Riki Thompson, Ph.D.

MAIS Graduate Program Director & Associate Professor
English - Language and Rhetoric
University of Washington Seattle
English - Language and Rhetoric
University of Washington Seattle
University of Washington Seattle
Business Administration
University of Washington Seattle

As a scholar and teacher, everything I do revolves around ways that language is a powerful tool -- not neutral or benign. My scholarship and teaching reflect an interest in the problems generated by the dynamic nature of language, technology and ideological formations, specifically how people negotiate identity and communities of practice through language and technology. Most of my endeavors engage questions about what it means to live, learn and communicate in the Digital Age.

In the classroom, I engage students through active learning, reflection on learning and integration of new technologies that provide tools to evaluate and employ language effectively. I use a "just in time" approach in all my classes so I can make adjustments based on student needs.

Current Research

My research brings together an unexpected combination of social theories and methodologies to examine relationships between self, story, language, literacy, technology and transformation. I am drawn to projects that explore intersections of emotion, storytelling, learning, constructions of self and technology, especially during tumultuous times.

Much of my research explores how people gain acceptance into (or are excluded from) communities of practice through know-how of technology, language ideologies and shared understandings about visual representations. I also do research in the scholarship of teaching and learning. This research tends to focus on how we teaching writing from Pre-K to college, as well as how we teach with technology.


I teach undergraduate and graduate level courses on research and argument, as well as special topics in Writing Studies. My classes take an active-learning approach, using learning to learn pedagogy to engage students through multimodal learning styles. If you observe my class, you will see a frenzy of activity; groups collaborating, papers shuffling, tables moving, students talking and writing. A typical day in my classroom includes small group work, class discussion, writing workshops, and online collaborative writing. 

Below is a list of courses I have taught and independent study projects I have supervised.

    • TIAS 514 : Teaching Writing: Theory & Practicum
    • TIAS 513 : Graduate Research & Writing
    • TIAS 505 : MAIS Capstone
    • TWRT 464 : Teaching Writing
    • TWRT 330 : Visual & Written Rhetoric
    • TWRT 211: Argument & Research in Writing
      • Technology & Transformation
      • Literacy & the Digital World
    • TCORE 101: Introduction to Composition
      • Blog me! All about m/e-stories
      • What is America(n)?
      • (Trans)Forming Identity & History
      • Writing in the Rain: Debating Climate Change
    • Special Education Legislation And Teaching Writing
    • Teaching Writing K-12
    • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Of America Mentor
    • Porn, Power, & Discourse
    • Hip Hop Poetry & Teaching Writing
    • The Discourse of Mental Health And The Productive Member Of Society
    • A Critical Analysis of Homeless Discourse In America
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Conference on College Composition & Communication
  • International Gender & Language Association
  • Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education
  • American Association for Applied Linguistics 
  • Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators: SCBWI
Academic Service
  • Organizer & Founder: UW Tacoma Teaching Forum
  • Teaching and Learning Technology Oversight Committee (UW Tri-Campus)
  • Editorial Review Board - Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy(JITP)
Honors and Awards

Teaching: Work Featured

Teaching and Learning Grants

  • Washington Student Achievement Council Educators for the 21st Century Professional Development Grant (2013-2015)
    • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC)
    • "CCSS Professional Development for Washington High-Need Schools"
  • Founders Endowment Grant
    • Office of Academic Affairs, UW Tacoma
    • "Web-based Assessment Toolkit" (2009-2011)
    • "Writing in the Web 2.0 World" (2008)
  • Practical Pedagogy Lecture Series
    • Simpson Center for the Humanities, UW Seattle
    • Liberating Pedagogies: Locating Freedom in the Classroom (2004-2005)
    • Engaging the Culture of Power In and Out of the Classroom (2003-2004)
Publication Date Bibliographic Citation

Thompson, R. & Furman, R., (2018) “From Mass to Social Media: Governing Mental Health in the Digital Age.” Sinchronia. 22(73). 398-429. http://sincronia.cucsh.udg.mx/pdf/73/a21_398_429.pdf


Thompson, R. (2017). Writing through Comics. In A. Burger (Ed.), Teaching Graphic Novels in the English Classroom: Pedagogical Possibilities of Multimodal Literacy Engagement. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.


Thompson, R. (2012). Looking healthy: Visualizing disorder & wellness online. Visual Communication. 11(4). 395-420.


Thompson, R., Furman, R., Enterline, M., & Sharfi, N. (2012). Poetry, masculinities & disability. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 25(3). 105-114.


Furman, R., Enterline, M., Thompson, R., & Shukraft, A. (2012) Poetry matters: A case study for poetry in social work. Journal of Social Intervention: Theory & Practice 21(1), 5-17.


Thompson, R. & Lee, M. (2012) Talking with students through screencasting: Experimentations with video feedback to improve student learning. Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy 1(1). http://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/talking-with-students-through-screencast...


Thompson, R. (2012). Screwed up, but working on it: (Dis)ordering the self through e-stories. Narrative Inquiry. 22(1), 86-104.


Thompson, R. (2006). Bilingual, bicultural & binominal identities: Personal name investment, (bi)cultural identity negotiation & the imagination in the lives of first generation Korean-Americans. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 5(3), 179-208.


Thompson, R. (2004). Trauma & the rhetoric of recovery: A discourse analysis of virtual healing journals of child sexual abuse survivors. JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory- Special Issue, Part 2: Trauma & Rhetoric, 24(3), 653-677.