Erika M. Sparby
I am an assistant professor of digital rhetorics and technical communication at Illinois State University with a research focus on digital aggression, memes, feminism, and ethics.
My dissertation, Memes and 4chan and Haters, Oh My! Rhetoric, Identity, and Online Aggression (winner of the 2017 Computers and Composition Hugh Burns Award), examines memes and social media spaces to find rhetorical techniques for resisting hostility online. Jessica Reyman and I co-edited Digital Ethics: Rhetoric and Responsibility in Online Aggression (winner of the 2019 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award), a collection that provide new approaches, theories, and pedagogies for hostile digital spaces and communities. Other work has appeared in Computers and Composition and enculturation and is forthcoming in Technical Communication Quarterly, Methods and Methodologies for Research in Digital Writing and Rhetoric (VanKooten and Del Hierro, eds.), and Embodied environmental risk in technical communication: Local and global contexts (Stinson and Le Rouge, eds.).
I have also presented my work at conferences such as Computers and Writing, Cultural Rhetorics, ATTW, and the CCCC. In 2019, I co-founded the Digital Aggression Working Group, which meets yearly at Computers and Writing to provide an academic community, protection, and solidarity for digital aggression scholars.
When I'm not teaching or writing, you can usually find me enjoying nature in one form or another, working on my taekwondo technique, or making memes.