By Way of Introduction: Laura Gonzales

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I like to see the big picture. I’m notorious  for trying to put seemingly unrelated people, concepts, and ideas into conversation, and this is exactly how I became interested in digital rhetoric.

My background teaching and researching composition helped me see how various aspects of our discipline are intrinsically related. For me, conversations about students became conversations about languages, and discussions about writing resulted in discussions about other technologies. Currently, I’m talking to multilingual students about the ways we may use multimodality to ease our anxieties about writing in and beyond composition courses.

At the DRC, I’m helping foster conversations between various sections of the discipline primarily by gathering feedback about the usefulness of the site at several conferences. So far, I attended the 2013 Great Lakes THATCamp and the 2013 WIDE-EMU conference along with other fellows and directors from the DRC, where we solicited feedback about how we can expand the DRC Wiki and site to be more helpful in classrooms and research projects across disciplines.  My goal at these gatherings was to listen to how the communities define and engage in work through different technologies, as I think about how I can help shape the DRC to be more useful. Check out Andie Silva’s Great Lakes THATCamp review and look out for a post about a video making session with Casey Miles and Alexandra Hidalgo at WIDE-EMU 2013, coming soon in our new conference review section.

Participants of Great Lakes THATCamp deciding on sessions

One of the big projects we were asked to work on as DRC fellows was to build out the history of digital rhetoric and computers and writing on the DRC Wiki. This has proven to be no easy task, not only because the field is filled with so many diverse scholars, projects, and conversations, but also because I have learned about the complexities embedded in building histories. At the 2014 Computers and Writing Conference, the DRC fellows hope to talk about these complexities and share the development of the Wiki, which is creating spaces for contributions across various aspects of digital rhetoric. We encourage you to get involved in the project by joining and adding to the DRC Wiki!

My goal as a DRC fellow is to keep the conversations growing, making room for new connections and individuals who may not have seen a place for themselves in this area before. In addition to planning for and attending conferences to gather feedback, I have been soliciting input from digital rhetoric students at Michigan State University, where I am learning about further intersections between digital rhetoric and professional writing. Again, the conversation gets messier, more complicated, and perhaps consequently only slightly more comprehensive.

Thanks to all of you who have already listened to my shameless DRC plugging in conferences, classes, and coffee shops, and please do contact me (gonzlaur@gmail.com) to share conference reviews, interesting projects, and new ideas that keep the DRC growing.

About Author(s)

Laura Gonzales is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at the University of Texas, El Paso. Her research focuses on highlighting the benefits of linguistic diversity in professional and academic spaces.

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