Hello, CHI!

My name is Vee Lawson, an incoming CHI Fellow for 2021-22 and a third-year PhD student in Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. I previously earned my MA in English from the University of Arkansas with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I’m honored to be included in this group of fellows, and I look forward to learning from each of my peers over the next year.

In my own field, I am interested in digital cultural rhetorics; queer, feminist, and trans rhetorics; and community-building through ephemeral texts. My dissertation work will be a mixed-methods study of an often-feminist Reddit community that remediates experiences of religious misogyny through storytelling and cultural snark on fundamentalist Christian media. As part of this work, I’m interested in the ways the personal stories of ex-fundamentalist women, stories from within fundamentalist organizations, and snarker lore are passed from Internet-generation to Internet-generation as users migrate between platforms, cross-mixing with other online snark communities. (Perhaps this is something that might be mappable as my CHI project–but it’s too early to make solid plans just yet. :))

Through my background in gender studies and my ongoing work in cultural and digital rhetorics, I center participant stories within mixed-methods analyses of media ecosystems. In my time with CHI, I hope to not only participate in collaborative research and skill-building with my peers, but to further develop my skills in making mixed-methods research available and useful to the communities with which I work. In future posts, I hope to consider more fully how the concept of “cultural heritage” can be understood through a cultural rhetorics lens and how digital informatics can work in support of cultural rhetorics’ methodological commitments to practices of situated relationality, accountability, and constellation across experiences.