• Blue Light by Mosley, Walter (1999) Mass Market Paperback -
    Brown Girl in the Ring - Nalo Hopkinson
    Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
    Mumbo Jumbo - Ishmael Reed
    The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett
    The Intuitionist: A Novel - Colson Whitehead
    Binti - Nnedi Okorafor


ENGL 320, Topics in Communication and Technology:

Race, Communication, and Technology: Black Culture in the Digital Age

This course explores the intersections between media and communication systems, concepts of race and ethnicity, and discourse. In addition to analyzing digital media and the African-American presence on the internet, this course will introduce students to social theories, cybercultures, graphic design, page layout and other aspects of digital communication and their relationship to issues of representation, identity, education, justice, inequality, and power.

Students will grapple with the impact of digital media on social movements, such as Black Lives Matter, as well as its impact on more traditional African-American rhetorical themes (racial uplift, the African-American Jeremiad, etc.) and rhetorical practices (call and response, signifying, African-American Vernacular English, etc.) in conjunction with online networking activity (Black Twitter) and the creation and maintenance of black public spheres. Students will engage and compose a variety of multimodal texts with attention to the critical study, evaluation, and application of rhetorical theory to digital media and communication technologies.

Course Objectives

  1. Use conceptual vocabulary of rhetoric to interrogate and analyze digital media and communication
  2. Explore African American rhetorical traditions and practices and their responses to the impact of technology.
  3. Evaluate past, present, and evolving approaches to research and criticism of communication and technology.
  4. Compose multimodal texts that engage the central themes of the course and execute rhetorical sophistication.

Skills Acquired

  1. Gain proficiency with critical tools for (de)constructing, analyzing, interpreting and evaluating digital texts.
  2. Deploy rhetorical strategies to communicate with an audience using digital tools.
  3. Interpret contemporary African-American culture, current events, and various political discourses as they are mediated by technology.
Assignments Grade Percentage
Student Blogs- All students will create and maintain a blog page for responding to readings, short writing assignments, reflections on group discussions, archiving digital materials, and commenting on current events. 10%
Assignment 1: Critical/Interpretive analysis of a digital tool, social media platform, or any other technology that intersects with African-American culture and history in the form of a 4-6 page paper. For example, cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, iPod, blogs, Myspace, records, compatible discs (CDs), cassette tapes, or personal computers could be analyzed. 10%
Assignment 2: Rhetorical Analysis

Perform a rigorous, rhetorical analysis on the use of digital tools and other technologies to persuade an audience concerning an issue related to this course. This assignment will be completed as a 6-8 page essay.

Assignment 3: Protest, Public Controversy, or Popular Trend

Research the role of communication and technology in either a social protest, public controversy, or popular trend (including viral media content) related to the course. This assignment will be completed in two parts. The first part will be an essay of 15-20 pages, and the second part will be a presentation. This assignment will be completed in small groups. The presentation will consist of a “Ken-Burns-style” documentary using iMovie (or a similar platform, such as Camtasia, Prezi, etc.) with voice-over narration, background music, and smooth editing.

Assignment 4: Advocacy Project

Advance or defend a particular issue related to this course using a combination of digital tools for a specific audience. Students may choose to create a podcast, short film, web page, blog, music video, etc.


Class Participation 10%

Class Readings Selected From:









Teaching Experience: Total Courses- 6     Total Sections- 9

The Pennsylvania State University

Upward Bound Math and Science: Introduction to Research Writing

Summer 2016

This course provides intensive research writing instruction to high school juniors and sophomores. In addition to introductions to APA style and science writing conventions, I designed this course for students conducting primary research in lab settings. Students were tasked with writing a journal-article-style research report and performing a professional research presentation.


English 137H/138H Rhetoric and Civic Life

Fall 2014/Spring 2015

Rhetoric and Civic Life (RCL) is a year-long honors course offering comprehensive training in oral, written, visual, and digital communication for the twenty-first century. It unites these various modes under the flexible art of rhetoric and uses rhetoric both to strengthen communication skills and to sharpen awareness of the challenges and advantages presented by oral, written, visual, and digital modes.


English 30 (Honors English)

Spring 2014

I designed this course to explore writing and Sonic Studies. Sonic Studies engages the various ways people compose and discuss sound, particularly music. Students read and composed essays that discussed a wide array of genres of music in order to engage how music participates in social movements, aesthetics, popular culture, politics, class, and ethnicity. This course was recommended for students that had experience with music. This course also went beyond the standard English 15 course by requiring students to conduct in-depth musical analysis in addition to advanced skill in composition.


English 15A

Fall 2013

Media/Film Emphasis

An enhanced version of English 15 that requires students to attend separate film showings in addition to their class activities and other assignments. Students were tasked with working with the films in order to think more critically about rhetorical analysis.


LEAP English 15

Summer 2013

Music and Film

A version of English 15 that serves as a companion course to a music and film class taught in the music department of Penn State. Students were given the option of writing about music for all assignments.


English 15

Fall 2012/Spring 2013

An intensive, rhetorically based experience in reading and writing that prepares students to understand the communications that surround them and succeed in their own communication efforts.  Emphasis placed on analyzing verbal and visual texts as well as on producing such texts in terms of traditional rhetorical principles.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

English 102

Fall 2011/Spring 2012

A writing and rhetoric course designed to prepare students for various academic writing challenges. Emphasis placed on modes of discourse practiced by professional academic scholars.