Introduction to Laura Leigh Menard

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My earliest memory of interacting with digital media is sitting on the floor of my grandpa’s enclosed porch playing Pong with my older sister. Soon after, the video game business exploded with Atari, Intellivision, ColecoVision, and Nintendo. I loved it all and still do!

When the Intellivision Flashback was released, I bought it that day. I relished in the nostalgia of simplistic graphics and sound effects whilst marveling at the complexity of only having three lives available in a playthrough. 

I have great memories of grade school and being rewarded for good behavior with 15 minutes of computer time, and of my middle school science teacher using a dot matrix printer and 8-bit computer graphics to create invitations to dissections. Witnessing the birth and advancement of various digital media throughout my life has been incredible. It’s become so ingrained in my psyche that it is the focus and source of most of my research. 

My research focuses on different types of digital media, and how we consume it, either individually or collectively; whether it’s news media, social media, streaming services, or video games. I am interested in examining the rhetoric of these mediums, and how that rhetoric creates narratives that are pervasive in our society. 

My dissertation research will allow me to challenge the traditional notion of archival research by expanding the definition to include digital media. In addition, I’ll be creating my own digital media archive. My research will entail examining media rhetoric in serial killer cases, and how that rhetoric creates and perpetuates a harmful narrative against women, particularly women of marginalized populations.

As a DRC fellow, I am excited to explore and create new digital media. I can’t wait to collaborate with and to learn from fellow DRC scholars this year. And while I am hopeful that my own research interests can be included in a DRC project, I’m thankful for this opportunity to learn more and to deepen my understanding of digital rhetoric. I’m looking forward to the many possibilities available this year with the DRC!

You can reach out to me at lmenard@bgsu.edu, on Twitter at @LauraLeigh425, or at my website coffeewithlauraleigh.com.

About Author

Laura Leigh Menard

I am a third-year PhD student in the Rhetoric and Writing Studies program at Bowling Green State University.

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