CFP – Methods and Methodologies for Research in Digital Writing and Rhetoric – Eds. VanKooten and Del Hierro

Call for Proposals: Methods and Methodologies for Research in Digital Writing and Rhetoric
A collection edited by Crystal VanKooten and Victor Del Hierro

The field of writing and rhetoric and its sub-field of computers and writing have historically been interested in developing digital methods and methodologies for conducting research. Foundational texts such as Heidi A. McKee and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss’s 2007 Digital Writing Research: Technologies, Methodologies, and Ethical Issues provide an overview of digital methods used in the past, including conducting online research within virtual, global communities; using technologies such as mobile devices and video screen capture for researching the activity of writing; and studying, coding, and citing visual and digital texts. More recently, collections such as Cruz Medina and Octavio Pimentel’s 2018 Racial Shorthand: Coded Discrimination Contested in Social Media interrogate the implications of digital research methods and methodologies for historically marginalized communities, citing the impact of social media movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, culturally-situated practices like Latinx storytelling and translation, and the role of visual rhetoric within participatory cultures. This work is part of a growing body of scholarship that enacts digital writing research through images and video (VanKooten; Shivers-McNair; Halbritter & Lindquist), sound (Wargo; Craig) social media (Gruwell; Potts), and mobile technologies (Greene & Jones; Crider & Anderson).

Even as these scholars are using different kinds of digital method/ologies in their research, there are still few publications that provide in-depth and detailed methodological description, reflection, or guidance for Rhet/Comp researchers who use and examine digital technologies. But our methodology–how research is approached and conceptualized–and our methods–the individual research practices we use–are vital considerations, as they can foreground or obscure phenomena, emphasize or mask ways of knowing, and highlight or deemphasize ethics, inclusion, and justice. Both beginning and experienced digital writing researchers would benefit, then, from more robust, timely, and specific conversations about methodology and methods as we seek to enact valid, reliable, and ethical research with and through digital technologies. 

To this end, we seek chapter proposals for an edited collection, titled Methods and Methodologies for Research in Digital Writing and Rhetoric. The purpose of the collection is to provide current examples of how researchers theorize, design, enact, reflect on, and revise different kinds of digital writing research. We are especially interested in chapters that discuss how particular digital writing research projects were conducted: the successes, failures, affordances, constraints, and lessons that researchers experienced and developed through their work. Questions that may be answered or discussed in the chapters include:

  • How and why do writing and rhetoric scholars work with digital technologies in their research? What theories undergird and support digital writing research? 
  • What have we learned through the evolution of digital writing and rhetoric research in Rhet/Comp over the last several decades? What do we still need to learn about and improve upon?
  • What affordances do digital research methodologies and methods offer to writing and rhetoric researchers?
  • What challenges do digital writing and rhetoric researchers experience as they set up and conduct projects? How have researchers worked around these challenges that research data or technologies raise?
  • What ethical considerations should digital writing and rhetoric researchers consider, particularly when doing work with/in marginalized communities?
  • How does work with digital methods and methodologies open space for valuing diversity and difference in Rhet/Comp research? 
  • How do digital writing and rhetoric researchers seek and gain training to work with specific digital technologies (for example, software, hardware, coding programs) and modes of expression (audio, video, images, and the multimodal)?
  • Where and how are digital writing and rhetoric researchers publishing digital research? What kinds of “behind-the-scenes” learning goes into such publication?
  • How can the field of Rhet/Comp better support research in digital writing and rhetoric? 

As the field of rhetoric and composition continues to encourage and emphasize the importance of digital research, we hope this collection will provide much-needed evidence and illustrations of the intricacies that contemporary digital writing research entails. 

If you are interested in contributing to this collection, please send a 500 word proposal to collection editors Victor Del Hierro ( and Crystal VanKooten ( on or before March 1, 2020. In your proposal, please clearly explain the specific project(s) that you will detail in your chapter, the digital method/ologies that you will discuss, and the implications, lessons, or takeaways that you hope other researchers will gain by reading your work. Please also describe any digital data or audio-visual elements that you might include in your chapter if it is possible to publish in a digital format or to include a digital element with each chapter.

Our publication timeline is as follows:

March 1, 2020: Proposals for chapters due to book editors
April 2020: Proposals accepted
July 15, 2020: Full chapter manuscripts due to book editors
August-September 2020: Feedback given to chapter authors
January 2021: Chapter revisions due
February 2021: Full manuscript completed and ready for submission to press

Works Cited

Craig, Todd. “‘Makin’Somethin’Outta Little-to-Nufin’’: Racism, Revision and Rotating Records–The Hip-Hop DJ in Composition Praxis.” Changing English vol. 22, no. 4,  Dec. 2015, pp. 349-364.

Crider, Jason and Kenny Anderson. “Disney Death Tour: Monumentality, Augmented Reality, and Digital Rhetoric.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy vol. 23, no. 2, 2019, http:/​/​​23.2/​topoi/​crider-anderson/​index.html

Gruwell, Leigh. “Constructing Research, Constructing the Platform: Algorithms and the Rhetoricity of Social Media Research.” Present Tense vol. 6, no. 3, 2018.

Halbritter, Bump, and Julie Lindquist. “Time, Lives, and Videotape: Operationalizing Discovery in Scenes of Literacy Sponsorship.” College English, vol. 75, no. 2, Nov. 2012, pp. 171–98.

Jones, Madison and Jacob Greene. “Augmented Vélorutionaries: Digital Rhetoric, Memorials, and Public Discourse.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, vol. 22, no. 1, 2017, http:/​/​​22.1/​topoi/​jones-greene/​index.html

McKee, Heidi A., and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, editors. Digital Writing Research: Technologies, Methodologies, and Ethical Issues. Hampton Press, 2007.

Medina, Cruz, and Octavio Pimentel, editors. Racial Shorthand: Coded Discrimination Contested in Social Media. Logan: Computers and Composition Digital P/Utah State UP, 2018,

Potts, Liza. Social Media in Disaster Response: How Experience Architects can Build for Participation. Routledge, 2013.

Shivers-McNair, Ann. “3D Interviewing with Researcher POV Video: Bodies and Knowledge in the Making.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, vol. 21, no. 2, spring 2017,

VanKooten, Crystal. “A Research Methodology of Interdependence through Video as Method.” Computers and Composition, vol. 54, Dec. 2019, pp. 1-17. 

Wargo, Jon M. “Sounding the Garden, Voicing a Problem: Mobilizing Critical Literacy through Personal Digital Inquiry with Young Children.” Language Arts vol 96, no. 5,  May 2019, pp. 275-285.

Digital Media Sampler: Teaching Writing through Podcasts, Twitter, and Video

OU’s Student Technology Center Resources

Lab Work Stations and Breakout Rooms: The STC has 40 workstations (10 Mac, 30 PC) for students. Three computers have the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite for use. New for fall 2018 will be Breakout Rooms where students can meet in groups and display work on TV screens.

Student Technology Mentoring: Students can sign-up for 1-on-1 appointments with student mentors who are trained in all software available at the STC.

Custom Workshops: bring your class in to the STC, and work with employees to customize a session for your needs.

Equipment Loan Program
: Students can check out laptops, tablets, video cameras, microphones, voice recorders, and more for 3 business days (one week for laptops). There is also a reservation list where students can reserve equipment in advance.

  • Laptops (5 Macs, 8 PCs)
  • iPads and Tablets (7 available)
  • 1 Drawing Tablet
  • Video Cameras (8 Canon Rebel DSLR, 4 DSLRV, 2 HD camcorders)
  • Microphones (2 Yeti mics, 2 digital voice recorders)

Podcasting Resources

Syllabus for WRT 3071: Podcasting, taught fall 2017
Audacity workshop 1 – orienting
Audacity workshop 2 – layering voices
Audacity workshop 3 – mixing found assets
Oral History Assignment Sheet, from WRT 3071

Audacity audio editor version 2.2.2 (download at with LAME encoder (download at – lame)

The Psycho across the Street” audio research story, by Audrey Downs (WRT Major, 2017 graduate)

Finding Podcasts

The 25 Best Podcast Episodes Ever – (published in 2014)
10-Minute Tech Comm
99% Invisible – about “all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.”
Buzzfeed’s 27 Podcasts for 2017
Gilmore Guys
The Guardian’s Best 50 Podcasts of 2016
HowSound – a podcast about podcasting and radio storytelling
IndieWire’s 50 Best Podcast episodes of 2017 so far
Kscope Record Label – Podcasts
The Kitchen Sisters Present… – explores “lost recordings, shards of sound along with new tales of remarkable people from around the world —stories from the flip side of history.”
NME’s Best 13 Podcasts
Out of the Blocks –  “one block at a time, radio producer Aaron Henkin and electronic musician Wendel Patrick are sharing the stories of Baltimore in a way that’s never been heard before.”
Podcast Alley – aggregator for podcast news and resources
Podcast One
Radiotopia –  a curated network of extraordinary, cutting-edge podcasts.
S-Town (explicit content)
Serial, season 1
 (explicit content)
Time’s 50 Best Podcasts Right Now

Video Resources

Inquiry through Video Assignment Sheet, WRT 1060
Getting Ready for Video handout, WRT 1060
Making your Practice Video – Directions (outside of class)
Video Editing Hardware and Software Intro Workshop (in class)

Sample videos (of all quality levels)

The Rise of Esports
College Students and Sleep
Visiting a Church
Do You Really Know What You’re Eating?
Asian Carp
The Art of Trespassing
Book Banning

Twitter Resources

Vie and Walls special issue of Kairos summer 2015: “Because Facebook: Digital Rhetoric/Social Media”

Yergeau “Disability Hacktivism”; Bonazzo “‘To Siri with Love” Author Fires Back” and the #BoycottToSiri tweet stream

Moeti, “Digital Activism Comes of Age” and Gladwell, “Small Change”

Dadas, “Hashtag Activism”; Buckman, “The Limits of Hashtag Activism”;
Donias, Hashtag Activism is Fleeting

Burr, “Bicycles, Bonfires and an Airport Apocalypse;  some responses to Mark Sample’s Netprov

Netprov activity from WRT 233
WRT 233’s Netprov story from 2016:

‘Videoing’ Methods and Modalities for Transforming Digital Composition – Cs 2018 Presentation Materials

Here are some materials from my Cs 2018 presentation, “‘Videoing’ Methods and Modalities for Transforming Digital Composition.” You can access some of the videos I discuss here:

Powerpoint slides (some slides contain video clips that may or may not be accessible through PPT):
Video Analysis

Transcripts for the videos within the PPT: Transcripts_VanKooten_Cs2018

Game On! Grizzlies, or, bragging on WRT 330 students

I have to take just a few minutes to brag on the students in WRT 330 Digital Culture.  Yesterday, they hosted a community event for Oakland University students called “Game On! Grizzlies” which also served as a benefit for Beaumont Children’s Hospital.  The event was in fulfillment of the Digital Activism Project for our course, which asked them to design a community-based event, launch a social media campaign, and compose accompanying printed and digital texts.

“Game On! Grizzlies” was a unique challenge for us because students in the course are commuter students who drive to campus daily and haven’t been heavily involved with campus events.  Designing, marketing, and writing for an on-campus event like “Game On! Grizzlies” was a new experience, and the class really came together as a community (both in-person and digitally) to make the event a success.  We played games, tweeted, ate pizza, got to know each other better, posted to Facebook, met new people, and raised money for Beaumont.

Read more about the event on The Beaumont Blog: “Oakland University Students Gaming to Benefit Beaumont Children’s Hospital” and in The Oakland Press: “Oakland University Students Host Game Day to Relieve Stress.”  

Collecting AV Data; Composing AV Arguments

I recently wrote a post for the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative’s fall blog carnival “Data in the Digital Age.”  The carnival is a collection of posts from scholars and graduate students who describe the “different ways people use digital tools to collect, analyze, or otherwise grapple with research data.”  In my post, I discuss and reflect on my methods for collecting audio-visual data for my dissertation study.  Check it out, and I’d love to hear comments and questions, either here or on the DRC site.

WIDE EMU 2013 Preview ~ “It’s Free?…”

For this year’s WIDE EMU one day unconference, I’m combining forces with video composition guru Timothy Briggs to bring you “It’s Free?  Video Composing with ‘Copyright-Free’ Online Materials.”  The session is a “make” session, so participants will get their hands dirty and make 30-second videos using online materials that are legally “free” and available for reuse.  Then we’ll talk about the pros and cons of asking students to do the same in writing classes.  Check out our promo video below, and join us on Saturday, October 12 in Ypsi!