with digital tools and interfaces, and in turn how those technologies influence the writing of our diverse selves.

This insatiable curiosity about our on- and offline lives has led to a number of recent projects, including:

  • an exploration of the evolving religious and gendered identities of the blogging practices of Mormon women;
  • master’s thesis (and accompanying poster brief) that delineates and quantifies the differences between mainstream and feminist internet pornography, expounding upon questions of shifting agency and sexualities as visibilized through digital culture;
  • a research assistantship with the Center for Research on Writing in Digital Environments (WIDE), managing data from the classrooms of 30 middle and high school English/language arts teachers from across the state of Michigan (over 1000 students!) to improve student writing by improving student feedback;
  • a research associate role in an NEH Digital Humanities Implementation Grant-funded study asking how academics archive webpages for their scholarship, which ultimately seeks to create better tools for scholars to save and share internet content;
  • a new study examining the digitally literate lives of older adults, specifically asking how and why Americans age 60+ accept or reject computer and social media technologies, or adapt them for specific purposes.***

In Fall of 2015, I will also begin teaching first-year composition at Arizona State University, as I begin PhD studies in the Department of English‘s program in Writing, Rhetorics, & Literacies as a university fellow. I received bachelor’s degrees in Professional Writing and Women’s & Gender Studies, as well as a master’s degree in Digital Rhetoric & Professional Writing, from Michigan State University. Go green!

When I am not hastily typing or Photoshopping, I enjoy binge-watching British comedy on Netflix, making giant pots of soup, trying new teas, and flirting with other people’s dogs in hopes that they’ll follow me home.

Please feel free to contact me through any of my social media accounts below, or by email at I would love to have a conversation with you online.

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