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Riki Thompson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Writing Studies & Digital Rhetoric
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Office Hours
Schedule Days
By appointment
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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


My scholarship and teaching reflect an interest in the problems generated by the dynamic nature of language, technology and ideology, specifically how people negotiate identity and communities through language and technology.

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 explores the relationship between self, story, language, literacy, technology and transformation, with an interest in how people gain acceptance into (or are excluded from) communities through know-how of technology, language ideologies and shared understandings about visual representations.

My current research looks to understand how people use online dating technologies to find connection. I employ interviews, observation, and analysis of online dating spaces to examine how people in various communities (including monogamous, non-monogamous, heterosexual, and LGBTQ+) negotiate digital communication platforms to represent self-identity and connect with potential partners.


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 seminars, 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
    • TIAS 501: Models and Critical Inquiry
    • TWRT 464 : Teaching Writing
    • TWRT 330 : Visual & Written Rhetoric
    • TWRT 333: Writing through Comics
    • TWRT 211: Argument & Research in Writing
      • Technology & Transformation
      • Literacy & the Digital World
      • Connecting Digitally
    • 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
    • Critical Discourse Studies
    • The Visual Rhetoric of the Border Wall
    • Special Education Legislation And Teaching Writing
    • Teaching Writing K-12
    • 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


  • International Gender & Language Association
  • American Association for Applied Linguistics 
  • British Association of Applied Linguists
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Conference on College Composition & Communication
  • Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators: SCBWI

Honors and Awards



  • 2021 Royalty Research Fund (RRF): Finding Love and Connection in the Digital Age. $29,166.00
  • 2019 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) – Summer Stipend: Digital Dating: Discourse & Design in the Search for Love and Lust Online (Submitted)
  • 2020 Scholarship and Teaching Fund: Selling the Selfie: The Digital Dating Game, $1500
  • 2019 Interdisciplinary Teaching and Scholarship Collaboration Grants (Co-PI): Black women and sexualized media, $6000
  • 2019 Scholarship and Teaching Fund: Finding Connection in the Digital Age, $2,564,
  • 2019 Scholarship and Teaching Fund: Communication & Online Dating, $1,253,40
  • 2018 Popular Culture Association Endowment, John Bratzel Travel Grant, Online dating and identity construction for the non-monogamous, $1,000
  • 2016-2017 Washington Student Achievement Council (Co-PI), Core-Time-Digital, $450,000
  • 2015-2016 Washington Student Achievement Council (Co-PI), SBAC, $530,000
  • 2013-2015 Washington Student Achievement Council (Co-PI), Common Core, $550,000
  • 2009-2011 Founders Endowment Grant (Co-PI), “Web-based Assessment Toolkit”, Office of Academic Affairs, UW Tacoma, $3,800
  • 2008 Founders Endowment Grant, “Writing in the Web 2.0 World”, Office of Academic Affairs, UW Tacoma, $4,500
Personal Website
Selected Publications

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

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

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). 

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. (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.

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. & Furman, R., (2018) “From Mass to Social Media: Governing Mental Health in the Digital Age.” Sinchronia. 22(73). 398-429. 

Thompson, R. & McIlnay, M. (2019) Nobody Wants to Read Anymore! Using a Multimodal Approach to Make Literature Engaging. CLELE Journal, 7 (1). 

Thompson, R. (2020). English Language and Multimodal Narrative. In S. Adolphs & D. Knight (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of English Language and Digital Humanities. Routledge. 

Thompson, R., & Collins, M. (2020). Disruptive practice: Multimodality, innovation and standardisation from the medieval to the digital text. In C. Tagg & M. Evans (Eds.), Message and medium: English Language Practices Across Old and New Media (pp. 281–305). De Gruyter Mouton. 

Thompson, Riki. “Polyamorous Relationships under Severe Strain during the Pandemic.” The Conversation, 11 Feb. 2021, 

Thompson, Riki. (2021) “Using Social Media as a Source of Data and Community Building.” Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World, edited by Trena M. Paulus and Jessica Nina Lester, 1st edition, SAGE Publications, Inc

Thompson, Riki. “What Pandemic Dating Can Teach Us about Connecting during the Time of Corona.” Medium, 11 Aug. 2020, 

Thompson, Riki. “From Plenty of Fish to Survival Dating.” Medium, 29 May 2020., 

Thompson, Riki. “Pandemic Dating Practices & COVID-19.” Medium, 14 May 2020., 

Thompson, Riki. “Pandemic Dating, Humor, and Selling the Selfie in the Online Market.” Medium, 23 Apr. 2020.,