Courtney Rivard, Ph.D. is the Director of the Digital Literacy and Communications (DLC) Lab and Teaching Associate Professor in English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Her interdisciplinary research brings together rhetoric, archives and information and feminist studies. Her main line of research uses digital humanities methods to explore how digital protocols, such as categorization, indexing and tagging practices, rhetorically shape notions of race, gender and national belonging in archives. Her first book, Voice of a Nation: Mapping Documentary Expression in New Deal America, combines archival and quantitive methods to recover the history of the Southern Life Histories Project part of the Federal Writers’ Project during the 1930s (forthcoming in 2022 with Stanford University Press). This innovative digital book demonstrates how gender and race informed the writing practices used to create the concept of “life histories,” which documented the lives of Southerners struggling to survive the Great Depression. She received an Institute of Arts & Humanities Fellowship to work on this project during Spring 2021.
Her second line of research emerges from her role as Director of the Digital Literacy and Communication (DLC) Lab. The DLC serves as a space of innovation in digital pedagogies by exploring strategies to teach digital writing through web development, social media, and games. She is particularly interested in how theories of play and gaming can help create critical pedagogies that interrogate race, gender and sexuality as well demonstrate how algorithmic rhetoric shapes narrative structures. Recently, she received a NEH grant to create a Critical Gaming Initiative that centers questions of identity and representation in the development of a Critical Game Studies minor. The cornerstone of the initiative is the Greenlaw Gameroom, UNC’s first game-based classroom, funded by a Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grant.