Publications

"How the Internet Saved My Daughter; How Social Media Saved My Family." Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. Publication confirmed for January 2011.

This article has two primary aims. First, it responds to characterizations of social media as amplifications of narcissism based on my family's traumatic yet inspiring experiences. Second, it argues for an approach to rhetoric sensitive to the necessity and power of human saying (rather than a myopic insistence on the importance of what is said).

"Pedagogical Review of Social Bookmarking Technologies." Computers and Composition. Special Issue: Composition in the Freeware Age. Fall 2009.

This piece examines the pedagogical potential of delicious, the social networking / tag-aggregating Web 2.0 techno-social software.

"Virtual Space / Real People: Using Digital Environments to Connect First-Year Composition Classrooms and Foster New Rhetorical Encounters." Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 13.2 Spring 2009. (Co-authored with Nathaniel A. Rivers and Ryan P. Weber).

This article presents an online pedagogic experiment linking four sections of first-year writing through the use of forums. One thing of note is our emphasis on structuring online conversations through the use of roles, which provide students with response-obligations.

"Appealing the Divide: Logos, Ethos, and Contemporary American Presidential Campaign Rhetoric." Sizing Up Rhetoric. Ed. David Zarefsky. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2007. 173-181.

In this piece I explore liberal rejections of Neo-Con rhetoric, particularly Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas?. My irritation with such rejections--despite my political leanings--stems from how quickly they fall into Modernist, Enlightenment, Critical dispositions based in Reason (as a means for dismissing others' values).

"Saving Ourselves: Further Psychoanalytic Investigation of Resident Evil and Silent Hill." Gamasutra's Game Career Guide. CMP Media. 30 January 2007. (Co-authored with Sarah E. White)

In this piece, as in our first piece listed below, Sarah and I noted how Resident Evil reflected mainstream Freudian psychoanalysis by positioning a player as the protector of normal psycho-social order. Silent Hill, however, resembles Lacan's later criticisms of Freud by suggesting that there is no single articulation of "normal."

"Playing With Ourselves: A Psychoanalytic Investigation of Resident Evil and Silent Hill." Digital Gameplay: Essays on the Nexus of Game and Gamer. Ed. Nate Garrelts. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2005. 69-80. (Co-authored with Sarah E. White)

Research

My research agenda focuses on the intersections of Emmanuel Levinas' metaphysical ethics, social media and digital technologies, and Rhetoric and Composition movements toward "post-pedagogy." Each of these call for us to pay attention to maintaining "response-ability"--of the other, the visitor, and the student.

Download my complete vita.

Works in Progress

"Offering a Rhetoric of Weakness: Latour, Gorgias, and Levinas in Conversation"

This article aligns Latour's post-critical project, specifically its metaphysics of alliance, with recent scholarship on Gorgias' intersubjective rhetoric. It then radically extends the aims of these projects via Levinas' concept of assymetrical intersubjectivity, the face, and the neighbor. My aim in this article is to argue that, rather than seeking persuasive power or certain interpretations, rhetoric needs to concern itself with fostering weakness--a disposition hospitible to others which aims to open the path to change.

"A Sophistic Response to Martha Nussbaum; Or, Warnings from the Weimar Republic"

In this piece, I respond to Martha Nussbaum's call for critical thinking and empathy in Not For Profit. While I agree with Nussbaum's general recommendations and applaud her commitment to the humanities, I also believe her pedagogical model ignores the difficulties and importance of sophistic-rhetorical concerns, particularly delivery. I conduct such a critique through Thomas Rickert's psycho-analytically inspired post-pedagogy, drawing particularly on one of Rickert's sources, Peter Sloterdijk, and his exposition of the pervasive critical-cynism pervading Weimar Germany.

"I Don't Teach Writing; I Teach Blogging" (with Ryan Weber and Mark Leahy)

In this piece my cohorts and I advocate for an approach to writing instruction designed around blogging. We explore blogging as an intersubjective exercise, and argue that--more important than traditional investments on the thesis statement and grammatical correctness--an approach to writing dedicated to blogging focuses on appreciating response-ability. In simpler terms, it means learning how to listen, how to comment productively, and how to resist the urge to turn into a defensive jerk. In addition to our theoretical articulations, the article speaks both to just how hard it is to get students to invest in the project, and why the rewards justify the work.

Review of D. Diane Davis' Inessential Solidarity.

Scheduled for completion Feburary 2010 for Journal of Advanced Composition. Scheduled for publication 2011.

Review of Selber et al's Rhetoric and Technologies: New Directions in Writing and Communication.

Scheduled completion December 2010 for Technical Communication Quarterly. Scheduled for publication 2011.

Dissertation

Toward AnOther Rhetoric: Web 2.0, Levinas, and Taking Responsibility for Response Ability. Ph.D. Purdue University. December, 2009. Major Professor: David Blakesley. Committee Members: Jennifer Bay, Thomas Rickert, and Patricia Sullivan.

This dissertation explores the relationship between public considerations of the impact of contemporary dynamic technologies and the metaphysical ethics of Emmanuel Levinas. Both share an interest in interactivity, plurality, transience, and risk. This shared interest rejects the fundamental values of literacy and print identified by media theorists such as Walter J Ong, Eric Havelock, and Marshall McLuhan: autonomy, singularity, permanence, and security. The values of these mediums deeply impacted the development of Platonic Idealism and the Modern Enlightenment.

My concluding argument suggests that, in the wake of these new mediums, the discipline of rhetoric and composition, in addition to the entire research University that houses it, should pay attention to how digital communities such as Wikipedia balance the Modern desire for ontological knowledge alongside the postmodern and digital emphasis on ethics. Such a balancing suggests that the primary values of literacy and print, and the institutions they helped to engender, are not ideally suited for a digital world.