I completed my dissertation in the Rhetoric and Technical and Scientific Communication program in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota, and I defended in July 2020. My dissertation, “Authority in Digital Space: Exploring the Case of the Green Pea Galaxy,” examined the rhetorical construction of authority by nonexperts within expert knowledge domains on the internet-based Zooniverse platform.
I have taught face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses for the past ~10 years, and I helped establish one of the first digital humanities projects in Minnesota. I have designed and taught courses at the University of Minnesota (R1), the University of Wisconsin-Stout (polytechnic), Hampton University (HBCU), Hampden-Sydney College (all-male SLAC), and other institutions.
I study and teach rhetoric and writing in relation to digital spaces and the Internet, focusing on authority and power dynamics within discourse communities. I often use case study, qualitative research, actor-network theory, and critical discourse analysis in my research, and, pedagogically, I favor a modified liberatory and critical model, called critical digital pedagogy (a term that has gained traction among others over the last several years).
I write for popular media, and I occasionally serve as a communications consultant for nonprofits. I have won competitive research and teaching awards in both RU/VH and DRU university settings (explanation of new Carnegie Foundation classifications).
This space serves as an academic, professional, and personal portfolio.
If you have questions about the information you find in this space, please email me.
––Trent M Kays