CHI Fellowship Introduction: Becca Hayes
Greetings! I’m a third year PhD student in Rhetoric and Writing. I earned my BS in Psychology with a Writing Studies minor and my MA degree in English with an emphasis in Composition from North Dakota State University. My MA thesis was an archival project on the rhetorics of identity surrounding abortion legislation and activism in North Dakota, prior to Roe v. Wade.
In addition to continued work on iterations of that research, I also have an ongoing project examining how cisgender women and LGBTQIA folks use storytelling and digital media and tools to organize against street harassment, and I’m working on a book chapter theorizing rhetorics of fetal ultrasounds and gender normativity, alongside my own experience of stillbirth, using a queer framework. Last semester, I was a member of the first cohort of writing residents at MSU’s Broad Museum. Through my public readings, I explored ideas of art, activism, history, and social memory. If you’re interested, check out the residency archive on the Broad Writing Residency Tumblr.
On the pedagogical side of things, I’m interested in decolonial community-engaged approaches to research and writing in writing courses, especially classes on issues of culture and justice. I’ve taught a few different community-based courses, including a first-year writing course in which students engaged in research with communities and used WordPress and Google Maps platforms to share community stories.
As you may be able to tell, my scholarly interests are many; however, they generally fit within queer and feminist rhetorics, community-engaged methodologies and pedagogies, and public rhetorics and activism, both historically and currently. I’m increasingly interested in questions at the intersections of LGBTQIA communities and digital heritage, such as:
- How is digitization reshaping the herstories and archiving of queer communities?
- How have queer cultures preserved their stories, practices, knowledges, languages, and hestories through print and material culture? How is digitization shifting those practices?
I think thosse questions fit well within the interdisciplinary field of cultural heritage informatics and digital cultural heritage in that they focus on the how, that is, the methodologies of, cultures and communities in recording and preserving their pasts, presents, and futures, and I’m looking forward to exploring those issues within the context of the CHI Fellowship this year, although I have yet to settle on one specific project. I’m also incredibly excited to increase my technical skills by building with digital tools and applications, and, already, I’m enjoying the collaborative experience of engaging with and learning from the other CHI Fellows.